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"Sans is Ness" is an ironic reference to "Game Theory: UNDERTALE - Sans's SECRET Identity!", a controversial episode of the YouTube series Game Theory by Internet personality MatPat about the supposed secret identity of the character Sans from the video game Undertale.

On the SiIvaGunner channel, this refers to a meme that encompasses multiple ideas, mainly the conflation of Sans and Ness, a general association between Undertale and EarthBound, and general references to Game Theory.

Welcome to Game Theory!

Matthew Patrick, commonly known by the nickname MatPat, is the creator of several popular YouTube channels. His biggest channel is The Game Theorists, with its flagship web series, Game Theory. Co-created and narrated by MatPat himself, Game Theory showcases theories about various aspects of well-known video games, including speculations about hidden messages and subtexts allegedly present in video game lore. Since its debut on April 18, 2011, over 200 episodes of Game Theory have been published. The Game Theorists' YouTube channel has since amassed over ten million subscribers on YouTube, with the majority of Game Theory episodes having a like ratio of around 96 to 99 percent.[1]

MatPat, co-creator and narrator of Game Theory, at SGC 2013.

Despite the popularity and success of Game Theory, both the show and MatPat were subject to heavy criticism during the mid-2010s. Aside from problems with specific theories, this also included things like padding videos, pandering to trending topics like Five Nights at Freddy's, and MatPat's general attitude at the time.[2][3][4] This would come to a head with the release of the episode that spawned the Sans is Ness meme, though in the years since it has died down somewhat in comparison to YouTubers with more serious scandals.

Can you imagine?

On February 9, 2016, an episode titled "Game Theory: UNDERTALE - Sans's SECRET Identity!" was uploaded to the Game Theorists channel. In this video, MatPat postulated that Sans from Undertale is Ness, the protagonist of the game EarthBound (or more specifically, the version of Ness from EarthBound Halloween Hack, a ROM hack of EarthBound created by Undertale creator Toby Fox). This episode was widely criticized and mocked for making far-fetched conclusions, having logical errors, and ignoring evidence that didn't support the theory. This episode currently has a lower than average like ratio and has since been frequently joked about online to the point where it has become a meme.[5][6]

On February 4, 2017, nearly a year after the infamous theory, an episode titled "Game Theory: Who is W.D. Gaster? (Undertale)" was uploaded, explaining another theory about the identity of the character W.D. Gaster. At the start of the video, MatPat addresses criticisms of the Sans is Ness theory, arguing that it was just a fun exercise for him and that he never truly believed it himself nor expected it to be taken that seriously. Future mocking references to the Sans is Ness theory by MatPat would suggest that he agrees with the general consensus that the theory was a stretch.

But hey, that's just a theory!

See also: Category:Rips featuring Sans is Ness

On the SiIvaGunner channel, ironic references to MatPat's aforementioned theory have been placed in multiple rips. References to the Game Theory video itself can be found in quite a few rips, notably the first sentence spoken in the video: "Can you imagine a world where we're all represented by a font?" However, the majority of references to the Sans is Ness meme are indirect, involving things like:

  • Undertale tunes in EarthBound rips, and vice versa.
  • Undertale tunes segueing into EarthBound tunes, and vice versa, in medley rips.
  • The use of the Game Theory theme song ("Science Blaster" by SpellingPhailer), and excerpts from episodes of Game Theory.
  • The appearance of the meme personified, a Sans-Ness fusion referred to as Sens.

A game theory!

Thanks for watching!

  1. The Game Theorists (MatthewPatrick13) - YouTube.
  2. Game Theory (Web Video) - TV Tropes.
  3. "Hi, I'm MatPat from YouTube's Game Theory and Film Theory. AMA!" - MatPatGT. June 10, 2016. r/IAmA. Reddit.
  4. "Why I Now Hate Game Theory" - Optimus. July 17, 2017. YouTube.
  5. The Truth About Sans / Sans is Ness - Know Your Meme.
  6. "Getting all Gems in Crash Bandicoot 2 WITH FRIENDS - EP 4 - Conspiracy?" - OneyPlays. October 12, 2016. YouTube.
MOTHER Logo.png
General Character: Sens
Meme: Sans is Ness
Events Mother's DaySatoru Iwata Memorial DayUndertale 1st Anniversary4/20 2020R.L.99 Memorial Day
Frequently ripped tracks Enjoy Your StayHumoresque of a Little Dog (Buy Somethin' Will Ya!) • MOTHER 3 Love ThemePollyannaSnowmanUnfounded Revenge
Main series EarthBound Beginnings/MOTHEREarthBoundMOTHER 3
Remake: MOTHER 1+2
Related Albums: MOTHER 3+AlterniaboundI Miss You - EarthBound 2012
Crossovers Super Smash Bros.: 64MeleeBrawlfor Wii U & 3DS (3DSWii UGiIvaSunner) • Ultimate
Mods Halloween Hack
Fan games AlterniaboundOpenboundOddity (MOTHER 4)
Fake games MOTHER ▚Zeno Blade Chronicle X
Similar Undertale
Undertale Logo.png
General Main article: Undertale
Memes: MegalovaniaSans is Ness
Characters: PapyrusSans (Sens) • Undyne
Events Good Night BreakUndertale 1st AnniversaryUndertale 5th AnniversaryUndertale 6th Anniversary
Albums .@GiIvaSunner Whips & Nae Naes on Ellen the GenerousA High Quality Journey Through the Undergrand
Frequently ripped tracks Undertale: BonetrousleDeath by GlamourFallen DownHis ThemeMEGALOVANIAMenusans.Snowdin Town
Deltarune: Smart Race
Main series Undertale
Spin-offs Deltarune
Related Albums: I Miss You - EarthBound 2012
Alphys Takes Action - Alphys NEO
GilvaSunner The Star of the Underground - Underveil
King for a Day Papyrus Demo Playlist
Crossovers Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!Drum 'n' Fun!
Fan games YellowTS!UnderswapYandereTale
Fake games Undertale 2Thundersnail
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