*This list was original posted on 01/01/2019, updated on 08/07/2019 and updated again on 14/12/2019 to include new entries which have made it onto my Top 10 List.
Here’s another Top 10, this one breaks down my favourite One-offs from Jon era Game Grumps. If you want to check out my Top 10 Jon era extended playthroughs then click here and if you want to check out my favourite Dan era One-offs and Extended Playthroughs then click here and here respectively. I also made a Top 10 for my favourite Game Grumps moments which you can check out here.
While I’m at it, if you are a fan of Game Grumps, I would strongly recommend that you check out KittyKatGaming, a channel ran by Suzy Berhow (also known as Mortem3r) who is an artist, animator, model, jeweller, voice actor, taxidermist, entrepreneur and member of the Game Grumps, as well as being the wife of Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor). If you like the channel then maybe you might like to check out my Top 10 KittyKatGaming One-offs and Extended Playthroughs which you can check out here and here respectively.
Okay, now let me actually introduce you to the Game Grumps before we move onto the Top 10 list. Game Grumps are a Let’s Play channel which was established in July 2012 by Co-hosts and founders Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor) and Jon Jafari (also known as JonTron) who on the show, also called ‘Game Grumps‘ play the characters of ‘Grump’ and ‘Not So Grump’ respectively.
While I am talking about Jon, if you are a fan then feel free to check out my Top 10 JonTron Episodes list by clicking here. Arin and Jon ran the channel together, along with their editor Barry Kramer (also known as razzadoop) until Jon left in June 2013 to focus on his own channel, JonTronShow. Following Jon’s departure from the channel he was replaced by American musician, Internet personality, singer-songwriter, comedian, and actor Dan Avidan (also known as Danny Sexbang) who took over his role as ‘Not So Grump’.
During Jon’s tenure on the show, which lasted from the 18th July 2012 to the 24th June 2013 Game Grumps released approximately 619 episodes, and it is during this period that I will be handpicking my personal favourites from today. So there we have it, now onto the Top 10 Game Grumps One-Offs (Jon Era).
1. Mary-Kate and Ashley: Sweet 16 – Licensed to Drive
A strong holdover from the original version of this list, and is by far my favourite episode from Jon’s tenure on Game Grumps. I think what I like about it is that it’s absolutely ridiculous and hilarious, the game itself is basic and kind of boring, it just has the characters moving around the track (hence why they need a licence) and participating in various challenges. However the commentary for this episode really makes it special, from Arin explaining the origins of ‘Wumbo’ from the children’s television show Spongebob Squarepants, to their over the top impressions of Mary-Kate and Ashley including the infamous line “SO WE CAN KAYAK DOWN IT!!” which without fail makes me laugh. Also an interesting side note about the game itself, it received fairly negative reviews and a poor reception, in fact in a letter from Martin Singer, the attorney for the twins (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) to Acclaim, the company which made this game, he stated that they had “taken the franchise of the Mary-Kate and Ashley brand in video games which had flourished and has now run it into the ground.”
2. Chuck E. Cheese’s Party Games
This episode is really early on in the shows history, in fact if I have my facts straight it is their second One-off, as such you can tell that they are still developing the show and working on their dynamic in relation to being co-hosts but I think you can also tell they are becoming less anxious and settling more into being Grumps. I really enjoyed this episode, perhaps not as much as a future Chuck E. Cheese playthrough with Dan and Arin but it is certainly a strong episode of Jon’s Era. A personal highlight of this episode is Arin sharing a story from his childhood about how Chuck E. Cheese, the anthropomorphic rat mascot of the Chuck E. Cheese chain of family entertainment centers, took one of his skee-balls, tried to make a shot and missed then just walked off without saying anything.
3. Super Mario Land
This game in my opinion demonstrates what I love about Game Grumps, that the game itself is often surplus to requirement, it’s not in and of itself part of what people watch the show for, because often, with games like this one they can make no progress or not evenly really play the game or not play the game well and yet people watch, because what we enjoy about Game Grumps is the dynamic, back and forth and chemistry between the hosts. In Super Mario Land Jon tries to speedrun this game but can’t because he’s too busy goofing off with Arin, and then right at the end in a similar fashion to Arin in Battle Kid he accidentally resets the game.
4. Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall
So the first entry on this list was another Mary-Kate and Ashley game, and you’ll recall how much I loved that, this one wasn’t as funny, hence it’s lower place on the Top 10, but it’s still an enjoyable episode. In this one we discover the Arin is in fact a robot (something he later demonstrates in a pseudo-meta fashion during the Doki Doki Literature Club! and Chuck E. Cheese Sports Games Playthroughs) as Jon has to fix him before they can even get started with the episode.
5. GoldenEye 007
In another version of this list, this one actually took the top spot, but upon reflection it’s still really good but I liked a few others better. For an entertaining ten minutes or so, it does talk a little more about genocide that perhaps you would expect but again this feeds into the whole stream of consciousness/just two friends chatting away thing that makes Game Grumps so appealing as a show. A personal highlight for me was Arin’s rant about how terrible the game really is, which I feel firmly cemented him early on as the official ‘Grump’ of the duo.
Game Grumps ended up playing this game again several years later during Dan’s era, in an episode of Guest Grumps (which featured Paul F. Tompkins a.k.a Mr. Peanutbutter, from Bojack Horseman and the talented Tim Baltz, co-creator of Shrink) making it another in a small selection of games to cross between Jon and Dan’s tenure on the show.
6. Spice World
I think across the various Game Grumps related Top 10 lists I’ve mentioned several times that one of the things I enjoy most about Game Grumps is when they are just confused, when the gameplay or the plot is just so terrible, convoluted or boring that you just kinda need to make your own fun with it and Spice World has all that in bags. Arin and Jon honestly make a valiant effort with this game, for example when they first enter the ‘mixing room’, they assume quite naturally that you are supposed to assemble one of the classic Spice Girls songs and they do their best, before reading the manual and discovering what they are actually supposed to do. In fact this game was so bad, that Arin ‘killed’ Jon at the end of the episode using a knife, presumably because he was to beautiful to live in a world where this game exists.
7. Paperboy 64
Having played this game myself I can personally attest to how maddening it can be so I think I partly enjoy this game out of a sense of nostalgia mixed with a desire for other people to have to go through the same experience as me, but also it’s just really fun. A lot of the best Game Grumps moments can be traced back to either glitches or games that are so difficult as to provoke the Grumps into extreme reactions (see every episode of Mario Maker for evidence) and as I said above this game is one of those games that are super difficult. It was just so much fun watching them try their best and failing to progress.
8. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
This is another game that I had as a kid, and I guess I enjoyed it, although honesty, I can’t remember it that well, but I feel like it’s one of those games you could enjoy for a few hours but especially as you mature you can tell that no amount of appreciation for the source material can make up for its flaws. I mean it’s not terrible, it’s not even the worst game the Grumps have played but there’s also a reason why Arin ‘killed’ himself in this video and it’s not because he liked the game, although he’s just makes a habit of that because if I remember correctly he also ‘killed’ himself in the episode, Play with the Teletubbies.
9. Inspector Gadget
Some of these old games seem to just be designed to be confusing, I mean I love the Inspector Gadget franchise, and it is one of my fondest wishes to buy a pub and call it the ‘Go Go Gadget Arms’ (I cannot take credit for this joke, it actually came from comedian [insert name] during his stand up routine on Russell Howard’s Good News) but I can objectively see that this game has some issues, although that being said, even when a game functions as well as can be expected, the Game Grumps often still struggle. Anyway, at one point the camera just pans in as Inspector Gadget ejects a coiled spring from his feet. It’s little odd things like that are what make this game, and this playthrough enjoyable, it’s that level of incredulousness that makes a lot of Game Grumps episodes so good. Also Jon tells Arin that he smells nice in this episode, which is good, I guess?
10. A Bug’s Life
I really enjoyed the ‘A Bugs Life’ movie, it’s one of my personal favourite Pixar films, however the game is only my second favourite game based on the lives of bugs, the top slot for me is taken by Bugdom, a 1999 platformer which alongside Nanosaur came pre-installed on all of the iMac’s (or iMac G3’s) at my primary school and so I spent a lot of free time playing, which is probably while I prefer it to ‘A Bug’s Life’. Anyway getting away from pimping out 20 year old games and getting back to Game Grumps, this game is good, and Arin and Jon have even have a discussion about gravity and what makes it worse, they even look it up but end the episode unable to agree on who is correct. Interestingly enough, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the game or the discussion about gravity, but this is the last One off featuring Jon before he left Game Grumps to focus on his own show.
So that was my Top 10 favourite Game Grumps One-offs 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. 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.
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