- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Done by Pablo Picasso as part of a dis against Bob Ross:
My name is Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso!
- 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
- 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.
- Never Work with Children or Animals: The BTS for Bob Ross vs Picasso implies that they were originally going to pan down to Bob (the wiener dog playing Lump) when Picasso mentioned him, but couldn't get Bob to stay still long enough to pull it off.
Lloyd as Picasso: *chasing after Bob* He's too fast!
- News Parody: The first battle has a parody news ticker that shows up twice.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 Even Bothering with the Accent:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- And there's also the Fourth Doctor:
You're a possibly pedophilic individual who should have never been born!
- Moses gets this on Santa twice:
You need to stop breaking into houses and creeping
And peeping on naughty kids while they sleeping
Thou shalt not let children sit on a grown man's lap at the mall
- 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.
- 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!
: 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's Precision F Strike is audibly muted and censored in the subtitles.
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.
- 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.
- In-battle, Pablo gets one during Bob Ross Vs Pablo Bicasso, while the camera is framing only his head and shoulders.
Picasso: I could make better art with my wiener... (camera zooms out to reveal him holding a wiener dog) Lump!
- 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.
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.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Naturally, used by Leonidas.
- Clint Eastwood punctuated the end of his first verse with bullets.
- Rage Quit: In EpicLloyd vs.NicePeter
Lloyd: "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
- 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.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Abe Lincoln interrupts the battle between Romney and Obama to deliver one of these.
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!
- 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.
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
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!
- 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;
You're gonna die!
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!
- Nikola Tesla gives an epic one to Thomas Edison in his second verse.
! You think you can touch me with this?!
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!
- Freddie Mercury's first verse is one to Frank Sinatra:
Don't you think I've heard those things before
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
- 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.
- Lenin is shown in red and white, making him appear as if he stepped out of a Russian Revolution-era propaganda poster.
- 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
- And also the following quip Blackbeard made toward Al Capone:
You're an obese greasy sleaze squeezing a diseased Peter that no skeezer would touch if she had fifty-foot tweezers!
- Rhyming with Itself:
- In Sherlock Holmes vs. Batman, Sherlock does this.
Watson: Holmes, you've cracked the case!
- The Cat In The Hat almost does this, with the rhyming part being the second-to-last word in each line.
"Even Horton doesn't wanna hear you - And Cindy Lou Who is afraid to go near you!
- "Rasputin vs Stalin" pulls this off.
Lenin: "Josef, you were supposed to be my right-hand man/but your loyalty shriveled up like your right hand, man!"
- Vader in "Hitler vs. Vader 3" does this in his verse.
I got a million clones, they die for me; my bounty hunters ride for me; yo homeboy, finish this rhyme for me!'''
- Vader did it twice in that verse:
Vader: You wrote a little book, got em fired up. / Had a beer-hall putch, got em fired up. / And when your bunker started getting fired up / you put a gun in your mouth and fired up!
- Kanye West (The Ghost of What's Right Now) in Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge:
Kanye West:: Well you're about to be right! now! I'm the Ghost of What's Right! Now!
- At the beginning of "George Washington vs. William Wallace":
There's a difference between you and me, Willy! I fought 'til I was actually free, Willy
Set up shop and got a few drops of that Got Milk money, Rose to the Rock
and got that socks made of silk money, I don't got that guilt money
- Oprah Winfrey begins with this:
Oprah: I'm the queen of TV and I'm here to destroy ya. You should look under your seat because I got something for ya!
- Edgar Allan Poe does this twice:
: But y'all don't hear me, all should fear me! I'll forever be better, you'll never be near me!
Poe: Stephen, you pretend to do it! I've been really living through it!
- Rule of Cool: Why Steve Jobs claims his machines are better than Bill Gates;
: A man uses the machines you build to sit down and pay his taxes
. A man uses the machines I build to listen to the Beatles while he relaxes!
- Rule of Funny: Don't try to imagine how it would be possible for people from different time periods, franchises or media to battle one another, left 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.
- Rule of Four: The Mario Brothers VS The Wright Brothers, Bonnie & Clyde VS Romeo & Juliet.
- 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.
- 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:
You know what's in that jetpack, don't you? [beat]
- 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.
- 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.