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Web Animation / Ratboy Genius

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Ratboy Genius goes for a ride in his little red buggy with his friends Happyman and Green Monster.
"Knock, knock!note  It's me, the Ratboy Genius!
I just came over to say 'Hi!'
I am... you know, the Ratboy Genius!
I hope we have a happy time!"
The theme song

Ratboy Genius is a YouTube channel full of videos that are better seen for yourself than described. The channel is run by Ryan Dorin, a musician and animator who you might know as the six-fingered piano player from the movie Gattaca (no, seriously.) There are several ongoing series on the channel that are interconnected. The first and foremost is Ratboy's Kingdom, which follows the adventures of titular character Ratboy Genius and his exploits throughout his kingdom. Next came Happyman on the Red Planet, an exciting opera starring some new characters. It is currently unfinished, but the author has promised to end it someday. Written as a prequel to that series is the trippy space opera Galactic Superheroes. Although it's only three episodes, Galactic Superheroes sets up for future plots.

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This series provides examples of:

Note: For convenience, these tropes have been split up by series.
    Tropes Relating to the Series in General 
  • Aerith and Bob: Most of the characters have names that describe who they are essentially (e.g.: Ratboy Genius is a rat-boy who is a genius; Little King John is a little king; then there's Green Monster, Happyman, Very Tall Friend, Mr. Big Arms, The Big Fish Boss...). Some character names are simply absurd (e.g.: Summer Solstice Baby; The Hoo-Hoos). Then we have Fred, George, Sue, Clyde, and Bob.
  • Badass Baritone: Green Monster and George both have smooth, deep, voices.
  • Character Title: Ratboy's Kingdom, Happyman on the Red Planet and George, Little King John: The Flood
  • Darker and Edgier: While the earlier episodes were mostly short slice-of-life adventures, Ratboy Genius Dreams Minecraft has an actual antagonist in the form of Little King John and a more adventurous plot, which hilariously, grew the fanbase. The sequel miniseries The Flood continues in the same vein.
    • Starship Genius kicks off with Big Fish Boss and his army devouring an entire planet, Galactus-style.
  • Deranged Animation: Particularly when Little King John's around.
  • Funny Animal Anatomy: As one of the comments pointed out, Ratboy Genius looks nothing like a rat. Could be justified, though, seeing as it's unclear whether "Ratboy" implies that he's supposed to be an anthropomorphic rat or part of some species of ratlike people. Along these lines, Ratboy Genius and Little King John are both examples of Furry Ear Dissonance and Inexplicably Tailless.
  • Insufferable Genius: Ratboy Genius sometimes falls into this territory.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Happyman and Green Monster are the main one. Almost every friendship in the series is this, though.
  • Interspecies Romance: Ratboy Genius and Little Summer Solstice Baby.
  • It's All About Me: Ratboy has a tendency to steer conversations, and entire videos, toward himself.
  • Leitmotif: Ratboy Genius is often accompanied by snippets of his theme song, while Little King John is likewise associated with his Villain Song "Potato Knishes".
  • Medium Blending: The series started out with hand-drawn static images on photographs. Eventually Ratboy Genius turned into a 3D model, but it's been taking a while for the others to catch up, so much so that 3D characters revert to their 2D designs when forced to converse with non-3D characters.
  • Nightmare Sequence: An entire video from The Flood arc is dedicated to one of these. LKJ dreams fitfully of his villainous past— since he is implied to live exclusively in Ratboy Genius's dreams, that might make this sequence a Dream Within a Dream.
  • Recurring Riff: The theme song is woven into many of the compositions.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Sometimes.
  • Rubber Man: Little King John's neck is constantly stretching and twisting around. He sometimes stretches his arms and legs as well. Ratboy Genius has traits of this as well, as revealed in The Flood.
  • Show Within a Show: Happyman on the Red Planet and George
    • Which then gained it's own prequel in Galactic Superheroes
  • Stylistic Suck: Maybe.
  • Synthetic Voice Actor: Ratboy Genius and Little King John, while Summer Solstice Baby, Happyman, and Green Monster are all voiced by Ryan Dorin.
  • Those Two Guys: Happyman and Green Monster are rarely seen apart from one another.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Little King John loves potato knishes.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Little King John is really unnerving, if you don't look at the hilarity of his personality and his insane level of Off-Model. Or perhaps, the insane level of Off-Model is what makes him more unnerving.
    • Big Fish Boss in Galactic Superheroes. In episodes before his apperance, the superheroes would mainly deal with minor disputes that were easily solved. Then Big Fish Boss appears in episode three, invading the entire GalicSEA with his Fish Legions and tearing his enemies to pieces. "Nobody's safe! Peril in the galaxy! Big Fish Boss is a threat to us all!"
    Ratboy's Kingdom 
  • Action Figure Speech: Used in the earlier episodes, for the hand-drawn characters before the 3D models with moving mouths were used.
  • Author Tract: One episode is all about how awesome Abraham Lincoln was (enough that there's an entire course dedicated to him at Kingdom University). Another episode describes Lincoln's assassination in somewhat disturbing detail.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "It was another beautiful day in Ratboy's Kingdom..."
    • "Knock knock! It's me! The Ratboy Genius!" This eventually evolves into a Mad Libs Catchphrase for the cast, depending on who's talking to RBG.
    • "WHEeEeEeEeEeEeE! I'm the Ratboy Genius! WHEeEeEeEeEeEeE!"
    • "Yay for me, the Ratboy Genius!" Usually followed by Summer Solstice Baby chiming in with "Yay for Baby!"
  • Cool Boat: Ratboy's yacht, the boat on the Ratboy Canal.
  • Cool Car: Ratboy's little red buggy.
  • Cool Shades: Ratboy occasionally dons these in later episodes.
  • Egopolis: The Ratboy Genius lives in The Ratboy Kingdom, near Lake Genius and the Ratboy Canal.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Quite a few characters fall into this, including the titular character. Leaping Friend is Ratboy Genius' friend who's always leaping, Very Tall Friend is his friend that's very tall, and Mr. Big Arms has big arms.
    Happyman on the Red Planet 
    Galactic Superheroes 
    Ratboy Genius Dreams Minecraft 
  • Actually Quite Catchy: After Little King John's Villain Song, Ratboy describes John as "frightening and infuriating, but... full of catchy music."
  • Creepy Centipedes: Little King John sings about turning little black worms into centipedes.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the earlier episodes were mostly short slice-of-life adventures, Ratboy Genius Dreams Minecraft has an actual antagonist in the form of Little King John and a more adventurous plot, which hilariously, grew the fanbase.
  • Dark Reprise: The pilot episode of features the main theme in minor and at a slower tempo.
  • Defiant Captive: Summer Solstice Baby isn't at all happy about Little King John kidnapping her, and she insults him every chance she gets.
  • Evil Counterpart: Little King John to the Ratboy Genius. He's even a Palette Swap of him with a crown, and kidnaps Little Summer Solstice Baby to try and make her fall in love with him. Also, unlike Ratboy, he is way more Off-Model then he is.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Ratboy's life was all beach parties and operas until Little King John came along. Even if it is All Just a Dream.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Little King John does this whenever he sings. He flows with the music.
  • Off-Model: The intentionally bad and derpy faces for every character's 3D variant can be considered this, but Little King John is truly this. His body streches out, turns around faster then it should, and we see in the Dreams Minecraft series finale can even stretch out to Ratboy and the escaped Summer Solstice Baby while they're flying so far he is practically 5 times larger than them in the perspective. You can even see his head clearly far into the fly-away from the stop, and it's not until they reach the real world castle, which they were flying to, that you can't see him.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Happyman is constantly smiling, even when he finds out Little King John has taken over his factory.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Little King John seems unable to comprehend anyone's feelings beyond his own, exemplified in his immature selfishness when taking over Happyman's factory as well as his denial that Summer Solstice Baby dislikes him despite her repeated insults.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Clyde works for Little King John, but when he's not at the castle he willingly helps Ratboy on his quest.
  • Take Your Time: Ratboy Genius's girlfriend had been kidnapped, yet he spends a day riding roller coasters.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Little King John has one at the end of Episode 5.
  • Villain Song: Little King John sings two in RBG Dreams Minecraft:
    • After kidnapping Summer, he sings the creepy Potato Knishes song, although it's more about the things he makes in his factory than about how evil he is.
    • However, he later got another one in the first Interlude, largely about stealing Happyman's factory for himself.
    Little King John: The Flood 
  • Another Dimension: In the later series, different dimensions come into play.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Little King John's diary is The Flood's main storytelling device.
  • Becoming the Mask: As seen in Starship Genius, Sneezy/Dodger was really a mole made to assist and watch over Little King John in his journey. He even flat out admits to Ratboy that he is disgusted by Little King John. However over the course of the series, the two genuinely bond and Sneezy comes to actually see him as a close friend. Later episodes after the series still show that Sneezy follows John; almost acting as his Number Two.
  • Big Fun: Though he seems like an antagonist at first, the Caveman is revealed to actually be a fun, friendly guy who just wants to play ball! (With stones)
  • Big, Stupid Doodoo-Head: "What a stupid plan! Whoever is in charge in your world is a complete idiot!"
  • Breather Episode: The two interlude episodes "Victory Lap" and "NIGHTMARE" are silly musical pieces taking place inbetween major episodes.
  • Byronic Hero: JLK's selfishness is one of his key character traits, and his arrogance persists even after his redemption arc is complete.
  • Canon Welding: In Little King John: THE FLOOD 6, Sneezy is revealed to be from another dimension, and to have been one of the many friends of the Galactic Superheroes.
  • Character Name Alias: Sneezy is Dodger's cover name.
  • Darker and Edgier: The tone of this series is much more moody and somber compared to Dreams Minecraft. Justified, given that its about Little King John trying to survive an apocalypse.
  • Dark Reprise: The song "Meet the Caveman" includes segments of "Potato Knishes" redone in a minor resolution.
  • Foreshadowing: In the fourth episode, Sneezy is able to understand the Hoo Hoos. This is because he once knew the Galactic Superheroes.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first six parts are about Little King John and Sneezy searching for dry land to build a new kingdom. Once that is accomplished, the remaining six episodes delve deep into a more cosmic story that deals with the origins of the world and how it connects to Starship Genius.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Over the course of the series, Little King John becomes more altruistic, even rescuing other survivors and building a new island for them to inhabit.
  • Large Ham: Little King John tends to be this a lot.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Little King John does this whenever he sings. He flows with the music.
  • The Mole: Sneezy/Dodger claimed he simply wanted to help the villainous Little King John build his new kingdom, but he's revealed to actually be working for Fred.
  • Morality Pet: In the second episode, Little King John befriends Sneezy, which marks the beginning of his kinder demeanor.
  • Non-Indicative Name: A variation with The Caveman: he's a humanoid creature who lives in a cave, although other than that he doesn't seem to have anything to do with cavemen in a traditional sense.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Little King John slowly becomes a better person throughout the series — but he still has his moments where he dips back into his old self. When reuniting with Old Froggy after what has likely been months, Little King John's first reaction is to tell him that he has many things for him to do. In part 10 he almost snaps back to his old self upon realizing that Ratboy Genius was behind the flood but thankfully calms down after a bit.
  • Stalker Shrine: In The Flood, the inside of Little King John's yacht is decorated with pictures of Summer Solstice Baby.
  • The Alleged Steed: Little King John rides on Sneezy's back while they take a tour through his new kingdom. Sneezy isn't particularly happy about this.
  • The Great Flood: This is where the arc gets its name. The result is that LKJ's world is turned into an ocean planet.
  • Villain Episode: The Flood is about Little King John trying to find a new land to rebuild his kingdom after a flood destroys his home.
  • Wham Shot: The very end of the The Flood Part 3: Ratboy Genius' hand stretches like Little King John's.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Little King John berates Ratboy Genius for being directly responsible for the flood. Notably, Ratboy doesn't really try to defend himself and instead tries his best to help Little King John.
    Starship Genius 
    Miscellaneous and One-Off Episodes 
  • It Kind of Looks Like a Face: One video has Ratboy go to Mars and talk about how he sees faces and other objects in the formations. This convinces him that there used to be life on Mars.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The creator made a music video of Little King John playing an original composition, simply titled Fugue in D Minor, on a pipe organ decorated with lightning bolts. As if this wasn't enough, while John plays, he constantly does his signature neck-stretching, even moving his head disturbingly close to the camera at one point.


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