Steam Train is a Web Video comedy show about video games. The show is a Spin-Off of Game Grumps, and is hosted on the same channel. The format is similar to its parent show, as Ross of Rubber Ninja Animation plays games with others. Initially this was only Danny of Ninja Sex Party and occasional visits from Arin if Danny was unavailable. The format later changed to changed to include the entire Game Grumps family, with Danny and Arin sometimes not appearing at all in favor of Barry, the channel's editor, and Suzy, another YouTuber and Arin's wife, who join Ross and joke around.Unlike Game Grumps, however, the show focuses on computer games rather than console games. Special episodes called Steam Rolled focus on four-player games.Find it here.
Steam Train provides examples of the following tropes:
Aborted Arc: Hotline Miami only received three episodes released noticeably far apart, then was never referenced again. This was due to a combination of negative reception (most of that in-part to the revelation of Jon's departure) and the fact that the game wasn't working properly while being recorded.
Ride To Hell Retribution didn't get more than 10 episodes of the playthrough - and it got halted in January 2014, the very same month it was started.
Absentee Actor: When the format was just Ross and Danny, there were occasional episodes where Danny would be absent, replaced instead with Arin. As of the King's Quest VI playthrough and the change of format, there have now been playthroughs (Five Nights at Freddy's and Monster Loves You) where Ross is gone, as well. Those episodes were hosted by Arin, Suzy, and Barry.
Actually Pretty Funny: In one of the Space Quest IV episodes, Ross — against Danny's wishes — reads aloud from an erotic fanfic by Ninja Brian (the other member of Ninja Sex Party). The story involves Danny receiving a blowjob from Ninja Brian, and despite himself, Danny chuckles a few times.
Alas, Poor Scrappy: invoked Danny and Ross spend a good chunk of time in their King's Quest V playthrough being annoyed at Cedric, the cowardly taking owl. But when Cedric is badly, though not fatally wounded by harpies late in the game, they become surprisingly upset.
Arin: Why was the man fired from his job at the orange juice factory?
Ross: Because he fucked the boss's wife?
Arch-Enemy: Augustus Caesar, leader of the Romans, in their playthrough of Civilization V: Brave New World. As the first civilization that they encounter outside their own, they inevitably form a rivalry with the Romans.
Danny: (singing) Augustus Caesar / He's such a douchebag / I hate his stupid / Fucking face
Art Evolution: The original intro had very basic lip sync, drawn in thick lines that made them look weird on the Grump faces. Since the lip syncing was very dubious as well, Ross re-animated the lip sync on the intro, making it look a lot sleeker and impressive.
Starting on June 25th 2014 the entire intro underwent an overhaul, including a slight adjustment to the theme song to acknowledge Ross as the primary host of Steam Train.
The Artifact: Arin's Grump face wears a bandit costume whenever he appears on Steam Train. Initially, this was a nod to the fact that he was "breaking into" the show, which was supposed to belong solely to Danny and Ross. After a year, the series was overhauled so that Ross was the only permanent host and everyone else rotated, making Arin just as much of a legitimate cast member as Danny- but he still wears the bandit costume.
Black Humor: To excuse Danny's absence in episodes where Arin replaces him, he is shot dead after singing his second line in the intro by Arin's bandit figure, leading to the following amendment to the intro:
Arin: (threatening) Say it. Ross: (in tears) Choo-choo!
Ross: My powers are mediocrity, CPR and being a car mechanic.
Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In VVVVVV Part 7, Ross tells Arin that a spider lives inside his TV, but he and Holly are afraid to remove it.
Arin: Because of the spider or because of electricity?
Ross: 'Cause of both. Electric spiders.
Brick Joke: When playing Leisure Suit Larry, at one point Danny and Ross make a phonecall to a sex line, which allows for madlibs. Ross' responses alternate between Batman References and the completely innocent. A few episodes later, Batman calls the same line and asks Larry if he and Robin want to go to his house to hang out, watch Star Wars and play with his weaponry.
Butt Monkey: Whenever there is more than two players (or even making references to, in the main Game Grumps series) Ross is thrust into this role, evident from the Steam Rolled episodes, which includes it in the main theme which comes from the Civilization run which was painful for fans of the series.
Cut Short: The Civilization V: Brave New World series ends unceremoniously when Ross kicks the computer in rage. As a result, they never take down Antium or Caesar, nor do they meet the last player.
Cutting the Knot: During Trine 2, the cast is very good at abusing jump mechanics to get around puzzles. Their most common strategy is to pseudo-double jump using a quickly-summoned box. This led to the creators of the game sending Ross merchandise with a certificate commemorating his box making skills.
Damned by Faint Praise: "Better than deer shit!" is jokingly used a few times in comparisons after Danny and Ross witness a deer use its explosive diarrhoea to fly around in Castle Crashers.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Ross tests this when they play South Park: Stick of Truth. Having played the game before, Ross knows that regardless of what name you input to the game, Cartman defaults it to Douchebag. He wanted to see if there was anything special for trying to input Douchebag as your name. There isn't.
Oregon Trail ends with everyone dying of starvation, because they kept resting for weeks with no food.
Banished ends with everyone dying in the first winter, because nothing was constructed or produced.
Evolving Credits: Originally featuring just Ross and Danny (and Arin when applicable), the evolved credits debuting for King's Quest VI show Ross as the conductor of the Steam Train (along with the subtle change of lyrics to "He bought too many games") with everyone else as passengers, followed by the playing partners' "Choo-choo!" (with Ross slightly behind as part of the Running Gag of him having no rhythm). Notably, the intro is basically the same whether Danny or Arin is in the episode, eliminating the special intros for when Arin joins in, as well as if Barry or Suzy join. note It is unknown whether Steam Rolled games will have further changes.
Expository Theme Tune: As mentioned in Castle Crashers, the series came about from Ross literally having hundreds of unplayed games on his Steam account. The evolved credits (see above) now shoulder all the blame on Ross, as opposed to everyone in the channel.
In the tutorial of Hotline Miami, the player must go into a brightly-lit blue room, get a gun, then go downwards into a yellow room and shoot a man. They get the gun, fail to figure out where the yellow room is, then drop the gun and have to use Good Old Fisticuffs to kill the man. This is lampshaded not long after, as they remark they were so focused on doing a silly voice for the tutorial man they weren't paying attention to the actual text.
The Oregon Trail run quickly descends into failure in the second episode due to lack of food, which they do not notice. Danny opts to blame Ross for this instead.
At the end of Brave New World, Ross kicks the computer in a fit of rage, crashing it and ending the game. The rest of the episode is a series of stills with text over them claiming that Ross gets killed by Danny, who proceeds to go to sleep for 44 years, Arin going to Disneyland, and Mochi and Mimi continuing to rule as the Unmet Player.
As of the one year anniversary "retool" the intro now shows Danny, Arin, Susy and Barry in a train. Ross confirmed on Reddit this is to allow anybody to be on the show with him, with him as the mainstay.
This has also allowed them to make series without Ross at all such as Peggle Nights with Danny, Suzy, and Barry or Five Nights at Freddie's with Arin, Suzy, and Barry.
Hoist by His Own Petard: In part of 1 the Steam Rolled episode with Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Barry and Ross face Arin and Suzy on Peach Beach. Ross plants a Banana right by the finish line to catch his opponents, he and Barry gain the lead for a while, but on the homestretch, get struck by the dreaded Spiny Shell on the final lap and Arin and Suzy snatch it from them. However, Barry uses a Mushroom to close the gap and beat them at the last minute... and plows into Ross's banana right before the finish line. Arin and Suzy win handily.
Hope Spot: During part 7 of Noitu Love 2. After three tries, Arin and Ross use teamwork (with Arin on the mouse and Ross on the keyboard) to defeat Tango's second form... not realizing that she has a third form, which almost immediately kills them.
Male Gaze: When Barry plays as a roller blading girl (wearing something that seems like a Latex Space Suit) in Quake III: Arena the other three players (Ross, Danny and Arin) all have a temporary cease fire to check out his character's ass.
Never Heard That One Before: In Castle Crashers Part 9, after Ross had been discussing how he got the "RubberNinja" and "RubberRoss" nicknames:
Danny: I thought it was because you're gonna come up with your own brand of condoms. Ross: (sarcastic laughter) I have not heard that one before, Danny!
Non-Indicative First Episode: The first episode of the show, Hotline Miami Part 1, is generally considered to be subpar, as Dan and Ross fail to get anywhere and spend most of the episode reading the game text in funny voices. Later episodes are considerably better paced, and are much more reminiscent of typical Game Grumps episodes.
Somewhere during the middle of the Space Quest IV videos, Danny mentions the game was actually bought through GOG.com.
Ross' save game names in the Space Quest IV series are written in a pidgin English that are only tangentially related to the situation they're supposed to describe, with some of them being seemingly completely random, such as "oppertunee jummp" being used to represent a room filled with lasers.
Steam Rolled, despite being billed as Steam Train episodes, is a catch-all term for "sessions with four players". Their fourth session of Steam Rolled is about Mario Party 4 and features Suzy instead of Danny.
In Spore, Ross names his creature "legs fo days", then decides not to give it legs. A little later he changes the name to "arms fo mins" and decides not to give it arms.
Obfuscating Stupidity: When playing Sierra games, while they miss some of the more obscure actionsnote like taking and returning the unstable ordnance in Space Quest IV, it's occasionally obvious that Dan is playing up his lack of knowledge of the games for entertainment.
In the first episode of VVVVVV, Arin nicknames the crew of the ship Pinkie, Bluey, Greenie, Reddie, and Stan.
In Worms: Armageddon, the gang name their Worms based on themes. Ross' are all Australian things; Arin's are jokey variations on "grump", such as Grep, Drump, and Gorp; Barry's are variations on the word "poop"; and Danny's are Nabble, Nobble, Nubble, Noble, Nerble, and Fucktard 5000.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Ross is from Australia, and sometimes slips into an Australian accent (especially when he's tired). However, he denies that he has an Australian accent, and claims that he didn't have one even when he lived in Australia.
Ross: [Kicks door down] Are you taking a poo? [Shoots guy standing next to toilet]
Pretend Prejudice: Ross constantly pokes fun at Danny's Jewish heritage, and Danny at Ross's mixed Australian/Irish heritage.
Punny Name: It's a Steam Train! Y'know, like the digital distribution service.
The Quiet One: Although Barry often puts in comments in text form in the videos (just as in Game Grumps), he is rarely heard on the show itself. In the Quake III: Arena episode of Steam Rolled videos, where he takes the spot of the fourth player, he uses in-game chat to communicate in terse, sparse sentences. At the end of the next Steam Rolled, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, he utters a single sentence at the very end — the first time he's spoken on the channel. From every episode onwards, whenever he is part of the cast, he gets a full speaking role. Lampshaded in Worms Armageddon, the third Steam Rolled episode, where he makes it sound as if he hasn't spoken in years.
In the very first episode, the duo was too busy reading the dialogue in funny voices to pay any attention to the tutorial in Hotline Miami.
In the FTL episode, only Ross had any experience with the game, and even then he only skimmed the tutorial. The end result is, depending on the viewer, either a hilarious display of comical incompetence, or a hair-pullingly frustrating display of inexcusable incompetence.
The Civilization playthrough was equally painful to watch for true fans of the series. The third and fourth videos consisted of Ross sending a unit somewhere that turned out to be blocked by his own units, so they started going around. He kicked the computer for it and crashed the game.
In the fourth episode of VVVVVV, Ross repeatedly dies at a part that requires him to go right, unaware of the wrap-around screen mechanics (even though earlier parts of the level included them). Even when Arin was yelling at him to go right, it doesn't seem to get through until the end.
Re Tool: To accommodate Danny's busy schedule around two months into the show's run, Steam Train and Steam Rolled were temporarily retooled to use pretty much whoever happened to be available at the time — specifically, the former had Arin from Game Grumps take over for him, and the latter used any permutation of four of Ross, Danny, Arin, Barry, and Suzy.
In the Civilization V: Brave New World playthrough, Pottery and Calendar are sarcastically mentioned whenever the subject turns to warfare or diplomacy (usually the former). The trio (Dan, Ross and Arin) also make fun of Caesar whenever they can.
Ross' complete inability to sing has become the bane of Dan's joy. If Danny starts singing, it's a near certainty the song will turn into a scream because Ross tries to join in.
"is rly good", the name of the first Space Quest IV save game, is used as a template for the rest of the save game names; the phrase later becomes a recurring joke and is used fairly often throughout the show.
Danny often shouts out, "If X [where X is subject at hand] LIKE COMMENT AND SUBSCRIBE", continuing a Running Gag from the Game Grumps show.
Skittles are really popular. Also, like the original Game Grumps, Danny and Ross occasionally ask Skittles to sponsor them.
Episodes with Arin always end with him showing up as a bandit, declaring "Stick 'em up, this is a robbery!" Starting with the Offspring Fling playthrough, Danny's absence is excused with him being shot dead mid-word by Arin, who then sticks his gun to Ross's head and declares:
Part 9 of Space Quest IV has a live-action Danny and Ross on the Grump room couch where they warn the audience that the entire episode will be spend playing a mini-game where you make hamburgers.
Like its sister show, Steam Train was renamed Scream Train and used a Halloween-themed opening during the last week of October 2013, with Danny (Deadly) and Ross (Rots) as zombies.
Deadly: We bought too many brains!
Rots: (with dislocated jaw) Now we gotta eat them all.
SO ALL ABOARD THE SCREAM TRAIN!
For December 2013, it became Steam Sleigh and used a Christmas-themed opening starting from the last three days before Christmas with Arin (Arindeer) as a reindeer and Ross (Frossty) as a snowman.
Both: Playing lots of games. With Christmas-type names. Instead of a train... We're on a Steam Sleigh! Choo choo choo!
On Valentine's Day 2014, this intro was used under the name "Single Train". (Ross is replaced with Barry for this episode, since Ross is not single.)
Danny: We don't have any dames!
Barry: Now it's just another Friday.
Danny:SO ALL ABOARD THE... ah, fuck it. We're single on Valentine's Day.
On St. Patrick's Day 2014, Barry and Ross played a few games, with a special intro under the name Stout Train to match, where the two of them are wasted, the name captions are drawn crappy, and a distorted Irish version of the normal theme plays:
Barry: We bought too many beers...
Ross: Now we gotta drink them all.
SO ALL ABOARD THE STOUT TRAIN!
Barry:(gets closer to Ross) I love you man...
Spin-Off: The show is a spinoff of Game Grumps that follows the same format but focuses exclusively on PC games, with Danny as a member of both shows, and Arin covering when needed. Occasionally, Arin will also join as a third member, and certain episodes called Steam Rolled focus on four-player games, with Barry and Suzy participating in whichever fashion works best.
Suddenly Voiced: At the end of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive playthrough, Barry speaks on-camera for the first time in the history of the channel. In subsequent on-screen appearances he has been a fully-voiced member of the cast.
In Space Quest IV Part 4, Dan reassures Ross that the deadly green slime will not "change direction and come at me". The slime then proceeds to do exactly that.
During the Mario Party 4 finale, Ross takes a chance at the lottery, and Arin tells him he'd better not get the gold ball. Guess what happens?
Arin and Ross think that Ride To Hell Retribution isn't as terrible as reviews have claimed. Each time they say anything resembling "This game can't be that bad", the game gets progressively worse and worse.