Trivia / Undertale

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • Mild example. The game's save points fill you with "determination" in regular lowercase letters. Many people mimicking the style of the save points use "DETERMINATION" in all caps, which doesn't show up until late in the game.
    • Many people quote Sans as saying "You're gonna have a bad time" late in the game. Actually, he says that much earlier in the game as a warning to stop doing the No Mercy run. His specific quote later in the game is "Do you wanna have a bad time?"
    • The phrase "you dirty brother killer" is often associated with Sans during the Kill 'em All Genocide route. Thing is, Sans will never say this during a Kill 'em All run; he only says this at the end of the Neutral path if you killed Papyrus (and then say "no" to the question he asks).
    • As for the infamous 'get dunked on' Game Over screen, it's associated for whenever the Genocide final boss kills you. However, this only applies when it 'spares' you.
    • In the True Pacifist ending, Asriel never tells Frisk not to trust himself-as-Flowey if Frisk ever runs into him again. He just says to think of Flowey as a different person from Asriel. He does say, when describing the outside world, that "there are a lot of Floweys out there", but he's clearly using his past behavior as a metaphor there.
    • Not something that's quoted particularly often, but Flowey's line if you choose to kill him after his boss fight is occasionally given in all-caps with a period at the end: "I KNEW YOU HAD IT IN YOU." In-game, it's in mixed-case with an exclamation point: "I knew you had it in you!"
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: Most animated fanworks and fangames involving Chara/The Fallen Child have "Megalo Strike Back" or a remix of it as their theme. While the song doesn't originate from Undertale itself, it was one of Toby Fox's earlier compositions from the Earthbound fan album titled "I Miss You - Earthbound 2012". The fandom decided it was fair game since Toby himself used another of his songs from the album ("Fallen Down") in the game.
  • Colbert Bump:
  • Contest Winner Cameo: Glyde, So Sorry, and Muffet were designed by Kickstarter backers, and so were a few NPCs.
  • Defictionalization: Because of the vast amount of healing items in the game, nearly every food in the game has at least one fan recipe. Spider cider donuts (sans actual spiders), Toriel's cinnamon-butterscotch pie, Papyrus-inspired spaghetti, spicy Grillby-inspired fries, Sea Tea, etc. At least one Tumblr is trying to actually compile a fan-made Undertale cookbook!
  • Fan Community Nickname: Fans often call themselves "Undertale Trash". Obviously an Appropriated Appellation, starting out as an insult from those in Hype Backlash towards the game, but it has ironically been adopted by the fans themselves.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Goatmom" for Toriel has caught on due to her appearance and personality. In the same vein, Asgore is "Goatdad" and Asriel is "Goatbro", "Goatchild", "Goatkid", or "Goatson."
    • "Skelebros" or the rarer "Bone Brothers" for Sans and Papyrus.
    • Sense, Sanity or SANs is often used on Twitch for Sans, him being the Only Sane Skeleton.
    • The final boss of the No Mercy route is also known by fans as Sans Serif, somewhat a pun on "seraph", the highest ranking type of angel.
    • The two strongly polar endings have been labeled "No Mercy" and "True Pacifist", and the range of various endings in between are "Neutral". The former also has a more popular term, the "Genocide" route. It's also occasionally called "Max LV" (since it requires you to do the maximum possible amount of Level Grinding), by people who are uncomfortable calling it Genocide but don't like "No Mercy" for whatever reason. (The term "No Mercy" has also alternately been used for the Neutral ending that results from not sparing anyone, but not going out of one's way to hunt down every last monster.) Among the Neutral endings, there's the "Neutral-Pacifist" ending, in which you spare everyone, but don't go befriend Papyrus, Undyne, and Alphys and visit the True Lab, so you still fight the Neutral ending bosses and get what's pretty much the best of the neutral endings, and can then reload the game and go for the True Pacifist ending without a restart. Meanwhile, the ending received once all the requirements for a True Pacifist ending have been met in a post-No Mercy/Genocide playthrough is popularly called "Soulless Pacifist", a reference to the fact that in order to replay the game at all post-Genocide, the player must sell their soul to the Fallen Child.
    • Going down the No Mercy path has another nickname based on a line of dialog: "having a bad time."
    • Undyne is often referred to as either "Gay fish," or "Strong fish." Some fans have taken to calling her "Fish Zuko".
    • Flowey's form at the end of a Neutral run is widely called Omega (and sometimes God) Flowey by fans. In game they're only referred to as their normal name; internally they're called Flowey X, and in the credits they're called Photoshop Flowey.
    • Flowey's theme, "Your Best Friend", is sometimes referred to as the "ice cream jingle".
    • So Cold is the fan nickname of the Snowdrake's Mother, due to her flavor text.
    • The True Pacifist final boss is often called the Absolute God of Hyperdeath, based on his CHECK description (which he's probably hijacked). Other nicknames include Demongoat.
    • The three bosses unique to the Genocide run (Undyne the Undying, Mettaton NEO, and Sans) are often referred to as "the Bad Time Trio."
    • Gary for your snail in the Thundersnail minigame, due to it being a clear reference to the SpongeBob episode "The Great Snail Race".
    • The final corridor before the throne room (officially called the Last Corridor) is often called the Judgment Hall because it's where Sans judges you at the end of a playthrough (and fights you in a No Mercy run).
    • In some circles, "Spider Waifu" has caught on for Muffet.
    • Fans have started calling RG 01 and 02 Harry and Scary after they began switching their roles with Bratty and Catty in Underswap works.
  • Fanwork Ban: Toby Fox had to enact a mild one regarding physical merchandise in response to the game's unexpected popularity, similar to the moratorium on Homestuck fan merchandise. Read it here. In a nutshell, mass-produced goods and anything that would be directly competing with official merchandise, such as Toriel plushies or clothing articles of any kind, are disallowed, but everything else (including one-off commissions of graphic art) is fair game.
  • God Never Said That:
    • Toby Fox denied having based Papyrus' personality on a YouTuber known as Octopimp after a wiki erroneously reported that he had.
    • Toby actually had to clarify that a certain joke post was, in fact, a joke.
    • As noted under Urban Legend of Zelda, despite widespread fandom assumption, the 'spr_mysteryman_0' sprite has not been confirmed to be W.D. Gaster.
    • An old post on Tumblr asserted that Toby privately objects to the "Genocide" name and wishes people would call it something else. While Toby hasn't deconfirmed this claim (seemingly preferring to stay out of that debate entirely), the post stopped going around when people noticed that OP didn't quote the alleged email and no other source for this claim could be found.
  • He Also Did: Before making Undertale, Toby Fox was known for composing much of the music used in Homestuck. Everdraed, too, is mostly recognized for making extremely complex photo-manipulated gifs (often with embedded sound) on SomethingAwful, YouTube, and Twitter, so his work on the Neutral final boss comes as little surprise.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!:
  • Image Source:
  • Recycled Soundtrack:
    • MEGALOVANIA, a song previously used in the The Halloween Hack and Homestuck, returns as a remix to play during the Genocide final boss.
    • A part of Metal Crusher was originally composed as a fan theme for Noisemaster.
    • In an interview Toby mentions that "Another Medium", "Heartache", "Fallen Down" (as mentioned above) and "Nyeh Heh Heh"/"Bonetrousle" were all songs he made for other projects that got recycled into Undertale.
  • Rule 34 – Creator Reactions:
    • Possibly more preemptive than a reaction, but this blog post seems to apply. Rather than saying not to make it entirely, it simply tells Tumblr users not to put tags on it that would cause it to show up along with the official developer posts and 'clean' fanart when someone searches for "#undertale", and instead use "#undertail" (because Toby Fox was aware that there would be kids playing the game and didn't want them to come across porn during an innocent search for their favorite characters).
    • Character designer Temmie Chang is more complicated about the subject. She's stated on Twitter that she dislikes pornography that features Temmies and will likely intervene with porn blogs focusing on them; she's additionally asked that all Temmie porn be tagged "Temmoi."
    • In the game proper, there are some references to the Rule 34 art as well. For one, one late-game conversation involving Toriel ends up subtly commenting on the type of art fans make of her (in spite of her age) while still staying within the fourth wall. The other is when Sans makes a small reference to the game's Furry Fandom if you persist in buying "hot dogs" from him. In both occasions, it's just a light jab at the fandom with no real contempt towards what they enjoy.
    Sans: ... you really like hot animals, don't you? hey, i'm not judging. i'd be out of a job without folks like you.
  • Sleeper Hit: Not even Toby himself expected the critical success Undertale would get when he released it.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: Possibly due to the level of Developers' Foresight, this game seems to attract tons of these.
    • A misunderstanding over the No Mercy/Genocide route back in 2013, when the demo was released, led to a rumor on this very site that a murderous player could find a "Real Knife" instead of the Toy Knife. Toby himself disproved it at the time so people wouldn't waste time looking for something that wasn't there. Funny thing is, the Real Knife was added to the finished game, as a Bragging Rights Reward during a Genocide/No Mercy run.
    • A somewhat malicious example: There's a rumor going around saying that the semi-hidden encounter So Sorry can be killed without hampering a Pacifist run. It's also rumored that the same goes for Jerry. This isn't true, though neither must be killed for a Genocide run, and So Sorry actually cannot be encountered in a Genocide run.
    • Another disproven rumor involving the Cloud Cuckoo Lander Temmie Shopkeeper stated that if you refused to sell her an item when she offered an increased amount of money for it twice in a row, she'll drop her facade and tell you that you will regret it in proper English and as a result, all Temmie encounters from that point onwards would cause an One-Hit Kill if you got hit by any of her attacks: while the first part is true, the One-Hit Kill effect isn't.
    • Soon after the game's release, a few spooky hoaxes regarding the Fallen Child and Dr. Gaster had been made by fans (such as the Fallen stalking the protagonist or Gaster corrupting everyone as is typical of creepypastas), but given how quickly the game was datamined for research on its secrets, it didn't take long for those pranks to be disproven. Oddly enough, while you can't get the Fallen to appear in reflections, there is an unused effect in Waterfall that changes the protagonist's reflection to one who's cast in shadow and wearing the Fallen's colors.
    • There's a rumour of a hidden Temmie ending. It doesn't exist and the idea has either been spread by somebody trying to have a chuckle or people who misunderstood the dog ending.
    • The most depressing Neutral ending, the one you'll probably get if you play through the game like a regular RPG and never touch the Mercy button, only actually requires you to kill every boss and a large number of normal enemies (but not all of them). The game doesn't acknowledge "never touching the Mercy button" in any way, and you can get this ending even if you Spare some enemies, as long as you also kill enough of them. The confusion has caused some players to resist referring to the worst ending as "No Mercy", on the grounds that that term needs to be reserved for this ending.
    • Tumblr has a really bad habit of creating what is, essentially, fanart in the form of mock screenshots, and then presenting it as a "newly-discovered secret", which is then believed wholeheartedly for various reasons until the dataminers finally debunk it. Examples include Grillby and Sans having hidden shop interfaces, fighting Grillby as a Bonus Boss in a No Mercy run, the game turning into an abridged shout-out to Cave Story if you name the fallen child "Quote", Muffet webbing up Sans and you having to cut him free, and many, many more.
    • The last and most bittersweet moment of the Pacifist ending, Asriel's ultimate fate, has had multiple rumors and methods spin around social media about how you can save him, these range from easy and sensible (saving the butterscotch pie and eating it near him), to the absurdly difficult like completing a No-Damage Run. None of these have been found to be true, there's nothing that can be done for him.
    • For a while, fans were stuck on what triggered the "Queen Alphys" ending of the game; specifically, just what makes Mettaton NEO give his "you're not completely evil" speech instead of commenting on how you don't want to be in his fan club. While the clear cause is dropping the No Mercy path at the last chance possible, what triggers it had been attributed to trying to Spare Mettaton NEO before attacking, missing attacks or fooling around for a few turns, or by attacking him and not getting a near-perfect hit. However, it was eventually defined that the only way to trigger the sequence was to simply not kill everyone in Hotland/Core before challenging Mettaton.
    • After completing the Kill 'em All path, the world is destroyed and you have to sell your SOUL to get it back. This caused many players to, somewhat logically, assume that completing it again would break the game irrevocably, since you would no longer have a SOUL to sell. It doesn't, though; you just skip the required action entirely on subsequent runs.
    • There was a rumor based on bad information that the Genocide/No Mercy final boss pulling an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight on you before offering to spare you is specifically after you reset a pacifist run to do a No Mercy, and that it's because he remembers the Pacifist ending despite a True Reset wiping everything. In actuality, the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight speech happens regardless of how many other endings you've seen (including no endings).
    • When Sans gets serious and changes his font for one line, many fans believe the font in question is named "Sans Serif". Sans Serif is not a font, but a font family, and all of Sans's speech is in a Sans Serif font. Hell, it's what the Sans in Comic Sans stands for.
    • A case that used to be an Urban Legend of Zelda: Many people believed that the mysterious smiling torso in the Gaster room in Waterfall is Gaster himself, and for a long time this wasn't confirmed—the game's code does not refer to him as Gaster, but rather mysteryman, however so many people believed it was him that even the fan wiki and some people on This Very Wiki itself claimed it was so.
    • It didn't even take an hour after Toby put out a 116 megabyte update to fix bugs before fans tore into the game's code looking for more stuff related to Dr. Gaster. While nothing's been found as of yet (and Toby made a post apologizing for no new content, though that doesn't necessarily rule out Gaster stuff), this one's fairly understandable because putting in content and hiding it as a bugfix is definitely something Toby would do. As it turns out, there is new dialogue regarding Sans' room and abandoning a No Mercy run on Papyrus, which isn't new content, but a change to preexisting content.
    • After surviving the Genocide final boss's opening attack once, if you have to refight it, it'll interrupt the opening dialogue to catch the player off guard. This will happen every time you start the battle having survived the first attack exactly once (surviving it a second time changes his dialogue again), contrary to a persistent belief that it does this to punish you for trying to skip dialogue with X.
    • Naming your file "Chara" does not disable your ability to rename after a regular reset — you don't have that ability in the first place, unless you named your file "Frisk", and even that's only an Obvious Rule Patch to prevent you from being stuck in Hard Mode.
    • For whatever reason, Toby used real beta assets (old versions of Frisk's sprite and the Enemy Approaching track, as well as a probably-real battle screenshot of several Froggits, then called TestMonster) to make a joke post on starmen.net, claiming they were for the EarthBound ROM Hack sequel to the subject of the thread... which was itself a nonexistent joke sequel to another hack. Those not familiar with the EarthBound hacking community failed to recognize the thread as a joke, and took the post as serious insight into the development process. Toby eventually went back and blanked said posts because so many people kept insisting they were legitimate.
    • After the update patch was released, a very persistent rumor circulated the web for a while, claiming that due to a bug, once the patch was installed, it would be impossible to go back and talk to Asriel after the final boss. This is false: once you've reached the surface and watched the credits, it's always impossible to talk to Asriel by reloading your file, even if you don't have the patch installed. This misunderstanding spread because some people tried to reload their finished save and visit Asriel after installing the patch, not knowing that it had always been impossible by game design.
    • Sans does not have the ability to retain memories from former timelines the way your character or Flowey does; if anything, he only has the same vague, subconscious memories about them that every main character does and that's it. What sets Sans apart is the fact that he knows the previous timelines exist, and uses this information to make very specific guesses based on your behavior as to what you've been doing in previous game sessions. Likely due to how specific these guesses are, many people mistakenly got the impression that he actually has Ripple Effect-Proof Memory like Flowey or the player, and it's difficult to discern the fans who genuinely believe it and those who just see it as a compelling "What if?" scenario. It's implied that he might have the ability to save physical objects from timelines that have been lost, judging by the contents of his secret room, but that's less definitive.
    • Sparing Random Encounters will not instantly end the Kill 'em All run, unless they were also one of the Unique Enemies you only get one shot at. The popularity of the name "No Mercy" may have contributed to this confusion, but as with the "Leaderless" Neutral ending, the game doesn't actually keep track of whether you pushed the "Mercy" button in general, only who you did and didn't kill.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The demo's instruction manual can change in response to your actions in the game.
      • The demo also featured a mechanic where you'd get partial EXP from enemies you damaged and then Spared. This partially nullified the main gimmick of a Pacifist run and promoted grinding, so it's not too surprising to see that it got cut. Well, that and the fact that EXP is actually Execution Points, so gaining it from not executing enemies wouldn't make sense. The demo manual does carefully refer to EXP as "Ex. Points", which means that either Toby hadn't yet noticed the Fridge Logic or he had a different "Ex" word in mind.
    • The final boss of the No Mercy route was going to be harder, with one of the Interface Screw attacks (attacking the player's menu cursor) being able to kill. Thankfully, the attack was limited to reducing HP to 1.
    • On the Undertale Kickstarter page, the Dating Sim segments are mentioned, alongside a statement that "Seriously, you can literally have a robot husband." This seems to be referring to Mettaton (who hadn't been revealed yet), but there's no option to date him in the final game. It may have been cut for plot reasons, because by the time you make peace with Mettaton, he's out of commission until after the True Pacifist final boss.
    • Within the game files, there's an unused rough draft of a "Spell" option for the battle menu, indicating that you might have been able to learn magic spells of some kind. In addition, a screenshot showing a pre-alpha build of the game with the aforementioned icon reveals "Act" and "Mercy" were originally called "Talk" and "Spare", respectively.
    • According to Toby, Mettaton originally literally saved your essays about him for future reference; specifically, he'd save them to your hard drive. It was cut for being buggy in some way.
    • A comment in the game's code that Toby posted suggests that Muffet was going to have croissants that attacked vertically as well as horizontally. Given Toby's strong language in said comment, they were most likely removed for being too hard to dodge.
    • It was originally planned to have a second pair of royal guards, RG 03 and 04, who would replace RG 01 and 02 depending on the day of the week. Much like the Pacifist solution for 1 and 2 was to get 1 to confess his love to 2, the Pacifist solution to 3 and 4 would be convincing them to forgive each other for an argument and become friends again.
    • Toriel was probably planned to commit suicide according to a Dummied Out sprite of her that has suicide in the file name. The idea was likely scrapped due to the concept being too dark too early in the game, but it was pushed onto Asgore, if the player attempts to spare him after having killed Flowey previously.
    • The main menu theme has six variations which play depending on where you are in the game and how many characters you've befriended. Another variation exists in the game files between the fifth and sixth used songs, suggesting there was meant to be a dating sequence with a seventh character. (This was most likely Mettaton given several comments during the game's development process, but there's no opportunity for the player to make friends with him in-game since he's out of commision after his boss fight.)
    • The official Undertale artbook reveals a lot of character designs that were planned and either changed or scrapped:
      • The playable human character originally was going to have a black outline on their sprites, but this was changed to match the color of their hair since most of the game was in a dark underground cavern and a black outline would blend in too easily.
      • Toby was originally going to have the player kill Toriel in order to proceed in the story. As he wrote Toriel's dialogue, he felt like killing her was just wrong and from there, he rolled with the idea of making Undertale a game where you can progress without having to kill anyone. Toriel's first design was something vaguely human before Toby changed it to a goat design. Toriel was also designed without horns, but Toby noted that she looked too similar to the mimigas from Cave Story. He was partially inspired by the mimiga design and loves Cave Story.
      • Papyrus originally was going to be quite mean spirited, wear a fedora, and would have little to no redeeming qualities about him. Sans was going to wear some sort of visor hat, possibly having him run some sort of casino, and he was going to tell a lot more bone related puns.
      • The female bunny shopkeeper in Snowdin had an old, grandmother-looking design, and also wore a dress and a bonnet.
      • Asgore originally had no facial hair, and his hair in general was supposed to be black or brown, but was changed to blonde in order to make him stand out more.
      • Toriel's overworld sprite had gone through several changes; Her outfit was originally some sort of poofy dress with a scarf draped around her neck. The dress was made less and less poofy until it was changed into the robe Toriel wears in the final version, and the scarf was removed entirely.
      • Alphys was going to be male, but Toby didn't like how the design came out, so he stuck on some eyelashes and made Alphys female instead.
    • Toby planned to have it so that if you managed to beat Asgore in one hit that Flowey would appear, dumbfounded, announce you won, then leave while silly music played.
    • The game also originally had a karma system, and was generally very different from the final product.
  • The Wiki Rule: Right here.
  • Word of Dante: The popularity of the term "No Mercy" for the Kill 'em All path came from, among other things, This Very Wiki treating it as the official name for a few weeks after the game's release. Similarly, the popularity of the term "Genocide" for the same path is due in part to the Wikia using that name as the title of relevant pages.
  • Working Title: During the Kickstarter period, the game's title was capitalized differently, being seen as both "UnderTale" and "UNDERTALE". Eventually, it morphed into "Undertale" and stayed that way.
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