EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! Your Life! VERSUS! TV Tropes! BEGIN!What happens when you take historical figures, popular media personalities, and fictional characters, and have them pair off and compete against each other... in rap contests?You get Epic Rap Battles of History. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin — comedians Peter Shukoff (Nice Peter) and Lloyd Ahlquist (EpicLloyd), alongside guest YouTube performers and even a few celebrities, portray these people Battle Rapping against each other in comic online videos.You can find the first season on Nice Peter's YouTube channel, here, and the subsequent seasons on the official channel for the show. You can also watch any episode as well as check out character bios and official voting results on the official website listed above.Season 5 has officially concluded, ending with "Nice Peter vs. EpicLLOYD" on 9 Jan 2017.
Epic Rap Battles of History provide examples of the following tropes:
open/close all folders
- Accidental Pun: The catch phrase "Who Won?" takes on new meaning in "Doctor Who vs. Doc Brown" as pointed out by many in the comments (claiming that indeed he did).
- Action Girl: Sacagawea in Lewis and Clark vs. Bill and Ted. She doesn't rap, but she fights an angry black bear to prevent it from attacking Lewis and Clark, so they can keep rapping.
- Catherine the Great from Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible, who entered the battle by beheading Pompay the Great with a garrote wire.
- Actual Pacifist: Both Gandhi and MLK Jr. qualify. The whole rap between them is how much more of a pacifist each one is than the other, and the battle really heats up as the two come closer and closer to not getting violent with each other.Gandhi: I am passively resisting the fact that you suck. I am celibate because I don't give a fuck!
- Added Alliterative Appeal:
"Hi! Billy Mays here, with a special TV offer! Watch me crush this bald, fat, foppish founding father!"
- From Benjamin Franklin vs. Billy Mays:
"Your flow's so-so, Poe's poems pwn posers!"
- From Edgar Allan Poe vs. Stephen King:
- Aerith and Bob: Invoked by Pablo Picasso, referring to himself as "Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso" and Bob Ross as "Bob"
- A God Am I:
- Implied by Chuck Norris. Who was, y'know, 100 feet tall and glowing at the time, which may have lent some credence to his claim.
- Kim Jong-Il calls himself one.
- Cleopatra claims to be descended from the gods. Justified here in that the Egyptians really did believe the Pharaohs were incarnations of the gods.
- Bill Gates calls himself one too because he owns Xbox.
- Justified with Zeus and Thor, who really are gods.
- Ivan the Terrible describes himself as "Heaven-sent, divine and holy".
- All Periods Are PMS:
Babe: With all that blood and attitude you're like a menstrual cyclist!
- Adam would be (mostly) fine having Eve around if she didn't start bleeding and turn into a demon every month. The other main issue is her constant nagging.
- Bob Ross described Pablo Picasso's dour attitude as his "blue period".
- In Babe Ruth vs Lance Armstrong
- Air Guitar: Done by Bill and Ted, naturally. Lewis and Clark even claimed that they inspired it.
- The Alcoholic:
- Teddy Roosevelt calls Winston Churchill a "bloated, drunk old man" who needs to "do-si-do on over to a 12-step program". Churchill opens his verse by requesting "a cigar and a large glass of brandy" and admits to being "toasted" while battling.
- Ivan the Terrible threatens to smack Alexander the Great "harder than [he] hit that bottle". Alexander responds by accusing Ivan of having "vodka bars" and demanding Ivan fetch him a drink.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Most of the rappers' personalities are exaggerated from what history remembers, or canon in the case of fictional characters. Example, Bieber is depicted as an annoying, pint-sized brat, but more likely than not, the real Bieber is not as annoying (some of the time). Mister Rogers was normally a friendly man, but here, he's a perpetually placid fellow with a short fuse.
- Anachronism Stew: Frequently, though it is justified by Rule of Funny and Rule of Cool, and the fact that, if this trope wasn't in effect, most of the battles wouldn't be able to happen.
- And I Must Scream: Hitler's ultimate fate. No sooner does he learn he's a ghost, he gets wrangled up by the Ghost Busters and placed in a trap.
- Antagonist in Mourning: At the end of their rap battle, Bonnie & Clyde briefly mourn the suicides of their opponents, Romeo and Juliet.
- Antiquated Linguistics: Shakespeare uses this, true to form. See also Sophisticated as Hell below.
- Apologetic Attacker:
- Stan Lee apologizes for his rage during his second verse against Jim Henson. He laments that Jim was taken too soon from this world.
- Thomas Jefferson and Frederick Douglass both had shades of this in their second verse. Jefferson admitted guilt for participating in the plantation system, and Douglass acknowledged that Jefferson's contributions to history should not be understated, despite his flaws.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
Nice Peter: "Master Chief: Has guns, repeated acts of violence. Moses: Killed Egyptian dude, buried him in sand. Mozart: TOO DANG LOUD." (Mister Rogers is also on the list, with the subtitle "Creepy, racist?".)
- Santa's naughty list.
Stalin: "You got off easy when they pickled that moose cock! I'd leave your neck in a noose in a trench and shot! Your whole family! Shot! All your wizard friends! Shot! Anyone who sold you pierogi! Shot!"
- Joseph Stalin in the season 2 finale.
- Artifact Title: Early rap battles would always include at least one historical figure. Since then, however, we've had eight battles between only fictional characters. One in the first seasonnote , two in the secondnote , two in the thirdnote , two in the fourthnote , and one in the fifth note . The Season 4.5 News video tries to Justify this by saying that "All things are history"; basically, things that aren't historical today could be considered part of history in the future.
- Artistic License – History: The portrayal of William Wallace and his men are based off the Braveheart movie, where they're painted in woad and wearing kilts. In real life, Sir William Wallace was a rich, well-to-do land owning nobleman from the southlands of Scotland. Kilts wouldn't be invented until 400 years after his death, and the movie was largely based off a poem about Wallace written 170 years after his death. The battle attempts to set up a Slobs Vs Snobs relation between the two, but Washington would've been the Slob in real life in comparison.
- Nietzsche's portrayal is inaccurate in that he is equated with his most bombastic proclamations and he describes himself as a "nihilist" which the real Nietzsche did not. Nietzsche argued against nihilism and he described it in detail but always as something to be overcome. That said, they did get Nietzsche's real-life dislike for Socrates and Voltaire right. Also the line "They call me Ubermensch!" may be interpreted as this trope, but since it's not the same as "I AM the Ubermensch!" it gets a pass, barely.
- Ascended Extra: Of a sort. The outro ERB logo from Thomas Edison Vs. Nicola Tesla in Season 2 is used in the extended outro for all battles in the first half of Season 3.
- Vladimir Putin, Sir Isaac Newton and Theodore Roosevelt have gone from newscasters to actual Rap Battlers.
- Only fans that have been following since at least the first half of season 2 seem to remember that Charles Darwin was also a newscaster before a battler. He was also the first to greet us with the much beloved "What's up, bitches?"
- George Washington went from having a brief cameo in the Ben Franklin vs Billy Mays battle to having his own rap battle against William Wallace.
- Oprah's actress, November Christine, first appeared as a background activist in Martin Luther King Jr vs. Gandhi. Her wardrobe and silent presence alone convinced ERB to offer her another role.
- Vladimir Putin, Sir Isaac Newton and Theodore Roosevelt have gone from newscasters to actual Rap Battlers.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Steve Jobs leaves his battle with Bill Gates to turn Heaven a profit.
- As Himself: Nice Peter and Epic Lloyd in the first and fifth season finales.
- Assimilation Plot: Walt Disney strongly implies that owning the rights to the works of Jim Henson and Stan Lee means they're doomed to become cogs in his enormous machine.You belong to Disney! Which means you stay busy!
Cranking out magic and assembly-line whimsy!
- Authority Equals Asskicking:
- Napoleon, Emperor of France.
- Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith.
- Adolf Hitler, Chancellor and Fuhrer of Germany.
- Genghis Khan, Khagan of the Mongol Empire.
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the USA.
- Benjamin Franklin, Governor of Pennsylvania.
- Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska.
- Kim Jong-il, Leader of North Korea.
- Leonidas, King of the Spartans.
- Chuck Norris, who claims to be "everyone's master".
- Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.
- Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the US, got fed up with the lack of ERB over the summer, and told Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter to get off their asses and get back to work with a structured release schedule. If they didn't, he threatened to carve his own chin out of Mount Rushmore and beat them with his own stoney mustache.
- Barack Obama, 44th US President."I'm the head of state, you're like a head of cabbage
'Bout to get smacked... by my stimulus package!
- Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts.
- Moses, leader and savior of the Israelites. His authority is only surpassed by God.
- Josef Stalin, Premier of the Soviet Union.
- Vladimir Lenin, also Premier of the Soviet Union.
- Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Soviet Union.
- Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.
- Rick Grimes, deputy sheriff of King County, Georgia
- George Washington, the first President of the United States.
- Shaka Zulu, monarch of the Zulu Kingdom
- Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor
- Ass Shove: A couple.Napoleon Bonaparte: "I'm going to shove your moon boots straight up your poop chute!"Columbus: "I'll stick a flag up your ass and claim you for Spain!"Master Chief: "Cortana says you're Greek, so why don't you stick these lyrics up your ass?"Obama: "Republicans need a puppet and you fit, got their hand so far up your rear, call you Mitt."Al Capone: "So show respect or get that tongue ripped out your neck and shoved straight up your poop deck!"Renaissance Artists: "You beat the Foot but it won't go well when you catch an Italian boot to the half shell!"Oprah Winfrey: "I'll lodge my fabulous shoe up your suit pants, baby!"
- Ate His Gun:
- Mario tried to do so behind the scenes when Princess Peach nagged the ever-living bajeezus out of him. He finds out that the gun is empty and starts crying.
- Vader mentions how Hitler did this in the third battle when his bunker was being bombed.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
- Chuck Norris' second verse.
- The Mario Brothers grow a bit in their second verse after eating mushrooms.
- The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man appears during "Ghostbusters vs MythBusters".
- Attractive Bent-Gender: NicePeter as Lady Gaga.
- Audience Participation: Each showdown is based off a fan suggestion.
- Author Appeal: In the BTS video for "Al Capone vs Blackbeard" Lloyd says that he himself is Italian, which not only explains Capone, but his previous role as Frank Sinatra, not to mention his take on Mario.
- Auto-Tune: Used for Stephen Hawking's rapping, as well as Oprah and Stedman Graham in Ellen DeGeneres vs. Oprah Winfrey.
- Awesomeness Is Volatile: Goku vs. Superman ends with the two of them flying at each other and causing a huge explosion.
- Bad Boss:Walt Disney: Artist begging me to stop? I won't let 'em! Labor conditions in my shops? I don't sweat 'em!
- Badass Army: Both Shaka Zulu and Julius Caesar drop lines about the superiority of their own armies, with their soldiers getting in on the action during the rap battle.
- Badass Baritone: Beethoven, Darth Vader, Christopher Columbus, Master Chief, Barack Obama, Santa Claus, Grigori Rasputin, Vladimir Putin, Superman, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Donatello di Niccolo, Jamie Hyneman, RoboCop and Friedrich Nietzsche.
- Badass Beard: Abe Lincoln, Billy Mays, Chuck Norris, Wilbur Wright, Vladimir Lenin, Grigori Rasputin, Clint Eastwood, Santa Claus, Blackbeard, Walter White, all the Renaissance artists except Rafael, Zeus, Thor, Steven Spielberg, William Clark, Socrates, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Jim Henson and George R.R. Martin.
- Badass Boast: Nearly everyone invokes this.
- Special mention goes to Abe Lincoln, who scoffs at how Chuck Norris can block bullets with his beard by boasting how he catches them with his skull.
- Badass Bookworm: Ben Franklin is an educated gentleman. Then there's Albert Einstein, Sherlock Holmes, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Walter White, Sir Isaac Newton, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Renaissance Artists, the Ghostbusters, the Mythbusters, all of the Philosophersnote , and Frederick Douglass.
- Badass Gay:
- Dumbledore prefers the company of wizards and he's proud of it.
- Freddie Mercury is well aware of his (bi)sexual preferences, but remains calm and composed throughout all of Frank Sinatra's bashing.
- Ellen DeGeneres too, proudly proclaims being a lesbian, and even Dr. Phil advises Oprah not to mess with her.
- Frederick the Great, "ain't exactly straight", enters with his own flute solo and gets some good boasts in about his prowess as a statesman and military leader.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Frank Sinatra, Bill O'Reilly, Thomas Edison, Al Capone, Barack Obama, Vladimir Lenin and Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Ellen DeGeneres, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Stan Lee, Walt Disney, J. R. R. Tolkien, Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
- Badass Long Robe: Gandalf, Dumbledore and Moses with their wizard/holy man robes. Socrates with his Greek toga. Sun Tzu with his long red coat and scale mail. Confucius and Laozi with their hanfu.
- Badass Mustache: Genghis Khan's Fu Manchu, Albert Einstein, Hitler's toothbrush mustache (or Dirty Sanchez, according to Vader), the Mario Brothers, Orville Wright, Freddie Mercury, Nikola Tesla, Josef Stalin, Edgar Allan Poe, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jamie Hyneman, Nietzsche's gigantic handlebar, Sun Tzu's Fu Manchu, Stan Lee, Walt Disney, and of course TEDDY ROOSEVELT.
- Badass Pacifist: Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr; passively resisting and forgiving hard.
- Badass Santa: Rapping Santa
- Back-to-Back Badasses:
- The Bad Guy Wins:
- Genghis Khan vs. The Easter Bunny: Genghis Khan reduces the Easter Bunny to a weeping mess.
- Jim Henson vs. Stan Lee: Walt Disney successfully takes over both of their works as well as the ERBs themselves.
- Bald of Awesome: Lloyd, which is helpful with all the headpieces he goes through. Peter is... getting there.
- Bash Brothers: The rap battle version of this occurs basically any time there's a team of two or more rapping in tandem, such as with the Mario Bros or the Mythbusters.
- Batman Gambit: Sun Tzu is able to pull one off on the Western Philosophers by stroking their own egos so their own philosophical differences turn themselves against each other.
- Battle in the Rain: The climax of "Theodore Roosevelt vs Winston Churchill" has both participants duking it out in Winston's "stormy London" backdrop.
- Battle Rapping: The best example online not to involve an actual battle league.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Having heard that Catherine the Great supposedly enjoys such things, Ivan the Terrible offers a horse as a gift, but such claims are immediately denied.
- Berserk Button:
- Einstein pushes Hawking's button when he questions the validity of Hawking's Black Hole Theory.
- Dr. Seuss does not like being accused of writing the Twilight series.
- Mr. Rogers goes from mostly-polite teasing to outright scary when accused of child molestation.
- Don't tell Kim Jong-il he's from China.
- Leonidas learned the hard way not to put his hands (or feet) on Master Chief.
- Marilyn Monroe got downright vicious when her miscarriages were brought up.
- Chuck Norris loses his cool when he has a bucket of pennies dumped all over his head.
- Don't call Marty a chicken.
- Barack Obama doesn't like having his wife being called the "Female version of Patrick Ewing" very much.
- You can tell that Santa's elves don't take kindly to being referred to as slaves.
- Babe Ruth seems absolutely pissed off that Lance Armstrong cheated and tears him a new one for it. note
- Mozart seems very offended that Skrillex could be considered "a musician."
- Vladimir Lenin is extremely angry that Stalin completely destroyed his revolution.
- Blackbeard looks like he's about to cut Capone open after his beard gets insulted.
- Do not take the Lord's name in vain around Joan of Arc, lest she get vicious.
- Reminding Superman of how he got his ass kicked by a "bat with no powers" gets him to turn around and fly toward Goku.
- Ray Stantz steps forward intending to fight Grant when the latter taunts him about the ghost that "popped his cherry". The other Ghostbusters have to hold him back.
- Nietzsche is furious after being referred to as Socrates' student. This is quite accurate as the real Nietzsche didn't approve of Socrates. Socrates, meanwhile, gets vicious after Nietzsche calls him a plebe.
- Stan Lee loses control of his rage when Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog accuse him of stealing credit from his friend Jack Kirby.
- Bruce Banner vs. Bruce Jenner is all about this. First Banner starts to get angry when talking about Jenner abandoning his wives and children, and warns Jenner to run away before he transforms. Jenner of course only pushes his button even harder with lines like "If it wasn't for your cousin, you'd never have sex!" What finally triggers Banner's inevitable transformation is when Jenner brings up his father abusing and killing his mother. Later, after both have "transformed", Hulk pushes Caitlyn's button by threatening to "smash" on her daughter Kylie, which causes Jenner to shoot him with two pistols (which don't hurt him).
- Bigger Is Better in Bed:
- According to Kim Jong-Il, Hulk Hogan's wife thinks so.
- Master Chief claims to have showed Leonidas' Queen his plasma cannon.
- Beethoven claims he has "more cock than Smith & Wesson". As he says this, Bach pops up on screen nodding and holding his hands a foot and a half apart, in the universal gesture for "it was this big".
- Barack Obama threatens to slap Romney with his "stimulus package".
- Stephen King mentions his "big dick bibliography".
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Defied in Bill Gates VS Steve Jobs. HAL 9000's appearance at the end of the rap superficially seems to have nothing to do with either of the two businessmen. Once you look into it, however, it turns out that HAL 9000 was used in a famous Macintosh ad campaign.
- Based on the actual lines in that verse it's possible that he's actually just representing advanced technology itself as the third battler, using HAL 9000 as one of the most iconic examples of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. He may also be representing Linux (with the others representing Microsoft and Apple, naturally), based on the line "I'm on Linux bitch, I thought you GNU".
- Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: Mitt Romney and Barack Obama eventually resort to childish bickering.
- Bilingual Bonus:
- Napoleon Bonaparte gets one at the beginning of his second line. note
- Also, Christopher Columbus gets "Arrivederci! Imma leave before this battle begins!"
- When Putin enters the Season 2 finale, he drops the line "...doing judo moves and schooling every communist сука", which is Russian for bitch. It helps that the word comes off sounding like a heavily-accented "sucka".
- Joan of Arc gets on too, with "Je suis la fille en feu" meaning "I'm the girl on fire" (right before calling herself Katniss Everdeen).
- The sign behind Goku says "歴史の壮大なヒップホップの戦い (Rekishi no Sōdaina Hip-Hop no Tatakai)" ("Epic Rap Battles of History" in Japanese).
- Part of William Wallace's rap is "Alba gu bràth," which means "Scotland forever."
- When J. R. R. Tolkien accuses George R.R. Martin of stealing his initials, he makes the ASL sign for "R".
- Ivan the Terrible says "На здоровье" (Russian for "Bless you") to Alexander the Great during his I Surrender, Suckers attempt.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Walt Disney's portrayal in Jim Henson vs Stan Lee is that of a corporate dictator who forces out every ounce of effort from his underlings in the name of profit. He even mentions that he owns the Epic Rap Battles by way of Maker Studios.
- Black Comedy: There are a number of jokes in the series based around this. For instance, look at the references to the characters dying, the racist comments that pop up from time to time, and everything that Hitler and Stalin say.
- Blade Reflection: Inverted by Mitt Romney when he holds up a silver spoon reflecting the image of Barack Obama.
- Boastful Rap: Obviously there's a lot of bragging going on. The one battle to avert this is "Napoleon vs. Napoleon", where both sides downplay their own accomplishments in favour of quips about the other's appearance. The closest thing to a boast in the battle is "I'm French". Another notable exception is "Adam vs. Eve", which consists entirely of gender stereotypes with no boasts at all.
- Book Ends:
- Season two begins and ends with battles involving World War II-era dictators played by Lloyd, facing off against Peter as someone notoriously difficult to kill.
- Hitler vs Vader 3 ends with the same words that began Hitler vs Vader 1: "I am Adolf Hitler..."
- Edgar Allan Poe vs Stephen King begins with the first line of The Raven "Once upon a midnight dreary..." and ends with its final line "Nevermore."
- Each episode begins and ends with the announcer shouting "EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY".
- Justified via Timey-Wimey Ball in "Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who", which begins and ends with The Doctor saying "Actually if you don't mind, it's just The Doctor".
- Boom, Headshot: William Shakespeare threatens to do this to Dr. Seuss and then reflect upon the gaping hole left behind.I'll put a slug between your shoulder blades, then ask what light through yonder poser breaks?
- Darth Vader references Adolf Hitler's suicide in Hitler vs Vader 3: "You put a gun in your mouth and fired up."
- Brainless Beauty: According to Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe has "an hourglass figure, but that's about it," and she can't even read.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Given the medium of the series, it almost goes without saying that the participants would be "aware" of it. Nonetheless, they only make direct references to it a couple of times.
Narrator: BILL GATES! VERSUS—Steve Jobs: (pops up) Let me just step right in./I've got things to invent! (shoves away the "Epic Rap Battles of History" title card)
- In Steve Jobs VS Bill Gates, Steve says he bets "this beat" was made on one of his Apple products, referring to the rap beat playing in the background. Nope. Fruity Loops. PC. And then there's the intro to the battle:
Narrator: "DOC BROWN! VS! DOCTOR WHO!!"Tenth Doctor: "Oh, actually if you don't mind it's just The Doctor."
- Marilyn Monroe quips that Cleopatra's nose matches Kassem G's, one of Nice Peter's associates. Also when she whispers " Tossing Caesar's Salad."
- After the beat abruptly stops in the rematch between Hitler and Vader, Hitler's visibly confused and asks "where is the DJ?"
- Both Nice Peter vs. Epic Lloyd battles inherently fall under this.
- The Tenth Doctor corrects the narrator about his name:
- In the Season 4 finale, Walt Disney notes that "I own this whole series!", a reference to the fact that ERB is produced by Disney-owned Maker Studios.
- As should be expected of the character, Deadpool addresses the viewer right from the get-go.
- In "Theodore Roosevelt vs. Winston Churchill", Churchill compares Roosevelt to the actor portraying him, EpicLLOYD.
- Breath Weapon: Played With. Multiple people boast that their rapping skills give them the ability to spit verbal fire.
- Brick Joke:
Mozart: "In two more months, the world will forget about your Skrill-excrement!"Mozart: "Oh yes, I've heard that EP, and see, I transcribed it here [pronounced "hee-yah."]/Tell me: what comes after the 68th measure of diarrhea?"
- The first quote at the end of the first season finale says "If Season 2 does not have a Russian character, I will kill this NicePeter with my bare hands" and is credited to Vladimir Putin. No Russians appear in Season 2... until the finale, where four Russians (and a Georgian) battle each other (the first five-way battle), including Putin... who is played by NicePeter.
- Skrillex calls out Mozart for his infamous scatological sense of humor, who throws itnote right back in his face.
- Stephen King vs Edgar Allan Poe both begins and ends with lines from The Raven.
- British Teeth:
Tyson: (to Newton) Why don't you pick on a brain your own size?
- Adolf Hitler. Gets frozen in carbonite, thawed out to battle again, then dropped into the Rancor pit, then avoids the Sarlaac pit only to get sliced in half by Vader's lightsaber As if that wasn't enough, in the season 4 promo, Hitler's ghost gets trapped in the Ghostbusters' trap..
- The Easter Bunny, unsurprisingly, gets destroyed in his rap battle.
- Ebeneezer Scrooge first gets startled awake by Trump, then yelled at by three rappers - the last of whom is Nightmare Fuel to him - until he nearly starts crying before changing his ways. This was bound to happen since the battle is an abridged version (with new characters) of A Christmas Carol.
- It's no secret Bill Nye's a bit outclassed, even though he had some good lines. Even his own teammate Neil DeGrasse Tyson is somewhat condescending towards him.
- Tory, as on Mythbusters. He outright fails to come up with a line, and it's implied he inadvertently summoned Stay Puft.
- All 4 of the other rappers in "Spielberg vs. Hitchcock" insult Michael Bay or his movies in some way.
- Austin Powers; near the end of the fight both James Bonds ignore him in favor of insulting each other. At best, he's given brief acknowledgements before the battle picks back up.
- Pompey the Great; unlike the rest of Ivan the Terrible's competition, he doesn't even get past his introductory screen before getting killed off.
- The battle between the creators themselves featured cameos from nearly all the characters they've played as before.
- The rematch with Vader and Hitler begins with Hitler frozen in carbonite, just as he was at the end of their original battle.
- During Rasputin Vs Stalin, Lenin's arrival and verse is similar to Lincoln's during Obama Vs Romney. He stands between both rappers and criticizes them one after the other, even repeating some movements and shots.
- Carl Sagan makes a very small cameo in Sir Isaac Newton Vs. Bill Nye, which is similar to his previous brief appearance in Albert Einstein Vs. Stephen Hawking
- Look carefully at the arcade game in the Turtles' lair during "Renaissance Artists vs TMNT". It's playing "The Wright Brothers vs the Mario Brothers", which is not only Rhett & Link's previous appearance but the last time a Nintendo game was brought up.
- In the Behind the Scenes of "Zeus vs. Thor", Lloyd starts off by shiftily asking toward the camera "You wanna buy some t-shirts?"
- "Jack the Ripper vs. Hannibal Lecter" has Hannibal getting taken out of his straitjacket Jack's first verse, and then making a comment about it later on ("Pity your verse wasn't worth the trip in the jacket"), similar to how Mr. Rogers changed his shoes through Mr. T's first verse and commented on it ("I hope you don't mind if I change my shoes").
- "Steven Spielberg vs Alfred Hitchcock" not only has Steven mimic the Hurricane of Puns from, quite appropriately, a Stephen (King), and the whole thing escalates into a five-way just like Rasputin vs Stalin did.
- By the time "Lewis and Clark vs. Bill and Ted" come around, the series had already portrayed many of the historical figures that Bill and Ted encountered. Napoleon Bonaparte, Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, Ludwig van Beethoven and Joan of Arc appear as cameos in their ERBOH incarnations, and the similarities between the phone booth and Doctor Who's TARDIS are mentioned.
- "Jim Henson vs Stan Lee" has a LOT in common with the popular "Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs" - Peter plays the one who's deceased, the "hippy" in a turtleneck sweater no less; Lloyd is the still-living one with the Awesome Ego who eventually admits that he misses his supposed rival; and there's a third surprise guest rapper who's more powerful than the both of them could hope to deal with.
- Deadpool brings up the fact that Boba Fett only had five lines across the whole of the Hitler vs. Vader trilogy, one of which was just him screaming. He also does an Elvis Impersonation while talking shit about his father, which is what the real Elvis did during his battle against Michael Jackson.
- In "Alexander the Great vs Ivan the Terrible," When Ivan mentions how he was "The first Tsar of all or Russia," the participants of "Rasputin vs Stalin" appear behind him.
- In the BTS for "Charles Darwin vs Ash Ketchum", Nice Peter attempts a Call-Back to the "heroin joke" Running Gag, but he is quickly cut off.
- "Theodore Roosevelt vs. Winston Churchill" has Churchill claim that of the Mount Rushmore presidents, Roosevelt would be the bassist of their rock band. This is fully depicted with Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln from their prior episodes. Roosevelt also quotes his "What's up, bitches?" catchphrase from the newscasts.
- The rematch between the creators has them appearing in the backgrounds of the many rappers they previously played.
- Canis Major: In the final battle (of season 1), Kassem G rides a magnificent flying wolf.
- Card-Carrying Villain:
Look into my eyes, you perverted witch!
- Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler, naturally. Each one insists they are more evil than the other.
- Bill O'Reilly also, particularly during his second verse where he outright admits to being evil.
- Josef Stalin as well. He outright states he abused Russia.
See the soul of the man who made Mother Russia his bitch!
You think I give a fuck about my wife?!
My own son got locked up in prison and I didn't save his life!
- Thomas Edison, who openly admits that he screwed Tesla over, and is shown electrocuting a puppy during his second verse. The real-life Edison electrocuted several animals—most famously an elephant named Topsy—in an effort to discredit alternating current technology, of which Nikola Tesla was a prominent figure.
- Jack the Ripper is proud of the gruesomeness of his crimes. However, his opponent, Hannibal Lecter, does not fit the three spheres of this trope.
- Walt Disney brags about overworking his artists and running sweatshops.
- Blackbeard claims that his heart is many degrees colder than the deep sea.
- Ivan the Terrible accepts and embraces his epithet after poisoning Alexander the Great.
- The narrator opens and closes every battle the same way.EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY! [Character 1] vs. [Character 2]! BEGIN!WHO WON? WHO'S NEXT? YOU DECIDE! EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY!
- Theodore Roosevelt always begins ERB News with "What's up, bitches?!" The catchphrase even got carried over to Teddy's own rap battle against Winston Churchill.
- The narrator opens and closes every battle the same way.
- Celibate Hero:
- Chairman of the Brawl: Lee kicks a chair at Eastwood as he disses him about the "invisible Obama" speech.
- Chess Motifs: In "Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible", Alex topples a king on a chess board when he mentions that Ivan died during a chess game. Additionally, when Catherine the Great says "Checkmate!", there is a line of chess pieces with her in between as the Queen, and the King beside her (representing Ivan) falls down.
- Christmas Episode: "Moses vs Santa Claus" was uploaded December 2012; "Donald Trump vs Ebenezer Scrooge" was uploaded December 2013.
- Cigar Chomper: Winston Churchill is portrayed as this in his battle with Theodore Roosevelt, as he was in real life, and even uses this habit to state how Roosevelt could never pull it off since he's asthmatic.
- Circling Monologue: Jordan spends most of his third verse pacing around Ali.
- Clean Cut: Hitler falls victim to this at the end of his third battle with Vader.
- Climactic Battle Resurrection: More than two thirds of the contestants have come Back from the Dead to rap.
- Inverted with characters who have died recently dying in the middle of the rap to be replaced by someone else.
- Also inverted with Donald Trump (in his first appearance, anyway); while his real self is still alive, In-Universe he's outright stated to be dead and his ghost is haunting Scrooge.
- Clothing Damage: Goku takes a lot of it after absorbing a blast from Superman's heat vision.
- Behind The Scenes footage revealed it was done with scissors and a lighter.
- Cluster F-Bomb:
- John Lennon vs. Bill O'Reilly, while maybe not exactly fitting here, is much more frequent in swearing than the other battles.
- Compared to the other battles from later seasons, "George R. R. Martin vs J. R. R. Tolkien" also has quite a few cusses dropped by both sides.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: In "Renaissance Artists vs TMNT", the Renaissance Artists Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael all have the colors of the turtles named after them somewhere on their costumes.
- Compensating for Something: Dumbledore asks Gandalf if his staff is part of this.
- Continuity Cavalcade:
"Set up a little place called the United States. Sound familiar?"
- "Lewis and Clark vs Bill & Ted" has several historical figures on the San Dimas side that appeared in both the movie and past rap battles!
- "Fredrick Douglass vs Thomas Jefferson" shows several American rap battlers from previous episodes during Jefferson's line:
"I'm the first Tsar of all of Russia!"
- "Ivan the Terrible vs Alexander the Great" has a similar scene, where the five Russian rappers (and PewDiePie as Baryshnikov) reappear around Ivan:
- Nice Peter vs Epic Lloyd 2 has them going through many of the backgrounds they've used over the years with Rick Grimes vs Walter White, Jim Henson vs. Stan Lee and George RR Martin vs. JRR Tolkien as examples.
- Cool Shades: NicePeter has a signature pair.
- Cooking Duel: "Gordon Ramsay vs. Julia Child" has the two Supreme Chefs engage in a cook-off and a rap-off.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive:
- Nikola Tesla's largest issue with Thomas Edison is how Tesla wanted to give electricity to the world for free, but Edison strongarmed him with politics and business practices to turn a profit with it.
- Mitt Romney essentially begins his battle by saying Screw the Rules, I Have Money!.
- Donald Trump and Ebeneezer Scrooge. Donald Trump even outright states that he's not known for his heart and Scrooge even got a sub trope named after him.
- Country Matters: Hitler starts off round 3 with this.Hitler: SCREW YOU! You big black CUNT!
- Creative Closing Credits: Almost Once an Episode, always involving the logo of the show. Some examples include it being crossed by two electric shocks forming an X (Tesla vs. Edison); six logos chanting like they were cheering on in a match (Ruth vs. Armstrong); and two big logos calling their "logo armies" and setting war between them (Washington vs. Wallace, Shaka vs. Caesar).
- Creator Cameo: If EpicLloyd isn't playing one of the rappers, he usually appears as a background character, usually someone being referenced to by one of the rappers. Examples include:
- Carl Sagan in Einstein vs Hawking.
- Reprised in Isaac Newton Vs. Bill Nye.
- John McCain in Palin vs Gaga.
- Johann Sebastian Bach in Bieber vs Beethoven.
- Hannibal, Murdoch, Face, and Mr. McFeely in T vs Rogers.
- Pleistarchus (Leonidas' six year old son) in Leonidas vs Master Chief.
- Ironically, Lloyd was the voice for Leonidas, but not the character.
- Marlon Brando in Cleopatra vs Marilyn Monroe.
- Nice Peter also plays John F. Kennedy, his first-ever cameo in the series. He's otherwise rapped in every single battle till then.
- Marty McFly in Doc Brown Vs The Doctor—where he speaks in his cameo.
- Jon Na, the director of photography for Columbus Vs Kirk, cameos as Sulu.
- Nice Peter shows up as all the cowboys in Clint Eastwood's backdrop.
- EpicLloyd cameos in Santa vs Moses as Santa's elves.
- Peter appears in Adam Vs Eve as "Steve."
- Nice Peter is a reverend amongst the Indian crowd in Gandhi Vs Martin Luther King Jr. while EpicLloyd is the one white guy in a crowd of African Americans following Martin Luther King. The Behind The Scenes show Lloyd slowly creeping his head up in the back of the crowd just so that he can be there, hoping nobody will notice.
- Nice Peter and Epic Lloyd both appear as girls behind Miley Cyrus in Miley Cyrus Vs. Joan of Arc.
- Nice Peter plays both Jimmy Olsen and Krillin in Goku Vs Superman.
- Lloyd again as Dr. Phil in Oprah Vs Ellen.
- Roman legionaries in Shaka Zulu vs. Julius Caesar.
- Carl Sagan in Einstein vs Hawking.
- Creator Provincialism: Most episodes have at least one American participating in the battle, sometimes not even people very well known outside of the USA, such as Bill Nye, Mr. Rogers, Randy Savage,... The only exceptions where none of the portrayed battlers were born Americans or American fictional characters have been:
- Albert Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking (German native, British native)
- Genghis Khan vs. the Easter Bunny (Mongolian, European folklore character)
- Gandalf vs. Dumbledore (Characters created by British writers)
- Moses vs. Santa Claus (Middle East, European folklore)
- Adam vs. Eve (The Bible)
- Rasputin vs. Stalin (Russia)
- Zeus vs. Thor (Greek mythology, Scandinavian mythology)
- Eastern Philosophers vs. Western Philosophers (Chinese and European, to be precise)
- Shaka Zulu vs. Julius Caesar (representing the Zulu Kingdom and the Roman Empire, respectively)
- Ivan the Terrible vs. Alexander the Great (Russian vs Macedonian, Prussian and Roman, and also a Russian of Prussian descent)
- Ash Ketchum vs. Charles Darwin (Japanese anime character, English native)
- Creepy Blue Eyes: Peter's wide and expressive blue eyes serve the series well, especially when he's playing a lunatic.
- Creepy Monotone:
- Mister Rogers.
- HAL 9000, naturally.
- Bob Ross has one similar to Mister Rogers.
- da Vinci's mellow tones never waver even as he threatens to turn ninja turtles into mincemeat.
- Critical Research Failure: Invoked in "Hulk Hogan vs. Kim Jong-Il" with Hogan claiming he'll leg-drop Kim back to Beijing.
- Also during the Hulk Hogan battle, Kim Jong-Il fires a military M136 AT 4 at Hogan... while holding it backwards.
...are you looking for your lover?
- Master Chief claims he showed his "plasma cannon" to Queen Gorgo while Leonidas was off fighting the Persians.
- The Wright Brothers allude to it with the Mario Brothers:
'cause your princess is in our castle now (yeah, she's gone)
We stayed up all night (playing Donkey Kong)
I make the product that the artist chooses
- Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates:
And the GUI that Melinda uses
My technique will make your mistress weep
- Bob Ross vs. Picasso:
Put her to sleep, elbow drop her dreams, I go deep
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Justin Bieber VS. Beethoven. Given Bieber's reputation on YouTube, you can probably imagine how this goes.
- The Easter Bunny vs. Genghis Khan. The Easter Bunny spends his second verse panicking.
- In their rematch, Hitler's "the reason you suck" song leaves Vader completely out of words, so much that he couldn't think of any comeback lines, and made him turn his back in shame. Or he was just acting that way to lure Hitler into standing over the Rancor pit. In their second rematch, Vader's rapid-fire onslaught reduces Hitler to barely-coherent, non-rhyming screeched imprecations ...right before he gets bisected by Vader's lightsaber.
- If we're talking about popularity, Mr. T, Bill O'Reilly, and Frank Sinatra are getting curb-stomped harder than the Easter Bunny on the official site. In fact, Mr. T is the second-least popular battler, just above Justin Bieber. You'll need to log in through Facebook in order to see the stats.
- Thomas Edison gets completely vilified by Nikola Tesla's claims of how Edison made sure he could make money off of the concept of electricity. The fans agree: Edison only has ~15% of the vote. Given Edison's recent reputation with the Internet demographic, it's not surprising.
- Babe Ruth annihilates Lance Armstrong in his second verse. Lance is visibly shocked.
- Doctor Who vs Doc Brown. Doc Brown gets a one up after his first verse by killing the Doctor; cue the Doctor regenerating and proceeding to deliver an epic Motor Mouth verbal beatdown that puts Busta Rhymes to shame.
- Julia Child subverts this. Despite Gordon's constant heavy banter at her, she's hardly moved and brings just as much jabs as Gordon gave to her.
- Unexpected challengers often win, but even among those it's near universally agreed upon that Walt Disney completely stomped all over, not only Stan Lee and Jim Henson, but Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist as well.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Even if vastly outclassed in terms of ability and popularity, all the characters manage to get at least some effective jabs in against their superior opponents.
- Curse Cut Short: In "Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton", Donald Trump almost violates N-Word Privileges.Trump: This whole system's rigged, and we all know the riggers! For the last eight years, this country's been run by —(CAW!)
- Crossover: With The Annoying Orange in Epic Rap Battles of Kitchenry.
- Cuteness Proximity: NicePeter in the behind the scenes video of Cleopatra Vs. Marilyn Monroe.NicePeter: *holding tiny snake* You are the smallest snake I've ever even dreamed about!
- Dance Party Ending: A lot of the battles like to have the characters just dancing at the end. Among the examples are "Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs", "Rasputin vs. Stalin", and "Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge". From the 2nd season on, almost all of them show the characters dancing in the credits. Their second channel features a few Dance Battles of History to the tunes of their battles.
- One aversion is the "Eastern Philosophers vs. Western Philosophers" - both teams were just squabbling with each other to the point where the narrator yells at them so that he can do his ending spiel.
- Death Glare: Mister Rogers ends his second verse with a very scary one.
- Deliberately Monochrome: See Retraux below.
- Designated Girl Fight: Four examples at this point:
- Diagonal Cut: Vader does this to Hitler with his lightsaber at the end of their third battle.
- The Disease That Shall Not Be Named: "You played butthole roulette and you lost the draw!"
- Disproportionate Retribution Josef Stalin."You got off easy when they pickled that moose cock; I'd leave your neck in a noose in a trench and shot, your whole family: shot, all your wizard friends: shot, anyone who sold you pierogi: shot!"
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Lewis and Clark show off the fishes they caught, Sacagawea sighs and holds up a fish bigger than both of theirs put together.
- The Dog Bites Back: At some point during each of their verses Spielberg, Hitchcock, Tarantino and Kubrick disparage Michael Bay, only for him to turn up a minute from the end and cheerfully tear them all to shreds.
- Don't Try This at Home: In the behind-the-scenes video for Cleopatra vs. Marilyn Monroe, Lloyd shows off a Vader vs Hitler shirt and tells viewers not to wear it at school because it might get them expelled.
- Dramatic Irony: Anyone who knows how the story of Bonnie and Clyde ends will find a lot of this in their commenting on Romeo and Juliet's untimely demises and stating that they still have each other. They get gunned down immediately after this.
- Draft Dodging: This is a general topic of mocking for certain people who have managed to avoid servicing during war times. Examples include Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Alfred Hitchcock,note George R.R. Martin, etc.
- Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked.
"Easy, Jaws of Life! I can't stand a racist; I love the colored and the queers - just ask Sammy Davis!"
- Frank Sinatra reacts this way to being addressed with two slurs.
- Stan Lee realizes he's gone too far when he threatens to put Jim Henson out to pasture like Mr. Hooper.
- Michael Jordan comments on how disgusted he is that Muhammad Ali would say his stint as a baseball player was more tragic than his father's murder.
- Dummied Out: A commercial advertising ERB played in theaters the weekend before the release of George Washington vs. William Wallace. While the commercial mainly showed footage of Al Capone vs. Blackbeard and Mozart vs. Skrillex, there was a Freeze-Frame Bonus of William Wallace lifting up his kilt and showing his digitally censored manhood underneath. This scene isn't shown in the battle itself or the behind the scenes.
- Dynamic Entry: Abraham Lincoln flies in on a bald eagle, free falls between Romney and Obama (calling them 'shiny turds') and bitch slaps them both. They never saw it coming. He does it again in Donald Trump vs. Hilary Clinton.
- Early-Bird Cameo:
- The first season finale gives viewers a glimpse of the Super Mario Bros., King Henry VIII, and Master Chief. ERB News also revealed the Wright Brothers, Elvis, and Steve Jobs. Henry VIII did not show up anywhere in Season 2.
- "Rick Grimes VS Walter White" briefly shows that Superman and Edgar Allan Poe will be contestants in the "More Battles" section (but obviously not against each other). The battle immediately after that also has another preview showing Isaac Newton.
- The BTS for the season 3 finale has Walt D in con footage, before they picked him to participate in the first video of season 4.
- At the very end of Copperfield vs. Houdini, Lao Tzu briefly appears in the "More Battles" window. Similarly, in Lewis and Clark vs. Bill and Ted, of all of B&T's companions shown, only Socrates had never been in a previous rap battlenote . Both would later appear in ''Eastern Philosophers vs. Western Philosophers".
- Early Installment Weirdness: Season 1 in general is pretty weird compared with subsequent seasons. Cases in point:
- Most of the early rap battles put characters against each other who seem very randomly picked. In later episodes they have more in common with each other and thus seem more fit to oppose one another: they have the same profession, are similar icons, have similar sounding names, were real life rivals, or are similar characters from a different franchise.
- The announcer had a different voice for the first few battles.
- The lyrics for the first battles weren't as refined and contained a lot of cursing. This was rectified in later seasons.
- Lennon vs. O'Reilly, the first battle, lacks the subtitles and was originally censored.
- Abe Lincoln vs. Chuck Norris is the only battle the announcer does not kick off by shouting "BEGIN!"
- Kim Jong-il vs the Mega Powers is the only match where a person who comes in during the middle is announced by the announcer. It also uses a different font for the subtitles than all the other battles.
- The first season episode featuring Hulk Hogan has Nice Peter playing the character in a rather unconvincing muscle suit. If they were shooting the episode now, with their much higher profile and budgets, now they would be able to cast a convincing look-a-like or might even have gotten Hogan himself to play the role.
- Donald Trump, the only rapper so far to appear in two different titles, is effectively portrayed as two different characters in Donald Trump vs Ebenezer Scrooge and Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton. This is largely because the 2016 election wildly changed the public's perception of Trump, leading to jokes about his complexion, the size of his hands, and the accusations of racism against him.
- E = MC Hammer: In Shakespeare vs. Doctor Seuss, during the Cat in the Hat's line about "you leave a classroom looking like the end of MacBeth", the blackboard in the background has the equation "1 + 2 = SO MUCH BLOOD".
- Epic Fail: Hitler claims that Vader's entire life is one big this. Vader doesn't have any comeback other than laughing as Hitler steps over the Rancor pit before dropping him in.
- Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: It is nearly impossible to come to a consensus over who "wins" each rap battle. Everyone's rap style and lyrics are determined by their popular image, so each side will also sound wildly different and some matchups will feel more equal then others. In addition, the raps are accompanied by dramatic elements and special effects that are either indicating the current rapper's superiority, or are just for fun, and this further confuses the issue. The episodes themselves leave the winner up to the viewers, but the YouTube commentators don't even bother, typically just suggesting ideas for the next battle.
- Finally averted when ERB allowed viewers to vote on Facebook and on their official site, leading to an official winner.
- Elvis Impersonator: EpicLLOYD as Elvis.
- Robert Hoffman as Deadpool as Elvis. (also voiced by Epic LLOYD)
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Rasputin says that what Stalin did to Russia was a disgrace.
- Even Hannibal Lecter, a sociopathic cannibal, thinks that Jack the Ripper saying he's more terrifying than the 7/7 terrorist bombing is going too far. Though Lecter's second verse suggests that what bothers him more about Jack is the fact that he's "sloppy", and the terrorist line is simply part of that.
- In their third battle, Darth Vader derides Hitler's attempts to convince the world that the Jews are evil. This may be less having standards and more mocking Hitler's failures, but given Vader's final line in the first battle it's probably a mix of both. Vader also shies away from using the word "cunt", unlike Hitler.
- Austin Powers may happily admit to being a swinging Lovable Sex Maniac who engages in unprotected sex with multiple women, but at least he gets that he shouldn't force himself on a woman who rejects his advances, unlike the "a bit rapey" Sean Connery.
- Evil Laugh: Genghis Khan for the intimidation.
- Eviler Than Thou:
- The basis of the Hitler vs. Vader matches is who is worse than the other.
- Played straight by Jack the Ripper, who boasts that his crimes are so gruesome that they would sicken and appall even his opponent, Hannibal Lecter. He also claims to be scarier than the 7/7 bombers.
- Evil Versus Evil:
Hannibal Lecter: I don't mind that you're naughty, Jack; I hate that you're sloppy!
- Adolf Hitler vs. Darth Vader is what happens when card carrying villains rap battle.
- Blackbeard vs. Al Capone could very well be described as Chaotic Evil vs. Neutral Evil.
- Jack the Ripper vs. Hannibal Lecter, where Lecter brags about his refined style while Jack points out that, unlike Lecter, he's real, killed actual people and "never got caught."
- Shaka Zulu vs. Julius Caesar portrays both contestants as ruthless tyrants.
- All of the rappers in Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible (which also include Catherine the Great) are all portrayed as ruthless murderous tyrants, with only Frederick the Great coming off looking better.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In Scrooge vs. Donald Trump, after Scrooge has been visited by the second of the three ghosts:Scrooge: NO! THIS ISN'T HAPPENING!
OH THIS IS MADDENING AGONY—wait, actually
Harkening back to the dead Donald's lecture
I still am expecting a final specter...(Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come slowly rises behind him)
- Fandom Berserk Button: Invoked in the opening lines of "Doctor Who vs. Doc Brown".Announcer: DOC BROWN! VERSUS! DOCTOR WHO! BEGIN!
10th Doctor: Ooh actually, if you don't mind, it's just "the Doctor".
- Fanservice Extra: The two girls at the end of "Moses vs Santa Claus".
- Faux Affably Evil: Walt Disney boasts of his power and wealth, mocks the suffering of artists under his employ, and offers to make Jim Henson and Stan Lee rich if they join his "empire of joy", all with a chipper (and creepy) smile on his face.
- First Name Ultimatum: Mr. Rogers gives one of these to Mr. T.Mr. Rogers: I'll say this once Laurence, I hope it's understood. Get right back in your van and get the fuck outta my neighborhood.
Ivan the Terrible: You're a land rover, I'm a land expander; here to hand you your first loss, Alexander!
- Ivan the Terrible gives one to Alexander the Great.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: The YouTube thumbnail for Zeus vs. Thor shows the participants' weapons (thunderbolt and hammer, respectively), and the title card is indeed on-screen for all of five seconds: it's written in LEGO, on a large red peg-board, the first clue that this particular battle is Built With LEGO.
- Flipping the Bird:
- Lady Gaga flips off Sarah Palin a split second before the battle begins. John McCain flips off the whole world at the end.
- Master Chief gives a long one to Leonidas at the end of his rap.
- Barack Obama stealthily does this to Mitt Romney. While commenting on how it would be awkward to have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Lady, he counts off with his middle finger, pinky, and ring finger, in that order.
- Bruce Lee gives Clint Eastwood both fingers. "KUNG F-U!"
- Look at the background in Pablo Picasso vs. Bob Ross battle, and you'll see Pablo sketching a hand with extended middle finger.
- Jack the Ripper performs the British version of this gesture at the end of his second verse.
- Michael Bay gives an epic double deuce to the other combatants (who dissed him throughout the entire rap battle) while a nuclear explosion goes off in the background.
- Wayne Gretzky gives Tony Hawk his own rendition of a fingerflip. "Sit on this and rotate 900 degrees!"
- Flung Clothing: EpicLloyd changes out of his gym outfit in this way.
- How Lance Armstrong removes his suit in his battle. The BTS shows it to be a velcro breakaway.
- A Foggy Day in London Town: The atmosphere during the Sherlock Holmes scenes in the battle between him and Batman and during the Jack the Ripper scenes in the battle between him and Hannibal Lecter.
- The teaser at the end of Season One included a supposed ultimatum by Vladimir Putin that if Season Two doesn't feature a Russian he will kill Nice Peter with his bare hands. There aren't any until the Season Finale, which features a match between Russians (four of them and a Georgian, to be exact, including Nice Peter as Putin).
- Ben Franklin makes several death threats to Billy Mays, promising to "craft a lyrical coffin", telling him to "join or die", and referencing "Death of a Salesman". At first, this just seems like the usual hip-hop trash talk, but then Billy dies.
- Stephen Hawking's silhouette is visible right at the start of the Vader vs. Hitler rematch.
- Shakespeare vs. Doctor Seuss: During Seuss's first verse, a blackboard in the background alludes to Things 1 and 2 showing up later.
- Santa Claus has Mozart on his naughty list for being "TOO DANG LOUD", in his own words. A few videos later, Mozart squares off against Skrillex, who's also been accused of being too dang loud.
- Picasso refers to Muhammad Ali in his opening verse - who is one of the featured characters of the very next battle.
- Steven Spielberg calls Michael Bay a "schlep" with no Oscars, Alfred Hitchcock comments on the clunky acting in Transformers, Quentin Tarantino calls Bay a "sell-out", and Stanley Kubrick calls Bay's Ninja Turtles movie a "waste of potential". Guess who shows up for the last verse?
- Follow the Leader: A handful of people have done copycat videos based off the concept, usually low-budget single person productions. Some are good, but most are forgettable.
- Food Porn: The Battle between Gordon Ramsay and Julia Child is sure to make you hungry.
- For the Evulz:
- The reason Hitler gives for messing up the Star Wars prequels.
- Darth only thawed Hitler out for their rematch and to drop him into the Rancor Pit.
- Four Is Death: Jack the Ripper vs. Hannibal Lecter is the fourth rap battle of Season 4. And the first four-man battle of season 4 ends in Kill 'em All.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- There's often so much going on the screen that some of the humor can be missed. For instance, Kim Jong-Il's rocket launcher fires his own head.
- Outside of the raps, the first two videos in season three after the December-May hiatus have both had at least one split-second shot of a future battle in the "more battles" section. This also happened sporadically throughout season 4.
- Before Terminator's final verse, his Search Mode window includes a Call-Back to Bruce Lee vs. Clint Eastwood.note
- Lao Tzu briefly appears in the "More Battles" window at the end of David Copperfield vs. Harry Houdini, two battles ahead of his own.
- When Nietzsche spells his name, an individual copy of himself slides onscreen for each letter. All the consonants show him standing straight as a pole, but the vowels have noticeably different poses.
- When Walt Disney shows off his "empire of joy", all the sketchpads the artists are drawing on contain logos of various channels and studios owned by The Walt Disney Company, including ESPN, ABC, A&E, and Maker Studios.
- Lightning strikes on Jack the Ripper's line "This is horrorcore"; pausing at the right time shows Jack glaring at the viewer, teeth bared.
- The mock HBO screen has George R. R. Martin striking poses to resemble the HBO logo; beneath him is the slogan "dope-ass programming."
- The Season 5 mid-season finale (Ivan the Terrible vs Alexander the Great) has text that flashes for less than a second during the thank-you message at the end. It says it "takes a special kind of person" to pause for it, and thanks the viewer again.
- Funny Background Event: Has its own page.
- Fun with Subtitles:
- In Kirk Vs Columbus, the word Klingon is written in Klingon.
- When Luigi's profanity is censored by the sound of collected coins, the subtitles also use the image of coins from the Mario Bros games as a form of censorship.
- The words да ("yes") and сука ("bitch") in Rasputin vs. Stalin is written in Cyrillic.
- The words "На здоровье!" ("Bless you!") in "Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible" is also written in Cyrillic, although the words "нет" ("no") is not, instead written as it is pronounced ("nyet").
- Gang Up on the Human: A musical variation happens when Ebenezer Scrooge (Human) fights against Donald Trump, JP Morgan, Kanye West, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Ghosts).
- Gender Scoff: The whole point of Adam vs. Eve is Man vs. Woman, with both complaining about each other's flaws.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Zeus vs. Thor battle was done with Lego characters, but despite this attractive setting for minors there is still vulgar language used and reference to rape (though the latter is in line with the actual mythological stories).
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Occasionally a third rapper will unexpectedly interrupt the battle at hand to oppose both of the original parties.
- HAL 9000; Watch "Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates" all the way to the end, and you'll find no comments calling for battle involving him.
- Abraham Lincoln during "Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney", arriving being carried by a giant bald eagle. According to NicePeter, any historical figure can interrupt a rap battle at any time, if they're being carried by a winged beast.
- The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in "Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters". While he's an iconic part of the Ghostbusters movie, the Mythbusters definitely weren't expecting him.
- Exaggerated in "Rasputin vs. Stalin","Spielberg vs. Hitchcock" and "Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible", , where the rap battle keeps getting interrupted by more and more "fleas".
- Defied in "Houdini vs. Copperfield": Criss Angel tries to butt-in and steal the show, but Houdini bluntly tells him that no one actually summoned him and he dejectedly leaves.
- Global Ignorance: Hulk Hogan apparently thought Beijing was in Korea, not China. Kim Jong-Il does not let that one slide.
- Gone Horribly Right: Everything Bill Gates has done leads to HAL 9000... and Bill seems to realize it.
- Gratuitous French:
- Gratuitous Russian: Vladimir Putin calls Rasputin, Stalin, Lenin, and Gorbachev "bitch" in Russian.
- Ivan the Terrible says "Bless you!" to Alexander the Great in Russian.
- Groin Attack:
- In round three, Hitler vows to kick Vader's balls (and face).
- Stalin also references the historical removal of Rasputin's "moose cock."
- Batman threatens to crush Sherlock Holmes's "British nuts until they're bangers and mash."
- There are many references to how William Wallace was castrated during his execution, and George Washington outright threatens to knee him in the "moose knuckle."
- Hannibal Lecter vows to roast Jack the Ripper's balls on a Hibachi.
- Thor mimics a move made famous in the trailer for Thor: The Dark World to pull this on a frost giant's (pixelated) junk, and later threatens to kick Zeus's "wrinkly dick back in [his] toga".
- Oprah threatens to "lodge [her] fabulous shoe up [Ellen's] suit pants," which could be this or Ass Shove.
- Nietzsche warns Sun Tzu that he'll "put a knee up in [his] chi."
- James Bond (the Sean Connery edition) claims he can break the balls of James Bond (Daniel Craig version) without using a Q.
- Caitlyn Jenner threatens to put a javelin through Hulk's "jolly green discus"
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Austin Powers gets a shot of just his yellow, plaque-ridden teeth during his first verse.
- Handicapped Badass:
- Attentive viewers will notice that Hawking is playing Angry Birds on the console he uses to speak. Without using his hands.
- Darth Vader is technically an example of this trope because of his life-support armor.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: The entire premise; historical figures outhamming each other through raps.
- Hashtag Rap:
- In Darth Vader's first verse in "Hitler vs. Vader 2".
I'm the emcee assassin, slash like Edward Kenway!
- And Al Capone does the same during his rap against Blackbeard:
Raps so hard, call me Al — dente.
Run you over with my Aztec — GTA.
- In Walter White's first verse in "Rick Grimes vs Walter White".
I'm a legend, you're a trend; you ain't got half the skills I got.
- Boba Fett from his bonus battle against Deadpool:
I'll beat your ass with one eye closed — Boba Fetty Wap!
Child: Concede, I've got this in the bag — sous-vide!FYI
- In "Gordon Ramsay vs. Julia Child":
I only need one round *gunshot* Golden Gun
- James Bond in "James Bond vs. Austin Powers":
- Henpecked Husband: Adam complains multiple times about how Eve never shuts up or stops nagging him over Every. Last. Little. Detail.
- Hilarious Outtakes: Behind the scenes, NicePeter (as Columbus) accidentally smacks Omar Gharaibeh (as Spock) in the face while delivering a neck chop.
- Hipster: While dressing up as Skrillex, Lloyd says that all you need are a pair of black glasses and magnetic earrings and you'll look like one.
- Historical Badass Upgrade: Some of the rappers, but especially Abraham Lincoln.
- Historical In-Joke: So many, with them almost all very well researched.
- Hit You So Hard, Your X Will Feel It!: Columbus will beat Kirk so bad, they'll feel it in The Next Generation.
- Honest Corporate Executive:
- Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge features J.P. Morgan, the Ghost of Rich Dudes Past.
- Bill Gates. His battle with Steve Jobs is by far the least hostile in the series. He even refers to Jobs as his friend after Jobs ascends. He also brags about having given away more than his opponent's net worth to AIDS research. Jobs probably also qualifies, given that he ascends to Heaven at the end.
- Hong Kong Dub: Clint Eastwood mocks Bruce Lee about this, saying he needs to practice more on matching his lip flaps.
- Hurricane Kick: Xin Wuku pulls of one perfectly in the behind the scenes.
- Hurricane of Puns:
- "Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison" is filled with numerous electricity, internet, and light bulb puns.
- Albert Einstein's first verse.Albert Einstein: When I apply my battle theory, minds are relatively blown.
So take a seat, Steve. Oop, I see you brought your own.
What's with your voice? I can't frickin' tell!
You sound like WALL-E having sex with a Speak & Spell!
I'll school you anywhere, MIT to Oxford.
All your fans will be like, "Um, that was Hawk-ward!"
I'm as dope as two rappers. You better be scared!
'Cause that means Albert E equals MC squared!
- Both of Martin Luther King's verses:Martin Luther King: I'm the King of civil rights from the city to suburbia.
No shoes, no shirt, but I'm still gonna serve ya!
Make ya swallow your words so you can break the fast,
Then thank God almighty you can eat at last.
I admire the way you broke the British power,
But I have a dream that one day you'll take a shower!
Like the 'H' in your name, you ought to remain silent.
Flatten your style like bread-naan violence.
I've got so much street cred, they write my name on the signs!
I'd ring ya for tech support, but I got a no-bell prize!
** Superman's verses are filled with Dragon Ball Z related puns and in-jokes.
- Stephen King indulges in one in his first verse.Stephen King: There's a melancholy alcoholic laughingstock
In the King's house; now watch the Castle Rock!
Pouty little poet with an opiate affliction.
I'm a workaholic with a fiction addiction!
I'm making dedicated readers shivery and jittery.
Feel that Rage and Misery!
You better start Running Man. You're in deep poo, Poe!
I'm a mad dog, fangs Shining, Cujo!
Tommyknock you down till you can't Stand up.
You're as soft as Po, the Kung Fu Panda!
- As does Thor:Thor: Brought forth by my raging thunderstorm force.
'Cause I don't get nice, I get Norse! (Noirse!)
Valhalla-atcha boy and we'll flyte it out!
But keep your Asgard up, I Ragnarök the house!
- Just about every other line in "James Bond vs. Austin Powers" contains some sort of pun on a Bond movie title.
- Steven Spielberg mimics Stephen King's:
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In the season 1 finale, EpicLLOYD mocks Peter for his receding hairline, despite being bald himself.
- Blackbeard taunts Al Capone about having syphilis, but Blackbeard also had syphilis. However he may be taunting Capone over the fact that Al died from syphilis, whereas Blackbeard didn't.
- David Copperfield calls Harry Houdini out on "talking shit about his hero," despite the fact that that's exactly what he's doing to Houdini, his hero.
- While Lewis and Clark call Bill and Ted useless because they have to depend on their Hypercompetent Sidekick Rufus to get them out of jams, Sacajawea is in the background doing the heavy lifting - catching by far the biggest fish, rowing the canoe they're on, and wrestling and slaying a bear by herself.
- Shaka Zulu mocks Caesar for having been assassinated by his close friends... And fails to mention that he himself had exactly the same fate.
- Sun Tzu mocks Confucius's over-sized eyebrows, even though his eyebrows are just as big, if not bigger.
- RoboCop drops a line about how much of a disappointment Terminator 3 was, but as the Terminator points out, RoboCop's third film didn't go over well either.
- Deadpool mocks Boba Fett for having two different voices... with the help of his Red Voice and Yellow Voice.
- I Am Not Shazam: Invoked, The Doctor corrects the Narrator on calling him Doctor Who.
- Incoming Ham:
- Abraham Lincoln during the Romney/Obama battleLincoln: BY THE POWER INVESTED IN ME BY THIS GIANT BALD BIRD!
- The announcer barely even gets to finish opening the second battle before...Hitler: I AM ADOLF HITLER, COMMANDER OF ZE THIRD REICH!
- Hitler also opens his third battle with:Hitler: SCREW YOU, you big, black cunt!
- Steve Jobs ensured he didn't get to finish at ALL.Announcer: Bill Gates! VS!
Jobs: Lemme just step right in, I got things to INVENT!
- In Spielberg vs Hitchcock, Michael Bay butts in on Stanley Kubrick while flying in on a helicopter at sunset (one of his tropes), and it just gets less and less kosher from there.
- Walt Disney shouts his way into a sentimental moment to a...disturbing rendition of the Mickey Mouse anthem
- Putin In the Russian rulers battle. "Did somebody say real power?"
- Also from Rasputin vs Stalin, Lenin drops in out of nowhere and immediately starts yelling at Stalin.
- Abraham Lincoln during the Romney/Obama battle
- Informed Ability: Elvis claims to have 1 rap for Michael Jackson's monkey, 2 for his clothes, 3 for his family, and 4 for his nose. Besides some cracks about his abusive father and his relationship to his wife, he ends up making fun of some completely different traits of his instead.
- Interrupted by the End: The end of "Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge".
- Insistent Terminology: The title of the rap battle calls The Doctor "Doctor Who", but as he points out in his first line, it's just The Doctor.
- Insult Backfire:
- Skrillex tries to call Mozart weird for his obsession over scatological humor. Mozart turns it back on him by referring to Skrillex's music as "skrill-excrement" and "diarrhea".
- In Lewis and Clark vs. Bill and Ted, the former attempt to insult the latter with the line "We inspired pioneers and travelers near and far / You inspired air guitar and Dude, Where's My Car?!" You can see Bill and Ted smiling like that was the coolest thing when air guitar is mentioned.
- Justin Bieber mocks Beethoven for being deafened by his own music. Beethoven responds that he's GLAD he's deaf, because now he can't hear "that piece of shit 'My World'".
- The Easter Bunny accuses Genghis Khan of being a brutal rapist barbarian. Khan takes pride in the accusation, boasts that he ravaged land from Poland to Korea, and threatens to slaughter the Easter Bunny's family to make a new coat.
- Dumbledore retorts Gandalf's homophobic insults with "I prefer the company of wizards and I'm PROUD of it!"
- Michael Jackson accuses Elvis Presley of stealing rock and roll. Elvis owns up to it and turns it back on Michael, saying "I can tell you're angry, but I can't comprehend it. I stole from black culture — why are you offended?"
- Cleopatra tells Marilyn Monroe "you sleep with any ugly dude who says he likes it hot". Marilyn responds by bragging that she slept with Marlon Brando and JFK, while Cleopatra fucked her own brothers.
- Frank Sinatra mocks Freddie Mercury's AIDS, telling him "played butthole roulette and lost the draw". Freddie responds by proudly stating that he "took one for both teams from a disease no-one knew existed".
- William Wallace does this three times in his battle against George Washington:
Don't tee off with me, laddy! If you held my balls, you couldn't be my caddy!
- When George points out that Wallace died before he was actually free, Wallace responds by painting his death as a Heroic Sacrifice while George died in a comfy home owning slaves.
- When George makes fun of Wallace's Cruel and Unusual Death, Wallace claims even if he was emasculated, eviscerated and beheaded he'd still be able to rip George's ass on the mike.
- Finally when George pokes fun at Scotland for being "only famous for golf and haggis", Wallace replies with this line:
- Insurance Fraud: Al Capone threatens to burn down Blackbeard's boat for the insurance money.
- In the Back: Darth Vader doesn't give Adolf Hitler a chance to finish rapping his second verse in Round 3. He just sneaks up behind him and cuts him in half with his lightsaber.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Adolf Hitler survives being frozen in carbonite in the first battle and dropped into the Rancor pit in the second. He appears to have been Killed Off for Real by being cut in half in the third. He does continue to scream afterwards, but that's probably just Rule of Funny.
- Irony: Sir Isaac Newton, in his first verse against Bill Nye, criticizes him for wasting his time debating creationists. Sir Isaac Newton himself was a creationist, making this inadvertent self-deprecation.note
- I Surrender, Suckers: Ivan the Terrible admits defeat when faced with Alexander the Great's rapping skills, and shares with him a drink... that just so happens to be poisoned. He then tries the same thing with Frederick the Great, who dies before he can make good on the opportunity. He does so a third time when Catherine the Great shows up. But she doesn't take the bait.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Marty McFly only seems to object to the Fourth Doctor referring to him as a chicken, not his earlier insinuation that he has an oedipal complex.
- Jaw Drop:
- Jerkass: Some rappers come off as this, whether it's by making fun of their opponent's handicap or illness or a deceased member of their family, or boasting about their awful crimes.
- Thomas Edison is a greedy, idea-stealing, and Tesla-smearing jerkass. He's an absolute jerkass in fact.
- Josef Stalin, who shows no remorse for his actions, and even brags about leaving his own son to die in prison.
- Adolf Hitler, naturally considering he is considered one of the most evil men (if not the most evil) in Earth's history. Several of his lines are jokes about how he had jews in death camps murdered.
- Jack the Ripper, who not only brags about murdering people but also favorably compares himself to modern terrorists. He's such a jerk that even Hannibal Lecter calls him on it.
- Donald Trump, who in his first appearance insults Scrooge instead of telling him how to change his ways. And he's even worse in his match against Hilary Clinton where he drops many sexist and racist remarks, referencing the real Donald Trump's behavior in the 2016 Election.
- Jerkass Gods: The Greek pantheon, according to Thor. While excellently researched, this part is an error since the Norse pantheon were no less jerky than the Greek ones; it's the main reason why Loki gets so much Draco in Leather Pants. Thor's father Odin was guilty of everything and more that he accuses to Zeus. Thor in the original myths, while less of a jerk, was also hardly all that flattering himself.
- Thor: Who would ever worship someone as abusive as Zeus is? You're ruthless to humans; your crew is like the Clash of the Douches!
- Jerkass Has a Point:
Edison: Without me? Here's a taste of how this battle would be. No lights, no camera, no sound. (screen goes black) See?
- Lampshaded by Abraham Lincoln in "Obama vs. Romney". Lincoln accuses Romney of being a flip-flopper and only caring about money rather than the country, but also agrees with him that Obama hasn't made any meaningful change in his time in office.
- Referenced in "Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters", when the Mythbusters point out that, as much of a dick as Walter Peck was, he was right that the Ghostbusters were doing some shady shit.
- Thomas Edison is unabashedly a massive Jerkass, but he notes in his second verse that without him, there would be no Epic Rap Battles of History.
- Joke Character:
- Even the narrator sighs when he introduces the Easter Bunny.
- "T vs. Rogers" battle set up Mr. Rogers to look like this, but ultimately averted it, leading to Mr. T. being the second lowest ranked rapper on the official website.
- Napoleon Dynamite in Napoleon (Dynamite) vs. Napoleon (Bonaparte). He speaks in his signature wussy, whiny manner, totally unsuited for rapping, and 75% of his verses are just jokes about Bonaparte's height, while Bonaparte rips him to shreds and the music even gets more epic during Bonaparte's verses.
- Just Here for Godzilla: In-universe, during their Rap battle, Epic Lloyd invokes this as the reason people visit Nice Peter's YouTube channel.
- Kiai: Bruce Lee doesn't need words to fight Clint Eastwood, when he can just say "waaataaaw" instead.
- Kids Rock: Young Michael Jackson, played by 10-year-old Bentley Green.
- Killed Mid-Sentence:
- Darth Vader barely gives Adolf Hitler a chance to say his name, nevermind finishing his second verse in round 3. He sliced him in half with his lightsaber. Hitler never saw it coming. Then again, Boba Fett wasn't expecting to be shot dead in the middle of his verse either.
- Pompey the Great doesn't get to say much more than his name before he's beheaded.
- Bonnie and Clyde get gunned down by the Feds while Clyde talks about how they've got each other's backs.
- Kill 'em All: "Bonnie and Clyde vs. Romeo and Juliet" ends with R&J dead by their own hands and B&C gunned down.
- Killer Rabbit: What the Easter Bunny claims to be.
- Kissing Cousins: Skrillex claims that Mozart and his cousin Maria Anna Thekla engaged in more than kissing. Stephen King also says the same about Edgar Allan Poe (and is creeped out by it).
- Knight of Cerebus: Walt Disney interrupts a touching moment between Stan Lee and Jim Henson and unleashes a genuinely unsettling verse about owning them both.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Peter and Lloyd got "Weird Al" Yankovic for a rap battle. Lloyd reveals in the Behind The Scenes that both of them have been huge fans of his music for all their lives. Lloyd starts singing "Yoda", saying it's the song he grew up on.
- Kubrick Stare: Dr. Seuss has a frightening one. Given that he never says a word...
- Hannibal Lecter naturally does this during his verses.
- Stanley Kubrick does this at the beginning of his verse.
- Ivan the Terrible does this in nearly every scene he's in because he's creepy.
- Lampshade Hanging:
Hannibal Lecter: Jack, you're a classic megalomaniac.
- Shakespeare's first verse is in iambic pentameter. Likewise, Edgar Allen Poe's first verse is in trochaic octameter. Both of them take notice.Shakespeare: I hath been iambic on that ass, ye bastard.
Edgar Allen Poe: I will choke this joker with a trochee 'til his cheeks are teary!
- Hannibal Lecter calls Jack the Ripper out for the mistakes he made in the battle.
You haven't mentioned me once in your entire battle rap!
Pity your verse wasn't worth the trip in the jacket,
Quit jacking off on the track and put the lotion in the basket!
No, no, Jack, you were doing fine,
Before your ham-fisted attempt at a terrorist line!
How typical of Jack the Ripper to chase a headline!
Pick Ray Liotta's brain and ask him how I get mine.
- Shakespeare's first verse is in iambic pentameter. Likewise, Edgar Allen Poe's first verse is in trochaic octameter. Both of them take notice.
- Large Ham: As this is a show about rap battles between large personalities, this is expected.
- Hitler, Genghis Khan, Mr. T, Leonidas, Luigi, Freddie Mercury, and Martin Luther King Jr.
- Also, Lincoln. Especially so in Romney vs. Obama.Abraham Lincoln: Of the people! By the people! For the people! EAGLE!!!
- Chuck Norris, Beethoven, Mozart, Skrillex, Columbus, Lance Armstrong, Darth Vader, O'Reilly, and Tesla too.
- The Season 4 mid-season finale proved that five of the best directors of our time definitely had huge egos. Especially Michael Bay.
- Vladimir Lenin and Teddy Roosevelt. Oh god, Teddy Roosevelt. Almost everything he says in the ERB News he hosts comes out hammy.Teddy Roosevelt: POLARIZING NEWS!!!
- They're just the worst. Almost everyone to appear in these vids is hamming it up, though HAL 9000 is an exception with his Creepy Monotone, as is Vladimir Putin, who doesn't seem all too excited.
- Walt Disney, perhaps the largest ham in the entire series.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
Gretzky: For true sports fans, this was finished as soon as they heard the matchup!
- "Tony Hawk vs Wayne Gretzky" includes a little nod/jab towards those who think that some of ERB's matchups have little or no connection at all.
- Winston Churchill notes that Theodore Roosevelt looks like EpicLLOYD.
- Lethal Joke Character:
- Note the tinny music that plays when Mr. Rogers is introduced... which then turns into the regular rap music as Mr. Rogers lets out a chilling rap against Mr. T.
- In the "Rasputin vs. Stalin" episode, Gorbachev is presented as a smiling, jovial, gentler, and downright adorable Russian leader — who promptly serves Rasputin, Stalin, and Lenin.
- From the second season battles onward, the music will be slightly varied when it's a different participant rapping.
- In "Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison", the synth riff is lower in pitch for Edison.
- Virtually any musical combatant will add elements of their style to the rap:
- In "Mozart vs. Skrillex", the beat is more dubstep-y for Skrillex. When Mozart's rapping however, a violin is prominently featured.
- In "Beiber vs. Beethoven", two Beethoven pieces are sampled. Beiber's music uses Fur Elise, while Beethoven's utilizes Beethoven's 5th.
- Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley both bring elements from their music (and age) to their raps.
- "Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge" brings three different styles. Donald Trump gets one all for himself, then it shifts for Ebenezer and J.P. Morgan. Kanye West's appearance basically counts as a musical Genre Shift, which plays out for the rest of the battle.
- William Wallace gets backed up by bagpipes for sections of his verses.
- In "Ghostbusters vs. MythBusters", the Ghostbusters' verses have a theremin sound in the background, while the MythBusters' lines are backed by drawn-out guitar chords like on their show.
- Romeo and Juliet's verses are accompanied with violin chords and jingle bells.
- Spielberg vs Hitchcock had individual scores for the five different directors, with Spielberg's having the sweeping instrumentals of his big-budget blockbuster, while Hitchcock had more classical-sounding music for his more simpler yet beautiful and effective scores. Tarantino had much grittier, street-wise beats, and Kubrick's was more spacey and artsy, including a rendition of "Also Sprach Zarathustra", the opening music from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Finally, Bay's music was just as bombastic and triumphant as he makes his own films, and their scores, to be. Yet each score had their own underlying elements that connected them together.
- Let's Get Dangerous!:
- Beethoven after chucking over his piano.Beethoven: I'm committing verbal murder in the major third degree! My name is Beethoven, motherfucker, maybe you heard of me!
- Marilyn Monroe taking off her earrings in her second verse.
- Beethoven after chucking over his piano.
- Lighter and Softer: Episodes featuring Christian "Internetainers" Rhett & Link have no explicit cursing. This doesn't mean said episodes won't, say, make a "nut-Sacagawea" pun (Lewis & Clark vs. Bill and Ted) or bleep out curses (Mario Bros vs Wright Bros).
- Similarly, Isaac Newton vs. Bill Nye has clean language, in keeping with Weird Al's family-friendly style. Doesn't mean he holds back on the rapping, though.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Just look at the Characters subpage. Every new rap battle always feature at least two different characters (except for the Adolf Hitler vs Darth Vader trilogy).
- Lonely at the Top: Bill Gates expresses sentiments in this vein after Steve Jobs ascends to a higher plane of existence.
- The Mafia: Freddie Mercury says it's no secret that Frank Sinatra is connected to them.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Both Peter and Lloyd, based on how many characters they've played.
- Marionette Master: Dr. Seuss "raps" through his characters, The Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & Thing 2.
- Marilyn Maneuver: The lady herself shows us how it's done (In universe it's her, anyway).
- Meaningful Background Event:
- Look at Freddie Mercury's background as his verses go on. It starts out as a black sky with some almost invisible clouds, but as he continues and gets louder and hammier, we see flashes of light and the clouds become more visible. Compared to the usual consistent backgrounds, this is a neat touch.
- Edward Kenway appears in the background all through Capone's last verse, and is busy dispatching Blackbeard's crew when his name is dropped.
- During the Donald Trump vs. Ebenezer Scrooge battle, look at Scrooge's background, more precisely at his clock. During his verses it moves forward by a hour each, and the ghosts (JP Morgan, Kanye West and the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come) appear when it strikes 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
- During Zeus vs Thor, Odin can clearly be seen in the back of the Asgard scenes, but he does nothing despite being mentioned early on.
- Near the end of James Bond's second verse, the Sean Connery version of the characters pops up in the background, ready to join the rap battle.
- Mêlée à Trois:
- Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates vs. HAL 9000
- Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney vs. Abraham Lincoln
- Rasputin vs. Stalin vs. Lenin vs. Gorbachev vs. Putin
- Ghostbusters vs. MythBusters vs. Stay Puft the Marshmallow Man
- Steven Spielberg vs. Alfred Hitchcock vs. Quentin Tarantino vs. Stanley Kubrick vs. Michael Bay
- The Eastern Philosophers vs. Western Philosophers starts off as 3 against 3, battling for their respective sides, but then Sun Tzu tricks the West into fighting each other. When he suggests that they take advantage of the discord and finish them off, Lao Tzu and Confucius disagree with his hostile tactics and strategy.Narrator: WHAT IS WINNING? WHO IS NEXT? YOU DECIDE!
- James Bond vs. Austin Powers vs. Sean Connery!James Bond
- Metaphorgotten: The 10th Doctor: "You're not going to tear any holes in the fabric of space and time. Actually it's more like a rug, really.
- Mic Drop: Elvis Presley finished his lines with one at the end of the rap battle with Michael Jackson
- Wayne Gretzky substituted his hockey stick at the end of his rap against Tony Hawk.
- Midword Rhyme:Mario Bros.: Like POW!How ya like me now?Spit flames out our mouths like our name was Bow…ser!
- Mistaken for Racist: A number of people pointed out how Caesar's line about making Shaka and the Zulu slaves sounds incredibly racist due to their respective skin colors. Skin color had nothing to do with it - Romans typically made slaves of any conquered foe. They also accepted anyone who willingly joined the empire - Two of the Roman Empire's emperors were born in Africa, and they certainly were not white.
- Monochrome Past:
- Hitler's verses are shot in monochrome. Until Vader Force Chokes him into his in-color side, that is.
- Young Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Babe Ruth, and Alfred Hitchcock are also shot in monochrome.
- Martin Luther King Jr. stays monochrome even when he crosses over into Gandhi's setting.
- Lenin has a special version. It's red and white.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Jobs vs Gates starts like a normal battle. And then Jobs Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence and HAL 9000 reveals himself.
- Bill and Ted's second verse has a high-spirited Badass Boast from the two followed by them telling Lewis that he's going to commit suicide.
- In the Season 4 finale, Stan Lee and Jim Henson put aside their antagonism and become friends... right before Walt Disney enters.
- Mooks: "Bruce Lee vs Clint Eastwood" and "Deadpool vs Boba Fett" have both battlers whooping the asses of cowboys/ninjas/thugs/rebels while rapping.
- Rick Grimes is also seem shooting walkers while rapping against Walter White.
- Moonwalk Dance:
- Naturally done by Michael Jackson when battling Elvis, after the line: "Watch me moonwalk and I step on your blue suede".
- It's done by Darth Vader in his first confrontation vs. Hitler for the style points.
- Motor Mouth:
- Youtube's greatest Motor Mouth George Watsky pulls this one off on three occasions (the Fourth Doctor, Edgar Allan Poe and the Bard himself) at impressive speed, even for typical Motor Mouth standards.
- Robin in Sherlock Holmes vs. Batman in contrast to the slower and more lower pitched Batman.
- Babe Ruth manages to rap in the style of a radio sports announcer and barely pauses for a breath once he starts.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic did to math equations what George Watsky did to Shakespeare. Both of Isaac Newton's verses are rather lengthy, but speed by pretty fast. However, in his 2nd verse, he prattles off a very complex math equation at super speed.
- Given Confucianism's adherence to respect and tradition and the slow and steady speed of Confucius' lines in the first verse, his rather rapid-fire rapping in the second (with Lao Tzu beatboxing) is quite a shift.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya:
My name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso!
- Done by Pablo Picasso as part of a diss against Bob Ross:
- Mythology Gag: Though the Turtles appear in their traditionally colored masks, when Mikey spits his first line, the three other Turtles appear from behind him all wearing their original red masks. note
Roosevelt: "WHAT'S UP BITCHES!"
- One within ERB itself - the apparently random spinning jump and Three-Point Landing Lego!Zeus does is the sort of thing they normally do with recurring guest, stuntman Xin Wuku.
- "Theodore Roosevelt vs. Winston Churchill" makes a reference to Theodore Roosevelt's role in hosting ERB News in one of his first lines. The video is paused and the static picture animated with the moving mouth like the News.
- News Parody: The first battle has a parody news ticker that shows up twice.
- Nightmare Face:
- The facial expression made by Stanley Kubrick when he goes "Do another take and get it right / 127 TIMES!" Knowing the way Kubrick was in real life, it's definitely intentional.
- J. R. R. Tolkien also makes one, when he says that both George R.R. Martin and Jon Snow know nothing.
- Noble Bird of Prey: A gigantic bald eagle makes an appearance in Obama vs. Romney as Abe Lincoln's way of getting to the battle."By the powers invested in me by this giant bald bird…"
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Marty McFly (as usual) during Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who.
- Nobody Loves the Bassist: Invoked in "Theodore Roosevelt vs. Winston Churchill".Churchill: "If Rushmore was a band, then you'd play bass!"
- No Indoor Voice:
- Leonidas, The Announcer himself, Hitler, Lincoln, Chuck Norris, Genghis Khan, Billy Mays, Vince Offer, Mr. T, Luigi, and Goku.
- Lenin in Rasputin vs Stalin Justified, because he often did this in speeches in real life.
- Michelangelonote , of all people
- Noodle Implements: We actually can't really tell what it is Gordon Ramsay and Julia Child are cooking. The former, after calling in the blue team, is making something that involves carrots and noodles, and apparently made beef wellington offscreen earlier; the latter starts off with what's apparently a fish recipe, then later dumps a bunch of chopped onions into a pan, sprinkles on some pepper, and then goes to work on a chicken.
- No Sense of Direction:
- Santa's elves give Moses a GPS, asking how it's possible for someone to get lost for 40 years.
- Captain Kirk asks Columbus when he's finally going to arrive at a place he set sail for.
- No Swastikas: Adolf Hitler's arm band sports a rock 'n' roll horns shaped symbol.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Charles Darwin is quick to mention that Ash Ketchum can't turn 11 years old.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent:
- Most notably, Peter's John Lennon is missing his trademark Liverpudlian accent. Somewhat justified as it was the very first battle.
- Inverted in this case there wasn't an accent to begin with. Lloyd and Peter had to give Mike Diva (Bruce Lee) accent lessons to make him sound more Asian.
- Also, Rasputin appears to not have an accent, as does Lenin.
- No True Scotsman: Implied by Elvis of Michael.Elvis: I stole from black culture! Why are you offended?
- No, You:Obama: Oh yeah? Well, you're stupid.Romney: You're stupid!
- N-Word Privileges:
- Gandhi vs. Martin Luther King Jr. is the first rap battle to use the N word and it's spoken by MLK himself, of course.
- In "Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton," one of Trump's verses ends with "This whole system's rigged, and we all know the riggers! / For the last eight years, this country's been run by—" at which point he's cut short by the arrival of Abraham Lincoln.
- Obviously Evil: Ivan The Terrible's zeal for murder and mayhem is downright cartoonish, even by the standards of this series.
- Offhand Backhand:
- Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood pull off a lot of these, Bruce with ninjas and Clint with cowboys. They do so while rapping.
- Chuck Norris does this with some goons as well, not even paying attention to them.
- Wonder Woman deflects a meteor at one point during her verse without even looking at it.
- Once a Season: Hitler vs Vader and something horrible happening to the former.
- One Degree of Separation: Genghis Khan is quite proud that his genetics are now found all the way from New York to Japan.
- Only in It for the Money: Michael Bay's entire verse can be summed up as: "I don't care if my movies suck, I'm making bank!"
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Most of the rap battles are... er... rap battles, but so far, we have:
- Justin Bieber vs Beethoven, which samples liberally from Beethoven's oeuvre.
- Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates, which is house.
- Frank Sinatra vs Freddie Mercury, which is heavily influenced by Queen's Genre-Busting style, specifically the operatic and hard rock.
- Mozart vs Skrillex, which emulates both artists' styles very well.
- Jack the Ripper vs Hannibal Lecter doesn't change style musically, but the visuals are reminiscent of supernatural horror films.
- Overly Long Name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso takes up much of one of his verses just saying out his name. Note that this isn't even the whole thing; it's just as much as he can fit into one verse.
- Pædo Hunt:
Mr. T: So before you come to battle with your PBS crap, how 'bout I call up CPS about them kids on your lap, foo'!Elvis: Cause all you wanna do is teach kids the birds and the bees!
- Courtesy of Mr. T:
You're a possibly pedophilic individual who should have never been born!
- And there's also the Fourth Doctor:
You need to stop breaking into houses and creeping
- Moses gets this on Santa twice:
And peeping on naughty kids while they sleeping
Thou shalt not let children sit on a grown man's lap at the mall
- And later:
- Parody Assistance: Skrillex appeared in a live version of the rap battle in which he was featured, and a removed ERB news was hosted by Hulk Hogan.
- Parody Episode: NicePeter and Daneboe teamed up to give us The Annoying Orange VS M&M in Epic Rap Battles of Kitchenry.
- Pec Flex: The Hulk, being played by bodybuilder Mike O'Hearn, does this often throughout his battle against Caitlyn Jenner.
- Perception Filter: By the time you get around to Hitler Vs. Vader 3, you're probably so used to seeing suggestions for the battle you just saw during the closing line, that unrelated comments such as "is that pewdiepie" and "BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH :(" pass without notice.
- Pirate: Blackbeard is a Type 1; pure evil and very dangerous.
- Piss-Take Rap: Done very intentionally. Captain Kirk, being done in the typical parody standard of William Shatner, is the most obvious … and it works.
- Place Worse Than Death: Thomas Edison claims that he's so dope he makes New Jersey look good.
- Playing with Fire: Gandhi has "Raps so hot, he spits Yoga Fire!" (though it's shown coming out of his palm and not his mouth).
- Precision F-Strike: Almost every single video has at least one well-placed curse word in there somewhere. Examples include:Chuck Norris: I AM CHUCK FUCKING NORRIS!Lady Gaga: You are the sum of everything I despise, with the most dysfunctional family since the Jackson FUCKING Five!Beethoven: My name is Beethoven, MOTHERFUCKER, maybe you've heard of me!Kirk: You … spaghetti-eating FUCK!NicePeter: You've got as much music talent as Chuck FUCKING Norris!NicePeter: FUCK the rap battles and you, I quit!Adolf Hitler: Now stand at attention, and Sieg FUCKING Heil!Marylin Monroe: I had some ugly boys, but you're forgetting the others—Marlon Brando and the Kennedys, while you FUCKED your own brothers!Steve Jobs: I need to bring up some basic SHIT, why you'd name your company after your dick?Mr. Rogers: I'll say this once, Laurence, I hope it's understood, get right back in your van and get the FUCK out of my neighborhood.Chuck Norris: I wear a black belt on the beard that I grow on my DICK!Clint Eastwood: Those little dances you do don't threaten me, Bruce. FUCK you, dude, I even squint better than you.Bruce Lee: A man who argues with people who aren't even there is more fit to rap against THIS FUCKING CHAIR!Gandhi: I am passively resisting the fact that you suck. I am celibate because I don't give a FUUUUUUUUCCCCCCK.
Goku: YOUR POWERS HAVE BEEN BORING SINCE THE NINETEEN FUCKING FORTIES!Michael Bay: MOTHER FUCKING MONEY!!! (This appears to be his catchphrase)
Donald Trump: So when the clock strikes, prepare to enter a world of Christmas pain, 'cause I'm out! I've got my own F***ing problems, call me 2 Chainz.
- Donald Trump's Precision F Strike is audibly muted and censored in the subtitles.
- Prison Rape:Juliet: You'll get an ass rippin' worse than your boyfriend's in prison.
You spent time in Alcatraz; I'm sure you were fine if you dropped the soap as little as you drop dope rhymes.
- One of Blackbeard's lines suggests Capone averted it:
- Product Placement:
- "Blackbeard vs. Al Capone" starts and ends by giving thanks to Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Edward Kenway is even mentioned in the lyrics AND seen in the background behind both Capone and Blackbeard, eventually killing a few pirates in traditional assassin style, not to mention the other subtle references to the game.
- Lloyd spends a good minute advertising for a company that donated 100% organic, fully compostable eating utensils and dishware in the BTS of Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge. He even points out the company's address with a full display on the screen.
- In the announcement for "Season 3.5" Teddy Roosevelt wants to make sure everyone knows about the US government's new healthcare website, although he calls it "POLARIZING NEWS" and says he doesn't "give a damn" whether viewers like or hate it, as long as they know about it.
- Psychic Strangle: Darth Vader uses this on Adolf Hitler during their first rap battle.
- Pun: While not usually part of one of the rap battles themselves, Charles Darwin hosts ERB News and spits out two of them.Lloyd: "Wanna buy some heroin(e)? (nod at Joan of Arc) Geddit?"
Picasso: I could make better art with my wiener... (camera zooms out to reveal him holding a wiener dog) Lump!
- In-battle, Pablo gets one during Bob Ross Vs Pablo Bicasso, while the camera is framing only his head and shoulders.
On behalf of us all here at Epic Rap Battles of History, thank you for choosing youtube.com/ERB. It is, after all, a natural selection.
- Another BTS (Rick Grimes vs Walter White) has Peter as Rick claiming he eats his breakfast at Carl Jr's. You really need to follow his show for this one.
- Charles Darwin in one news video.
- Bruce Jenner calls Bruce Banner being "boron" when he's happy.
- As Wayne Gretzky points out, Tony Hawk is on his fourth wife - "Talk about the X Games!"
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Naturally, used by Leonidas.
- Clint Eastwood punctuated the end of his first verse with bullets.
- The Queen's Latin: NicePeter uses a British accent when rapping as Julius Caesar for "Caesar vs. Shaka Zulu".
- Rage Quit: In EpicLloyd vs.NicePeterLloyd: "I'm gonna knock you right out of your little Superman socks! You were nothing before you rode up on KassemG's jock'!Peter: "Man, you don't even need to say that kind of shit. Fuck the rap battles and you, I quit."
- Rated M for Manly:
- Hitler vs Vader (all three battles)
- Lincoln vs Chuck Norris
- Kim Jong-Il vs Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage
- Leonidas vs Master Chief
- Bruce Lee vs Clint Eastwood
- Lance Armstrong vs Babe Ruth
- Goku vs Superman
- RoboCop vs The Terminator
- Reaching Between the Lines: Bill Gates puts his hand through an iPad by hitting it with an iPhone (iPwn) and hits Steve with said iPhone (iSmack).
- Real Men Cook:
- Blink and you'll miss it, but after Napoleon (Bonaparte) threatens to beat Napoleon (Dynamite) "so bad they'll make a virgin meringue," the former briefly appears in chef's garb, whisking something in a bowl.
- Walter White cooks a dish called "Blue Sky," which is, of course, meth.
- Gordon Ramsay, obviously.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
Lincoln: *To Obama* You! I wanna like you! Don't talk about change, just do it! I fought for what was on my brain until a bullet went through iiiiit! *To Romney* And you! Moneybags! You're a pancake, you're flip-floppity! It's a country, not a company, you can play like Monopoly!
- Abe Lincoln interrupts the battle between Romney and Obama to deliver one of these.
Babe Ruth: It's the bottom of the ninth against the Texan in a bathing suit, filled with more artificial ingredients than a Baby Ruth
- Babe Ruth also gives Lance Armstrong one of these with both barrels, in the rapid-fire style of a radio sports announcer. He takes four long sentences to nail Armstrong for forgetting "what real sportsmanship was!" before finally pausing for breath.
And it may be way too soon, but I'm calling my shot, and I'm not talking about those Italian syringes you brought
The Sultan of Swat'll knock you right outta the park and round the bases to the sound of uproaring applause
While you hang your head in shame and disgrace because you got lost and forgot what real sportsmanship was!
You're gonna die!
- Lenin delivers an awesome one to Josef Stalin about how communism was about bringing down social classes and benefit the proletariat, yet he used it to hop himself to power, and stopped a great revolution.
- The Ghost of Christmas Future gives Ebenezer Scrooge a truly frightening one;
With no one to love you and no one to cry!
Alone by yourself on the bed of your death with the stench of regret on your last dying breath!
'Cause you've chosen the path of a selfish man
With Tiny Tim's innocent blood on your hands!
You Fool!! You think you can touch me with this?!
- Nikola Tesla gives an epic one to Thomas Edison in his second verse.
You could not handle my gifts with your greedy little mind!
What was inside of mine was ahead of its time!
YOU DID NOT STEAL FROM ME; YOU STOLE ME FROM MANKIND!
Don't you think I've heard those things before
- Freddie Mercury's first verse is one to Frank Sinatra:
You're just a bully who's too scared to go to war
You had a hit song called "My Way" but someone else wrote it
You're the least talented rat in your whole pack! of rodents!
You've got 4 notes in your whole range, you can't act and you can't dance!
I'm more powerful than you when I'm wearing women's pants!
Why do you stand there in a suit? It's like you're trying to bore me
When I rock the UK, South America gets horny
Because my songs have balls!
They're the anthems of victory!
Your music sounds like the soundtrack to a vasectomy
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: A few of the rap battles feature the dynamic, with the red rapper essentially shouting their lines or otherwise showing much enthusiasm during the match and the blue rapper keeping a low profile in one or both regards:
- Blackbeard (red) vs. Al Capone (blue)
- Pablo Picasso (red) vs. Bob Ross (blue)
- The artists form a team of two red (Raphael and Michelangelo) and two blue (Leonardo and Donatello), like the turtles named after them
- Jack the Ripper (red) vs. Hannibal Lector (blue)
- Shaka Zulu (red) vs. Julius Caesar (blue)
- Stan Lee (red) vs. Jim Henson (blue) before Walt Disney (even more of a red than Stan Lee) arrives
- Gordon Ramsay (red) vs. Julia Child (blue)
- Austin Powers (red) vs. James Bond (blue) before Sean Connery (somewhere in between) arrives
- Reference Overdosed: Each battle is brimful of references to all the things both celebrities are famous for, some of them told in the form of a quick pun or a throwaway line. Some lines will be things anyone with basic knowledge about the celebrity can get, others are more for the die-hard fans and/or people knowledgeable about the historical person. It also invites viewers to look up more about the people or characters battling each other in the video. The same goes for the actors portraying them.
- Reflective Eyes: EpicLloyd pulls off an impressive quick change backflip in the reflection of NicePeter's sunglasses.
- Reset Button: The Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who video is stuck in a time loop. The "EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY" logo itself is used the exact same way at both the beginning and end of the video, at which point the video resets to give the Tenth Doctor another chance … but he just turns off the video with his sonic screwdriver.
- Retraux: Various people from history are presented through the lens(es) of their respective time periods:
- Anyone famous from the 1920s through the 1960s—including Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr. and more—will be Deliberately Monochrome. note
- Hitler's verses until Vader uses the Force to bring him into his own screen. May double as Anachronism Stew when you notice that Vader claims that he came before Hitler, and all of his screentime is shot in color. Then again, he does hail from a galaxy far, far away.
- Martin Luther King Jr. stays in monochrome even when he crosses over into Gandhi's colored setting.
- The Wright Brothers have a grainy sepia tone and their audio is processed to sound like it was recorded on a phonograph.
- Aside from the fact that young Elvis is shot in monochrome, both old Elvis and young Michael are shown as if on 1970's television. Old Michael even has a special filter on him that makes him appear as in the '90s video clips.
- Freddie Mercury uses popular visual effects from the 70's—recalling the "Bohemian Rhapsody" video specifically.
- Bruce Lee vs Clint Eastwood has a retro colour filter for both contestants.
- A meta example in NicePeter vs. EpicLloyd; when Peter turns into John Lennon, the image quality of him is much poorer, as a reference to the poor image quality of the John Lennon vs. Bill O'Reilly video, as it was their first video and had only a $50 budget.
- The climax of "Theodore Roosevelt vs Winston Churchill" is monochromatic and choppy just like in early films. The BTS reveals that the effect was done by shooting the scene in twice the normal speed, then slowing it down.
- Lenin is shown in red and white, making him appear as if he stepped out of a Russian Revolution-era propaganda poster.
- Anyone famous from the 1920s through the 1960s—including Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King Jr. and more—will be Deliberately Monochrome. note
- Retired Badass: Bob Ross served 20 years in the United States Air Force.
- The Reveal: The Narrator is a bear, apparently That is, until he was next revealed to be a hippopotamus. Or a Giraffe. Or a snake.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Kanye West.Just take a lesson from Yeezy
You're missing the point, Ebeneezy
There's more to your life than your work, take it easy
Even I can make time for Azizy!
You're an obese greasy sleaze squeezing a diseased Peter that no skeezer would touch if she had fifty-foot tweezers!
- And also the following quip Blackbeard made toward Al Capone:
- Rhyming with Itself:
Watson: Holmes, you've cracked the case!Sherlock: You're a batshit crazy basket case!
- In Sherlock Holmes vs. Batman, Sherlock does this.
"Even Horton doesn't wanna hear you - And Cindy Lou Who is afraid to go near you!
- The Cat In The Hat almost does this, with the rhyming part being the second-to-last word in each line.
Lenin: "Josef, you were supposed to be my right-hand man/but your loyalty shriveled up like your right hand, man!"
- "Rasputin vs Stalin" pulls this off.
Vader: I got a million clones, they die for me; my bounty hunters ride for me; yo homeboy, finish this rhyme for me!'''
- Vader in "Hitler vs. Vader 3" does this in his verse.
Vader: You wrote a little book, got em fired up.
- Vader did it twice in that verse:
Had a beer-hall putsch, got em fired up.
And when your bunker started getting fired up
You put a gun in your mouth and fired up!
Kanye West:: Well you're about to be right! now! I'm the Ghost of What's Right! Now!
- Kanye West (The Ghost of What's Right Now) in Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge:
George Washington: There's a difference between you and me, Willy! I fought 'til I was actually free, Willy!
- At the beginning of "George Washington vs. William Wallace":
Michael Bay Set up shop and got a few drops of that Got Milk money! Rose to the Rock, now I got that socks made of silk money; I ain't got that guilt money!
- Michael Bay does this:
Oprah: I'm the queen of TV and I'm here to destroy ya. So check under your seat because I got something for ya!
- Oprah Winfrey begins with this:
Poe: But y'all don't hear me, all should fear me! I'll forever be better, you'll never be near me!
- Edgar Allan Poe does this twice:
Poe: Stephen, you pretend to do it! I've been really living through it!
Houdini: little spaces small enough to fit your talent David! You're not a challenge David!
- Harry Houdini also does this:
Voltaire:Let me be frank - don't start beef with the Frank who hangs with B. Franks giving ladies beef franks!
- Voltaire doubles up the doubling up while arguing with Socrates:
Sun Tzu: Yo I wrote The Art of War so you better get your guns out. These white boys gettin' burned, 'cause guess what? Now the Sun's out.
- In the same battle, Sun Tzu also does this:
Austin Powers: You look a lot more blond in your movie, baby. That's alright, let's just keep it groovy, baby!
- Austin Powers starts off with one:
Tony Hawk: You got your whole league to protect and adore you-so which goon's gonna take this battle for you?
- Happens a couple times in "Tony Hawk vs. Wayne Gretzky":
Tony: I drop rhymes like I'm dropping into a half-pipe, I'll thrash this asswipe, hit you like a hash pipe.
Wayne Gretzky: Let me tell you what putting a puck in the net's worth. Double what you've banked in bucks; check my net worth.
Tony: Great one, Wayne! Let me say something, Wayne. I got 99 problems and you ain't one, Wayne!
Wayne: 184, that's plenty of 'em! And I've set 183 of 'em!
Peter: Aaaand doink — nice punchline, bro. Your jokes haven't grown since you told 'em in a lunch line, bro.
- From "Nice Peter vs. Epic LLOYD 2":
- Rule of Cool: Don't try to imagine how it would be possible for people from different time periods, franchises or media to battle one another, let alone how a fictional character can battle a Real Life person.
- Rule of Two: Natural since it's a battle between at least two people.
- Running Gag:
- Many of the battles feature one rapper threatening to choke the other with something that references the character (Jordan with Ali's "own jump rope," Mr. T with Mr. Rogers' "own sweater sleeves," etc.)
- In the behind the scenes videos, there's a running theme of Lloyd jokingly asking other people if they want to buy some heroin. Lloyd first said it while dressed as Gandalf in the BTS for "Gandalf vs Dumbledore",
EpicLloyd: You know what's in that jetpack, don't you? [beat] Rocket fuel....AND HERO—!
- When he does this to Bentley Green, the kid starts shouting out for the police to help him. Cue Lloyd running for the exit.
- George Watsky plays the Heroin joke on him in the Behind the Scenes for Doc Brown vs. Doctor Who.
- Averted in Adam vs. Eve; nobody does the heroin joke in the Behind the Scenes.
- In the "Hitler vs. Vader 3" BTS, Lloyd speaks low to the camera:
Hey, hey, hey! All you want to hear is a heroin joke. Whatever.
- Invoked but Defied in the BTS of Michael Jordan vs. Muhammad Ali. Lloyd is trying to show off the snack table, including a cake that the catering lady brought in. When the camera wanders to look elsewhere, Lloyd calls them out on it before storming off.
- In Rick Grimes vs. Walter White's BTS, Peter informs Lloyd that, tragically, "the heroin joke didn't make it." Then they hold a melodramatic funeral for said joke, implying that we will never hear it again.
- In the BTS for "Charles Darwin vs Ash Ketchum", Peter attempts a Call-Back to the original heroin joke: wearing a white beard, running to the camera and saying the heroin joke; but he is quickly cut off.
- Lloyd also sometimes dresses up in part of the costume and imitates the announcer.Lloyd: (with Gandalf's beard) "The Oakridge Boys Vs. ZZ Top!"
- There also seems to be one in the second season's behind the scenes videos of people not recognizing who one of the rappers is supposed to be, such as one man not realizing Lloyd was dressed as Mario.
- See Unusual Euphemism below. It's becoming a trademark of the series.
- "Spielberg vs. Hitchcock" has one Take That! at Michael Bay in each verse. Even the last verse, Michael Bay's, is one of these, as it basically consists of him admitting he's Only in It for the Money and feels no shame over that.
- For the ERB News: "These are dates!" followed by merchandise advertising and closing with a non-sequitur.
- In all three of his rap battles against Darth Vader, Adolf Hitler facetiously invites Vader to make use of something seemingly innocent that was used murderously in concentration camps during World War II. In the first: "You need to wash up, dog. Here, step in my shower." In the second: "You need a vacation. Here, take a trip on my train." In the third "I baked you something. Here, pop into my oven."
- If a person avoided service in the war, they will generally be mocked for it. Examples include Elvis Presleynote , Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Alfred Hitchcocknote , George R.R. Martin, etc.
- Scare 'em Straight: The stinger from the Behind The Scenes video for Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge:The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come: You know who's gonna visit you if you have heroin? Death. Death loves heroin.
- Screaming Warrior: Goku roars his first two lines at the top of his lungs.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Romney uses this during his rap."I'm not going to let this battle be dictated by facts. I'm rich! I got fat stacks and super PACs."
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
"Of the people! By the people! For the people! EAGLE!
- Subverted in the Columbus/Kirk battle, where Christopher Columbus seemingly walked out after his opening line.
- Dr. Seuss did a subtle straight version. He got the hell out of Dodge before the Cat in the Hat let Thing 1 and Thing 2 free.
- "Later, weirdo, Elvis is leaving the building."
- "Now excuse me, while I turn heaven a profit." (dissolves into air)
- Lincoln during Obama Vs. Romney, who gets air-dropped by a giant bald eagle and lifted back out by said eagle at the end of his verse.
Trump: So when the clock strikes, prepare to enter a world of Christmas pain, 'cause I'm out! I've got my own F***ing problems, call me 2 Chainz.
- Clint Eastwood would offer to stick around for a Round 2, but finds it ridiculous because nobody in Bruce Lee's family ever lived to see a sequel.
- Donald Trump fills in for the role of Jacob Marley and alarms Ebeneezer Scrooge of the verbal beatdown the three emcees of the ethereal plane are going to give him. Once his verse is done, he leaves.
- After finishing his last verse by telling Goku to "Dragon Ball deez" nuts, Superman takes off. Goku gives chase.
- After their final verse against the Renaissance artists, the TMNT head off to eat pizza.
- The bickering amongst the Western philosophers by the end of their battle against the East gets Nietzsche fed enough to storm off at the ending title card.
- Seen It All: This is the tone that Julius Caesar gives off in his first verse. After Shaka Zulu says that Caesar's walking into a massacre and would send his head back to Rome wrapped in his own banner, Caesar says in the most unimpressed manner possible that he'll crush Shaka just like everyone else.
Charles Darwin: Even the Announcer is bringing his A-game.Narrator: EP. IC. RAP…BATTLLLLEEESSS!!! FHAUCKIT!
- Bruce Lee mocks one who would rap against people who aren't even there ...while Clint Eastwood isn't onscreen.
- Al Capone admits he had syphilis, but only so he can call Blackbeard "a huge dick."
- The Narrator during the ERB news.
EpicLLOYD: And then I try to tell you things, but you're too stubborn to understand, / Like, "Dude, that is not a cool way to play Batman!"
- Kubrick's diss saying that Spielberg's production of A. I. was the "worst waste of potential since the Ninja Turtles" may be a meta example, calling back to the oft-criticized Artists vs. Turtles rap battle. It is also a Take That! towards Michael Bay, calling his Ninja Turtles movie a waste of potential.
- "Nice Peter vs. EpicLLOYD 2" sees two slams against their portrayal of Batman from "Batman vs. Sherlock Holmes".
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Quite a few of the matchups are like this:
- Justin Bieber (sensitive) and Beethoven (manly, emphasized by his Badass Baritone)
- Easter Bunny (sensitive) and Genghis Khan (manly)
- Mr. Rogers (sensitive) and Mr. T (manly)
- Bob Ross (sensitive) and Pablo Picasso (manly)
- Romeo (sensitive) and Clyde (manly), with their respective partners playing the Distaff Counterparts.
- Sequel Escalation: The rematch(es) between Hitler and Vader. Considering these are the first battles of seasons 2 and 3, this is expected.
- Each season finale tends to top the last one. The Season 2 finale had five rappers (Rasputin, Stalin, Lenin, Gorbachev, Putin), which at the time was the biggest group in any one video. The season 3 finale tops that by having a whopping eight rappers perform (Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael the artists versus Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael the Turtles). On the other hand though, the video itself is 2 minutes 14 seconds long. Not counting the 15 seconds it takes to introduce the characters, the actual rapping between these 8 characters is only 1 minute 25 seconds— One of the shortest matches in the series.
- The season 4 premiere tops that easily enough with up to 5 people on each side (Ray, Winston, Peter and Egon with cameo by Janine on one, and Adam and Jamie plus Kari, Grant and Tory on the other and the surprise addition of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man taking it literally Up to Eleven!)
- Serial Escalation: The season two finale. Rasputin gives his verse. Then Stalin gives his. Then Vladimir Lenin drops in and starts trashing both of them. Okay, he's probably just the Russian equivalent of Abraham Lincoln... Then, knock knock, and it's Mikhail Gorbachev, pulling a Who's on First? with his 'birthmarks'. Then it's Vladimir Putin. "And for god's sake, we need a Russian!" indeed.
- Then there's the Season 4 premiere, "Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters". It starts with just Peter, Ray, and Egon. Then Winston joins them, and they battle Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman for awhile. Then the latter two bring the B-Team (Tori, Grant and Kari) into the battle. Then fucking Stay Puft shows up. Few, if any, fans bemoaned the end of the Hitler/Vader matches.
- Sharp Dressed Man: Tesla refers to himself as "impeccably dressed".
- Sherlock Scan: Done by the man himself to determine Batman's secret identity.
- Shirtless Scene: Vladimir Putin shows up in his memetic form.
- Muhammad Ali as well.
- Show, Don't Tell: Abraham Lincoln's advice to Barack Obama:"Don't talk about change, just do it! I fought for what was on my brain until a bullet went through it!"
- Shown Their Work: Has its own page.
- Sibling Incest:
- Mario tells the Wright Brothers to "just get back in [their] biplane and make out with each other".
- As Monroe says Cleopatra was "fucking her brothers".
- Thor points out that Hera is Zeus's wife and sister, and "that's grosser than a Gorgon!"
- Signature Shot: Steven Spielberg vs. Alfred Hitchcock showcases each of the five directors with their trademark shooting style, and signature added effects.
- Steven Spielberg: Track-in to close up, and using copious amounts of CGI.
- Alfred Hitchcock: Showing off a side profile of Hitchcock from his show, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents".
- Quentin Tarantino: Trunk Shot, in addition to basic angles showing the entirety of a dialogue.
- Stanley Kubrick: Kubrick Stare, plus a tracking shot of him on a Big Wheels.
- Michael Bay: "zoom in low with a telephoto" while panning, as well as a helicopter at sunset, and plenty of explosions.
- The Singularity: What HAL's rap in Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs seems to be all about.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Defied. After Adam realizes that he may have gone too far with calling Eve a colossal bitch, he apologizes, and she apologizes for everything she said as well. Adam wants to give her a hug to make up, but she'll be having none of it.
- Slasher Smile: Not, as you might expect, Stephen King. Not even Hannibal Lecter. Nope, the culprit here is none other than Walt Disney, who crashes into the Jim Henson vs. Stan Lee battle and proceeds to dominate it.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Both real life historical figures have been portrayed as well as fictional characters from novels, plays, mythology, video games, comics, television, and films. Often even directly against one another.
- Slobs vs. Snobs:
- Romeo & Juliet, aristocratic scions of wealthy Italian families, versus Bonnie & Clyde, rough mannered American bank robbers.
- Jack the Ripper, a thug "covered in more piss than kitty litter", versus Hannibal Lecter, the guy with the doctorate degree and a glass of Chianti.
- Spielberg vs Hitchcock has each of the pretentious directors seeing himself as the snob. All four of them think Michael Bay is a slob and he thinks all of them are snobs. He acknowledges that all of them see him as "evil".
- The battle presents "George Washington versus William Wallace" as a "powdered prick in a blousy outfit" vs a savage in war paint.
- Julius Caesar, ruler of the world's greatest empire, versus Shaka Zulu, leader of a horde of undisciplined barbarians.
- The Zulu were high disciplined, they wouldn't have defeated the British multiple times otherwise.
- Lewis and Clark, a pair of intelligent and well-spoken explorers, cartographers, zoologists, and botanists vs. Bill and Ted, a pair of dumb and hapless teenagers.
- The clean and incredibly well-spoken Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. the unwashed and scrawny Gandhi with "no shoes and no shirt".
- Sophisticated French military and political leader Napoleon Bonaparte vs. dumb, gawky, mouth-breathing high-school student Napoleon Dynamite.
- The vulgar and raunchy George R. R. Martin vs. J. R. R. Tolkien the uptight tweed-wearing Oxford professor.
- Small Reference Pools:
- Leonidas and Willam Wallace's portrayals are based on their portrayals in 300 and Braveheart — movies that make up nearly all of their modern-day fame.
- Subverted with Tolkien and Martin — one might expect the only points of reference to be their most famous respective works and their best-known adaptations, but a reference to Martin writing Beauty and the Beast (1987) is there.
- Something Completely Different: Has its own page.
- Sophisticated as Hell:
Shakespeare: What light through yonder poser breaks?'Shakespeare: I hath been iambic on that ass, ye bastard.Shakespeare: Ye hoebag!
- Shakespeare does this quite a lot.
Vladimir Lenin: I fought the bondage of classes, the proletariat masses/have brought me here to spit a thesis against both of yo' asses!"What's up, bitches? My name is Sir Isaac Newton. I am a philosopher, a mathematician and I invented so much sweet shit you wouldn't believe.
- Sherlock Holmes does this heavily.
- In "Rasputin vs Stalin" again:
- Romeo and Juliet, being Shakespearean characters, do quite a bit of this.
- Hannibal Lecter boasts of his refined lifestyle in contrast to his opponent, whom he describes as "covered in more piss than kitty litter".
- The philosophers in "Eastern philosophers vs. Western philosophers" lecture each other on ethics, wisdom, and discipline while describing about the ass-whoopings they're going to hand each other.
- Special Effect Failure: Invoked. Doc Brown makes fun of how lame the special effects are in the Doctor Who series.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Hitler's first name is spelt 'Adolph' on his title card at the beginning, but is spelled in the more conventional way, 'Adolf', in the subtitles where he introduces himself. Both spellings are valid. In the rematch, however, Hitler's title card uses the spelling 'Adolf'.
- Spin-Off: 9 The Official Fanzine type that shows the behind the scenes and extra info.
- Epic Rap Battles of History—Behind the Scenes
- Epic Drawings of History with Marydoodles
- Epic Makeup with Ceciley
- Epic Dance Battles of History
- The following follow along the lines of the Re-imagining type of Spin-Off:
- Epic Cartoon Rap Battles Of History by The Infinite Source.
- Chaotic Rap Battles
- Spiritual Successor: ERB could be described as Celebrity Deathmatch minus the blood, gore, and censorship; but in a musical form.
- Splash of Color: Both played straight (with Gandhi in MLK background) and inverted (with MLK in Gandhi background) in Gandhi vs Martin Luther King Jr. during the hugging scene.
- Stealing the Credit:
- Bill Gates accuses Steve Jobs of this: "Everybody knows Windows bit off Apple!"
- This is also a large part of the focus of Tesla's rap vs. Edison - that the latter had stolen the former's patents and ideas, then discredited him to prevent his further ideas from going forward.
- Stealth Insult:
- "Why don't you's get back in your biplane and make out with each other?"
- "Show this petty officer who's the hardest!"
- "So kiss my ass, Frankie." A blink-and-you'll-miss-it type; the chorus shouts "Ass!" instead of "Frank" as Sinatra appears onscreen.
- "And people with jobs use PC!"
- "So dope I even make New Jersey look good!"
- Rick Grimes calls Walter White a "lab rat", referencing not just the latter's career but also his experimental cancer treatments.
- "You waste your time debating Creationists..." is an overt insult to Bill Nye, and a stealth insult to Creationists.
- Considering both characters are British spies, Austin Powers doing the two-finger salute, the British equivalent to Flipping the Bird, when he says "two bloody times" qualifies as this.
- When Nice Peter insults the editor in the rematch between the creators, said editor responds by enlarging Peter's hand and Lloyd's head, silently implying that Peter needs to keep his hands out of other people's business and that Lloyd needs to get his head deflated.
- Stealth Pun: Has its own page.
- Stunt Double: The break-dancing portion of Mister Rogers' verse is not NicePeter.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Hitler apparently travelled through time and messed with the Star Wars prequels.
- Stylistic Suck: Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney takes the cake, really. Both of them have incredibly stilted speech that you'd expect from career politicians, and the battle eventually dissolves into childish bickering. Then Abraham Lincoln shows up...
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Defied. Kanye West (the Ghost of What's Right Now) goes out of his way to make sure all his lines end with a rhyme.Kanye West: Just take a lesson from Yeezy.
You're missing the point Ebeneezy
There's more to life than your work, take it easy.
Even I can make time for Azizy.
Darth Vader: I'm a certified Sith Lord, you runt
- Played straight by Vader in Round 2:
So suck on deez... deez robot nuts!
- Sudden Downer Ending: Romeo and Juliet vs. Bonnie and Clyde. Even the narrator didn't know what to think of it.
- Suddenly Voiced: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
- Superior Successor: Sometimes claimed by the newer battler, sometimes denied by the older.Stephen Hawking: (to Albert Einstein) While it's true that my work is based on you
I'm a supercomputer, you're like a TI-82.
Gandhi: (to Martin Luther King Jr.) Everything you preach, I said it first
You should jot down these words, plagiarize my whole verse.
Steven Spielberg: (to Alfred Hitchcock) Picture a child sitting next to a projector learning from your films to become a much better director
Now picture a three billion dollar dream machine who can block bust all over your crop duster scene!
David Copperfield: (to Harry Houdini) When I was a child you were a god to me; I had to do what you do.
Now, you're like a Chinese wall to me; bitch I'll walk right through you!
- Super Mode:
- In the first Vader/Hitler battle, Vader begins to use The Force in his second verse to choke Hitler and then freeze him in carbonite.
- Chuck Norris in his second verse, resulting in bursts of fire and Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever.
- The Mario Brothers grow larger in their second verse, complete with the appropriate sound from the game.
- Goku, unsurprisingly, goes Super Saiyan to rap against Superman.
- "Super Sentai" Stance: The Renaissance artists pull one of these off at the beginning of Leonardo da Vinci's verse.
- Symbol Swearing: Donald Trump's Precision F-Strike is both audibly muted and shown as "F***ing" in the subtitles.
- Take Up My Sword:
- Hulk Hogan gets shot down via bazooka by Kim Jong-Il, so Macho Man tags in to fight back in place of the injured Hogan.
- After Billy Mays dies mid-battle against Ben Franklin, the Shamwow guy dramatically emerges to finish the battle.
- After Doc Brown takes out the Tenth Doctor with a Dalek, the Fourth Doctor takes his place.
- Take a Third Option: Mitt Romney vs Barack Obama vs Abraham Lincoln.
- And Walt Disney in Stan Lee vs Jim Henson, after the two men end up making amends.
- Take That!: Ignoring the obvious digs that the rappers do on each other all the time:
- One in "Lincoln vs. Chuck Norris":Lincoln: I got my face on the side of a mountain; you voted for John McCain!
- Dr. Seuss gets pissed off when Shakespeare claims that he probably wrote Twilight too.
- Mitt Romney says that Barack Obama married the female version of Patrick Ewing.
- Skrillex reeks of "dead mouse."
- Picasso calls Bob Ross "the PBS version of Nickelback."
- Muhammad Ali says that Michael Jordan's rapping "sucks more than Space Jam did."
- In "Gandalf vs. Dumbledore":Dumbledore: Your spells are a joke, and not funny ones either / Mines of Moria? Ha! More like Mind of Mencia!
- In "Blackbeard vs Al Capone", Capone raps that he ruined pirates faster than Johnny Depp did.
- The "Spielberg vs. Hitchcock" is filled with this toward Michael Bay, with every one of the four opposing battlers reproaching him at some point or another in their raps. Spielberg himself has executive-produced Bay's Transformers movies and was the one who demanded Megan Fox be fired from the third film after her disparaging comments toward Bay.
- Also, Alfred Hitchcock calls Spielberg "more horrible than Megan Fox's acting", and Michael Bay stresses that he can "even make Mark Wahlberg make some motherfucking money!"
- Given "Robocop vs. Terminator", you can imagine which films are given this treatment here...Robocop: And I didn't think I had any feelings left inside me / but my heart was surely broken after Terminator 3!The Terminator: I have detailed files on the conclusion to your trilogy / that movie failed Detroit worse than the automotive industry!
- Houdini claims Copperfield is "the saddest thing to happen to magic since the Gathering."
- According to one of Deadpool's voices, Boba Fett is like The Star Wars Holiday Special - full of bad choices.
- J. R. R. Tolkien gets in a rant about people who think that True Art Is Angsty or The Good Guys Always Win is an inherently bad trope:Tolkien: Now we all know that the world is full of chance and anarchy / So yes it's true to life for characters to die randomly / But newsflash — the genre's called FANTASY / It's MEANT to be unrealistic, YOU MYOPIC MANATEE!
- In the same battle, Tolkien mocks Martin for the fact that his books have sold less copies than Fifty Shades of Grey.
- James Bond (the Sean Connery one) dismisses his Daniel Craig counterpart with "If I wanted shitty acting in my action film, I'd go and watch Taken."
- Charles Darwin mentions to Ash Ketchum that it took millions of years for mankind to evolve, but now they're all hunched on their cell phones, playing with their balls.
- One in "Lincoln vs. Chuck Norris":
- Teeny Weenie:
- Clint Eastwood claims that Bruce Lee's One-Inch Punch is the same size as his pecker.
- When Beethoven mentions Bieber can't hit puberty, Bach implies this about Justin, popping up on screen shaking his head sadly and holding his finger and thumb an inch apart.
- According to Skrillex, Mozart has a little magic flute.
- "Why'd you name your company after your dick?!"
- Superman thinks Goku wears "hammer pants" to hide having "tiny genitals."
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Both the Western Philosophers and Eastern Philosophers don't work as well as most of the other teams in the show. Both of their last verses have the rappers dissing their own teammates instead of the other side. Both times, one of the philosophers (Voltaire and Confucius) tries to calm down the other two, only to get dissed himself and respond angrily.
- Tempting Fate:"Now no one can stop me! The world is mine!" "I'm sorry, Bill. I'm afraid I can't let you do that...""Wait! Harkening back to the dead Donald's lecture, I still am expecting a final specter!""And there is no man who could ever muck with what we've left behind.""It's kinda sad though really, so young to have just died. Well at least we got each other, just Bonnie and-"
Ivan the Terrible: There's no great who could defeat this Russian!
- Ivan the Terrible does this twice in one battle:
Frederick the Great: Psst! What about a flute-busting Prussian?
Ivan the Terrible: It's another great day, and another great victory, 'cause no great can beat me!
Pompey the Great: What about me, Pompey? Yeah!
(enter Catherine the Great as well)
- Testosterone Poisoning: Nice Peter behind the scenes for Mitt vs. Obama."I am gonna get sooooo many women pregnant!"
- That Russian Squat Dance: Done at the end of "Rasputin vs. Stalin", naturally.
- This is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
- Vader, Chuck Norris, Gandalf, Batman, Kirk, and a few others all pull this off at various points.Chuck Norris: I've spilt more blood and gore than forty score of your puny Civil Wars, Bitch!
Gandalf: Tom riddle me this, you bitch, how's your little wand gonna beat my staff?
Batman: So bring it on, bitch, I'm Batman!
Boba Fett: Bitch, who you callin' clone? You're a Deathstroke ripoff!
- Mr. T has a variant of this, fool!
- HAL has probably one of the most nonchalant examples of this in history."I'm on Linux, bitch, I thought you GNU."
- Other variants pop up in "Rasputin vs. Stalin":
- Miley Cyrus is "the hottest thing since Britney, bitch!"
- "Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible" gives us two from Catherine the Great:"I'm the boss, bitch, that you just can't meddle with!""Empress to Tsar 8, bitch! Checkmate!"
"Little Vasilyevich, let me spell out the list!"
- The same battle has a variant from Alexander, who doesn't use the word itself but gets it across with his wording and emphasis.
- Theodore Roosevelt's catchphrase in ERB News is "What's up, bitches?!" He even refers to this in his rap battle against Winston Churchill.
- Vader, Chuck Norris, Gandalf, Batman, Kirk, and a few others all pull this off at various points.
- The Three Certainties in Life: Benjamin Franklin claims that his victory is even more certain than the other two.
- Title Scream: EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!
- Time Skip: In the Elvis Presley vs Michael Jackson fight, both characters go through this. Michael spins into his older, whiter self, and Elvis gets fat from eating too much.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The Doctor begins explaining how space and time work, then says "nevermind" and gives Doc Brown the nut shell.
- Toilet Humor:
- Elvis Presley's death on the can is inevitably brought up when he fights Michael Jackson.Elvis: Well I died on the shitter, but I don't give a crap!
- NicePeter likes to pantomime popping a squat. He's done it four times, as Mozart, Donald Trump, Steven Spielberg, and Nietzsche; the former of which was known for his scatological interests which are brought up numerous times during the battle.
- Elvis Presley's death on the can is inevitably brought up when he fights Michael Jackson.
- Token White: In his second verse, Martin Luther King is accompanied by a group of people, all of whom are black except for the one white guy played by Lloyd. Similarly, in Gandhi's second verse, he's accompanied by Indians and one white reverend played by Nice Peter.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: In Bonnie and Clyde vs Romeo and Juliet, Bonnie (tomboy) is a rough and tough criminal lady and Juliet (girly) is a super feminine Shakespearean aristocrat. Clyde and Romeo even play the Spear Counterpart to their lovers.
- Tranquil Fury:
- Chuck Norris starts off this way, nonchalantly blocking punches and arrows aimed at him, but having a bucket full of pennies dumped over his head makes him lose his cool.
- Master Chief maintains his calmness throughout his battle, but you can tell he's pissed off.
- Mister Rogers. He doesn't raise his soft, polite voice even once, but he does go into Creepy Monotone, calls Mr T "Laurence" like a teacher to a naughty child, and swears.
- After his first verse, Bill Gates has this; Steve Jobs launches verses, but Bill just calmly responds to them. He loses this when Steve dies.Steve Jobs: I bet this beat was made on an Apple!
Bill Gates: Nope, Fruity Loops. PC.
Steve Jobs: (angry) You will never, ever catch a virus on an Apple!
Bill Gates: But you can still afford a doctor if you buy a PC.
- Clint Eastwood throughout his rap just calmly shoots everyone and everything around him while launching insults at Bruce Lee.
- Bob Ross never raises his voice above a calm whisper all throughout his battle with Picasso.
- Hannibal Lecter clearly shows contempt with Jack The Ripper, but he keeps a calm tone when tearing his flaws apart.
- Transformation Sequence:
- Young Michael Jackson spins transforming into older Michael Jackson. And from the same video, young, handsome Elvis scarfing down sandwiches to transform into old, fat Elvis.
- The Tenth Doctor regenerates into the Fourth Doctor.
- Gandalf the White gets his 'ass knocked back' to Gandalf the Grey.
- Before the battle even starts, Clark Kent spins rapidly around while changing into his Superman outfit. In the same episode, Goku goes Super Saiyan near the start of his first verse.
- Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Only with rap.
- Unfortunate Names: The Wright Brothers, according to the Mario Bros.Luigi: Look at these two; their lives must've been horrible!
Mario: Two dorky dudes...
Luigi: ...named Wilbur and Orville!
- The Unintelligible: The announcer gradually becomes this as more videos are released. Each video tries to top the last. Though it's subverted more starting with Stephen King vs Edgar Allan Poe.
- Unusual Euphemism:
"Best thing you make - Kylie ass! She eighteen? HULK SMASH!"
- The Wright Bros. have been "playing Donkey Kong" with Princess Peach.
- Master Chief showed Leonidas' wife his "plasma cannon".
- Michael Jackson "hee-hee"-ed Elvis's daughter.
- Joe Dimaggio "took a swing in [Marilyn Monroe's] batter's box," and Cleopatra has been "tossing Caesar's salad".
- Steve Jobs makes the "GUI" [gooey] that Bill Gates's wife "uses."
- Freddie Mercury acknowledges that he "took one for both teams" when he contracted AIDS.
- Barack Obama threatens to smack Mitt Romney with his "Stimulus package."
- Robin took Sherlock's lady friend Irene Adler back to his pad "to BAM!-POW!-KERSPLAT! her".
- Captain Kirk wonders if Queen Isabella would like his "Captain's Log".
- Mozart's cousin "blew notes" on his "little magic flute".
- The Incredible Hulk's best known Catch-Phrase gets turned into one.
- In the rematch between the creators, EpicLloyd tells Nice Peter that "your whole name means 'dick'!"
- Viewers Are Geniuses: Even with a concept so simple as "take two or more historical figures/characters/celebrities", it's surprising just how many allusions to various events and traits of the characters in question can be found under the surface of the lyrics. Fittingly enough, the users of Rap Genius go into depth with these, as do members of the Epic Rap Battles of History Wiki.
- Villainous Breakdown: Hitler appears to go through this after shooting Boba Fett in his third battle against Darth Vader. He screams angrily that Vader won't cheat him and unleashes a barrage of insults that can barely be called a verse— his lines didn't even come close to rhyming:Hitler: Oh, sieg HELL no! You're not going to cheat ME, Mr. Sunglasses-All-The-Time!
I'll take you, and your new boyfriend Goofy, and all your spermy soldier guys
And throw you in a butthole in the sand!
I am Adolf— [Vader slices him in half] Hitler...
- Villain Song: Real-world figures aside, hearing such fictional villains as Darth Vader and Hannibal Lecter get to rap could be seen this way.
- Visual Pun:
Lloyd: You guys wanna start the BTS... or... [holds up an oar]
- Billy Mays with his "lightning rod cock."
- Picasso claims that he can make better art with his weiner... Lump!
- When Donatello (the turtle) says "I don't Gattamelata clue what you do," we briefly see Donatello (the sculptor) working on his famed sculpture of Gattamelata.
- The BTS for "Lewis and Clark vs Bill and Ted":
- The Voiceless: Dr. Seuss lets his art do the talking for him.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: "Gordon Ramsey vs Julia Child" references Ramsey's habit of deliberately horking up whatever doesn't agree with him, fourfold.
- Walking Spoiler: It's hard to discuss Lenin, Gorbachev, and Putin's role in the season 2 finale without lessening the impact of their arrival.
- Similarly, it's hard to talk about Spielberg and Hitchcock's video without mentioning the other three directors.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Both the Eastern and Western Philosophers start out as three-man teams, but by their respective final verses they're squabbling with each other. In the West's case, it was because of a clever Batman Gambit by Sun Tzu - the East's was self-inflicted after one too many Ice Cream Koans.
- Wham Line: The introduction of a third side is usually this.
"I'm gonna run these streets like I run my casinos / more police, and less Latinos!"
- "I'm sorry Bill, I'm afraid I can't do that." HAL's intro.
- "CAW!" The eagle introducing Abraham Lincoln in the Obama/Romney battle, the first time a rapper returned outside of the Hitler/Vader rematch
- There are several in the season 2 finale:
- "I have no pride for you who ruined everything my revolution was doing to stop the bourgeoisie!" Lenin's introduction.
- "Did somebody say 'birthmarks'?" Gorbachev's intro, the first time we got a fourth side.
- Followed by "Did somebody say 'real power'?" Putin's intro, forming a fifth side.
- "Because you're standing over the Rancor pit. After Adolf Hitler delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Darth Vader, Stephen Hawking comes in to announce that it was Exactly as Planned.
- "Just say the first thing that pops into your mind." And thus the Stay Puft marshmallow man appears to battle the Ghostbusters and the MythBusters. *BOOM* "Uh!" *BOOM* "Uhh!"
- "Did somebody say Angel?", Criss Angel's attempt at getting into the Houdini/Copperfield battle, but subverted once the former shooes him away.
- Three in Spielberg vs. Hitchcock.
- "M-I-C, I rock the mic properly!", heralding Walt Disney crashing the Stan Lee/Jim Henson rap battle.
- "I wouldn't exactly call you original", dropped by Sean Connery's James Bond when he crashes the battle between Daniel Craig's Bond and Austin Powers.
- Three in Ivan the Terrible vs. Alexander the Great:
- "Psst, what about a flute-busting Prussian?", Frederick the Great's introduction into the rap battle.
- "What about me? Pompey!", self-explanatory; he's killed immediately by the character below.
- "Macedonians, Prussians, and Romans? Those aren't worthy opponents", the line Catherine the Great uses to take the stage.
- In "Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton", there's a point in Trump's verse where he stops insulting Hillary and starts talking about his policies with one particularly shocking line.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Frank Sinatra makes fun of Freddie Mercury's fashion sense, but Freddie responds by exclaiming he's more powerful than Frank is even while while wearing women's pants.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!:
- Defied by Adolf Hitler in Round 3 against Darth Vader. Vader tries to send in Boba Fett as a backup rapper, but Hitler is having none of it and shoots him.Hitler: Oh sieg hell no! You're not going to cheat me, Mister Sunglasses All The Time!
- Robin invites himself into the Batman vs. Sherlock Holmes showdown, providing a rapid-fire bridge before Batman reasserts the original pace and style.
- Defied by Adolf Hitler in Round 3 against Darth Vader. Vader tries to send in Boba Fett as a backup rapper, but Hitler is having none of it and shoots him.
- With Due Respect: A variant:Sun Tzu: Laozi, I don't mean no disrespect, but you need to fill your bowl with some shit that makes some sense!
- World of Badass: Almost everyone here is a warrior, a general, or otherwise a tough guy.
- World of Ham: Everyone here is a rapper.
- World of Pun: If you couldn't already tell from reading this far into the page.
- Would Hit a Girl: Captain Kirk strikes the alien lady multiple times. He also kisses her.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl:
- Beethoven claims this is why he can't assault Bieber.
- Lincoln apparently won't hit women, as at the end of Trump Vs. Hillary he slaps Trump twice instead of hitting both candidates like he did in Obama Vs. Romney. Though he did move like he was about to hit Hillary afterward, causing her to flinch.
- Writer on Board: While most battles have all participants nail a few key blows against their opponents, or have a weak start with a killer Wham Line finish, others are so lop-sided (or have a special guest who acts as a mouthpiece) that it's clear the writers heavily favor one side. While nobody's going to dispute who should win in Genghis Khan vs. the Easter Bunny, the slant in other episodes has led to some Internet Backdraft against fans who take exception.
- X Called; They Want Their Y Back: Mr. T says this to Mr. Rogers:Mr. T: Hello? It's for you! Bill Cosby wants his sweater!
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe:
- Played with by Shakespeare, featuring such things as "Ye Hoebag".Shakespeare: I'll put a slug between your shoulder blades
Then ask what light through yonder poser breaks.
- Romeo and Juliet, being Shakespearean characters, also uses this in their raps.Romeo: En garde! Thou artless beetle-headed flax wench!
- Played with by Shakespeare, featuring such things as "Ye Hoebag".
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: Donald Trump vs Ebeneezer Scrooge, with the former as Marley, and JP Morgan, Kanye West and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as Ghosts of the Past, What's Right Now, and... Yet to Come.
- You Keep Using That Word: Pablo Picasso points out that Bob Ross probably has no idea what cubism means.
- You Need to Get Laid: Or rather, J.P. Morgan says Ebenezer Scrooge should have gotten laid:Morgan: You should have made like Sebastian and kissed de girl!
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: The Wright Brothers spend their first few lines saying this to the Mario Brothers. "Your princess is in our castle now!"
- Your Mom:
- Vader to Hitler: "So many dudes been with your mom, who even knows if I'm your father?"
- Hawking to Einstein: "There are ten million million million million million million million million million particles in the universe that we can observe/ Your mama took the ugly ones and put them into one nerd".
- Inverted by Obama, who compliments Romney's father as a Take That! to Romney:Obama: They say your father was a great man, you must be what's left.
- Bruce Lee: "I beat the Good, and the Bad. You must be the ugly. I would mess up your face, but your mama did it for me!"
- Charles Darwin ends his battle against Ash Ketchum with a nod to the popular fan theory that Professor Oak is banging Ash's mom.