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  • Acceptable Targets:
    • Two consecutive battles near the start of Season 1 threw in disses towards John McCain, including Abraham Lincoln, the most famous Republican in American history, citing a vote for him as a bad thing.
    • Adolf Hitler is the only character to have something horrible happen to him at the end of the video. Three times. Whether or not you think he raps better than Vader, he's Adolf Hitler and Vader is allowed to kill him at the end of every video because he's that evil.
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    • Public opinions on Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Edison have both taken a beating since people have become more and more aware of their uglier actions and choices (though many historians disagree with the way these two have been presented in popular culture lately, with many still defending their reputations). Both were given opponents designed to knock them down a peg. While Edison vs Tesla started out fairly egalitarian until Tesla eviscerates him in the last stanza, Jefferson vs Frederick Douglass is an utter bloodbath. Jefferson is forced to use his entire second verse to answer Douglass about his participation in slavery. It may be worth noting that Hamilton, the cultural phenomenon also involving history and rap music, criticizes Jefferson very harshly on the same subject.
    • Donald Trump gets torn to shreds in his rap battle against Hillary Clinton, with the worst of it coming from what he himself is made to say.
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    • Bill Cosby, having recently been sent to prison after dozens of rape accusations, spends most of his appearance unconscious after being roofied himself by Joan Rivers. Rivers proceeds to eviscerate Cosby. When he wakes up later in the battle, Rivers just wacks him on the head to knock him out again. When Robin Williams shows up, he makes absolutely no acknowledgement of Cosby.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: While seeing Bill Cosby get a taste of his own medicine for being a convicted rapist was pretty satisfying, some people were still a bit disappointed that he was only allowed to say two lines before falling unconscious, and wouldn’t have minded if he had been allowed to rap some more lines.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Bill Nye. Nice Guy who spends half his verse praising his opponent, or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Combat Pragmatist who uses compliments to segue into cheap shots on Newton's personal life?
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    • The Easter Bunny. A wimp who foolishly picked a fight with a killer, and spent his second verse begging for mercy? Or a Badass Pacifist who spent his second verse expressing disgust at Genghis Khan's brutality?
    • Frederick the Great's death. It's not hard to look at it as an attempted 'fuck you' to Ivan, robbing him of doing the deed himself.
    • Walt Disney. After his sadistic and boastful verse, was he genuine about offering enjoyable, safe and well-paid jobs to Lee and Henson, or was he just trying to lure them into his company with no plan on following with his promises?
    • Ash Ketchum. Did he go too far with his line about Darwin's children, or was it standard fare for the rap battles and he just had a really good, if dark, ending line?
  • Alternative Joke Interpretation: At the end of "Romeo and Juliet vs Bonnie and Clyde", Bonnie shoots Juliet, causing her to collapse. Romeo thinks Bonnie killed her and poisons himself. When Juliet regains consciousness, she is horrified when she sees Romeo lying dead, and stabs herself. Bonnie and Clyde are confused at what just happened. However, when they realize they have each other at least, they are immediately shot. Then the battle ends, and the announcer says "Who won? Who's next? You decide! Epic Rap Battles of History!" as usual. The problem is, he says the first part in a quiet voice and the second part in a loud voice. Some see the first part as mirroring Bonnie and Clyde's confused reaction to Romeo and Juliet's deaths, and the second part as the announcer getting back into character. Others see the first part as mirroring Juliet having woken up and regained consciousness, and the second part as mirroring Juliet's horrified reaction to Romeo's death.
  • Anvilicious: Several battles in Season 5 tackle political issues that, at least at the time, were very topical in America, namely Douglass vs Jefferson, Banner vs Jenner and Trump vs Hillary. These battles were criticized for their very heavy-handed messages (name "Slavery is bad", "Trans people are good" and "Donald Trump is bad", respectively), which many viewers found obvious and/or severely liberal-biased.
  • Awesome Ego: It would be easier to note those who don't show this. After all, each rapper either brags about their achievements, ridicules the opponent's achievements, or simply references events they were a part of - and you know each one of them can back up their claims.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Chuck Norris. His fans love his portrayal in the series, but a number of other people don't really like the Memetic Badass jokes that comprise most of his rap.
    • Frederick Douglass either exposed Jefferson's hypocrisy of owning slaves while trying to end slavery or failed to show that he accomplished anything other than learning to read and write.
    • Caitlyn Jenner. Whether you think positively or negatively of her depends on your opinion of the real Jenner (which there is justification for either way). The fact that she got nearly three times as many lines as the Hulk did adds to her controversy; some say she deserved the extra spotlight and/or that the Hulk isn't known for being a big talker anyway, while others still consider it pretty unfair.
    • Donald Trump in his second appearance and Abraham Lincoln in his third, both within the same battle, due to much of both their verses becoming one big Author Tract against the former. Hillary Clinton actually manages to avert this, as her verse is the only part of the battle that was not met with huge controversy over how it was designed.
    • Walt Disney, for his portrayal being an Anthropomorphic Representation of the Disney company instead of a direct portrayal of the real person. While some people found it a dark and hilarious Take That! to the Disney corporation amount of power nowadays, some others were rather disappointed that they didn’t got to see the real Walt Disney rap, as his verse didn’t had any references to anything the real person did. This makes him one of the few characters that fans would not mind being reused in the future in the form of an Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:invoked Defied in Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs. HAL 9000's appearance at the end of the rap superficially seems to have nothing to do with either of the two businessmen. Once you look into it, however, it turns out that HAL 9000 was used in a famous Macintosh ad campaign.
    • Based on the actual lines in that verse it's possible that he's actually just representing advanced technology itself as the third battler, using HAL 9000 as one of the most iconic examples of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. He may also be representing Linux (with the others representing Microsoft and Apple, naturally), based on the line "I'm on Linux bitch, I thought you GNU".
    • It should be noted though, that HAL does come pretty out of nowhere, drastically changes the mood of the battle, has a Non-Standard Character Design by not being physically portrayed by an human actor, and does not appear at all during the "Who Won-Who's Next-You Decide" sequence or the Epic Dance Battles of History. Also, when FBE made a Teens React of this battle, and made a poll at the end to ask who won, they didn't even made HAL an option.
  • Breakout Character: Theodore Roosevelt went from merely hosting one episode of ERB News to hosting every one afterwards, and then he was finally used in a battle against Winston Churchill.
  • Broken Base: Has its own page.
  • Creator's Pet: Caitlyn Jenner in ”Bruce Banner vs. Bruce Jenner” was widely seen as this. The video was uploaded during LGBTQ pride month, probably motivating the creators’ decision to give Caitlyn Jenner the longest rap sequence, and it became obvious that they intended her to ”win”. Fans commented on how unfair the battle was and as a result it is considered one of their worst rap battles to date. Oh, and to add salt to the wound, most fans still consider Banner the winner of the battle despite his much shorter lines.
  • Creepy Awesome: Walt Disney is presented as a terrifying corporate slave-driver, but he manages to assert ownership over Stan Lee, Jim Henson, and even the Epic Rap Battles themselves. He drops some impressive rhymes, too.
  • Critical Research Failure:
    • Einstein claims that he is so awesome, it's like he's two rappers, and therefore "Albert E equals MC squared." As one of the world's greatest physicists, he should have known that multiplying something by two is not the same thing as taking it to the power of two, and that one squared is still one.
    • George Carlin claims to have been born in the Bronx, when it was actually in Manhattan.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: General rule of rap battles is that there's no such thing as "going too far", so it's only to be expected that some of the rappers will get downright nasty with their jabs.
    • Hitler is a prime example. Unlike most of the other vilified participants, he's arguably the stronger rapper in his fight. This episode of Teens React focusing on ERB shows a girl visibly disgusted by his "shower" line. In fact, he's had a line like this in every battle he's had, offering Vader use of his shower, a ride on his train, and asking him to pop into his oven, respectively.
    • Most of Clint Eastwood's lines are racist insults, and the rest make fun of both Bruce Lee's and his son's respective deaths. Given the nature of the series, though, many viewers love Clint's verses for their sheer brutality.
    • Voltaire rhyming Frank with Frank is painful but doing it four times straight is hilarious.
    • Trump in "Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton" goes full-on Politically Incorrect Villain, boasting of how he plans to keep latino immigrants out of America and make Mexico pay for everything; most of these lines are in fact based on actual statements from the man himself, but even then it can come across as so over-the-top dickish as to cross into hilarity. Then ERB has him finish his verse by attempting to call Barack Obama the N-word.
    • In "Wolverine vs Freddy Krueger":
    I ain't got time for this, I'm saving the world
    What qualities do you bring?
    Just a pedophile from the midwest.
    At least R. Kelly could sing!
    • True to her style of comedy, Joan Rivers pulls zero punches in whatever she can make fun of, whether it's Bill Cosby's imprisonment and rape charges, George Carlin's death, Richard Pryor's multiple wives, the latter two's heart attacks, or even her own sex life and plastic surgeries. Most of these would be offensive on their own, but given the rapid-fire nature of these barbs and her bombastic delivery, they go back to being funny.
    • Joker vs Pennywise is full of those, with neither clown having any restraints, from mocking Stephen King's drug addiction, Heath Ledger's death, Joker's abuse of Harley Quinn or the original IT novel's infamous orgy scene.
  • Designated Hero: Regarding both this trope and that immediately below, the historical battles suffer at times from lopsidedness, where one side is portrayed in a manner that is historically fair while the other side uses Hollywood History.
    • Thor vs. Zeus pits the Thor of Norse mythology against the Zeus of classical myths, and despite the former's depiction being ostensibly generic, with precisely one line making any explicit Marvel-specific reference, his general characterization here is heavily influenced by his popular modern portrayal as a superhero. As a result, while Thor disses Zeus for being "a shapeshifting rapist", Zeus never points out that Odin of Norse Myth was just as much a man-whore, that Thor in one story killed a random bystander when he tossed a dwarf into a funeral pyre, or the time that Loki slept with his wife Sif, not to mention any of the other many embarrassing hijinks that happened in the myths.
    • Caitlyn Jenner is clearly supposed to be seen as some kind of positive symbol and, according to the creators themselves, was given a longer verse “to address controversies surrounding transgender people“, but most of her lines don’t really show that and instead feel more like Filler and/or nonsensical, so her unfair amount of lines still feel unfair. And that’s without mentioning how quite a lot of her most controversial moments, like her support of conservative Republicans or her vehicular manslaughter are never brought up in the battle.
  • Designated Villain:
    • George Washington is called out as a hypocrite for owning slaves while William Wallace is shown as Mel Gibson's Braveheart which gave him a Historical Hero Upgrade. The real Wallace was a feudal lord and a warrior who would certainly not suffer republicanism of any kind and degree. This prevents the battle from being a fair fight since Washington can't fully attack Wallace and call him out for his Hypocrisy or reminding him that Robert the Bruce was the real Braveheart. Additionally, Washington's overall character is given a rather undignified portrayal compared to the heavily idealized Wallace, with his hideous artificial teeth made very prominently visible throughout the battle to the point of becoming distracting.
    • Rasputin vs. Joseph Stalin has a little of this going on. While Stalin was, well... a horrible person, the battle takes a turn out of its usual format and gives five characters one verse each before the fact that Rasputin wasn't exactly a non-controversial guy either can be unpacked, making his first verse a little of a case of the pot calling the kettle an asshole and getting a pass on it.
    • Ivan the Terrible vs Alexander the Great (and other "greats" like Catherine, Pompey and Frederick) portrays Ivan IV as being intrinsically worse than the others which a cursory glance through their biographies would find highly generous to the latter group, with Catherine the Great shown more positively than Ivan IV. Catherine dismisses the horse story as BS as the only character in the battle who gets a rebuttal verse, while Ivan IV is not allowed to challenge the similarly bogus claim mentioned by Frederick that he murdered the builders of St. Basil's Cathedral by plucking out their eyes, nor note his Accidental Murder of his son as indeed accidental and instantly, deeply regretted, or otherwise talk about his positive achievements, merely being a left as a caricature.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Has its own page.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Juliet from "Bonnie and Clyde vs. Romeo and Juliet" battle on Tumblr.
    • When Theodore Roosevelt got his battle, this was bound to happen with his weird facial expressions and his over-the-top delivery.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Stevie Wonder vs Wonder Woman received many complaints for the superficial nature of its premise, even though this easily applies as well to many older battles that based themselves off of just having similar names (Ghostbusters vs Mythbusters, Artists vs TMNT) or general occupations/roles (Lewis and Clark vs Bill and Ted, Wright Brothers vs Mario Brothers), if even that (Genghis Khan vs Easter Bunny).
    • The accusation of biased rap battles. Blatant political bias existed back from the first battle, when Bill O'Reilly was portrayed as a Card-Carrying Villain who spent his whole second verse admitting to being a terrible person who only survives by stirring up controversies over non-issues. This is a rare case where the flaws were actually worse in the earlier installments, but were ignored because expectations were lower.
    • Season 6 has had some people complaining about an overuse of meme joke/references in a lot of its battles, with some people calling them unfunny, “cringy” or out of place... despite the fact that they have been doing meme jokes/references since the start, most notably in Abe Lincoln vs Chuck Norris, where most of Chuck Norris’ lines were just a bunch of Chuck Norris’ Facts copy and pasted into the lyrics. Again, this could be a case where the flaws were ignored in the earlier installments because expectations were lower.
    • Season 6 has also released a lot of controversy about an overuse of fictional characters and pop-culture related people over historical figures, with quite a lot of people wanting for them to “bring back the history”... despite the fact that not only has the season featured multiple historical figures, but that the series has never truly centered around only historical figures and has always featured fictional characters and celebrities as often as them, having had fictional characters since the second battlenote , and celebrities since the first one note . In fact, their first matchup that was undeniably historical vs historical was Gandhi vs Martin Luther King Jr., the twenty-ninth installment in the series. The reason for this could have been because of a notable increase in the amount of fictional characters, with 5 out of the (so far) 9 battles of the season featuring fictional characters, 3 against each other.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
  • Genius Bonus: It has its own page.
  • Growing the Beard: When the series started, the costumes and special effects were cheaply-done, the lyrics lacked complexity, and most of the rappers didn't even have a very good sense of rhythm. By the end of Season 1, all of these things had been significantly polished, and the beginning of Season 2 kicked it up another notch. The iconic "Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs" battle set the standard of great-looking production values and intelligent and innovative rapping which the rest of the series continues to hold (and improve).
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Mr. T vs Mr. Rogers has Mr. T both implying Mr. Rogers to be a sexual predator and comparing his manner of dress to that of Bill Cosby. For obvious reasons, this is a somewhat more uncomfortable connection in the years since.
    • Jim Henson vs Stan Lee:
      • The former mentions how "the Four will always be Fantastic". The Fantastic Four reboot, which premiered a few days after the battle, turned out to be disappointing. Of course, this could instead be Hilarious in Hindsight depending on your viewpoint.
      • Henson's line about how the Hulk will always be incredible becomes a bit cringe-worthy considering how the later rap battle with the Hulk himself ended up being one of the most divisive in the series, with the highest dislike percentage out of all the raps. It could also be seen as Hilarious in Hindsight considering that many viewers of that battle thought the Hulk won — he was, indeed, still incredible.
      • Speaking of this battle, the fact that Disney bought Fox means Walt's Boastful Rap of taking over now feels all the more disturbingly valid. The comments section on YouTube did not let this go unnoticed within hours of the merger with jokes of world domination.
      • Stan Lee's death also makes this battle seem a lot sadder, especially when Stan mourns Jim's death and Jim's responds, "Don't be sad, we all have a time to go / Most of the internet thought you died twelve years ago."
    • In a similar line to the above, the "RoboCop vs. Terminator" battle referenced the disappointment that was Terminator 3, and said battle ended with an ad for Terminator Genisys, released around the time of the release of the video, complete with a brief cameo by Arnold himself. Then the critical and box office results of Genisys came in and, well, let's just say that it seems that Terminator 3 will have to share its place as most disappointing Terminator movie.
    • George R.R. Martin vs. J.R.R. Tolkien has Martin boast about his show being the "hottest thing on H.B.O". As noted by many commenters, this line really hasn't aged well, since the final season of GOT saw a steep quality decline to the show that made most of its fans denounce it as bad.
    • A major complaint of Season 5 was how many of the battles seemed random or lopsided, with the quality only returning in the third-to-last battle of the season. The season finale was themed around Peter and Lloyd having a creative spat. While it's primarily staged, it makes you wonder how much of that decline in quality was due to burnout.
    • On a related note, the second Peter VS Lloyd battle ends with them fake-cancelling the show, only for the show to later on actually go on an indefinite hiatus. Season 6 was eventually confirmed for spring 2019, however.
    • The John Lennon vs Bill O'Reilly battle is also rather awkward to watch nowadays due to Bill O'Reilly being one of many people in show business to be accused of sexual assault, eventually resulting in him being fired from Fox News.
    • It's one thing for Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton to end on Abraham Lincoln personally stepping in to tell them off; it's quite another when Trump not only set up a town hall at the Lincoln Memorial, but did it just to claim that he'd been treated worse than that person, in front of his monument.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Jim Henson praising Stan Lee for the legacy he has left behind serves as a rather beautiful eulogy in the wake of his death, which was not unnoticed by many viewers.
    • The whole existence of Albert Einstein vs Stephen Hawking can be this by the very fact that Hawking ended up dying on Einstein’s birthday, which is also the Pi day.
    • Seeing Rhett & Link and Smosh get to rap together serves as a reminder of how Good Mythical Morning bought Smosh after the Defy Media scandal left them without a parent company.
    • Robin Williams praising Will Smith in Carlin vs Pryor, after the latter received praise for his portrayal of Williams's character in the Aladdin (2019).
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: It has its own page.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: After about two years after the Season 5 finale, the main channel uploaded a video announcing that they were back! Season 6 is scheduled to come out in Spring 2019, but first with a bonus battle coming out only a week later!
  • Ho Yay:
    • The reference to Steve likely refers to the fundamentalist/anti-gay slogan "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve".
    • Freddie Mercury mixes this with Foe Yay in his final line to Sinatra.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • It's subtle, but Vladimir Lenin apparently watched his most trusted student dismantle his efforts toward a socialist paradise in favor of a brutal dictatorship. The reason you don't notice is that Lenin vents about this with authority.
    • An even subtler example: Robin Williams never abandons his cheerful and boisterous demeanor at any point in the battle, and yet still makes coded references to his struggles with drug addiction and suicidal depression.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!:
    • A common complaint on "Artists vs. Turtles" is that it's too short for an 8-person battle, and that the Turtles' verses are half as long as the Artists.
    • The rap part of "David Copperfield vs. Harry Houdini" lasts less than a hundred seconds, with just two relatively short verses for each rapper, which is disappointing coming off the mid-season hiatus.
    • For one specific part of an episode being this trope, a lot of people were displeased at the "Bruce Banner vs. Bruce Jenner" fight since Hulk barely has any lines while Jenner is allowed to ramble on and on.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: There was a fair bit of backlash when "Ronald McDonald vs. the Burger King" was released, since it had just recently been an episode of Flash in the Pan, and their lines were unchanged outside of some minor tweaks. However, the production value, beat, and the appearance of Wendy at the end did redeem it in the eyes of most fans, though some still think the choice was lazy.
  • Memetic Badass: Abe Lincoln. In his first appearance, he raps against fellow Memetic Badass Chuck Norris. In his next two appearances, he's carried in by a giant eagle to deliver a verbal beatdown to Obama and Romney, and again later to Trump and Clinton.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters":
    • A lot of Juliet's lines in "Romeo and Juliet vs. Bonnie and Clyde" are very famous on Tumblr, despite referencing things like prison rape.
    • "Pompey is the true winner".
    • Richard Pryor's "Hmm, that's funny," mocking the subdued reaction fans supposedly have to George Carlin's jokes, is now often used by fans when they acknowledge something is funny, but it didn't actually make them laugh.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Tends to happen with most characters from outside countries like Australian and Romanian fans with Steve Irwin and Vlad the Impaler respectively, where it isn’t weird to find a comment in their videos saying: “As an Australian/Romanian, I’m gonna have to give the win to Irwin/Vlad”.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The creators have cited this as one of the reasons for why they are taking a hiatus. Basically they weren't pleased with the comments and reactions of the Trump vs. Hillary battle being so different from what they expected, namely with many comments appearing to unironically glorify the overtly racist statements made by Trump's in-battle character.
  • Narm:
  • Narm Charm:
    • Lloyd's Pennywise voice may be strange and cartoonish, but they ultimately don't do anything to make the portrayal any less cool or menacing — in fact, the goofy voice also has the added effect of making the punchlines funnier.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer has been aptly described as looking like an older version of Eminem, which Peter even jokes about at the beginning of the BTS video. However, Peter's masterful portrayal of Oppenheimer as a haunted, guilt-ridden man led to fans considering Oppenheimer one of the season's best rappers.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • In the Making Of video for "Elvis vs. Michael Jackson", there is a clip of Epic Lloyd spitting out half-eaten bananas into a trash can. He doesn't like bananas too much.
    • George Washington's teeth can get a bit distracting due to this.
  • Never Live It Down: Because Cleopatra gets in three lines attacking Marilyn Monroe for being promiscuous, detractors may claim that every single woman vs. woman battle consists entirely of both sides calling each other sluts.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Has its own page.
  • Older Than They Think: There's a small group who considers Rhett & Link’s Epic Rap Battles to be ripoffs of these; their first Epic Rap Battle (the straight-up match between the two) predates "John Lennon vs Bill O Reilly".note 
    • A couple of YouTube comments on Goku vs Superman mentioned that Lloyd doesn't quite have the build to portray Superman. They probably never heard of George Reeves.
    • The folks who complained about Bruce Jenner's Sailor Moon-style transition into Caitlyn Jenner probably never heard of the Sailor Starlights.
    • Trump supporters have also accused ERB of a recent liberal bias after his rap battle with Hillary Clinton, ignoring that in the past they've made fun of other conservative figures like Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and (most frequently in the early years) John McCain. Not to mention considering their support for gay rights and feminism, ERB has been pretty front and center with what politics they support.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Boba Fett appears for all of maybe eight seconds in the season 3 premiere. The half-verse that he does manage to get is awesome.
    • Pompey the Great didn't even get to start his verse due to being decapitated with about five seconds of screentime, and yet many people jokingly determined him the winner of the battle. It helps that his appearance is some historically accurate black comedy.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Ray William Johnson is a fairly divisive YouTube creator, to say the least. However, he was able to stand his ground as an actor for the show, with many people considering his eight-second Boba Fett performance to be the best part of the third "Adolf Hitler vs Darth Vader" match, and a number of people considering his raps as Goku to be better than Superman's in the eponymous "Goku vs Superman".
    • In season 5, the excellent portrayal and characterization of Julia Child and Catherine the Great finally made the fanbase amends with the ERB team for their previous lackluster female / male vs. female battles and/or accusation that almost every female characters appeared has elements of Slut-Shaming in their verse.
  • Retroactive Recognition: The man who plays Watson in Sherlock Holmes vs Batman is Kyle Mooney!
  • Rewatch Bonus: Thanks to the show's use of fast-paced rap music and chroma keyed visuals, just about every episode has at least one clever lyric or Funny Background Event that you're guaranteed to miss on the first viewing, unless you have extremely quick comprehension skills.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Genghis Khan is almost unanimously agreed to have won in "Genghis Khan vs. Easter Bunny".
    • Columbus is also generally considered to have won in "Columbus vs. Kirk" due to many people finding their imitation of William Shatner's speaking style extremely annoying to listen to.
    • In the second "Adolf Hitler vs Darth Vader" battle, many people like Hitler better, even though he's definitely the more evil of the two. Of course, if you're on Vader's side, you're still rooting for the empire.
    • Majority of people thought that Walter White beat Rick Grimes.
    • A fair few people thought The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man won in "Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters".
    • Most viewers thought that the Terminator beat Robocop.
    • In "Jim Henson vs. Stan Lee", the winner is generally considered to have been Walt Disney.
    • A non-negligible number of viewers firmly hold that Vlad the Impaler - clearly the more evil of the two - beat Count Dracula.
  • Rule of Cool: The foundation of the whole series. You have far-flung historical characters that know enough about each other for a rap battle. They are even fictional characters rapping against real people; dead or alive. It doesn't make any sense but it sure is cool.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Sarah Palin, due to her ear-splitting voice.
    • Justin Bieber, as to be expected. Guess how often he's picked as the loser out of hate for him rather than because Beethoven legitimately rapped better than him. This might well have been on purpose if his unpopularity on the internet is anything to go by.
    • Thing One and Thing Two aren't popular with the general public due to their garish make-up, how Ax-Crazy they act toward Shakespeare as well, and their bad lines that only consist of violent threats with no variety. This is especially considering the fact said lines came after Shakespeare's second verse, considered to be one of the most impressive in the series history.
    • Mr. T has the third-lowest vote count on the official ERB website, and it's almost certainly due not only to his comparatively-weak raps, but also to the misfortune of having to throw insults against Mr. Rogers. And if there's one thing to learn from the Internet, it's that you do NOT insult Mr. Rogers.
    • Captain Kirk wasn't recieved at all for his extremely grating rapping style against his opponent.
    • Frank Sinatra, for similar reasons to Mr. T. Most ERB fans also seem to have a thouroughly different opinion on him than most music critics.
    • Adam and Eve's portrayal was met with intensely negative reception due to almost all their lines being hackneyed jokes about gender stereotypes with no relation to the characters. Their battle is widely considered one of the worst in the series because of this.
    • Thomas Edison got only ~15% of the votes on the official page. Just like Bieber's case, this was probably an Intended Audience Reaction.
    • Miley Cyrus, again, probably an Intended Audience Reaction.
    • One that certainly was not an Intended Audience Reaction was Caitlyn Jenner. Her final verse was much longer than the Hulk's, making it very one-sided. However, a majority of viewers either didn’t like Jenner's lines or that the battle was written with an on-the-nose bias in her favor rather than giving the two characters a real rap-battle-style balanced irreverent back-and-forth, and gave the win to the Hulk. It is also worth noting that this trope does not apply to her male form, as the first exchange of the battle between Bruce Banner and Bruce Jenner is almost unanimously considered to be better than what follows after they transform.
    • Count Dracula, for his poor-looking costume, his slow-paced, underwhelming flow, and a lack of hard-hitting disses towards his opponent.
    • Thanos, for his odd RoboCop sounding voice, his abominable looking costume, and a lack of good disses in comparison to his opponent, notably his Fortnite reference.
  • Special Effect Failure: Has its own page.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • "Stan Lee vs. Jim Henson". The video's length is 5:32, making it the longest ERB episode for its time. So when Lee and Henson stop battling and make peace only 2 minutes in, you just know a third rapper is about to enter.
      • Also subverted later in the episode. If you're expecting the battle to continue after Disney's verse, forget about it — the remaining 2 minutes and 10 seconds are spent on the end slate.
    • A similar situation arises in "Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible" when Ivan kills Alexander and seemingly wins the battle... less than halfway through the video. And again when Frederick the Great dies and there are still two minutes to go.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
    • "Frank Sinatra vs Freddie Mercury" is an intentional one of these, sounding similar to Queen's "We Will Rock You".
    • The beat used for "Michael Jordan vs Muhammad Ali" sounds suspiciously similar to the Key & Peele theme. Makes sense, seeing how the titular duo star in the battle.
    • "Goku vs. Superman" also sounds like an upbeat, more industrial version of the Battle Lost theme from Quake III: Arena.
    • Invoked in "Ash Ketchum vs. Charles Darwin". The beat sounds very similar to the opening chords of the Pokémon anime.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Pretty much everyone universally agrees that Genghis Khan was utterly wasted against the Easter Bunny and that he should have went against Attila the Hun instead.
    • Quite a lot of people thought too that Napoléon Bonaparte was wasted against Napoleon Dynamite, especially for very little of his accomplishments being brought up, and feel that he should have went against another world leader like Charlemagne, Alexander the Great, or even the aforementioned Genghis Khan.
    • Batman's appearance in Season 2 was... not the most well-received, so to speak. Instead of being a proper Adaptation Distillation of the Caped Crusader like the show had done (and would continue to do) with other fictional characters, Peter instead saw fit to play Batman as an exaggerated parody of a very specific iteration of the character (namely the Christian Bale version, which had already been parodied to death by the time the battle came out.) Not helping matters was that the Dark Knight got few good lines; most of his raps were either very generic or just immature and don't fit the character at all. It seems the creators ended up agreeing with the sentiment, as evidenced by this line from the Season 5 finale:
      Epic Lloyd: [to Nice Peter] We try to tell you things, but you're too stubborn to understand
      Like "Dude, that is not a cool way to play Batman!"
    • Fans complained that the rap of Frederick Douglass was more about Jefferson owning slaves, to the detriment of informing the audience about Douglass's accomplishments / character and he ended up being Flanderized.
    • Quite a lot of people felt that Bruce Banner/The Hulk should have went against Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde instead of Jenner. The Hulk’s lack of screen time didn’t helped manners.
    • Pompey the Great, who only got one sentence before being unceremoniously killed off by Catherine the Great..
    • Walt Disney, for the reasons given under Base-Breaking Character above.
    • Stevie Wonder vs Wonder Woman was this for both rappers. Many fans feel that Stevie should have rapped against Ray Charles and Diana against Xena.
    • The portrayal of Dracula in Vlad the Impaler vs Count Dracula fully embraced the campier aspects of the character while also acknowledging the more frightful ones. A lot of fans would have preferred if the former had been ignored instead, as it means that Dracula in general comes across as far more comical and less intimidating compared to Vlad, as opposed to being the romanticized version of the Vlad legend with all the Prince of Wallachia's negative traits played Up to Eleven. More generally, fans have also called Dracula's portrayal unfocused, as a lot of both his lines and Vlad's disses pertain to vampire legends in general rather than being specifically about Dracula himself.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Many people felt that Jim Henson and Stan Lee should have teamed up against Walt Disney, or otherwise that the unique setup involving the three of them could have been explored further. Some people also felt the lack of George Lucas throughout the whole battle.
    • The Joker vs. Pennywise bases the character design for Pennywise primarily on the Bill Skarsgård version of the character. Many fans hoped to see the Tim Curry Pennywise make an appearance, but that version is only referenced in a diss by the Joker, saying he'll chase away Pennywise so fast "they'll call you Tim Scurry."
    • An extremely minor example, but with how many disses are aimed directly at him, a lot of fans were hoping for a cameo by Zach Sherwin as Stephen King, similarly to the Justice League's appearance.
    • Fans have noticed that any time a battle consists of an older/"original" character/person and a newer one, the newer one tends to get the shaft, with weaker lines (and sometimes less lines overall), the older character often getting the last and most effective word, and a widely-declared landslide victory in the older character's favor. Examples include Justin Bieber vs Beethoven, Mozart vs Skrillex, Babe Ruth vs Lance Armstrong, and George R.R. Martin vs J.R.R. Tolkien. Suffice to say, fans aren't very fond of this happening, especially if they're fans of the newer combatant and were hoping for a fair fight. This also tends to happen whenever a real person battles a fictional character, in favor of the real person, like Artists vs TMNT, Ash Ketchum vs Charles Darwin, Vlad the Impaler vs Count Dracula and Thanos vs J. Robert Oppenheimer.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • "George Washington vs William Wallace" was considered by some to be extremely underwhelming, especially coming after the excellent string of battles that was "Goku vs Superman", "Edgar Allan Poe vs Stephen King", and "Isaac Newton vs Bill Nye".
    • Season 3 in general compared to season 2. A common complaint is that few of the songs are memorable.
    • "Oprah Winfrey vs Ellen DeGeneres" had the uphill task of following the highly popular "Jack the Ripper vs. Hannibal Lecter".
    • "Lewis & Clark vs. Bill & Ted" had the bad luck to come out after the hiatus that occurred after the director battle royale, and then over the next few weeks was overshadowed by progressively better battles.
    • "Stan Lee vs. Jim Henson". Not only did it come on the heels of "East vs. West Philosophers" and "Shaka Zulu vs. Julius Caesar", both of which got very positive reception, but it served as the finale for Season 4—an honor that many people thought would go to "Philosophers". This set the bar high for the battle... only for the titular characters to get roughly one verse each of actual battle rapping note  before patching things up and being friendly. And then Walt Disney enters and turns the rest of the battle into just a Boastful Rap about himself and how he now owns the creations of both competitors. It hurts that the battle's flow is rather slow and the lyrics aren't particularly memorable; people seem to like the concept but not the execution, and consider it a good battle but far from a good season finale.
    • "Thanos vs. Oppenheimer", which - in addition to its one-sided nature and poorly-received visual effects - had the absurd poor fortune of trying to follow on from "Joker vs. Pennywise", considered by a not-insignificant portion of fans to be the series' best episode ever from the perspectives of both rap quality and special effects.
  • Ugly Cute: Pikachu in "Ash Ketchum vs. Charles Darwin". While in his native works he's a Ridiculously Cute Critter, here he's this trope thanks to the 2D drawings of him used in the battle being rather crudely drawn (though Drawing Around Trademarks may have been in effect).
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The brief zoom-in on Ash Ketchum's eye in "Ash Ketchum vs. Charles Darwin" where it changes from live-action to his familiar anime style. Thankfully, it goes back to live-action soon afterwards, but the transition still looks weird due to Limited Animation which is shared with the Pokémon creatures shown in-battle.
    • The appearance of Thanos as portrayed with sub-professional practical effects falls squarely into this.
  • Unacceptable Targets:
    • Mr. Rogers, as Mr. T found out the hard way from the internet.
    • This was the reason the series was hesitant for a long time to use Steve Irwin.
  • Unconventional Learning Experience: The amount of detail weaved into the verses and visuals of a battle can surprise listeners, especially when it comes to actual historical figures. In fact, many rap battles can make people want to go out and learn about people like Newton, William Wallace, Gandhi, Da Vinci, etc, etc.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Virtually no one expected the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to join the Ghostbusters' battle as a rapper in his own right.
    • While Jacques Cousteau fits quite well as an opponent for Steve Irwin, he was hardly his most popular opponent, not being as well-known as the Crocodile Hunter despite his contributions to cinema and undersea travel.
    • Deadpool vs Boba Fett came completely out of left field, due to them both being modern fictional characters that weren't even the main characters in most of their franchise.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • "Goku vs. Superman". Particularly the Air Jousting at the end, and Goku turning Super Saiyan.
    • In "Batman vs. Sherlock Holmes", the visual effects for Batman's first verse were pretty boss.
    • "Zeus vs Thor" is animated with Lego Blocks, akin to The LEGO Movie.
    • Season 5 in general has visual effects that are more cinematic than the previous seasons (the tree branch scene in "J. R. R. Tolkien vs. George R.R. Martin", the Blue Team scene in "Gordon Ramsay vs. Julia Child" and Bruce Banner’s transformation are examples), but "James Bond vs. Austin Powers" takes the cake. Bond's first verse is comparable to the stunning visuals of James Bond movie openings (complete with a Bond Gun Barrel), Austin's verse is also an eye-pleaser, and Sean Connery's Bond comes by to top it off.
    • If "Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg" showcases anything, it's that season 6 will have a considerable upgrade in VFX, mostly showcased by the effects of Musk interacting with his own subtitles by picking one of them up and flying to Mars, dodging a satellite.
    • The special effects of Robin Williams' emergence from the genie lamp in "Carlin vs Pryor" look damn cool.
    • In "The Joker vs. Pennywise", the backgrounds on Joker's side look like they came straight from a comic book, while the recreations of Signature Scenes from It (2017) and its sequel are incredibly faithful, especially Pennywise's Deadlights form.
  • Vocal Minority: Almost every battle has a very high ratio of likes to dislikes, but the comment sections of at least 40% of the videos have many hate comments.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • The fandom was displeased with the unannounced hiatus that happened after the "Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs", some even going so far as to think that the work would become an Orphaned Series. Cue the announcement that the next six Rap Battles would be uploaded back-to-back every fortnight, followed by a holiday break and more episodes. This was impeded only by a small Schedule Slip in regards to "Batman vs Sherlock Holmes".
    • It happened between Seasons 3 and 4. Many fans found "Artists vs Turtles" to be an incredibly disappointing finale to the third season, but were immensely pleased when Season 4 came back with "Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters", which they considered a group battle done right.
    • When season 4.5 came around, many fans found the first two battles lackluster and began accusing Peter and Lloyd of selling out and not having fun anymore. Then along came "Terminator vs Robocop", which silenced some dissenters, and then "Philosophers East vs West", which was met with a great deal of praise.
    • After some controversial battles in Season 5, the mid-season finale "Alexander the Great vs. Ivan the Terrible" was very popular again.
    • Season 5 was accused of having numerous battles that didn't make sense and/or were too heavily weighted in one side's favor. Then Tony Hawk vs. Wayne Gretzky finally got back to a sensible and balanced match.
    • After the disappointed reaction many fans had to Vlad the Impaler vs. Count Dracula, we get The Joker vs. Pennywise which not only has a much more energetic beat but is also much more horrifying, pulling no punches and showing exactly how evil and insane both of its participants are.
  • The Woobie:
    • The Easter Bunny really bit off more than he could chew.
    • Freddie Mercury starts off as one. He spends most of Frank Sinatra's first verse and part of his first verse moping at his piano, saying that he's heard all the insults that Frank hurled at him before. Then he gets going.
    • J. Robert Oppenheimer has a perpetual horrified My God, What Have I Done? expression and spends his verses surrounded by first the atomic explosions his work wrought, then dust in the aftermath of Thanos’ snap.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Fan reaction to Lloyd's portrayal of Thanos has been mixed, to say the least. While his voice and delivery are just fine, fans complained that he's too short and not muscular enough to convincingly play the role, and had to rely too much on a not-terribly-convincing costume to sell the effect. Fans wondered why they couldn't just dub Lloyd's voice over an actor who looks more like the character, or just put Lloyd in makeup since he already sports the Bald of Awesome and jawline for the part.

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