Beware! This article contains major spoilers about this sexyperson or their source material. Please proceed with caution.
Sans is a character from the video game Undertale. He is infamous for being a very widespread sexyman even though he really doesn't look the part.
- 1 Basic information
- 2 Archetypes
- 2.1 Nonhuman/Skeleton
- 2.2 Eye Imagery
- 2.3 Tongue Imagery
- 2.4 Glowing Neon
- 2.5 Duality
- 2.6 Fanon Splintering and Self-Shipping
- 2.7 Flanderization
- 2.8 Theme Song
- 2.9 4th Wall Blurring
- 2.10 Technically Antagonist
- 2.11 Ensemble Darkhorse
- 2.12 Mysterious
- 2.13 Power
- 2.14 One-Winged Angel
- 2.15 Distinctive Voice
- 2.16 Quotable Catchphrase(s)
- 2.17 Angst
- 2.18 Chaoslord
- 2.19 Intelligence
- 3 Fanon
- 4 References
Sans is a major character in Undertale and the first character the player meets outside of the Ruins. He is the brother of another skeleton, Papyrus, who contrasts his character in many ways. Throughout a normal or pacifist playthrough, he befriends the player, but unlike other characters who do this (except for Alphys) you do not fight him in a normal playthrough. He comes off as too lazy to put up a fight. However, in a playthrough where you kill everything (a "no mercy run"), Sans is the final boss and he is one of, if not the most difficult boss battle in the game. In this battle Sans has a very different attitude than the rest of the game and reveals incredible powers that you do not see in a normal playthrough. The sheer drama of this boss battle made Sans the fan favorite, and he actually represented Undertale in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (as a Mii gunner costume, but you can fight as him nonetheless). And there was disproportionate horniness for practically every Undertale character, but since Sans was the fan favorite, the thirst for him was almost beyond comprehension. You really had to be there.
Sans has a much more detailed description on the Undertale Wiki.
He is part of the "monster race" in Undertale. What's interesting is that many of the monster characters have sharp teeth, but Sans and Papyrus do not in canon. In fanart, they are often depicted with sharp teeth, and a lot of his AU selves have sharp teeth.
The infamous glowing blue eye of power. It only shows up once in the game, when he uses his magic while he's going all-out during the genocide route final boss, but the fandom has exaggerated it to being a main feature of his.
You know that weird thing where characters get drawn with uncomfortably long and slimy sexy glowing ectoplasm monster tongues and bedroom eyes all the time? They invented that for Sans. The idea of the sexy ectoplasm tongue in sexy Sans Undertale fanart circles got so popular that is spilled out to the point where basically everyone, even completely sfw artists, were on board with the idea of Sans being able to summon glowing blue ectoplasm body parts.
Sans' magic is usually shown as glowing blue, though this isn't really present in canon. This also ties into tongue imagery.
The Sans you know in a pacifist playthrough and the Sans you meet in a no-mercy playthrough have very different attitudes. They are very much the same character, but fans took the "Sans has a hidden darker powerful side" idea and rolled with it, creating dramatic interpretations of his character. Fanon tends to play up the potential duality between him and Papyrus too, mainly in their body types and the popular fan theory that Papyrus's magic is orange rather than blue.
Undertale had a LOT of fan AUs, or alternate universes, with different versions of the characters with different designs. The sheer amount of AUs is probably at least partially the result of Undertale's narrative playing with the idea of alternate timelines. With Sans being the most popular character, the wild amount of horniness, and no other characters with a hot enough dynamic with Sans to ship, people shipped the alternate versions of Sans together. This appears to be a hallmark of famous sexymen. There's also an incredible amount of effort put into developing the different Sanses and their dynamics and the ship art between them that you can't not be impressed.
There are three main traits people flanderize with Sans: his laziness, sense of humor, and angst. People will hone in onto these with lazer-focused intensity to the point that in many fanworks he is unrecognizable to his canon self and lacks any other characterization.
Sans has two, or three if you count an unused track. The most famous of his theme songs is MEGALOVANIA. It slaps so endlessly hard and so many remixes have been made of it that it's actually a meme to remix it. There is a playlist on YouTube of over 500 MEGALOVANIA remixes. A new official remix of MEGALOVANIA was also added to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with the Sans Mii Gunner costume.
The other song associated with Sans in Undertale is simply titled sans., which plays in the overworld in areas where Sans can be found as well as places he likes to go to, like Grillby's. This song reflects Sans' laid-back, easygoing personality much more than MEGALOVANIA, which reflects the intense boss fight and the situation at the end of the no-mercy run much more than Sans himself. There was also an unused song called Song That Might Play When You Fight Sans, presumably for a fight versus Sans in the Pacifist route of the game, which never ended up in the final version. This song is also more upbeat and whimsical than MEGALOVANIA, and shares similarities with Papyrus' fight music, Bonetrousle.
A parody of Stronger Than You from the animated series Steven Universe, sung from Sans’ perspective during the fight with him in the No Mercy run, is also commonly associated with him. It currently sits at 72m views on YouTube, 22m more than the original song it was based off of. Since the parody popularity outgrew the original, there are a few people who don’t even know it’s a parody of a pre-existing song. It also sparked a trend of Stronger Than You parodies being written for other Undertale characters, with Frisk and Chara parodies also gaining a lot of popularity.
It's not certain how much he knows, but some mysterious clues near his house, his comments about the timelines, his powers, and his actions all make it clear he has more awareness of what's going on than most. Enough that he states he's given up on a happy ending because he knows the resets (which no one but flowey and his ripple effect proof memory knows about) will only set everything back the way it was. Fans often run wild with this and write him as being ripple effect proof himself through a strong connection with W.D Gaster, secret cutting-edge science knowledge that gave him unnatural powers, or both. The first and currently only chapter of Deltarune has also given rise to the theory that he's actually a traveler from the Deltarune dimension that has somehow become trapped in this world. It's also implied somewhat that his power may come from his greater 4th wall awareness, especially since most of his tricks rely on purposely breaking the rules of the battle interface and he seems to have some knowledge of the existence of the player.
In the No Mercy/Genocide run, Sans makes an effort to stop the player character, but can't really be considered the "bad guy" of the scenario.
All things considered Sans doesn't really matter at all to the main plot of Undertale, which is about Flowey, Chara, and the Dreemurr family drama above all else. The plot doesn't really involve him in any significant capacity beyond him being the final boss of the Genocide route.
Sans' origins remain shrouded, with only obscure hints in canon that seem to point to a relation to W.D Gaster.
Sans is extremely powerful, being one of the hardest bosses in the game and the "true final boss." Of note is the "gasterblasters" he uses in his battle, which look like skulls of some animal that shoot lasers from their mouths and they look cool as hell. He's also vaguely threatening in general; it's implied that had he not made a promise to Toriel, he would have killed the player character as soon as he met them.
Ironically, Sans is labeled by the game itself as "the easiest enemy", with stats of only 1 ATK and 1 DEF. However, he is able to be a massive threat thanks to clever exploitation of game mechanics. His 1 DEF does not matter because he is capable of dodging attacks - something that no other enemy in this RPG system is shown to do, and his 1 ATK means that his attacks inflict one damage per frame, ignoring mercy invincibility frames, on top of leaving behind a damage over time effect known as "karma". He is also able to target the player's menu, inflicting damage while they try to select an action to take. This ties into "4th Wall Blurring", above, and makes Sans into a unique character who uses skill and 4th wall awareness over raw power to fight.
Also, his powers are mostly blue, and his jacket is blue. Despite the fact that his eye flashes between blue and yellow in the infamous "Sans eye," it's usually depicted as blue only because he is more associated with blue in other areas. Most fanworks depict Papyrus with orange-colored magic and sometimes an orange glowing eye of his own, despite there being no canon evidence for this.
Fanworks tend to take his mysterious levels of power and run absolutely wild with it, resulting in there being dozens of fanfics where he is or becomes literally god. and literally the entire universe revolves around him. This is so prevalent that it very frequently extends to the skeleton race as a whole getting a mary sue upgrade into a ridiculously powerful and special species that have all sorts of special abilities that make boss monsters look like a joke, and very often are rewritten as being made from humans rather than being true monsters.
While nothing visibly changes about him in the genocide final boss aside from his glowing eye, he's clearly entered some kind of power-up state to go all-out against you. What exactly is going on with that is never made clear. A significant proportion of fanfic flanderizes this to the point where he's more or less literally God, and at least several different fics make him into a literal physical seraph (one-winged or otherwise) with his greatly exaggerated black hole sue powers. There's at least one fic out there with a 50 chapter arc solely dedicated to one long extremely stretched out scene of everyone fighting him while he ascends into a sociopathic ends-justify-the-means hubris deity of seraph-themed power and literally tries to fight the actual Christian God and gets smited for it.
Although Undertale uses a "voice grunting" samples and no actual voice acting, Sans' deep tone is iconic and easily recognizable. In fanworks that do give him a voice, he usually has a deep, laid-back and mischievous voice. Even when he is angry, his wrath tends to be subtle and hidden behind a veneer of cheerfulness.
Like many Undertale characters, Sans has a plethora of quotable and humorous dialogue. In particular, he is known for the quotes "Do you want to have a bad time?", which he utters just before his fight, and "Get dunked on!", which appears on the screen after Sans betrays and kills the player character if the player attempts to spare him during his fight. "You feel your sins crawling on your back" - a piece of flavor text that shows up during his boss battle - is another quote commonly associated with him.
Due to being aware, to at least some extent, of his existence inside a video game, Sans has developed a crushing sense of nihilism and a feeling that nothing he does really matters, which he tries to balance with his sense of humor. This feeling is the primary source of his laziness. He will also lash out at the player if they kill his brother Papyrus, calling them a "dirty brother killer". On a No Mercy route, Sans, as one of the last few things left alive in the Underground, passes judgment upon the player during his grueling battle, mercilessly calling them out for their cruel actions, decimating countless monsters just for the sake of finding out what would happen. This gives Sans a layer of complexity that contrasts his outward laid-back attitude and represents a major factor in his sexification.
Sans is not above using his awareness of game mechanics and ability to exploit them to some extent - including teleportation through what he calls "shortcuts" - to play various tricks on the player and other characters, aided by a sharp sense of comedic timing and a penchant for skeleton-themed puns. As the designated comic relief of the game, he enjoys a bit of toon physics to aid him in this endeavor, such as stacking a veritable tower of hotdogs on top of the player character's head. He may also give the player a series of humorous passwords across multiple playthroughs - what amounts to him as timelines.
Despite being outwardly a lazy and apathetic trickster, Sans displays a significant amount of intellect, especially when it comes to timelines. During his battle on a No Mercy route, he states, "our reports showed a massive anomaly in the timespace continuum. timelines jumping left and right, stopping and starting..." all but confirming that he possesses scientific knowledge of the subject. It is implied, and usually accepted by fans, that he was an associate of the brilliant scientist W.D. Gaster and assisted him in his work, which may be the source of this knowledge.
Sans is one of only two Apollyon-class sexypeople.
Undertale gained massive popularity after it was released in September of 2015, and there was mass thirst for almost every character in the game even when it didn't make sense (especially when it didn't make sense). Sans was the most popular character among fans, so he had more fanart than everyone else, and so he was the one who gained infamy for being lusted after.
There are many, many AUs for Undertale, most of which have alternate designs for the characters, but there are many who focus solely on Sans (and sometimes his brother, Papyrus). Ships between different Sanses are referred to as Sanscest. I will make an attempt to list the most popular Sanses here, however there is a wiki with nearly 2000 pages cataloguing aspects of Undertale AUs.
- Undertale: Canon Sans. Usually depicted with a blue motif.
- Underfell: AU where the characters are more hostile and bitter than they are in canon. Designs have a lot more red and sharp edges, Sans being no exception; notably, he has shark-teeth and a gold tooth, and a red motif. Undertale/Underfell Sans is the most popular Sanscest ship, and its unique ship name is Kustard.
- Underswap/Swaptale: AU where several major characters swap roles and personalities. Sans is swapped with Papyrus, and wears an armored outfit similar to canon Papyrus, with big blue irises, and a very optimistic and outgoing personality. Also Papyrus smokes for some reason. Sans is usually referred to as "Blueberry" by the fandom.
- Swapfell/Fellswap: Mishmash of the previous two, with a role swap and edgy bitterness. Sans is depicted like a loud villainous bastard, delighting at violence. This Sans is often depicted with a purple motif, but not as consistently as Underfell and has also been depicted with red, blue, and yellow motifs.
- Horrortale: Angsty aftermath AU of the Queen Undyne neutral ending. Sans has a huge hole in his skull and one glowing red eye, he's very jaded and only cares about Papyrus.
- Outertale: AU where instead of underground, Undertale is set in space. The designs are space-inspired, usually utilizing star patterns, with a lot of yellow and blue. Sans has a similar personality to canon, but a different aesthetic.
- Gaster!Sans: Some sort of fusion between Sans and Gaster. Taller and skinnier than normal Sans, with cracks above his right eye and below his left eye, and often drawn with sexy anime boy proportions.
- Error!Sans: A very meta AU involving a Sans that destroys other AUs to fix "glitches" in the multiverse. This Sans is easily distinguishable by his black and red (instead of white) bones, red eye sockets, and blue markings on his face that look like tears. He is often depicted with "glitching" effects.
- Fresh!Sans: Often referred to as just "Fresh", this AU (along with Error!Sans) is a prime example of an AU being created just for Sans. Its lore is that Fresh is a parasite, almost always depicted as possessing Sans. He's portrayed as fun (with a colorful design and a constant use of outdated 90's slang) but also angsty in regard to him being a parasite. This character was inspired off of Dippy Fresh.