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"Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory."

Game Theory is a comedy Analysis Channel created by Matthew Robert "MatPat" Patrick, where he engages in Wild Mass Guessing by analyzing video games to provide answers on a wide variety of questions, from scientifically determining if something in a video game could be achieved in real life (example: could someone survive being headshot à la Fallout: New Vegas?) to tackling some of gaming's biggest questions (example: what is the Pyro's gender?) to some game changing accusations. (example: should Dr. Light be considered a villain?) The show is accompanied by pictures and diagrams, which often aid with what he is saying, or they are just there for visual puns. There are a lot of puns.

On June 2nd, 2015, MatPat created another channel named The Film Theorists which has a Spin-Off to Game Theory, which is called Film Theory. It tackles theories on not only the subject of film, but television shows as well. Other related shows on the channel include Did You Know Movies (a spin-off of Did You Know Gaming?) and Frame By Frame (which examines film techniques used by famous directors).


On September 14, 2015, MatPat created yet another channel, GTLive, which posts live streams of Matt and Stephanie playing video games.

In 2016, MatPat started another show called Game Lab. This series is similar to Mythbusters by having MatPat going on camera to test the episode's topics. The series is currently exclusive to the subscription-based YouTube Red, with the pilot episode available for free. Another Spin-Off, The SCIENCE!, is a show by fellow host Austin Hourigan, which picks video games apart with science and logic. It started airing on the YouTube channel ShoddyCast on January 29, 2016, before being picked up by Game Theory's YouTube channel on December 21.

As of July 23 2020, MatPat has created yet another channel: Food Theory. The channel kicked off with five episodes with topics ranging from the physiological and emotional manipulation grocery stores employ to get shoppers to spend more to the Kool-Aid Man's history and connections with the Marvel Universe.


Game Theory is a part of the Game Theorists, a group of game-based shows that analyze video games for a certain reason. For more members of the group, see Game Exchange, Digressing And Sidequesting. Not to be confused with the fanfic of the same name. Nor should it be confused with the study of strategic decision making.

On July 4th, 2018, the show's editor and host of Digressing And Sidequesting, Ronnie "Oni" Edwards died by suicide in his own apartment. He will be dearly missed.

Game Theory provides examples of:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Touched upon in his War Thunder Tanks video when he finally reveals a real life attribute that is not accurately represented in the game (that being the very significant rates at which the real tanks break down just from locomotion without even seeing combat), only to then state that the developers did spend some time deliberating as to whether or not they should add that trait into the game and ultimately decided that having your tank cripplingly malfunction at random was not fun.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Downplayed, lampshaded, and later subverted here.
    MatPat: The Binding of Isaac. Man, this game is depressing, disturbing, dark, even some adjectives that don't start with D, like uh… baffling, obtuse, just plain weird.
  • All Just a Dream: One of his final FNAF theories suggests that the entire tetralogy is the coma-induced nightmares of the fourth game's protagonist.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Hoo boy. invoked
    • Princess Peach is actually paying Bowser to kidnap her.
    • In a two-part episode, he described Mario as an animal abuser, misogynist, sadist, and mass murderer.
    • He theorizes that The Angry Video Game Nerd (the character, not James Rolfe, who plays him) has a serious mental condition.
    • In his Toad's Deadly Secret episode, he proposes that Peach is the true Big Bad of the Mario franchise, using her parasitic followers to run the goombas out of their native homeland, with Bowser as the tragic, reluctant Big Good just trying to combat a parasitic threat.
    • Handsome Jack of Borderlands 2 already got a decent amount from fans, but Matt also theorizes that Jack actually has borderline personality disorder and gives examples meeting 7 of the 9 criteria.
    • Bowser's habit of kidnapping Peach is actually an attempt to give his son and seven adopted children the complete family Bowser wishes he'd had growing up.
    • In his analysis of Until Dawn, he comes to the conclusion that Josh has been experiencing poor mental health care, and, based off his symptoms, should be treated for schizophrenia.
    • Villagers in Minecraft aren't buying back the crops you stole from them, they're paying you to harvest food that would take them a full day of work.
    • In his analysis of Red Dead Redemption II, Austin comes to the conclusion that Arthur Morgan's tuberculosis, which he got from Thomas Downes, has a latency period that could have stayed for years, but Arthur chose to hasten the tuberculosis process into a matter of weeks with his smoking, drinking beer, and getting beaten by physical trauma and malnutrition, all of which are risk factors for TB:
      "Everything [Arthur] chose to do with his life was a risk factor for disease, and pretty much guaranteed that the instant he was exposed to the bacteria, he was going to not only get infected but die. [...] This means that Arthur 100% caused his own death. No, he didn't know that smoking would make things worse and everybody at the time was drinking like a fish, but it was his life that put him in this position in the first place. His life, his choices... those put him in harm's way, and made his death inevitable.
    • Due to Your Mind Makes It Real, Luigi being brainwashed- er, sorry, hypnotized into becoming Mr.L in Super Paper Mario enabled him to show how he really felt Beneath the Mask of his usually cowardly fascade.
  • ...And 99¢: Coincidentally, MatPat's calculations for the cost of Minecraft's Diamond Armor and New Super Mario Bros. 2's Gold Banzai Bills both end with 98 cents.
  • Angrish: Says this out during the Humans are Pokémon theory, during his reaction to the Wheel of Gaming's flipper lands on "Pokémon" the third time.
  • Animation Lead Time:
    • The likely reason why he posted his Five Nights at Freddy's video (theorizing that Mike Schmidt is the murderer, that the evil animatronics don't exist, and that the entire game is his guilt-ridden nightmares in his final days on death row) two days after the trailer and Steam greenlight information for the sequel rendered it impossible. He seems to have since quietly abandoned the theory entirely and makes no mention of it at all in his Five Nights at Freddy's 2 video.
    • It happened again with the same franchise when Part One of what was supposed to be a unified, loose-ends-tied-up theory for the trilogy went up 24 hours before the creator confirmed Five Nights At Freddy's 4.
  • Armor Is Useless: In the Minecraft episode, diamond armor turns out be Awesome, but Impractical. Sure, it looks awesome, but it would weigh about 1100 lbs (over 500 kilograms)… and because of the fact that it would be very easy to cut the armor by slicing it along 90–degree planes relative to the surface of the armor, due to the diamond's cleavages (that all crystals also have), making it easier to slice through the hard armor, you would risk wasting a few billion dollars when hit with a sword.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
  • Artistic License – Biology: Lampshaded in Matt's video on Jurassic World, regarding the Indominus Rex's ability to hide its body temperature (due to tree frog DNA) and change color to camouflage itself (due to cuttlefish DNA). He points out that these abilities work opposite of each other: the tree frog's body heat regulation works by making its skin tone lighter-and thus more visible. Matt instead posits the idea that the I. Rex's escape was due to Dr. Wu sabotaging the cameras, so that he and Hoskins can have a chance to showcase the I. Rex as a weapon.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Matt pointed out that the ingredients for human transmutation do not match up with the actual mass of elements found in the body as well as the cardinal sin of scientific calculations — inconsistent measurement units (going between grams and kilograms in the same list).
  • Artistic License – Law: Zig-zagged - In MatPat's video about Ace Attorney, he starts off looking at it from the perspective of the US courts. The Ace Attorney series' legal system is based on the Japanese one, with elements of the US system. Since he brings this up part way through, and debunks his previous points, it's clear that he did it on purpose to add a twist. However, he then goes on to accuse Phoenix of tampering with the crime scene in 'Turnabout Sisters' despite the fact that he disclosed all of his actions to Gumshoe and so wouldn't get in trouble.
  • Ass Shove: The line "Let's diagnose" in the AVGN episode is accompanied by a picture of the host giving the Nerd a prostate exam.
  • Author Tract: The Wii U-centric theories are this regarding MatPat's opinions on the console, although a more obvious example would be the sociopathic Mario theory.
  • Beneath the Mask: According to Mat Pat, Luigi's hynposis-induced persona, Mr. L from Super Paper Mario, is effectively our green-clad plumber free from his inhibitions, unafraid to show how he truly felt about Mario and Peach, among other things.
  • Berserk Button:
    • YouTuber "The JWittz", having done 375 videos about Pokémon at the time, was furious when MatPat complained to him about having to do more than six Pokemon videos.
    JWittz: Six? SIX? Try three-hundred and seventy-five! Video after video, week after week. Creepy Pokémon, cool Pokémon, sexy Pokémon, weak Pokémon. Pokémon games, Pokémon manga, Pokémon CARDS. Blue, red, white, black, X & Y? PURPLE!? I can't talk without saying Pokémon puns anymore!
  • Big Bad Friend: The theory posted that Phone Guy is the Golden Freddy Murderer after seeing Five Nights at Freddy's 2. Despite Five Nights at Freddy's 3 supposedly refuting that theory, he instead managed to solidify his theory with it, though the "Golden Freddy" part is disproven. After later games further refuted the theory and it was eventually that the killer is William Afton, one of the founders of Fazbear Entertainment, MatPat dropped it, however.
  • Blah, Blah, Blah: Downplayed, when Mat is reading out complex math formulas, he speeds up the talking to give the viewer a general idea without boring them.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: MatPat deduces that Luigi from Super Mario is blessed with a 7 inch penis, while his brother, Mario, has the smaller 2.5 inch penis. He humorously theorizes that Luigi's "package" is the reason Daisy stays with him and why Mario is aggressive to him.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Invoked. MatPat calls Scott Cawthon out on making the key-pad tiles in Five Nights at Freddy's 3.
      MatPat: Scott, seriously? Seriously, Scott? Oh look! Here's a wall. Let me just dial in my phone number. Beep boop boop beep boop boop! What?! When did we jump from a point-and-click horror game to magical fantasy? This thing is like Platform 9 and 3/4, I expected Harry effin' Potter to Apparate into Pirate's Cove or something.
    • After FNAF2 was announced, MatPat never brought up his FNAF1 Theory.
  • Big "NO!": Suffers one in the Stinger for the second half of the part two of his FNAF 3 video when he learns how Five Nights At Freddy's 4 was announced just a day after posting the first part of the video.
  • Boom, Headshot!: There's a scientific look into how the Courier survived their headshot. Long answer: Yes, but only under certain conditions and the Courier likely wouldn't be the same afterwards. Short answer: Doesn't matter, because Benny actually fired twice, with the second aimed at the temple, aka the squishiest, most vulnerable part of the head.
  • Break the Cutie: Matpat's experience with Five Nights At Freddy's became this as he spoke fondly of the lore in his FNAF 2 episode but he jokingly states under the title of the playlist "All the theories on Five Nights at Freddy's, FNAF 2, FNAF 3, and FNAF 4, AKA: Why MatPat has developed an anxiety disorder".
  • Butt-Monkey: Ronnie of Digressing and Sidequesting is frequently mocked in Game Theory videos and end slates. These became Harsher in Hindsight after Ronnie's suicide.
  • Call-Back:
  • Cannot Tell a Joke:
    • Happens in the "Surviving the Assassin's Creed Leap of Faith" Episode after disproving its chance of survival. Which also somehow involves the AC world's gravity being greater than ours.
      MatPat: Leap of faith? Hah! They wish they had the chance! More like tumble of… fatigue. I don't know, I can't come up with any good punchlines this week.
    • And again in episode about Majora's Mask moon.
      MatPat: It's really just a little baby moon, little moon-in-training, Goodnight Moon, Moon Jr... Junior Mints, Moon over Miami, moon, moon... there's a joke here, and I can't figure it out.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory.
    • That's just a theory. A Game Theory!
    • That's just a stream. A live stream!
  • Catchphrase Interruptus:
    • In the video on Polybius and MK Ultra, where MatPat changes to "a conspiracy theory!" before cutting out the video with static.
    • In his 102nd video covering Part 1 of him solving the mysteries of Five Nights at Freddy's, cutting off his "Thanks for watching!" is the Phantom Freddy from the third game before static, then his advertisement of NatureBox.
    • With Australia Zoo, kinda. Part of the episode on LEGO Jurassic World is hosted by Robert Irwin, the son of Steve Irwin.
    • Every GT Live stream cuts off the word "theory" in the "Hello, Internet. Welcome to Game Theory" opening.
  • Critical Research Failure: invoked MatPat claims that Scott Cawthon did not do proper research when creating Five Nights At Freddy's 4 in regards to frontal lobe damage and its effects on dreams specifically nightmares.note 
  • Crossover: There are a number of guests that appear in various episodes.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: MatPat was extremely pleased to appear in YouTube's 2015 rewind for "a glorious 22 frames, 0.92 seconds".
  • Dare to Be Badass: After examining the misleading advertising of Evertale and finding that not only did the truly massive number of ads have lore, but compelling lore, Mat's takeaway basically amounted to this - he suggested that rather than the microtransaction-laden gameplay they came out with, the developers get to work actually developing a game more in line with their advertising.
  • Dead All Along:
    • The center of the Link is Dead episode.
    • Rosalina Unmasked suggests this of Princess Peach, or at least an alternate version of her as well.
  • Deal with the Devil: The Hello Neighbor theory is that the Neighbor is committing unholy rituals with victims trapped in his basement as payment for whatever he got in exchange for such a deal.
  • Demythification: Does this to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He gives real world answers as to how the poisoned apple worked how Snow White woke up instead of magic and The Power of Love.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Towards the end of "No Cowboy is Safe! Red Dead's Biggest THREAT!", Austin gives a powerful message for those affected by tuberculosis:
    We should do what we can to help those of us who are in need; like Arthur Morgan trying to forge a future for his adopted family, we should do what we can to help those of us who are in need! [caption says, "I literally noticed just now that I repeated myself. Imma leave it. I'm only human."]
  • Deus ex Machina: Repeatedly lampshaded in the Composite Superman episode.
  • Discussed Trope: The focus of some episodes is to determine if some concepts, like a flying city, diamond armor, or the Morph Ball are actually feasible.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: This episode argues the biological advantage in the Dead or Alive franchise's skimpy costumes, and their capacity to create imbalance in tournament play.
  • Drunk on Milk: Well, more like "addicted to milk", in the Candy Crush Saga episode he claims to have an addiction to Diet Coke.
    • Has reached the Running Gag status by now. "#NotSponsored, #JustAnAddict."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: MatPat says outright that the show was inspired by Extra Credits, and before he found his own voice, artifacts of that style can be seen in the presentation.
  • Epileptic Trees: invokedThe whole purpose of his theories.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: invokedIn many theories, MatPat uses obvious or supposed symbolism as evidence.
  • Expy: The speculative theory on Assassin's Creed Syndicate is that the game's recurring enemy The Blighters, are modeled after various real world London gangs of the time such as the Elephant and Castle Mob and Forty Elephants Gang.
  • Fake Boobs: There is an entire episode about which video game characters have fake breasts and which ones have natural breasts.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The satire before the FNAF video.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: invoked Discussed. MatPat suspects that, based on strong evidence, Scott's original plan regarding Five Nights At Freddy's 4 was that it and most of the series was All Just a Dream, only to ultimately leave said point unrevealed and discarded due to the likelihood of fan backlash.
  • Fetish: When The JWittz rants about all the different types of Pokémon he's made videos about, he mentions "Sexy Pokemon". MatPat promptly types the phrase into Google.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In his Minecraft Diamond Armor theory, after he talks about crystals having four planes of cleavage and says "we're not talking about the Pamela Anderson Bermuda Triangle brand of cleavage here," two "editor's notes" briefly appear on screen, the first saying "Wait!? We're not?" and the second saying:
    Matt, I just spent, like, 25 minutes Photoshopping Katy Perry's pom-poms onto crystalline solids and you're telling me we aren't even talking about ta-tas?
    My roommate walked in on me! Imagine having THAT conversation...
  • Freudian Excuse: Part of the "Bowser's Broken Home" theory posits that Bowser is villainous because he grew up an orphan, using real world studies regarding criminals with parentless upbringing.
  • Freudian Slip: Matt sure has a hard time saying "Kremcroc."
  • Girls With Mustaches: In his video on who most likely would and wouldn't survive the Covid-19 Coronavirus, he mentions that facial hair interferes with medical masks. He cites the fact that Princess Peach does not have facial hair as one reason why she is likely to survive (in his opinion), while briefly remarking that it's possible that she does but shaves it off regularly. While saying this, he edits an image of her to give her a blonde goatee.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: MatPat actually apologizes for saying the word "poop" in one episode. This "Political Correctness" hasn't been quite received well by other people.
  • Hive Mind: The Zerg episode focuses on the functions of a hive mind, or swarm intelligence, and goes on to theorize that humans operate on the same mentality as the Zerg thanks to the Internet.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Subverted. While PeanutButterGamer interrupts an episode about Majora's Mask (MatPat blames a YouTube glitch), it's by no means hostile, or even intentionalnote  on PBG's part.
    • In fact, the only real moments of hostility (if you can call it that) are when PBG jumps the gun and trys to say "A Game Theory!" before the proper point.
  • Hurricane of Euphemisms:
    • At the beginning of the boobs episode, he sings a song of these to the tune of Offenbach's "Orpheus In The Underworld Overture".note 
    • Throughout the 2018 April Fool's episode, Does Luigi MEASURE Up?, he does the same for "penis", from "ye olde dinglehopper" to "little cannoli".
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Discussed in "No Cowboy is Safe! Red Dead's Biggest THREAT!", when Austin points out a tidbit about drinking beer in the late 1800s in one of RDR2's Funny Moments:
    "Arthur also drinks quite a bit, with an entire mission, easily the best part of the game, being dedicated to getting blackout drunk. This isn't an anomaly, and it in fact would be much more surprising if Arthur Morgan wasn't a bon vivant. In the 1800s, the average man [caption says, "Hi Jim!"] consumed seven gallons of ethanol (pure ethanol amounts, mind you!) per year, which translates into over four-and-a-half beers per day, or over 1,659 bottles of beer per year: over 155 gallons of beer per year! And you wonder why prohibition has existed!"
  • It Was His Sled: In-Universe. Austin's Red Dead Redemption II review video says, "No Cowboy is Safe! Red Dead's Biggest THREAT!" for a reason: Since he played the game to its completion at High Honor, he decided to do this video after studying the research on tuberculosis and its risk factors by looking them up on websites and on Wikipedia. The video itself has a Spoiler Opening, revealing the plot point as Austin narrates:
    "...what I'm talking about today, this is the real stuff! I'm talking about things that affect real people every day across the world. I'm talking about the most deadly threat to human existence, something that's been stalking and killing us ever since our birth as a species; a predator that's been growing alongside us, evolving and killing more of us than any other single cause of death; one that's been able to learn over time how to become immune to our best and strongest weapons against it. It's currently THE most deadly disease on Planet Earth, and it killed Arthur Morgan! I'm talking, of course, of the disease tuberculosis."
  • Jumping the Shark: MatPat makes this joke about Scott Cawthon with his Fazbear Frights books in "FNAF, Return To The Pit (3 New FNAF Theories)", showing Scott's avatar jumping over a shark in the time travel ball pit.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: MatPat has a cat named Skips, though he also nicknames it CatPat in the livestream.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: If you saw the thumbnail for the second part of the Rosalina Unmasked theory before watching the first, then Princess Peach being Dead All Along won't come as much of a surprise to you.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: MatPat acts terrified in the satirical beginning of the Five Nights at Freddy's episode, but once he actually gets jump-scared, he stops being scared of it in the slightest. Until Golden Freddy shows up, at least.
  • Magic Feather: One of the Zelda episodes focused on the various strength and health items, and then goes on to explain the Placebo Effect.
  • Massively Multiplayer Crossover:
  • Messianic Archetype: Discussed in Chrono Trigger episode, where MatPat claims that the whole game is actually a retelling of the Bible.
  • Metaphorgotten: In "Batman + Superman + COW = ???":
    MatPat: And it looks like now I've finally become the comic nerd I was always destined to be. Not the comic nerd I deserved, but the comic nerd that I thought that I needed to deserve to have... Batman dark knight!
  • "Metaphor" Is My Middle Name: In his first FNAF video:
    MatPat: Hello, internet! Welcome to Game Theory, where fear is our middle name. Matthew Fear Patrick! It's a very strange name.
    • Also in the video about the Bee Movie meme where he says that "impossible" is his middle name. "Matthew Robert Danger Impossible Patrick".
  • Missing Steps Plan: Here in the dating sim episode.
    1) Spa
    2) Bathing Suit
    3) ....
    4) PROFIT
  • Monty Hall Problem: Half of "Monty Hall, Plinko, and Probability" concerns this and how by switching your door, you're 2/3rds more likely to win.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The Five Nights at Freddy's episode. Who expected him to bring up a real life murder incident that took place at a Chuck E. Cheese?
    • At the end of the 2nd part of the Watch_Dogs episode, where he ends on a dark note about how vulnerable we are to hackers, so much so that they could kill people… immediately follows it up with a light-hearted advert about a shaving website.
  • Nine out of Ten Doctors Agree: In one episode, he calls GT the show "Ten out of ten doctors agree...they don't watch."
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: He frequently puts these in his theories to demonstrate that his explanations are supported by the math. In "Mario's Lunar Apocalypse", however, he goes so far as to apply this to the entire theory, implying that he's dead serious about Mario's planet facing a lunar catastrophe in its very near future.
  • Occam's Razor: Said ad verbum during several episodes. For example, he uses this principle to say that instead of Raticate dying, the rival simply stored it away and replaced it with a better Pokemon.
  • Overly-Long Gag: In an episode discussing whether Pokémon supports animal abuse, the screen stops on a shot of a cricket match. While MatPat is talking, the subtitles comment that he's never stayed on one shot so long before. They then go off on a random tangent for about a minute, before reminding you that MatPat is still talking in the background and you should probably rewind to hear what he said.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Claims in a FNAF video that he's not going to use any more Jump Scares, before invoking the trope.
  • Parody of Evolution: In "No Cowboy is Safe! Red Dead's Biggest THREAT!", Austin uses Zallinger's "March of Progress" to describe the evolution of tuberculosis, placing a TB cell on top of a head of each creature in human evolution, ending with the current Homo sapiens itself.
    "So, this is a disease that's been hunting us basically as long as we've existed, and in all likelihood co-evolved alongside us."
  • Path of Inspiration : One episode was dedicated to examining the religion-themed antagonists from the Final Fantasy games.
  • Poe's Law: While they tried to defy this with the opening of the Five Nights at Freddy's episode, (where MatPat deliberately made it blatantly obvious that he was faking it), some people who failed to sit through the first two minutes apparently believed it.
    Game Theorists: YouTube Rule #13: Make sure all obvious satire in a video comes with a large red label on screen that says "OBVIOUS SATIRE." *cough* first two minutes *cough*
  • Relax-o-Vision: In "Is Link the STRONGEST Video Game Character?", when MatPat discusses "Kratos's latest beatdown where he takes a mythological creature and manually separates torso from cranium," he shows a bunny eating because "literally nothing Kratos in his games is brand-safe for us to use here."
  • The Reveal: Subverted. Near the end of the two-parter concerning Rosalina, Matt thinks a little more and starts to think that she isn't Peach and Mario's daughter, but Peach and Luigi's… before dismissing it. Though his latest Mario Timeline episode seems to imply he accepts this theory.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Performed whenever the Wheel of Gaming is involved.
    MatPat Wheel of Gaming, spin around, give a franchise that is profound.
  • Running Gag: MatPat is really fond of them.
    • Ever since the episode where it was the main topic, MatPat has frequently used his claim that "Wario is 10 feet tall" to highlight inaccuracies in his videos, and also for general Self-Deprecation.
    • He frequently expresses his goal of beating PewDiePie in subscribers.
    • As of his theory on Video Game Movies, he also likes to randomly throw a fez on characters and graphics.
      • Though, supposedly, this is done not as a random joke, but for copyright reasons - by doing this to the images, he avoids any potential lawsuits that might occur from using them in unaltered form.
    • His fear of, out of all the scary things in there, the fan in his Five Nights at Freddy's theories. Moreso when it's now purple in the fourth game.
    • And before finally doing it, mentioning the dating sim episode.
    • In the Five Nights at Freddy's videos, "Psychic Friend Fredbear" has its own jingle, sometimes played multiple times in one video.
    • Failing to have a decent drum roll sound effect when revealing a final calculation (and sometimes having to settle for a different sound effect, like a slide whistle or an air horn).
  • Rule of Sexy: Mentions the controversy about Smite and its original character model for Kali (and other characters) being overly sexualised to draw the attention of males.
    • Justified, as MatPat goes on to argue, in that most mythological art of female goddesses are practically half-naked. Kali's already been showing her boobs since BC times, so Smite isn't really giving us anything we couldn't have seen after a quick search on the internet.
  • Rule of Three: During his Humans are Pokemon theory:
    MatPat: Wheel of Gaming, spin around, to give me a franchise that is profound.
    (Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokémon)
    MatPat: Huh. Uh, sorry, no, we've done more than enough Pokemon episodes, thank you very much. Let's try this again. Wheel of Gaming, Spin, Span, Spun, land on a series that's super fun.
    (Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokemon again)
    MatPat: Ha Ha, very funny, Wheel of Gaming. Wheel of Gaming, I'm getting weary, give me a game to do a theory.
    (Wheel of Gaming lands on Pokemon the third time)
    MatPat: (Angrish)
  • Sand In My Eyes: MatPat goes through this when bringing up Latios' death in the Raticate episode.
    MatPat: That Latios scene man... oh... seems someone is always cutting onions when that scene is on. (tearing up) So strange how that works. I don't even like onions!
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • In his Fallout: New Vegas video, after saying that 10 percent of people shot in the head survive, he remarks that "you have better odds of surviving a headshot than I do of writing a decent joke for this show."
    • This gem from "Problems with Princess Peach" episode:
    MatPat: Hello, Internet, welcome to Game Theory, hailed by critics as "Fast edits with mildly impressive Photoshopping".
    • He's repeatedly referenced his Critical Research Failure in evaluating Wario's fartillery, in which he says that Wario is ten feet tall.invoked
    • Ronnie while talking during Digressing and Sidequesting has a Greek Chorus calling out most of the flaws in what he says.
    • Game Theory's 2015 rewind was just a montage of MatPat saying "FNAF", "Freddy", "Scott", and "Purple Guy".
  • Shipper on Deck: Throughout the streams of Life Is Strange MatPat is desperate for Max and Warren to get together. Stephanie on the other hand is desperate for Warren and 'Drone Girl' (Brooke) to end up in a relationship.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Signing Off Catchphrase:
    • "But hey! That's just a theory: A Game Theory! Thanks for watching." He also sometimes uses variations of this when mentioning other theories like "string theory", "scientific theory", "crime theories", and so on.
    • When doing two-parters, he ends with "In the meantime, that's just a theory!"
  • Soft Water: Defied in "Surviving the Assassin's Creed Leap of Faith", where he notes that the surface tension of water makes hitting it at high speeds just as bad as hitting concrete, and hay would actually break the assassin's fall better.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Toward the end of "No Cowboy is Safe! Red Dead's Biggest THREAT!", a song called "Can't Get Through to You" by Nemi plays in the background while Austin speaks about how people around the world are dying from tuberculosis every year, but that donating to charities like TB Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation can help save a life and work on new cures for TB. The video itself ends with a wounded Arthur Morgan watching the sunrise on the mountaintop as he passes away from TB in one of RDR2's High Honor endings, all set to the tune of the same song.
  • Special Guest: Dream appears in the Minecraft Warden theory video as one, with GeorgeNotFound and Sapnap making brief cameos as well, being the Hunters chasing Dream down.
  • Stock Epileptic Trees: Many of his theories are some of these:
    • Link being in purgatory.
    • Mario being the villain.
    • Kirby being a heartless force of destruction.
    • The Animal Crossing characters all actually being humans viewed Through the Eyes of Madness.
  • Stylistic Suck: The opening of his video on Five Nights at Freddy's plays out like a really bad Let's Play.
    MatPat: (whispering quickly) I am so scared right now, I am so scared, can't you tell how scared I am right now?
  • Subverted Catchphrase:
  • Subliminal Seduction: Proven to be laughably ineffective in an extremely early episode on Pokémon with his main evidence being "Gotta Catch 'Em All" and "I Love Satan" aren't even close to having the same syllables whether forwards or backwards.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Matt's thoughts about Josh from Until Dawn.
  • Take That!:
  • Take That, Audience!: MatPat regularly uses gags involving comment sections in videos, often hypothetical ones that he can often use for Self-Deprecation or for guessing what people will attempt to debunk him with.
  • Take This Job and Shove It: MatPat's reaction to the wheel of gaming insisting he make a seventh video about Pokémon.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: invokedOne of the videos shows that the games that sell best are usually not too different from the ones we've already tried, and that the games praised for being "innovative" rarely sell as well.
  • Think of the Censors!: Even the very title of "Who Will Survive [CENSORED] Virus?" says it all. Apparently, YouTube will not have its monetized creators taking the name of the coronavirus in vain.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: From the beginning of "Is Link dead in Majora's Mask?" episode:
    MatPat: Wheel of Gaming, turn, turn, turn, tell me the fanbase I should burn…
    (wheel stops on The Legend of Zelda)
    MatPat: Oh geez…
  • Trademark Favorite Food: MatPat loves Diet Coke.
  • Two First Names: The host of the show, Matthew Patrick.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Invoked when MatPat made an episode on how many LGBT characters are portrayed; as villains, mentally unstable, inhuman.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: "The Pokédex is Full of Lies!" is dedicated entirely as an analysis to debunk this trope.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: According to the "Who is Mega Man's TRUE villain?" theory, due to Dr. Light's inability to program roboethics, Dr. Wily managed to manipulate the robots into serving him, by convincing them that by the time they have finished their work, they would be scrapped, and thus, joining him in his quest for world domination is the only way to survive, resulting in the events of the original Mega Man series.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Half of the "Five Nights at Freddy's" episode posits that the game is based off of a real life incident that took place at a Chuck E. Cheese on December 14th, 1993.
  • Visual Pun: Multiple ones per episode too.
  • Voice of the Legion: During the final episode of the Fran Bow livestream, when Mabuka, Queen of Darkness appears, Matt and Stephanie spontaneously decide to Speak in Unison. The effect is very unsettling.
  • Worthy Opponent: MatPat and Scott Cawthon can be considered this as both sides have had an impact on the other. ''Five Nights At Freddy's can be seen as MatPat's magnum opus and both him and Scott have mentioned the other with MatPat trying to solve the mystery and point out flaws while Cawthon adds more complications to the lore and does credit Game Theory in a post about FNAF 4's ending.

Tropes found in Film Theory:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:invoked
    • He theorizes that Christian Grey is brainwashing Anastasia into going along with BDSM, pointing out all the times the movie coincided with the steps of real life indoctrination process.
    • He also speculates that Dory is Obfuscating Stupidity to hunt prey especially since her species does that in nature...only for another, very crucial part of his theory note  to be disproven in the first five minutes of Finding Dory.
    • He theorizes that Salad Fingers was an abandoned child who went insane after losing everyone in his life and projects himself onto Hubert Cumberdale.
    • The United Federation of Planets is a fascist government. Matpat also theorizes that the entire franchise is based upon unreliable narration due to the frequent framing device of the "Captain's log".
    • He theorizes that The Intruder is attempting to stop Satan and the Alternates by kidnapping children and giving them an immunity to the M.A.D. which the Alternates carry. Despite this, Mat makes it clear that The Intruder is not the squeaky clean good guy of the story since he still kidnaps children from their parents and drives some of them to suicide, pushing the guy into Unscrupulous Hero or Nominal Hero territory.
  • Bait-and-Switch: He begins his video on The Purge by complaining that all we really see is people committing murders despite the wide variety of possibilities for government sanctioned crime, only for him to go down a list and gradually explain why each crime he brings up is either Awesome, but Impractical or guaranteed to blow up in your face. He ends the segment by apologizing to the writers of the movies for not realizing just how narrow the Purge would really be in real life.
  • Bittersweet Ending: His interpretation of the ending of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared. Essentially, Roy no longer sponsors Red's show, but Red has finally pulled the plug on Roy's influence on both the show and his son (Yellow Guy) and the characters can finally have the freedom of their show back, even if they're on a smaller budget.
    • His interpretation of the ending to Salad Fingers. He will always be the product of his abusive upbringing and he will never fit into normal society. But, he will never repeat their history and will raise his son in a healthier environment.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: The entire point of Matpat's video on the controversy surrounding PewDiePie's supposed anti-semitism.
    MatPat: Nothing ruins a joke faster than analyzing it. Sooo let's do that!
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • One episode of justifies this in The Walking Dead by showing that spending a large amount of time shooting loud guns in places with echoes (which the characters do constantly) would result in them starting to lose their hearing, allowing Walkers to constantly sneak up on them.
    • Lampshaded in the video for Hitman: Agent 47. MatPat discovers and discusses a plausible material for creating bulletproof sub-dermal body armor only to realize by the end that Agent 47 specified that John Smith's bulletproof skin was titanium.
    • In "Phoenix Wright Is A Criminal", he claims that Phoenix Wright is guilty of obstruction of justice due to his concealment of the "Maya" note in "The Turnabout Sisters", all while his own footage demonstrates that the police clearly have awareness of the note's existence, meaning that Phoenix obviously didn't conceal it from them.
  • Faux Symbolism: In-Universe, on his video about Freddy Krueger, he discovers how MAOI drugs are key to stopping Freddy from attacking people in their dreams. Upon discovering this, MatPat starts thinking if Freddy is symbolic of mental illness due to being a silent killer who is unseen by others, operates from the brain, and becomes stronger the more you ignore it. However, Matpat eventually disagrees with this by pointing out how the sequels became less and less subtle with its theme.
  • invokedFridge Brilliance: Matt suffered this when doing research for his Purge episode. While he was originally angry that the movies only showed people committing murder instead of creative crimes like hacking, insider trading, and cheating at gambling, upon further research he realized that most crimes wouldn't work during the Purge for multiple reasons, either because the Purge removes crimes for everyone and thus revenge and betrayals would be common, international laws would still prosecute you for crimes such as counterfeiting and tax evasion, and since it's a yearly event, any crimes with victims are going to still be traced back to the perpetrator (who is now going to be on the receiving end of well-funded vigilante justice the following year). He ended up apologizing to the movie's writer, James DeMonaco, for his original opinion of the series.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Matt himself admits to have a man crush on Chris Pratt. He then later got distracted discussing Jamie Dornan's attractiveness when doing a Fifty Shades of Grey theory.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Discussed in his video on the Minions; Mat and Steph's son, Oliver, knows absolutely nothing about the series or its characters, yet still fell in love with inflatable Minions decorations you see on people's lawns around Christmas time. Mat concludes from this that there's something inherent in the Minions' design to trigger this kind of response.
  • Kill 'Em All: He believes the most fitting way to end Game of Thrones is with the white walkers winning, even if it's unlikely to be how it actually ends.note  Citing the show's themes of karmic retribution, the consequences of pride, and the failure of human institutions, specifically government, marriage, and religion, as well as the fact that series literally opens with the white walkers slaughtering of scouting party and the sole survivor trying to warn of the threat they pose being executed for leaving his post, followed by the rest of the world spending pretty much the rest of the series backstabbing and fighting each other, and worrying about solidifying and maintaining their personal/family's power, while ignoring the increasingly apparent threat the white walkers pose.
  • No OSHA Compliance: His analysis of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory states that Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, if inspected, would land him in serious trouble for the myriad of health and safety violations, especially given his blase attitude towards worker and visitor safety. In fact, given the timing of when OSHA was implemented and when the movie was set, MatPat theorizes that Wonka was trying to pawn off his company to an unsuspecting rube that could take the fall for him.
  • Self-Deprecation:
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "But hey! That's just a theory: A Film Theory! Aaaaaaand, cut!"
  • Sins of Our Fathers: According to Matpat, Salad Fingers is a product of an abusive upbringing. His parents hated him for being a child of a bi-racial couple.
  • Spoiler Opening: Subverted with his Film Theory opening in regards to The Hunger Games. The opening shows Katniss next to a chart that shows her chances of winning the hunger games are very low. However, when he actually did the theory on Hunger Games, Katniss was actually slated to win.
  • Take That!:
  • To Serve Man: The theory on WALL•E is that the co-pilot Auto had been given direct commands from the president in 2110 to keep the humans in space as the earth has become uninhabitable. Since there is a large disappearance of corpses and not enough food to last seven hundred years, Auto had resorted to secretly converting the corpses into food in order to have enough for humans to survive for decades.
  • Who's on First?: MatPat deals with this at the start of his second Doctor Who episode, when someone calls to tell him that there's a TV marathon of famous fictional doctors, and says "No" when asked who's on first, because Doctor Who is on second (and Dr. No is on first).

Tropes found in Food Theory:

  • April Fools' Day: For 2021, they did a theory on how the universe of the Grubhub animated commercials took place in the future of the Jimmy Neutron universe. For an April Fools video it was surprisingly well thought out. For bonus points, a couple months later, Grubhub sent Mat and Steph a package with a mix of subtle and blatant hints that they might have actually been on to something; along with some additional things to analyze, including an animatic of an unreleased commercial.
  • Ascended Meme: A common joke in the comments when the channel first launched was that it was started so that the crew could write off their meals as a business expense on their taxes. As Mat and Stephanie are testing their two turkeys in the Spatchcocking episode, Stephanie replies to Mat's joy about having two Thanksgiving turkeys by pointing out they're both a business expense.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In "Could You Eat Your Clothes to Survive", eating one's clothes turns out to be this, as there are vanishingly few clothes you could safely eat note . Instead, it's recommended you wear your clothes to stave off hypothermia.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor:
    • Dan can't resist taking a few jabs at Mat and Steph while narrating the Mountain Dew Pizza episode. In particular he calls them out for forgetting to add the green food coloring to the stuffed crust until too late and scrambling to put it back in, despite his script implicitly telling him to say they added the food coloring when they should have and try to cover it in the editing. There's also this:
    Mat: (holding up a cutting board covered in chopped onions) invoked Liek if u cri evrytiem.
    Dan: (over a screenshot showing that meme originated in 2011) And to think he gives us a hard time about the dated memes...
    • Dan got a chance for a couple more jabs in the outro of the buffet episode, when Mat is questioning past Mat's prop choices which mixed real props with motion tracking.
    Mat: (Annoyed Dan Avatar slowly rising from the bottom of the screen) I decided not to get an actual key and instead made the editors motion-track a JPEG into my hand.
    Crazed Dan Avatar: A PNG! IT'S A PNG MATT!
    Mat: And then later I held a practical plate in my hand, but needed a motion tracked meatball on that plate? Like, what is Greenscreen MatPat's relationship with his environment?!
    Angry Dan Avatar: (yeets the footage off the screen and shakes angrily) I DON'T KNOW MATT! BUT I HATE IT!
    • In the second episode on eating your Christmas tree, Mat tells the editors to put up a chart of different cookies with different amounts of sawdust by weight and percentage, and an avatar (not Dan's this time) calls him out for telling them how to do their job. The second time he does it, the charts are placed conspicuously opposite of where he's pointing. He even lampshades the fact that his editors probably didn't do as he asked.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Two episodes so far have been dedicated to testing cures for such sauces, and in the process pinning down the specific factors that make a good spice chaser.note 
  • Broke the Rating Scale: Mat gave dish soap a "stupid out of 10" regarding it being a spice chaser; though it barely earned a D on their normal grading scale since it did technically relieve some of the spice pain, and stayed just above the lowest ranking on their tier list by at least not making the pain worse like alcohol-based chasers did.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Played with in the second burger episode, where Mat and Steph are experienting with different burger stack ingredients. Once they toss their own preconceptions out the window and just let Foodpairing dictate what should go on their burgers, they got some weird combinations that nonetheless turned out surprisingly palatable.
    • "Computy-Patty": It starts okay enough with ciabatta bread for the bun, beatroot leaves, and gruyére cheese. Then buckwheat honey and hummus were chosen as the condiments, capping off with chipotle peppers and bacon, plus canned tomatoes in place of freshly sliced. The flavor was apparently similar to spaghetti and meatballs.
    • "Dissonant Burger": Normal pickles, ketchup, and lettuce; but also horseradish, brie cheese, potato chips, and bell pepper, all on white sandwich bread. While it wasn't mindblowingly good, they enjoyed it enough that Mat said they'd consider adding most of the weirdo ingredients of this one onto their burgers in the future.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: More like "damned by lack of faint praise" - when Mat took a look at the supposed benefits of alkaline water, he noted that Dr. Oz, a man famous for endorsing nearly every fad supplement, notably refused to endorse alkaline water. This was, to Mat, the final nail in the coffin regarding alkaline water's benefits.
  • Dark Horse Victory: When Mat and Stephanie did a diet soda taste test, the winner was not Mat's preferred Diet Coke, but instead was Harris Teeter brand diet soda - Harris Teeter being a grocery chain in the southeast. Adding to the darkhorsedness of the victory is the fact that they only grabbed this particular soda at the last minute to fill out the bracket.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Played with. This episode was originally intended to be the Food Theory pilot episode; this didn't happen because Food Theory launched during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they decided an episode on buffet restaurants during a pandemic lockdown would be in poor taste. When it finally aired early July 2021, when things were beginning to reopen, it features a different intro and a live-action MatPat on a greenscreen with motion tracked props.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: In the second episode regarding eating your Christmas tree, Mat baked a few different Christmas cookies with varying levels of sawdust and had Stephanie act as a blind tester, passing them off as just a spontaneous treat for her. She was suspicious from the start (the cameras and the microphones being pretty big clues that he wasn't just being nice), and less than amused when Mat came clean.
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Spatchcocking", referring to a method of turkey cooking discussed here.
  • Nutritional Nightmare:
    • Mountain Dew Pizza. Everything except the cheese topping has Mountain Dew involved at some point in its prep time. Mat describes it as the one pizza that actively makes you want to brush your teeth after eating itnote ; and Dan notes that each slice has the same amount of caffeine as a can of Pepsi, due to caffeine being thermally stable enough to survive the baking.
    Dan: I can feel all the sugar in my veins, and I'm just reading the script! This is the worst sounding thing I've ever had to read!
    • The second spice remedy episode pointed out the downside to milkshakes being the top dog as far as spice chasers was that fried chicken wings already aren't the most healthy meal out there; chasing it with what is essencially ice cream isn't gonna do your waistline any favors.
  • Rapid-Fire "No!": In the intro to the Corona Beer episode.
    (MatPat and Luke on a video call)
    Mat: Next item on the agenda...Luke, forecast says you're about to have sun tomorrow? I'm gonna need you to perform an experiment for me.
    Luke: You mean—you mean I get to leave the writer dungeon?
    Mat: Not only are you getting out of the writer's dungeon, I'm actually gonna have to ship you a bunch of beer to drink as a part of this experiment.
    Luke: (Mouth agape for several seconds)
    Mat: Luke? You OK? Honestly, if you're not comfortable with that, that's totally fine! I'm sure one of the other researchers will be more than happy t—
    Luke: (now holding two cans of beer and wearing a soda hat with two more cans) Nonononononononono I can be convinced.
  • Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • Attempted here during one round where Mat and Stephanie disagreed on a winning soda in one of their semi-final brackets (trying to find Mat a new favorite diet soda). After six consecutive tie games, they took it as an omen and brought both sodas into the final round against the other semi finalist winner.
    • Used again in the second burger episode to determine who would taste-test the Dissonant Burger. After the first round ended in a tie, they lampshaded that they tend to play a lot of mind games with each other when it came to rock-paper-scissors. Fortunately, this time it ended at the second round with Mat winning Scissors-beats-Paper.
  • Sick Episode: The Mountain Dew Pizza episode, where Dan fills in for Mat while he's recovering from an illness.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: "But hey! That's just a theory: A Food Theory! Bon appetit."
  • To the Pain: When they're about to test their winning spice chasers against the new iteration of The Last Dab, Mat decides to read the description of the Apollo pepper it's made from out loud. You can watch Stephanie get more panicked as he keeps reading.
    Mat: The heat profile of the Apollo pepper is akin to having your head slowly lit aflame. You feel the fire consume your skull, your tongue smoulders, burning tears pour from your eyes. And then five minutes later the ride is over, you're heart rate returns to normal...(Solid Snake alert sound effect as Steph looks particularly panicked at this one)...the panic subsides. This Pepper. Is like. No other.
    Steph: Your...heart rate?! [...] I think I have a heart condition and need to sit this out.
  • Trauma Button: Downplayed. When olive oil was brought out as a potential spice chaser, Mat noticed Steph's mood go from bad to worse and asked what was up. Turns out she was dared to drink it as a child and it wasn't a pleasant experience.
  • Working Through the Cold: Defied. For the episode on Mountain Dew Pizza Mat's voice is strained by illness so editor Dan narrates the episode.

But hey, that's just a theory! A Game Theory! Thanks for watching.

Alternative Title(s): Game Theory Web Show, Film Theory, Food Theory, The Game Theorists


Person doing?

MatPat plays Christmas Shopper Simulator 2, and remarks on the 'great' intellect of the NPCs.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / ArtificialStupidity

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