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"You know, what's fun about this show is it's like we get to do MythBusters for a version of reality that's broken."
Nick in Episode 22, "Nick and Griffin's Sky Galleon"

Car Boys was a weekly web series from Polygon which followed Griffin McElroy (of Monster Factory fame) and Nick Robinson (another, now former Polygon employee) as they played/destroyed the game BeamNG.drive. Making use of the game's advanced soft-body physics, the two of them have many adventures with high-speed crashes, accompanied by the crash-test dummy Busto. The humor is similar in style to Monster Factory, but flavored with high-octane destruction.

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The series had a brief Spiritual Successor in the Polygon series Let's Go To Hell, which ended after Nick was fired from Polygon following revelations of sexual harassment.


Car Boys provides examples of:

  • Alien Geometries: Slow down the time dilation and pull on something with max strength, and it will inevitably warp into a mess of polygons, referred to by the boys as "God Trash." Notable examples include a train that extends forever, a Motorcycle Wheel Rim that contains visions of another universe, and a pair of Lovemaking Busto 2.0s being warped into a map encompassing "dude ocean" that births new universes. The last one manages to have its effect replicated by The Blob after Nick and Griffin successfully God Trash it.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence:
    • The fate of Busto 1.0, in Episode 27. After using the Ovo to bring his bus high above the VR City, Nick breaks the bus, thereby freeing Busto and allowing his body to ascend to the Sun Chips place.
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    • This also becomes the fate of Nick and Griffin, becoming the Beams of BeamNG as they spend eternity in a Time Ring, relentlessly pursued by The Blob but with it unable to reach them or harm anything.
  • Background Music Override: As they use the Ovo to ascend the Prison Bus in Episode 27, the famous Claire de Lune gets slowly gets overtaken by the track Don't Let Go from the Gravity soundtrack after they free Busto 1.0 and he flies off to the Sun Chips Place. It then transitions from the calmer portion of the track to the more intense and sinister second half when they use to Ovo to the bring the bus back to Earth at greater-than-terminal velocity.
  • Bait the Dog: At first Busto 2.0 seems like a fairly innocuous replacement to Busto 1.0. Then he suddenly turns into a strange blob of parts after being flung around for a few seconds. And then a truck explodes and flies away.
    • The boys spend a whole episode and a half with the blob refusing to become god trash, and eventually give up on it. Then they drop a plane on it, and the resultant Alien Geometries put Busto 2.0 to shame.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: The Blob is finally contained and defeated, but Nick and Griffin are sealed with it for eternity in the time ring. It's okay though, because Nick fixed their car and they have Elton John cassette tapes to listen to until the end of time.
  • Bigger Bad: Upon the discovery of the Blob, the boys determine that it was this to Busto 2.0.
  • Brown Note: In episode 8 Epilepsy Warning, merely looking at the double Busto abomination has the potential to crash the game and harm the viewers.
    Nick: What we have here is a Medusa situation where it can't harm us as long as we don't look directly at it.
  • Catchphrase: Both boys tend to yell, "This changes everything!" upon discovering a new, exciting feature.
  • Companion Cube: The Busto line serves as this.
    • In later episodes, Ball also serves as one
  • Corpsing: Much like Monster Factory, most of the fun is coming along with Nick and Griffin as they laugh at their own stupidity.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Blob's claim to fame is mostly in being indestructible at first, only to end up consuming Wooly World after Nick and Griffin put it through significant amounts of abuse in an attempt to find its weakness.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Nick and Griffin realize that Busto 2.0 was this after they encounter the Blob.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Busto 2.0 quickly becomes this.
    • The Blob.
    • The Planet Class Locomotive.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The world underground in episode 29.
    • The time ring found beneath the Vortex under the lake in Episode 38 where the boys both trap the Blob and themselves in order to forever contain its evil.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Enacted upon the Blob by dropping it into the time ring, forcing it to forever fall towards the Lifestream but be reset to the top of the time ring just as it crosses the threshold. Sadly this fate also befalls our boys as they must remain down there to give the Blob something to chase after.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
    • Nick claims that the extending polygons from messing with the wheel of the Planet Class Locomotive in Episode 21 demolished the wall behind him and would have severely injured him had he been sitting two inches to the left.
    • In episode 7, Nick states that Busto 2.0's warped fingers would cause his eyes to bleed if he was wearing 3D glasses.
  • Funny Background Event: In episode 16, Nick unpauses the game at one point and it's possible to see Busto 2.0 get hit by the sledgehammer again.
  • Gainax Ending: "Nick and Griffin Reach The End" puts End of Evangelion to shame. They discover a vortex under a lake, and drive a car into it. In the vortex they discover an infinite tunnel leading to the Sun Chips Place and the Life Force as Griffin describes it. Nick accidentally leads the Blob into it, and traps it there. Nick and Griffin are transformed into a pair of infinite beams, becoming Beam Nick and Griffon (BeamNG for short), and are sucked into the Time Ring, where they are destined to be chased by the Blob forever, keeping it away from the Life Force.
  • Going Cosmic: The series begins as a fun experience shared by two friends as they mess around with the game's often-wonky physics engine, but takes a turn towards the surreal once Busto 2.0 appears. From there, the increasing number of bizarre events (such as the trip through the underwater world, or various encounters with the Blob) Nick and Griffin encounter causes them to question their existence, and the series ends with a journey through a bottomless vortex in order to contain the Blob, leaving Nick and Griffin trapped forever in a featureless void.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The semi-melodic atonal beeping made by the Planet Class Locomotive from Episode 21.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • At one point, Nick and Griffin attempt to contain Busto 2.0 in the original Busto's bus, and it is played off as this.
    • At the end of the series, Nick and Griffin themselves, trapped in a Time Ring for all eternity as a way to contain The Blob.
  • Hope Spot: In "Nick and Griffin Search the Blob for Weaknesses", it almost appears like the OVO has vanquished the Blob for good, to the amazed cheers of Nick and Griffin.... only to find it lying in the middle of the infinite gridmap. Waiting for them.
  • Initiation Ceremony: Busto 2.0 is hazed into the crew by ramming him with a truck.
    Nick: Everybody gets trucked on day one.
  • Leitmotif:
    • "Clair de Lune" acts as this for the series as a whole.
    • The theme for American Beauty also occurs at several points throughout the series.
    • "Arsenal's Guts" serves as one for the Blob.
    • The... noise the Planet Class Locomotive makes arguably counts.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Between all the bizarre geometries and eldritch horrors they run into while mucking about like the Planet Class Locomotive, Busto 2.0, and The Blob, the series definitely fits.
  • Multi-Character Title: The titular "BeamNG" is, at the end, determined to stand for "Beam Nick and Griffin" after the two are transmuted into infinite beams extending through the time ring from the waterproof car.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The boys have a talent for taking weird graphical glitches and tying them into a mock-Lovecraftian narrative about unstable entities of unimaginable powers.
  • No Longer with Us: "Going to the sunchips place."
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Griffin requesting Nick not enter The Blob's "mouth" at the end of Episode 36.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Busto 2.0, as Nick and Griffin quickly discover after playing around with him too much. The first time they lose control of him, a nearby truck launches itself up into the sky and breaks apart.
  • Reality Warper: Busto 2.0 births universes when he breeds with another of his kind, and in the afterglow of such an act produced a plane with no wings or landing gear that functioned as good as normal.
  • Running Gag: Several:
    • The attempts to remove the original Busto from within his school bus which eventually succeed in episode 20.
    • Manipulating Busto 2.0 in such a way that causes him to transform into Alien Geometries.
    • The game almost invariably crashing when it encounters said Alien Geometries.
  • Shout-Out: The original Busto is modelled on The Stig, although neither Nick nor Griffin actually remember the character's name correctly.
    • Busto's name itself is derived from Nick and Griffin misremembering the name of Buster, the crash test dummy featured on MythBusters.
    • The Busto 2.0 arc is interspersed with a couple of live-action short videos detailing Busto's escape into the real world and his subsequent torment of Nick and Griffin. One is titled 'entry 10.5', which is a shout-out to Marble Hornets.
    • During the countdown to the defeat of Busto 2.0 at the hands of the sledgehammer, the clock from Majora's Mask appears at the bottom of the screen.
    • "Arsenal's Guts" is often employed in the BGM when the Blob makes an appearance.
    • Griffin mentions Neon Genesis Evangelion a handful of times, whenever things start to get too Mindscrew-y and Eldritch. They even briefly use "Angel of Doom", from the Rebuild of Evangelion soundtrack.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Frequently employed for comedic effect.
  • Spoiler Title: Episode 16 is titled "Nick and Griffin in 'Goodbye Gridmap'" and in the episode, they contain Busto 2.0 and Iron Man in gridmap and vow not to return.
  • Story Arc: The series can be roughly split into three distinct arcs: episodes 1-16 (the Busto arc), episodes 17-27 (the experimental arc) and episodes 28-38 (the Blob arc).
  • Theme Tune: The famous Clair de Lune serves as this for the show, often providing Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • Title Drop: In the very last episode, Griffin notices two long, thin, glitchy bits extending from their eternally falling mangled car and jokingly says that they're Beam Nick and Griffin, which is supposedly what Beam NG stands for.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Name dropped by Nick when he and Griffin attempt to put a very sturdy bus through a crushing machine. The game crashes.
    Griffin (Through uncontrollable laughter): We fucking dreamed a little bit too big, my friend.
  • Wham Episode: The episode "Nick and Griffin in 'Goodbye Gridmap.'" Busto 2.0 and Iron Man are contained and then abandoned in Gridmap, Nick and Griffin's primary base of operations. As a result, the duo decides never to return, leaving Busto 2.0 and Iron man behind.
    • After a fairly innocuous first twenty minutes of regular Car Boys fun, the episode "Nick and Griffin in VR City" surprised a lot of fans with it's equal parts poignant and dramatic climax. The very next episode starts with them commenting on the missed opportunity to have given the series a perfect Grand Finale by presenting it as such.
    • In "Nick and Griffin Take Things Too Far", the boys find a new nemesis in the form of The Blob, who's theorized to have been the corrupting force that created Busto 2.0.
    • And, of course, the Grand Finale itself of "Nick and Griffin Reach The End" features Nick and Griffin becoming BeamNG and successfully trapping The Blob in a Time Ring, at the cost of their own freedom.

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