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You be trollin'!

You know what time it is, forum. It's time for the Comment Question of the Day, and it comes from a user named "ThisTroper". And he says, "Could you describe Equals Three here?" Leave your interesting or creative responses in the comments section below.

Equals Three (=3) was a YouTube series formerly hosted by Ray William Johnson in which he reviewed viral videos found by or sent to him. Three videos were shown in each episode, and a question submitted via video was posed for the commenters to respond to in the comments section (which was discontinued in 2013), with a schedule of new videos being posted every Tuesday and Friday.

On March 12, 2014, Ray retired from the show but promised to find a new host within two months who'd then reboot the series. On July 16, 2014, the show was finally rebooted with Robby Motz, who hosted for a year until he announced his departure on July 24th, 2015 after 102 episodes.

Robby was subsequently replaced by Kaja Martin four days after he left, who only had a 30-episode run before she left on November 24, 2015. She was then replaced by Carlos Santos on December 4, 2015, who served as the final host.

The series also had a Spanish-language Spin-Off, Igual a tres (hosted by Pedro Flores), as well as a French equivalent in What the Cut, whose host and founder, Antoine Daniel, admitted that =3 was a direct inspiration for his series.

Ray has also been associated with several music projects. He used to be in a group called Fatty Spins, active from 2009 to 2010 and most (in)famous online for their song "Doin' Your Mom". He also created the virtual band Your Favorite Martian, which was active from 2010 to 2012 before being revived in 2022. In 2020, he came up with another virtual band called The Upside Downs, the content of which he primary uploads on TikTok. He also released several comedic rap songs in 2018 under the name "Fat Damon".

This series provided examples of:

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Other guys show up doing the show sometimes, with little actual introduction. So far we've seen meekakitty, KassemG, Garfunkel and Oates, Bobby Lee, TJ Miller, and friggin' Gabriel Iglesias.
    • In fall 2012, he took a break from the show to record a Your Favorite Martian album, and many different guests hosts appeared. One of them was freakin' Kevin Smith. Another was the RZA.
  • Auto-Tune: This episode.
  • Butt-Monkey: In later episodes, the Google+ logo.
  • The Cameo: None other than Robin Williams in this video.
  • Catchphrase: I'm just sayin'.
    • "What's happenin', forum/guys?"
    • "Leave your interesting or creative responses in the comments section *deep bass* below."
    • "Gee! Zus!"
    • "I'm Ray William Johnson, and I approve this message!"
    • "Fake and gay!"
      • "Falso y maricon!"
      • "Staged and bi-curious!"
    • "So tell me, forum..."
    • In some episodes, he maims the Google+ logo.
    • "Here's the dildo."note 
    • "But don't take my word for it. Go watch the original video, link is in the description."
  • Cerebus Retcon: After releasing a vlog and explained his relationship to his father. His self deprecation jokes are now seen as more serious than comedic.
  • Continuity Nod: Ray sometimes references videos that he reviewed in past episodes. A few examples include:
    • In the episode "YOUTUBE FAMOUS!", he reviews a video called "Michel & Sven - Der Trampolintrick - Teil 5 / The trick with a trampoline". He points out that the kids in the video are the same kids that were in the video called "Michel & Sven - Der Tischdeckentrick - Teil 4 / The Table Cloth Magic Trick (Original)" that he reviewed in the episode "THUG GUMBY".
    • In the episode "REDNECK DAD", he reviews a video of Corgi puppies running. He says that he reviewed a video exactly like it a couple of years ago. He reviewed said very similar video in the episode "Epic Boyfriend FAIL".
    • In the episode "METEORITE CRASH IN RUSSIA", he reviews a news clip that has an anchor named Lisa Dutton in it. He says that you may remember her from the "pick a dick" video. The "pick a dick" video was reviewed in the episode "RHINO SAUSAGE - Ray William Johnson Video".
  • Cute Kitten: Cat videos show up on the series every so often on a regular basis. Ray lampshades the Internet's apparent obsession with cat videos.
  • Don't Try This at Home
    Ray: Now, I know every time I say Don't Try This at Home you guys are like "Sweet, something I'm gonna try at home! Honey, get me my beer, the midget on the internet is tellin' me not to do somethin' so I gotta do it!"
  • Emoticon: =3
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Some of the videos after the show proper have a minute or so of Ray messing up lines, with a whole bunch of Cluster F Bombs.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In The =3 Musical, Ray asks "What kind of lame-ass person uses Autotune" while singing in Autotune himself.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: One of Ray William Johnson's viral videos was a series of videos by a couple named Dakoda and Adam involving various knife-throwing (including a on-fire hatchet throwing act) acts done on each other. Warning: Watching video may bring risk of anxiety and heart attack.
  • Running Gag: Several: Your Mom, Ray's non-existent social/sexual life or lame jokes, PedoBear, the Troll or any number of viral video-derived audacities, including something about 2 angry camels in a tiny car.
    • Russian virals seem to be the most fun and unsafe-looking of late.
      • Gabriel Iglesias himself admitted he can't host an episode without a Russian video.
    • Epic face, epic face, epic face, epic face, JIZZ IN MY PANTS!
    • He's also taken to assaulting Google+ when he says where you can leave your comments.
  • Self-Deprecation: A part of his style which comes into play quite a lot.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: He tends not to curse in the videos, but does so in his personal vlog (BreakingNYC). He justified it in a vlog by saying he wants to keep the series kid-friendly.
    • This video, "Indian Action" has an uncensored f-bomb, perhaps a first for Ray?
    • He leaves uncensored Fluorine bombs in "Thug Gumby" and "Broken Goat", as well as the word itself appearing on screen in "Jesus Dance".
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Some of the jokes he makes are blatantly sexist. He always apologizes though.
  • This Loser Is You: A character labelled "You" occasionally appears. "You" say a lot of very stupid things.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The Troll.
  • Wham Line: "Hi. I don't believe I've been formally introduced. My name's Ray Johnson, and I'm an actor. And this is Equals Three. It's a show I started five years ago from my college dorm room. And this is my last episode." Averted if you followed Ray on social media before this.
  • Your Mom: An old Running Gag of the series. Reportedly, having sex with someone's mother is the only cure for squirrel AIDS.

"I'm Ray William Johnson, and I approve this trope!"
"So tell me, forum...what's Victoria's Secret?"

Alternative Title(s): Ray William Johnson