The Human Pet is an alternate reality game webseries that began YouTube uploads in 2006 and reached its conclusion in 2008.
The videos showcased a young man named Eric being kept against his will in a room with nothing but a mattress. His captor, Sam Deercot, also known as "The Codemaster", gave the audience the ability to help Eric survive through picking which food he could eat and how to filter the pond water he was given. Later videos were uploads of Eric's own personal vlogs, detailing some of his actions that led up to his capture.
This series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents:
- Eric's father was mentioned as being abusive during his childhood, to both him and his sister, and was the reason their mother supposedly fell to alcoholis. He outright refused to speak with Eric after he moved to Hollywood to pursue his acting career.
- In "This Video Will Take You To Hell", we learn about a child whose parents kept them locked in a room with a mattress, a broken TV, a litter box, and pet bowls. This child turned out to be Sam himself.
- Alcoholic Parent: Eric's sister described their mother as having succumbed to drinking due to their father's abusive nature.
- Alternate Reality Game: Audience members participated by trying to help Eric, getting to ask him questions, cracking codes, and by digging up a secret tape that revealed the final video.
- Creepy Child: The poor treatment Sam received from his parents eventually drove him mad and caused him to kill them. When a child psychologist is sent to the scene after the murders, they find him in his room singing a children's song, and after he attacks and presumably kills the psychologist, the screen goes black and manic child laughter plays.
- A Deadly Affair: Eric had an affair with his boss's wife Sue, which is told about in vlog files leaked by The Codemaster. The details aren't elaborated upon, but it's heavily implied that as a result of the affair, either he or Sue committed murder after they realized her husband had cameras all over the house. Who died isn't revealed, but it's mentioned that Eric had to deal with police interrogations and that Sue blamed him for what happened.
- Dog Food Diet: The audience was allowed to choose what single solid food Eric could eat that would contain enough nutrients for him to survive; the answer was dry cat food.
- Domestic Abuse:
- Eric's father, in addition to abusing him, also abused his wife, shown by how afraid she was to go against his word.
- Sam's victim before Eric was a prostitute named Emily, who had gotten into the job thanks to her boyfriend. When she tried to stop, he literally threw her and her things out of their house.
- Freudian Excuse: The last upload reveals Sam's motivation for his kidnapping, murdering and torture is that his parents were horribly abusive to the point of driving him insane.
- Nice Guy: In the personal vlogs, Eric comes off as a kind if irresponsible young man who cared deeply for his lover Sue, even when things took a turn for the worst.
- Self-Made Orphan: Sam killed his parents after snapping thanks to their abusive nature.
- Serial Killer: Sam has been murdering and torturing people since the 70s — Eric is merely the first victim he posted online.
- Sleeping with the Boss's Wife: The Codemaster uploaded a series a vlogs from Eric's computer detailing how he met and eventually started a relationship with the wife of the director of a movie Eric was auditioning for. Who initiated it and what happened after the affair is unclear, but it ended in someone's death and it's why The Codemaster is targetting Eric.
- Streetwalker: One of Sam's victims was a prostitute who had approached his car late at night.
- Themed Aliases: The Codemaster's aliases- Sam Deercot and, briefly, Tom D. Caesar, were both anagrams of The Codemaster; of course, "The Codemaster" is an alias in and of itself.
- Too Desperate to Be Picky: Eric gets so hungry and thirsty while he's trapped that he scarfs down the cat food and drinks bleached pond-water, despite the humiliation and risk. It's especially dangerous because the "menu" was chosen by the viewers; if he was given the wrong thing, it'd kill him anyway.
- Troll: Sam enjoyed messing with both Eric and the audience, including donning a Santa costume to give Eric bleach to clean the long water with and misleading the audience on multiple occasions.