If you are already familiar with Game Grumps or just want to skip straight to the list then click here, otherwise read on and enjoy!
Game Grumps is an American Let’s Play channel which was established back on July 18th 2012 by co-hosts and co-founders Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor) and Jon Jafari (also known as JonTron). Arin had already built up a considerable fanbase prior to Game Grumps due to his animations which were posted to Newgrounds and his personal YouTube Channel and when Jon came to his attention following his video DinoCity BRO!!! (which features his first attempt to sing Firework by Katy Perry, which I eventually reviewed) and that videos subsequent posting to Reddit they became friends and eventually decided to collaborate.
The actual concept for Game Grumps as well as the name of the show and the roles of ‘Grump’ and ‘Not So Grump’ they play on it were inspired by an incident where Jon and Arin were playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl and arguing over whether the character Wolf was a clone of Fox, because their fighting styles were too similar. A friend of theirs told them they have a tendency to get a little ‘grumpy’ with one another while playing games, and said that they should make a show where they should talk it out, Arin concieved of a podcast called Game Grumps, the idea for which eventually evolved into the show as we know it. As mentioned above Arin and Jon play specific roles on the show, with Arin playing the role of ‘Grump’ and Jon playing the role of ‘Not So Grump’. Together the pair hosted the channel, with vital behind the scenes support from their editor Barry Kramer (also known as razzadoop) until Jon left on June 25th 2013 to focus on his own personal channel.
Speaking of which, if you are a fan of JonTron, you can check out a Top 10 list I did for his best episodes by clicking here.
Following Jon’s departure from the show he was replaced by Dan Avidan (also known as Danny Sexbang) the lead vocalist of the comedy musical duo, Ninja Sex Party, who took over his role as ‘Not So Grump’. Interestingly enough, Dan joining the channel had already been in the works prior to Jon leaving, as he was set to be the co-host of another series scheduled to appear on the Game Grumps channel called Steam Train, which would feature himself alongside Animator and voice actor Ross O’Donovan (also known as RubberRoss, RubberNinja or CondomRoss) where they would both play PC games (as opposed to console games, which were more common on Game Grumps at the time) many of which were available on Valve’s Steam platform (for which the show was named) in a similar format to the original Game Grumps set up. However due to the sudden nature of Jon’s withdrawal from the show, and also because Arin had apparently said previously that Dan would have always been his second choice for a co-host for Game Grumps if Jon were unavailable he ended up taking the co-host role on both shows.
Another interesting detail regarding Dan joining the channel was that his first appearance on Game Grumps in the video(s) Ode to Jon / Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!: Around the World – PART 1 went up the same day as his first appearance on Steam Train in the video Hotline Miami: Who’s Calling? – PART 1 (which was actually recorded several months prior) with both being uploaded to the Game Grumps channel on June 25th 2013. The addition of Steam Train to the channel added an extra video, making up a total of three per day. Ross and Dan co-hosted the show together, and on July 9th 2013 Arin was introduced on the show during their playthrough of Civilization V: Brave New World to act as another co-host as Dan was increasingly busy with both his Game Grumps schedule, and working on Ninja Sex Party and Starbomb (whose first album was released on December 17th 2013).
Barry Kramer was later debuted as another co-host during the February 14th 2014 Steam Train episode, rebranded as Single Train for Valentine’s Day, as both Dan and Arin, the hosts for that episode were single at the time. On June 25th 2014, the first anniversary of Steam Train, they revamped things with a brand new intro sequence, starting with the video King’s Quest VI: The Land of the Green Isles – PART 1, the new sequence now featured Barry and Suzy Berhow (also known as Mortem3r) who herself would debut as a potential host on the episode, Mount Your Friends.
The expansion of Steam Train beyond just Dan and Ross created a sub-series called Steam Rolled, which launched on August 23rd 2013 and involves a combination of any four players playing a variety of co-op or Versus games. Steam Train as a whole lasted from June 25th 2013 until December 30th 2016 when the last official episode was posted. The show ended (or at least went into an extended hiatus) because Ross was taking a less active role in Game Grumps in general to focus on his art and animation career and because the main Game Grumps channel had started featuring gameplay from Steam thus making Steam Train unnecessary.
Steam Train was not the only series added to Game Grumps, on December 14th 2013 they introduced a new show called Table Flip which was produced by Polaris (a multi-channel network based on YouTube) and was hosted by Barry and Suzy, and instead of PC or Console games, focused on traditional board and card games, and utilising costumes and set pieces to give an old fashioned feel. Each episode of Table Flip featured various additional guests, such as other members of The Grumps such as Arin, Danny or Ross as well as other YouTubers such as Markiplier, Jirard The Completionist and Ashly Burch (speaking of which, I did a Top 10 list for Ashly’s show Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’? Which you can check out here). Table Flip ran until October 12th 2016 when the show was wrapped up due to Game Grumps separating from Polaris, who co-owned the show, this meant of course that they were unable to make any new episodes.
Grumpcade was another new show added to the channel, it debuted on January 14th 2015 and involved any combination of two to four of the Game Grumps hosting an episode, alongside special guests. It was the addition of these guests that meant in some ways Grumpcade was a more unofficial, relaxed version of Guest Grumps, a sub-series of the main channel where Arin and Dan (originally Jon) would invite a guest to play alongside them. But returning to Grumpcade, they focused on playing a variety of console games, in whatever configuration worked best for the recording. Functionally in terms of set up it is similar to that of Game Grumps (particularly Guest Grumps) or Steam Train (and Steam Rolled) but deviates because of the lack of fixed hosts. Notable guests on Grumpcade include Octopimp, Matt and Woolie of Super Best Friends, Oney, Jacksepticeye, Ding Dong and Comic Book Girl 19 just to name a few. Grumpcade lasted until January 6th 2018 when the last video was posted, since then it has either officially been wrapped up alongside the middle time slot it used to be posted on, or is at the very least on an extended hiatus.
Shortly after Grumpcade first started, Game Grumps announced another project. In this case a whole new channel called ‘Grump Out’ with the first video Game Grumps Eat GROSS BEANS being released on February 20th 2015. This new channel allowed them to post a variety of content including live action comedy which did not fit on the main Game Grumps channel. The channel did not have a set schedule for post, instead content went up only when there was content to post. The main run of the channel went right up until November 28th 2018 when the last video Dream Daddy – Teaser Trailer went up (speaking of which I’ve reviewed Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator and you can check that out here) after which the channel went into hiatus. This pause continued until October 7th 2020 when they released the video TAKE THIS Egg Emperor!, this video also marked a shift in the type of content posted on the channel, which is now focused on smaller clips and compilations designed to promote the main channel.
The live action comedy that was a vital part of the early Grump Out channel, was succeeded in spirit by a new series on the main channel called 10 Minute Power Hour. This series consists of face-cam live footage of Arin and Dan (and occasionally a guest) as they perform a variety of prompts or challenges. The first episode of the 10 Minute Power Hour, Grown Men Playing w/ Legos was released on April 3rd 2018. The channel released weekly from that point on a Monday right up until July 22nd 2019 with the video Pancakemon Art, after which from July 29th 2019 with the video Making art with Lite Brite is impossible the series was moved to a brand new channel called ‘The Grumps’ and has continued to be posted there ever since. Although as of the 22nd June 2020 the series is taking a temporary hiatus due to the Backstreet Boys Reunion Tour with Arin and Dan aiming to continue the series once it is safe to do so.
Speaking of which The Grumps, their newest channel debuted on July 26th 2019 and was created much as Grump Out before it as a place for content which was different from Game Grumps, such as live action comedy, which was why once the channel started 10 Minute Power Hour was moved to it. In addition to that series, they also have ‘Good Content’ which was for the first fifteen episodes untitled, and it featured a variety of content including The Grumps answering fan questions. However as of the episode Good Content HIATUS and upcoming special episodes?! which aired on January 30th 2020 the show is on an indefinite hiatus.
That pretty much brings us up to now, and I hope after having read all that you feel like you know a little bit more about Game Grumps. Now let’s move on to the Top 10 list which you can check out below.
The actual list:
So this playthrough for many is the iconic series during the Jon era on Game Grumps. It’s the one that started the trend of them playing Sonic games on the show, and it has brought countless hours of fun to Lovelies over the years. In my opinion, this series had everything that makes Game Grumps great, from its excessive glitches, to the insane plot, to a whole lot of ‘real talk’. I am also legitimately a fan of the music from Sonic ’06, which Arin famously called ‘Butt Rock’ during another Sonic playthrough. Speaking of which, throughout the series, songs such ‘Escape from the City’ are sung by the Game Grumps, often with improved lyrics or with the music played at different speeds. Sadly, Jon left the show before they completed this playthrough and the Grumps have said they have no intention of finishing it without him.
This is one of those playthroughs that made me really want to play the game myself, which is particularly impressive since at the time I hadn’t heard a great lot of positive details about the Wii U platform. There was just something about watching Arin and Jon playing Nintendo Land that really made me want to get it, I guess because they made it seem so fun, and because they clearly had such a great time playing it. The Animal Crossing and Legend of Zelda segments specifically looked fantastic. It’s just one of those classic playthroughs where it seemed like two dudes having fun and playing games rather than someone actively trying to make something for entertainment purposes. You just enjoyed the chemistry and how low-key it all was.
I fully acknowledge that this next statement is just my opinion and I’m sure some people are frustrated by it but at least for me I think what I enjoy most about the Game Grumps is that you can enjoy their videos even when they make little to no progress in terms of gameplay. I feel like the fact that they aren’t constantly concerned with completing the game, but instead are just enjoying the experience or finding ways to have fun that sometimes the game didn’t intend. During this playthrough, they spend a considerable amount of time just backtracking and coming up with creative names for their Pokémon, and there are whole episodes where you can honestly claim they make no significant progress at all, and yet you still enjoy the commentary between Arin and Jon, which feels very real and has a distinct stream of consciousness nature to it. Something else that I really liked, and one which led to the development of the show in the first place is when one of them, in this case Jon, dislikes the game (he finds it to be dull and repetitive) and the other is defending it, because it creates a back and forth and allows them to be ‘Grumpy’.
I enjoyed this video the first time I saw it, I’m not really sure why, I think it’s because the game is that right blend of quirky and surreal that makes for good content. One of the main objectives involves the character trying to kiss and therefore ingratiate themselves with random townsfolk, so you can impress the girl of your dreams. In this regard it actually kind of reminded me of a Game Grumps play through years later, specifically Marvel’s Spider-Man, where Arin keeps offering/threatening to kiss the citizens of New York. Anyway, I enjoyed this series , a lot, and confirmed a certain fact about Barry Kramer, who at that point was a relative mystery to the Lovelies.
This is another series that I probably liked a lot more because I enjoyed the game as a kid, but that doesn’t mean that the playthrough itself isn’t good. Although the Lovelies either really disliked this game and want rid of it, or desperately wanted the Grumps to play it because they received at least 7 different copies of Glover from the fans, a fact that led to this awesome advert from the Game Grumps back in August 2013, where the Grumps were working with the charity, Child’s Play to improve the lives of children by giving them access to awesome toys and games. Speaking of which If you’d like to donate to Child’s Play then you can do so by clicking here. Anyway, Glover is a really good playthrough that’s funny and exposes a whole bunch of people to an awesome game, also if you happen to have a Glover plushie you no longer want I will happily buy it from you (as long as it’s not crazy expensive) just reach out via the contact section of the site.
I remember this game distinctly from back when I was a kid, and I do not remember enjoying it. I did however really enjoy the Grumps playthrough which was fun, if relatively short. It’s also very human and honest because the reason that they stopped playing was because they got stuck, specifically on the Universal Studios quiz section. Now a lesser channel might have used editing and tricks or practices off screen or even cheated and looked up the answers but not the Grumps, they tried, they failed and then called it quits and moved onto greener pastures and other equally terrible games.
If I am being completely honest, despite coming from a household that enjoys games, and I mean we ended up getting all the popular consoles of the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s at one point or another and this was a hugely popular game at the time but despite that I just wasn’t that big of a fan of Donkey Kong Country, especially when comPred to other contemporary side-scrolling platform refers such as Pac-Land or Super Mario Land which were released around the same time. Despite that though, I thoroughly enjoyed this playthrough, especially since this game is a favourite of Jon’s. It was interesting to see this game through the eyes of someone who was passionate about it, it helped me to appreciate it a little more myself. I also liked that despite not liking the game much either, Arin made a concerted effort to not speak too negatively, it felt very much like something a friend would do. This stance is especially impressive because via his Sequelitis videos (which you can check out over on his YouTube channel) and his extreme reactions during games such as Sonic ‘06, Arin had gotten something of a reputation for his negativity regarding certain games or franchises. I also liked that they played together, or at least traded off on controlling things, it felt more balanced and for me added something to this series.
Much like with Donkey Kong Country, part of why I like this playthrough is Jon’s affection for the game, it shines through in the video and makes you like it that little bit more. In fact the whole reason they ended up playing this was because Jon wanted to share it with Arin. This playthrough has a lot of good moments in it as well such as Jon and Arin talking about Lady Gaga. Arguing about Burps and they even sing ‘Escape from the City’, a feature of the Sonic ‘06 playthrough.
Much like with Donkey Kong and Banjo-Kazooie, this game benefits from having one of the hosts being a fan of the game. In this case it was Arin, who has actually said that Mega Man X is his favourite game of all time. In fact this game was actually the subject of his second Sequelitis video where he praised the intuitive mechanics. But this all results in a truly enjoyable gameplay experience, and one which Arin revisited several years later solo, when he was without a second co-host and you can check that out here.
As I mentioned up top, not the biggest fan of the Donkey Kong franchise but this was nonetheless a strong playthrough, the only real issue I had with it were the complaints about the controls which were unfounded and were more of a Game Grumps problem than a problem with the game. That aside, this playthrough has singing, talks about sketch comedy and performance in general and is just overall good to watch.
So that was my Top 10 favourite Game Grumps extended playthroughs during the Jon era of the channel and if you want to check them out for yourself and maybe find some favourites of you own then head on over to YouTube and check out the main channel, Game Grumps, their new channel, The Grumps and their misfit channel for random things, Grump Out.
Make sure and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from Game Grumps. You can also check out more from JonTron on his personal YouTube channel and you can also follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Also if you’re in the mood for Game Grumps but have no idea what to watch then use this neat little site, RandomGrump, which you can use to find a completely random episode or series from the backlog of Grumps content.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/