"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.

Welcome to Game Theory![edit | edit source]

Matthew Robert Patrick (born November 15, 1986), 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 its creator have been heavily criticized over the years. These criticisms include having a poor understanding of the topics discussed in episodes, frequently making calculation and research errors, cherry-picking evidence to create a more convincing theory, presenting unsubstantiated or even nonsensical conclusions and theories, making episodes unnecessarily long for the sake of more ad revenue, pandering to trending topics like Five Nights at Freddy's, having an insincere or condescending attitude towards his audience, having a self-aggrandizing opinion of his own achievements, taking ideas for episodes from other sources without giving credit, and being unable to properly take or handle even minor criticisms of his show.[2][3][4] As a result, he has grown to have a less than favorable reputation within various online communities.

Can you imagine?[edit | edit source]

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 hack of EarthBound created by Toby Fox, the creator of Undertale). 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]

But hey...[edit | edit source]

See also: Category:Rips featuring Sans is Ness

In SiIvaGunner's high quality video game rips, ironic references to MatPat's aforementioned theory have become a meme. This meme can manifest in several ways:

  • Using Undertale tunes in EarthBound rips, and vice versa. More specifically, using "Megalovania" (which is associated with Sans) and "Onett" (which is associated with Ness).
  • Having Undertale tracks segue into EarthBound tunes and vice versa in medley rips.
  • Using Game Theory's theme tune ("Science Blaster" by SpellingPhailer).
  • Featuring excerpts from "Game Theory: UNDERTALE - Sans's SECRET Identity!" (notably the first sentence spoken in the video: "Can you imagine a world where we're all represented by a font?"), as well as excerpts from other episodes of Game Theory.
  • The appearance of the personified character version of the meme, referred to as Sens.

Just a theory![edit | edit source]

On February 4, 2017, nearly a year after the Sans is Ness Episode, 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 in the episode, 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.

Videos[edit | edit source]

If you really think about it...[edit | edit source]

  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.
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