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Webcomic / Let's Play (Webtoon)
aka: Lets Play Mongie

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Marshall (left) and Sam (right).
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Let's Play is a romantic comedy Webcomic by Mongrel Marie or "Mongie" published on Line Webtoon.

Samara "Sam" Young is a young indie game designer whose first game, Ruminate, is bombarded with negative reviews after Marshall Law, a popular Let's Player, gives the game a harsh critique. As a result, the low review scores block Sam's account and stall her desire to be a full-time game designer. What's worse, she learns the very next day that Marshall has moved into the apartment right next to hers. Needless to say, this complicates things.

The story unfolds as Marshall and Sam both learn more about each other and each struggle with their own personal issues. It also soon involves the personal issues of their various friends and family as well. The world and story is heavily inspired by both manga and video games featuring shout outs to both. Despite an overall humorous tone, and a healthy sprinkling of Fourth Wall Breaks the story still touches on serious issues such as mental illness, abuse, infidelity, and death, among other things, and takes time to delve into the backstory and mental state of Sam, Marshall and also the various supporting characters taking time to develop the entire cast.

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Webtoon launched an Animated Adaptation of the comic's first chapter in September of 2019, which can be found right here.


Let's Play contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Shown in a flashback of Marshall's childhood, his father James Lawson was overbearing and abusive both emotionally and possibly physically to him, Eva, and their Mother. Eva is driven to tears and Marshall is downright terrified of his father.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: All three of the main love interests have done this to Sam. Marshall has poked her in the forehead, Link has kissed her forehead, and Charles has tapped her forehead to remind her not to tent her brows.
  • All Just a Dream: What starts out as a simple flashback to Marshall's childhood turns into a full-blown nightmare when his face breaks off causing his mother to run in terror to Marshall's father who grows into an impossibly large size causing present day Marshall to quickly wake up in a cold sweat. Apparently he's had this nightmare before.
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  • All Love Is Unrequited: Link has a crush on Sam, but Sam is oblivious, and even after she starts to return his feelings he eventually realizes thier relationship is more Like Brother and Sister. Angela developed feelings for Link when they first met, but stepped back because she didn't want to betray her friend by interfering with a potential relationship for her. Charles clearly has a soft spot for Sam, leaving behind Marshall's sister Eva, who's implied to have feelings for Charles making her curt behavior border on Tsundere. And considering which characters are being built up to be the Official Couple, it is unclear what will happen to Monica in the end and if she will get a happy ending herself.
  • Almost Kiss: Sam and Link have one after their date at the dog park.
  • Animal Motifs: A few instances in the comic have teased Monica as an alpha female dog (vs. Sam as a plain "beta" dog), but Link in particular tends to be associated with an image of a lion to emphasize his presence. His long hair acting as a sort of "mane" helps.
  • Animated Adaptation: Basically a Lighter and Softer take on the comic's first chapter (though many of the same beats are hit in both versions) with several characters adapted out to focus on a tighter cast.
  • Animesque: Not just Mongie's anime-influenced art style, but the use of anime tropes and Shout-outs to various Japanese franchises make Let's Play more closer to that of a Shoujo than a typical western romantic comedy.
  • Arc Symbol: Three Zelda-style hearts are at the header of every episode, starting at one half-full, then the first filling completely after Marshall and Sam finally resolve their differences. Then going to completely empty when Marshall suffers a Hollywood Heart Attack. Currently, the first heart has filled up again when Marshall is finally able to tell Sam - in detail - how much he loved Ruminate. The 2nd Heart also fills in after Sam's dinner with Charles and hearing his feedback on Ruminate. When asked if the hearts mean something Word of God answered "yes."
  • Art Evolution: The first several episodes had characters (especially the guys like Marshall and Link) drawn in a sharper style which made them look a bit more intimidating. The art has evolved into a more softer style in the most current episodes while still keeping the designs consistent. It is only really noticeable if one goes back and re-reads the earlier episodes.
  • Art Shift: Certain scenes and panels will shift to a more Chibi art style while still keeping the characters core designs.
  • Beta Couple: Angela and Link seem be developing into one other possible couple, especially since Link has realized his feelings for Sam aren't romantic. Doesn't help that Dallas seems to also have an unhealthy attraction to Angela, nor her own issues. Angela does finally admit her feelings for Link when he asks her about them.
  • Betty and Veronica: Sam plays the Betty role in all three love triangles.
    • Link meets sweet, sheltered Sam prior to the events of the story when he was grieving for his father, creating a Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl dynamic that leads him developing a crush on her. He also starts getting closer with Fiery Redhead Angela, who has actually had a crush on him since they met years ago but didn't act upon it because of Link's crush on Sam.
    • Charles and badass Action Girl Eva are implied to have been in a sadomasochistic relationship in the past, and although she still pursues him, he grows closer to Sam as they get to know one another better. Charles also has a vague friends-with-benefits relationship with a businesswoman named Miss Rosewood who has her own image-problems.
    • Marshall has been dating Lovable Alpha Bitch Monica for quite some time now, but finds new found interest in the intelligent, literal Girl Next Door Sam, with whom he is slowly becoming friends despite a rocky start.
  • Betty and Veronica Switch: While Sam plays the Betty in the male-centered perspective of the story, she also qualifies as the Archie from her perspective:
    • Link is the Betty as he’s an established friend and a humble coffee-house worker. However, he’s also positively jacked from being an avid rock-climber and sports enthusiast, his job at the Daily Grind is actually a side-job for his real career as a paramedic, he still has some unresolved issues from his father dying, while he's not much for gaming he's very protective of Sam, and is shown to have a lion alpha-male aura.
    • Marshall is the Veronica as he’s an attractive and popular internet celebrity with a devoted following who shakes up Sam's life due to his own unintentionally hurtful comments. However, they share similar passions for video games, and he's shown to be a very kind and empathetic person, never lets his fame go to his head, always appreciates his fans, and he immediately feels immense guilt when he finally learns the extent of the damage he did to Ruminate, especially after he plays it again and realizes Sam dedicated the game to him during the end credits. He also struggles with depression that even those closest to him fail to recognize.
    • Charles is the Cheryl as Sam’s distant and aloof boss who pushes her out of her comfort zone. However, his icy demeanor is implied to be because he was cheated on by an ex-wife (but he's starting to warm up to Sam), and is actually fairly adorable in his own way; he participates in Escape Room puzzles, and becomes quite taken by Sam’s game (stating more than once that it’s kept up at night), quickly spotting the threads and figuring out loopholes. He's also something of a Drama Queen .
  • Bland-Name Product: For nearly everything, e.g. ViewTube, World of Warquest, and Instaframenote .
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mongie does this frequently poking fun at other tropes and cliches common in romance comics and sometimes just for fun. Vikki is prone to making them frequently, often completely ignoring the fourth wall like Deadpool. Charles even pointedly looks at the reader with a sly smile at one particular moment as if telling them, "Yeah I know how this looks." Abe even gets a moment as well when he tells Marshall that he is unfortunately in a Romance comic not a Shonen.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Poor Sam orders an "Irish" Coffee and quickly becomes drunk becoming much more uninhibited than her usual self leading to Charles quickly having to get her out of the Restaurant when her brother Jay arrives. She later tries to seduce Charles during the Finale of Season 2 and he tries to stop her even lampshades that she is filled with Liquid Courage and doesn't know what she's doing.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Almost every character not already in a relationship has trouble expressing their feelings to another character. Link has trouble at first admitting his obvious crush on Sam. Angela keeps trying to hide her attraction to Link despite it becoming more and more obvious. Link even finally realizes Angela's feelings and asks her how long she's liked him. Sam has trouble admitting to her growing feelings for the various guys she knows, though Charles does a lot to bring her out of her shell. Charles struggles himself with his own attraction to Sam not wanting either of them to get too attached due to his past experiences.
  • Cool Down Hug: Link attempts one when Angela tries to attack Marshall, only for Link's plan to backfire and Angela bites his arm out of fear.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sam's father delivers a couple to Charles for possibly harming his daughter of course both times are just in his mind
  • A Day In The Lime Light: While the comic mostly follows Sam and Marshall, the supporting cast does get episodes which center on them including episodes dedicated to Link, Monica, Angela, Charles, and even Sam's dog, Bowser.
  • Downer Ending: Charles unlocks one in Ruminate when his avatar turns down the offer to marry the princess (whose design is based on Sam herself) and she commits suicide.
  • Ensemble Cast: While it's clear at first who the "Main" characters are, the series also takes it time to develop the ever growing supporting cast to where the comic is about all of them and their relationships and not just the two central characters, with several as mentioned before getting their own personal episodes that peel back the layers (the only exception being the always adorable Bowser as mentioned below.)
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Bowser in all his adorableness has become quite popular with fans of the webcomic, placing 3rd in the 1st Popularity Poll, and later moving up to 2nd place in the next despite the fact that he is not a central character. He even got his own episode dedicated just to him which is just as awesome and cute as it sounds. Charles himself has become one as well (even earning the top spot in the 2nd Popularity Poll) starting off at first as Sam's commanding and intimidating boss but eventually revealed as a caring, intelligent man who works to support Sam and help her grow. He even becomes one of her main Love Interests, with most fans adoring their interactions and fully supporting the ship.
  • Everyone Can See It: Almost everyone knows Link has a crush on Sam, except of course her. Later he realizes his feelings are more platonic. And it is only a matter of time before the rest of the cast catches on to Angela's feelings for Link despite her efforts to hide them.
  • Family Theme Naming: With the exception of her Brother Sam's family are actually all named "Sam" with her father being Samuel, her mother Samantha, and her full name is Samara.
  • Fandumb: In-Universe. The reason Marshall's fans only gave Sam's game negative reviews is because they watched him play it wrong and he heavily critiqued it, NOT because they themselves played it.
    mewkitten: OMG, YOU MADE MY HUSBANDO MARSHALL ANGRY!!!
    Another reviwer:Marshall brought me here.
  • Fanservice: Plenty from both the female and male characters. Lampshaded by Sam in a brief and hilarious Breaking the Fourth Wall moment.
    Sam: ...It's like I'm stuck in some cheesy romance comic...
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Brash and immature Dallas contrasts with diligent and kindhearted Link. Eva and Marshall are seen as this by their family, since Eva works for their father and Marshall "wastes" his time with his Viewtube career.
  • Gamer Chick: Sam and her fellow female guildmates, complete with Dallas a Straw Misogynist who receives Butt-Monkey treatment for his actions.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Usually Japanese from Marshall or Eva to impart their mixed ancestry.
  • Golden Ending: Though not shown, Ruminate is implied to have one, most likely if the player decides to revive the Princess instead of helping her rest peacefully and agrees to marry her. Charles declines to marry the princess leading to one of the "Bad" endings.
  • Heart Symbol: In a clear reference to a Heart's typical use in video games, a row of three hearts represent the various characters and their relationships with each other, most obvious being the hearts in the title representing the growing relationships between Sam, Marshall, Charles, Link and Angela.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Angela initially keeps her feelings for Link secret to avoid getting in the way of him dating Sam. Also it seems Monica is starting to realize that maybe she might not the right person for Marshall.
  • Jizzed in My Pants: Sam gets a little too excited while making out with Charles, which results in this much to their equal surprise and Sam's embarrassment.
  • Living a Double Life: While not as secretive or damaging as others, Sam does admit to another player she befriends that she enjoys playing World of Warquest since she can live a much different life then she does in reality. It is also hinted a few times that the other player is Marshall.
  • Love Dodecahedron: While it's clear from the beginning Sam and Marshall are the main characters of the webcomic with Charles and Link gaining more attention as the series goes on things also grow more complicated, as evidenced by the many, many ships fans have created.
  • Love Triangle: Averted as so far no love-triangle has actually solidified, though Sam finds herself in the middle of several possible ones. When Angela is shown to have feelings for Link, it is around the time that Link realizes his feelings for Sam are not romantic. Monica has doubts about her relationship with Marshall that she struggles with, though Marshall often reassures her. And right now Marshall and Sam's relationship is platonic, whether that will change later only Mongie knows. Charles is eventually clearly shown to be attracted to Sam, but he wishes for them both to not get too attached due to his being cheated on b y his ex-wife Though he keeps finding that to be more difficult. This all could be due to Mongie wanting to show the realistic development of a relationship.
  • Luminescent Blush: True to the Animesque art style, several characters have their whole face light up when they blush. Sam is often the most prone to it, though Angela does too especially when Link is involved.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: When Sam gets more confidence she unfortunately starts wearing skirts on a very windy day, causing the expected to happen. However, the Panty Shot is subverted by the tights she's wearing. Not that it spares her from embarrassment.
  • Meet Cute: Sam and Marshall first meet when they bump into each other in the apartment hallway as Marshall was moving in, knocking off Sam's glasses and Marshall accidentally copping a feel.
  • Mood Whiplash: The comic switches between serious and emotional scenes to over the top hilarity at the drop of a hat. This is meant to throw the audience off a little and draw attention to the more serious underlying themes behind all the wacky hijinks and references, and also true to it's Animesque influence as even the most comedy centered Manga often deal with serious topics.
  • Multiple Endings: Ruminate is revealed to have multiple endings depending on the player choices, with Marshall getting one of the Good Endings by helping a ghost designed after Sam herself finally rest peacefully, and Charles unknowingly getting one the Bad Endings after reviving the Ghost who is revealed to be the princess, and declines the offer to marry her leading to the princess committing suicide and haunting Charles's Avatar.
  • Must Make Amends: After Dallas is discovered to be the one stealing Toilet Paper from the Daily Grind Link wishes to punish his younger brother. Dee instead offers to have Dallas work at the Daily Grind for a few hours each day until he pays off the money lost because of his theft.
  • Nosebleed: Sam suffers from them before, during, and after her "Date" with Link everytime she has a sexual thought, much to her annoyance. She ends up watching porn at the advice of Vikki and Angela to help "cure" herself. Lampshaded by some of the characters as not biologically possible in real life. But this is an Animesque inspired Webcomic after all.
  • Power Trio: Angela and Vicki are Sam's two closest and longest friends having known each other since elementary school. They are also her most passionate supporters and protectors (especially Angela), and the three of them together balance out each other's personalities very well.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Angela is a fiery and passionate Red, and Vikki is a calm and rational Blue.
  • Series Mascot: Bowser due to his popularity. Mongie has even revealed he is her favorite character to draw.
  • Ship Tease: A must have for any romance comic. Sam of course has several moments with her prospective love interests, chief among them being Marshall and Charles. Angela also has quite a few moments with Link. There's even a couple sweet moments between Vikki and Abe. And the best couple of all, Bowser and his princess doll.
  • Shout-Out: Almost every episode has various ones to popular video games, Anime/manga series, and even Shoujo manga cliches.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Charles is shown to have closed his heart off to caring for another due to his ex-wife having an affair shown by the Hearts representing him to be frozen.
  • True Companions: Sam's Guild led by Abraham, who calls the guild his family, is this despite the bickering usually caused by Token Evil Teammate and resident Jerkass Dallas. The rest of the guild actually get along quite well and are quite supportive of each other, thanks in part to three of the members Sam, Vikki, and Angela actually being best friends already.
  • Tsundere: Eva could be considered this towards Charles with her often curt behavior especially when it's implied she does have legit feelings for him. Angela could also be one when it concerns her feelings for Link which she avoids admitting too. Even Sam has her moments when it concerns her initial interactions with Marshall.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Dallas has this dynamic with both Angela and Olivia, though how friendly their relationship with him is is up for debate due to his very Jerkass behavior.
  • Wham Shot: Marshall's light-hearted second playthrough of Ruminate ends up taking on a much darker tone when he reaches the special thanks and reads that it was dedicated to him. His emotional state spirals out of control leading to his Hollywood Heart Attack in the Season 1 Finale.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: Sam wakes up thinking the previous night's events had all been a dream, until she rolls over and realizes she is lying bed with Charles.
  • You're Not My Father: Dallas angrily says this to Link when Link grounds him after it is discovered Dallas has been the one stealing Toilet Paper from the Daily Grind to help with a cosplay costume he is making.

Alternative Title(s): Lets Play Mongie

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