Top 10: Game Grumps One-Offs (Jon Era)

So as a preface to the actual list I’ve gone ahead and compiled some information about the Game Grumps, specifically information relevant to Jon Jafari’s tenure on the show. I do, however, understand that you may already know all the information, or simply would prefer to skip it. So you can click here if you’d like to go straight to the list or just keep reading to find out more about the Game Grumps. Either way. 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 and 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.

Jon Era One-Offs

1. Mary-Kate & Ashley: Sweet 16 – Licensed to Drive

So this is easily my favourite episode from the Jon Era of Game Grumps, and I think the reason for that is that it is just hilarious. I mean the game itself is fairly uninteresting, and yet Arin and Jon really manage to make something special from it. Some memorable highlights include Arin explaining the origins of ‘Wumbo’ from Spongebob Squarepants, and Arin and Jon’s over the top impressions of Mary-Kate and Ashley.

2. GoldenEye 007

So at least part of the reason why I like this playthrough is because I love this game, not only does it hold up surprisingly well but it gives me such Nostalgia. That being said, for an episode that I love so much, Arin and Jon sure do talk about genocide a whole lot. Despite the sensitive subject material I think it works really well because it is very stream of consciousness and feels like two friends just sitting on a couch playing games which at least to me is the main reason why people like Game Grumps so much. I also liked Arin’s rant about how terrible this fame is which firmly cements him as the official ‘Grump’ of the duo.  

3. Chuck E. Cheese’s Party Games

So beyond what I’ve been able to glean from  American TV and Film I don’t really know much about Chuck E. Cheese but I will say it looks like awesome fun. This specific playthrough is not only one of my favourites but it’s also one of the first one-offs, in fact I think it might be the second one ever. Because of this you can still feel them developing the show and hammering out their dynamic as hosts. That being said, I feel that you can already detect them becoming less nervous and really settling into their roles as The Grumps. My personal highlight from this episode was Arin’s story about how Chuck E. Cheese, the anthropomorphic rat mascot of the Chuck E. Cheese chain of family entertainment centres, took one of his skee-balls, tried to make a shot and missed, then just walked off without saying anything.

4. Spice World

So the chemistry between the two hosts is a very important aspect of what makes Game Grumps so important but an equally important part is the absolute confusion and incredulity that some games can inspire. Spice World is just such a game, because the mechanics are so convoluted and boring that Jon and Arin just end up making their own fun rather than playing the game properly. That being said, they do make a valiant effort to play this game, for example when they first enter the ‘mixing room’ they make the fairly natural assumption that they are supposed to assemble one of the Spice Girls songs using the mechanics available and they really do their best but alas they were unsuccessful and ended up having to read the manual to have any idea what to do. Overall this game was so bad that Arin ‘killed’ Jon at the end of the episode, presumably because he was too beautiful to live in a world where this game exists. 

5. Battletoads

I usually watch Game Grumps because it has a nice, chill vibe to it, even during extreme moments like the Sonic 06 playthrough it’s more about the banter than anything else but sometimes it’s good to just enjoy a little bit of negativity and this episode sure had that. Arin and Jon both voice their displeasure at this game, in particular its notorious difficulty. Other highlights include the first mention of Barry Kramer (as their editor) and Jon opera singing towards the end of the video. 

6. Drakkhen

This is a strong favourite not just for me but also for the lovelies as well, so much so that a project was formed to animate this episode in its entirety, which you can check out here if you are interested. For me at least, I liked this episode because it was just silly. Due to the text being entirely in Japanese they just had fun making up their own plot. 

7. A Bug’s Life

So A Bug’s Life is easily still one of my favourite Pixar movies and I remember playing this as a kid on the PS1 and being determined to unlock the real movie scenes in the game. I will add that this is only my second favourite game based on the lives of bugs. The number one slot is taken by Bugdom, a platformer released in 1999 alongside Nanosaur, both of which came pre-installed on all of iMac’s (or iMac G3’s) at my primary school. Anyway, returning to the episode, it’s another fun one. Arin and Jon had a discussion about gravity, and end the episode unable to agree on who is correct. Also interestingly enough, and not to speculate, but this argument over the fundamental building blocks of the universe, was the last episode Jon filmed before leaving the show. 

8. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie

So I remember playing this game a lot as a kid but I don’t think I ever completed it, perhaps because it’s impossible to complete. Either way, no amount of fond memories can make up for the fact it’s not the greatest game in the world. Jon and Arin are not very forgiving of the flash either, in fact Arin ‘killed’ himself in this video. That being said, he seems to make a habit of this as he also killed himself in the episode Play with the Teletubbies

9. Shovel Knight

So this was a solid one-off, and it’s good to see The Grumps use their platform to support an indie game. Also Arin donated during the crowd funding stage and got his portrait put up in the Hall of Backers which is kind of cool. This is also one of a handful of games that made the leap from the Jon to Dan Era of the game. 

10. Dead Space 3

So weirdly enough watching this was my first exposure to the Dead Space series, so for that alone this one-off could make this list but also it was interesting as well, I enjoyed listening to their commentary on how this game diverges from the others in the series. Plus the thing with the birds was hilarious. I wonder if this is how Jon got Jacques. 

Honourable Mentions go to Mary-Kate and Ashley: Magical Mystery Mall, Paperboy 64 and Dog’s Life which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the list.

So those were my Top 10 ‘Jon Era’ Game Grumps One-Offs and if you want to maybe find some favourites of your own, you can head over to the main channel, Game Grumps.

Make sure and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from Game Grumps. Don’t forget to show support for JonTron by subscribing to his YouTube channel, and by following him on 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.

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