I always try to keep these lists fresh and up to date, however the Game Grumps have been around 9 years and in that time they’ve produced nearly 8,000 videos so in keeping these updated there is always the risk that old or ‘Classic’ content is pushed aside to make way for new content. I felt like this would be doing a disservice to the countless ‘Classic’ episodes which totally deserved to make the list, and so what I’ve decided to do is is make more lists.
So the first set will be classic Dan Era one-offs and series, while the second will focus on New Dan Era one-offs and series. I feel like, upon reflection, that this is the most fair way to do things, as it properly covers all of Game Grumps, and not just their recent content. Now as I’ve suggested this will involve seperating their content into two periods, namely ‘Classic’ and ‘New’ Game Grumps. With ‘Classic’ Game Grumps running from June 2013 when Dan Avidan joined the channel (replacing Jon) until early 2018.
The reason for selecting early 2018 as the cut off date for ‘Classic’ Game Grumps is threefold, firstly Barry Kramer, the long term editor for the channel, who had been with them almost since the beginning (joining in September 2012, two months after the channel started in July 2012) announced on December 21st 2017 that after approximately five years he was leaving to seek new opportunities. For a lot of Game Grumps fans, he was such a core element of the show that it really did feel like the end of an era, so to speak. Secondly, by 2018 the channel had ceased several of their extracurriculars including Steam Train, Table Flip and Grumpcade. Thirdly, and lastly, in early 2018 the Game Grumps went through something of a design rebrand, changing and updating the design of the ‘Grump Heads’ which as far as I can tell was officially debuted on April 18th 2018 with the episode Super Mario Maker: Elevator Song – PART 140.
I hope that I have now adequately explained what constitutes the ‘Classic’ period of Game Grumps, and as you can probably gather from context, the period defined as ‘New’ Game Grumps is everything after 2018, going forward to the present.
I have gone ahead and compiled some information about the Game Grumps below. 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.
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.
So I didn’t actually watch this for at least a year or two after it was initially released. I’m not sure how exactly I missed it, but it’s a real shame because it’s exceptionally funny. I think it makes the top of the list because it can be appreciated fully even when on in the background because most of the humour comes from The Grumps bantering and doing voices. In particular Dan and Arin voice Ivan (tha main character of the game) and give him a thick Russian accent, and just having him deliver a monologue in a steady monotone as absolute chaos happens around him is just hilarious.
Is a super early Dan Era series and it’s one that sticks out in my mind not just because of the obvious quality but also because it’s always nice to see Dan play, especially when it’s a game from his own childhood. I also like that despite the difficulty he does come back to complete the game. This is well worth a watch, and I also recommend watching Punch-Out!! the successor to this game on the Wii.
This is incredibly funny, you can feel the both of them just deteriorate as the episode progresses. How despite doing different things each time they keep getting the same uncomfortably long failure animation. You can feel the point where it goes from funny to frustrating to just plain exasperated and then back to dejectedly funny.
So I have such incredible nostalgia for this game, it’s what really got me into Mario. I like the dynamic between Arin who is returning to this game after a long time and Dan who has never played it before. I will admit that watching Arin make no progress in some episodes can be infuriating but it’s just hard to be mad with this game or this playthrough. It also is the origin of the much quoted Mark Zuckerberg moment. It’s sort of supplementary to the series but I also suggest watching the Green Demon Challenge, which is a player challenge Arin undertook where he attempted to get all the Red Coins in a level while being pursued by a 1Up mushroom. The concept is interesting on its own but Arin makes it so entertaining to watch.
So full disclosure on this one, I liked it. I felt it was solidly funny and entertaining, but it was Tori B Bearly who was the one that really enjoyed it. That was until we got a copy for ourselves and were able to find the same sort of chaotic enjoyment that Dan and Arin had. Now looking back it’s just so funny, and how Dan who’s usually the more innocent of the two isn’t above screwing Arin over for entertainment purposes.
This has been one of my favourites since I first saw it. It’s glitchy, it’s ridiculous and to be honest I’m not quite sure what the point of the game is. But honestly, this like a lot of my favourites is just a product of both the fun banter throughout and their reactions to a game breaking or glitching out.
So I haven’t had the opportunity to play Trauma Center but nonetheless this is still one of my favourite series, because the gameplay itself is interesting, but it has that type of almost loopy humour I’ve come to associate with the episode where they are at the end of a long recording session.
8. Night Trap
So especially for it’s time this game is incredible. I’ll admit that is at least in part because I have a soft spot for FMV in video games like this and Tex Murphy but honestly it’s really cool. I enjoyed listening to them talk about the controversy behind this game back in the 90s and Dan singing the Night Trap song.
Deadly Premonition remains one of my all time favourite games, and I’m not just saying that because Hidetaka Suehiro, more commonly known as Swery65 liked my review on Twitter. It’s an incredibly ambitious game, that while still having it’s issues is incredibly fun, and The Grumps really manage to make it an engaging playthrough. About the only problem is that for multiple episodes there’s a game audio capture issue which somewhat reduces the overall quality of the playthrough, although thankfully not enough that it doesn’t deserve a mention on this list.
So I think it’s fair to say that Arin has something of a complicated relationship with Sonic the Hedgehog, and the franchise as a whole. He receives fair criticism for the negative attitude he’s taken to some of the games, deserved or otherwise. However in the case of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, his opinion and criticism are totally 100% deserved. I mean even just the infinite jump glitch you can utilise as Knuckles is so game breaking that it begs the question of whether any testing was done before release. That being said, I am eternally grateful they didn’t fix it because watching Arin pausing and unpausing the game to just endlessly gain height and bypass obstacles is hilarious, not to mention that in doing so areas of the game completely broke and failed to load in. Another highlight of this playthrough is the whole Janeane Garofalo’s Expedition which just had me in hysterics.
So those were my Top 10 ‘Classic’ Game Grumps series and if you want to maybe find some favourites of your own, you can head over to the main channel, Game Grumps, their new channel, The Grumps or their misfit channel for random things, Grump Out.
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.