Parappa the Rapper

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I gotta believe!
—Parappa's motto
Leave it to Lammy!
—Lammy's motto

Released at Halloween of 1997 in the US, Parappa the Rapper was a PlayStation rhythm game. The main point of the game was to follow the adventures of a rapping puppy named Parappa who attempted to improve himself in order to impress the girl he had a crush on. How did he do this? By rapping his way to glory, of course!

The game worked like this: Every stage would have one character who would rap a song and ask you to perform certain tasks, like kicking, punching, turning, signaling, flowing, selling, etc. in time with the music. You would hit a button at the right moment as indicated on a bar at the top of the screen. Effectively, it was a video game version of Simon. Do well and you could make it through the song; do too badly and you would have to try again.

BUT, the rap twist was that during gameplay, Parappa could deviate heavily from the "teacher", creating his own twisted yet awesome string of button mashes and random sentences, and STILL SCORE POINTS. In fact, by creating original lines that were synchronized with the rhythm and beat of the teacher's lines, the player could access freestyle-mode, which allowed the player to go Ax Crazy on the controller, make Parappa look like a superhero doped on crack, and get better endings.

It was a very short and simple game, but the unique premise and the unbelievably catchy songs made it an instant cult classic. The game is still highly regarded today, with a 88% on Gamerankings.

Parappa produced a spinoff in 1999 called Um Jammer Lammy, which was essentially the same thing, but with more songs and a girl in a garage rock band called MilkCan. A sequel was released on the PlayStation 2 which once more focused on Parappa (but with cameos from the MilkCan members), but was widely considered to be inferior.

PaRappa has appeared in other media as well. There was also an Anime of the Game, but it only lasted two seasons. Before the anime debuted, the game's illustrator has created a series of comic books that are decidedly more true to the game than the anime. The anime can be viewed on YouTube. You can view the comics here, or you can be purchase a meatspace copy here or here.

On April 26, 2012, Parappa was announced as a playable inclusion in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.

Pretty much every Rhythm Game created, from Dance Dance Revolution to Guitar Hero to Beatmania, owes at least a little to Parappa, if only for starting things off.

Tropes used in Parappa the Rapper include:

Both Parappa and Um Jammer Lammy examples[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Aerith and Bob: Characters with some rather out-there names (such as PaRappa, Ma-San, and Chop Chop) exist alongside more reasonably-named people (such as Katy, Sunny, and Joe).
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife
  • Ambiguous Gender: It is unknown who Jet Baby's gender is. In PaRappa 1, "The Jet Baby Theme Song" refers to the song's title character as a "she", but when Parappa and his friends walk out of the movie theater, they refer to said character as a "he".
  • Arc Words: "Dojo, casino, it's all in the mind."
    • "I GOTTA BELIEVE!"
  • Animal Gender Bender: The first Parappa game featured a female moose with antlers, as well as the sequel.
    • It's even weirder in Um Jammer Lammy, which not only featured a female lamb with horns, but also a female ram. You'll see the what's weird about it if you Google "Ram".
  • Animals Lack Attributes: Despite being animals, only Katy has a tail showing.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Only in PaRappa Town can a onion teach you kung-fu.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Katy Kat's usual outfit features this.
  • Big Eater: PJ Berri.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Too give you a good idea of how interesting PaRappa Town's architecture is, the game's illustrator is an abstract artist.
  • Call Back: Each of the games starts with the characters watching a movie (usually involving "Jet Baby") with the same weird monster. Then, before the first level starts, they go to "Chunky Burger." In UJL, they even take the exact same dialogue for the bully characters who come in as when they did in the first game.
  • Creator Cameo: Rodney Greenblat, the character designer of the series, has off-and-on cameo appearances throughout the games, most noticeably as a television reporter in PaRappa 2, but also as the basis for the name of "Rodney State" where the characters live, and the singer of the "Jet Baby" song at the beginning of PaRappa 1. Also, in a bonus scene from Um Jammer Lammy, Ma-San is typing a letter to "Mr. Matsuura" (Masaya Matsuura is one of the game's creators).
  • Downloadable Content: The PSP rerelease of Parappa has downloadable alternate versions of the original 5 songs, while Um Jammer Lammy was released for download on the PlayStation Store.
  • Egopolis: Parappa Town is inexplicably named after... take a guess.
  • Feather Fingers: Mostly averted. Nearly all PaRappa characters have humanlike hands regardless of species, including frogs, octopi, and even plants. Interestingly, Cheap Cheap Chicken is one of the few characters, if not the only character, with appendages appropriate for her species, but she seems to be able to manipulate objects just as easily as any human-handed Funny Animal.
  • Four-Legged Insect: Averted Trope. All the insect characters have two sets of arms.
  • Furry Fandom: Being set in a world populated by Funny Animals, this was inevitable.
    • It became even more inevitable with the arrival of Lammy.
  • Heroic Chin: Joe Chin has this.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: Every time you fail a level.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!: Actually, it was more like, "Lions and Tigers and Humans and Inanimate Objects... Oh, My!"
  • Memetic Outfit / Nice Hat: PaRappa's beanie hat, which he never takes off. What PaRappa looks like underneath his hat is such a such a popular topic, that an entire WMG has been dedicated to the question.
  • Older Than They Look: PaRappa and his friends have child-like appearances, but Word of God says that they're around twenty.
  • Paper People
  • Rule 34: PaRappa and Sunny's sex life seems to be a pretty popular topic...
  • Serious Business: The inhabitants of PaRappa Town sure do seem to be into rapping.
    • Lampshaded at the beginning of Um Jammer Lammy; Lammy was late for her concert because the people wanted to rap for the bathroom, and she only plays guitar.
  • Simon Says Mini Game: The entire game can be described as a rythmic version of Simon.
  • Sprite Polygon Mix: Used for stylistic purposes. See Paper People.
  • Vague Age: The main cast tends to look and act somewhat childlike, yet Parappa is apparently old enough to drive.
  • Variable Mix: When you start screwing up, so does the music.
  • Widget Series: Parappa may be a little nuts, even by Japanese standards, but Um Jammer Lammy dives nose-first into full-blown widget territory.


Parappa- only examples[edit | hide]

  • Ascended Extra: General Potter only had non-speaking role as Sunny's father in the first game. But in the sequel, he plays a key role in the story.
  • Award Bait Song: "Come A Long Way" from the second game might count.
  • Boss Rush: The first game's fifth involves engaging the four mentors from the other songs in a rap battle in order to get to the toilet. The sixth level in Parappa 2 had a similar premise, with you facing off with the five mentors in a 16-bit video game.
  • Carrying a Cake: Poor, poor Parappa. Though it's probably just as well--Sunny might have found the design a little offensive.
  • Confusing Multiple Negatives: "I ain't got no time for nobody."
  • Don't Try This At Home: In the 5th stage of the second game, this text is shown in brackets at the beginning section of the level.
  • Downloadable Content: The PSP rerelease has downloadable alternate versions of the original 5 songs.
  • Dummied Out: In the PSP release, PJ Berri and Katy Kat's order of "a chocolate frosty" at the burger restaurant becomes "a chocolate ...", possibly because of trademark issues with the Wendy's Frosty.
  • Ears as Hair: Rare plant variation. Apparently, Sunny Funny's petals are her "hair". They can even be styled into an afro somehow.
  • Expy: Instructor Moosesha in Parappa 2 is an Expy of her sister, Inspector Mooselini, from the first game, who is neither mentioned by name nor shown.
  • Foreshadowing: In Parappa 2, if Parappa messes up a segment, Beard Burger Master's son is seen laughing from a corner with a strange machine. The machine is the Noodlizer, and it's revealed later that BBM's son is Colonel Noodle.
  • Friend to All Children: Discussed by Rodney Greenblat in his "The Jet Baby Theme Song": "When Jet Baby loves, / She loves all of the children."
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Only in the U.S. version of PaRappa 2, Stage 1, even though Beard Burger Master's voice says, "You better get in line!" while his lips say, "Taste better than wine!", which was in the Japanese and European versions.
    • Justified in Stage 7, in any version of PaRappa 2, when Colonel Noodle raps, "Noodles are the best, no doubt, can't deny, taste better than water, but don't ask me why," in a nod to his father's "Taste better than wine" lyric (Japan/Europe version only), before water pours down at Noodle on cue.
  • G-Rated Sex: There was an entire level in the sequel where PaRappa practices "Romantic Karate".
  • Incredible Shrinking Man / Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Parappa and Guru Ant alternate between growing and shrinking in the second game's third level.
  • Insect Gender Bender: Guru Ant is almost definitely male, based on his Barry White-esque voice.
  • Interspecies Romance: Parappa's a dog who has a crush on a flower named Sunny. An animal is in love with a plant. According to Word of God, PaRappa could actually have children with Sunny. God only knows what their kids would look like.[1]
"Some questions are best left unanswered."
—Rodney Alan Greenblat
    • Interestingly, in one of the RodneyFun comics, Parappa mentions wanting to "have many babies" with Sunny.
  • Kirk Summation: The entire 7th level of PaRappa 2 was about Parappa trying to convince Colonel Noodle that there are many excellent foods in the world that would be lost if they if he turned everything into noodles.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded:

Hairdresser Octopus: "Hey, take that stupid hat off. What does it look like in there?"
PaRappa: "Aaa, I'm not sure myself."


Um Jammer Lammy-only examples[edit | hide]

  • All-Natural Snake Oil: In a non-greenwashing example, but the same principle, Joe Chin markets his laptop computer as being "Theft-proof". This is true, because it's the size of a whole room!
  • Another Side, Another Story: Beating the main game lets you play remixed versions of the songs as Parappa!
  • Balloon Belly: This was actually a plot point in Um Jammer Lammy. After level 2, Lammy eats so much pizza she's Mistaken for Pregnant by a nurse caterpillar with a vomiting problem who thinks Lammy is in labor. Lammy digests the pizza after being dragged into the maternity ward, so the nurse realizes that Lammy wasn't pregnant, but she insists that Lammy should rock the babies to sleep.
  • Banana Peel: Lammy dies and gets sent to Hell this way in European/Japaneese versions. She gets out though.
  • Berserk Button: Annoy Ma-San too much and she'll mess you up.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: For whatever reason, Ma-San's little personal movies after the credits, as well as those viewed through Parappa's storyline, have a seriously choppy framerate and subpar sound mixing, presumably to fit them on the disc without sacrificing the overall picture quality for all the FM Vs. It's enough to make you think your disc is defective until you see that they're the same way in the PSN Store's downloadable version.
  • Bowdlerise: Um Jammer Lammy famously had an entire level's setting changed for the US release. Originally, her sixth stage takes place in Hell, after she dies from slipping on a banana dropped by P.J. Berri, and Teriyaki Yoko promises to restore her to life if she performs her concert. Instead, Sony had her be launched seemingly back in time through her previous encounters after her clothes snag on a doorknob, landing on a tropical island where Yoko is worshiped as an idol. This also affected a song lyric for Chop Chop Master Onion in the first stage.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you fail Stage 6, Teriyaki Yoko will break out of the ground and order you to start over, saying Lammy should be banned from every game, to she will ask if she means the one she's already in as well
    • In addition, at the start of the original version, when she sees she has died and gone to Hell, Lammyy will say that means the game is over, and comment on how stupid that is
  • Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: Word of God says she's a lamb; she looks more like a goat or fawn.
  • Chainsaw Good: In the fith stage has Lammy and Paul Chuck carving a guitar with an chainsaw to Rock-A-Billy.
  • Continuity Nod: In the first level, Lammy is late for her own concert and is desperately trying to think of a good excuse; Specifically, having a Potty Emergency when everyone in line for the bathroom wants to out-rap her. Which she then immediately dismisses.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Everyting is a guitar to be precise. Lammy can use Mind Over Matter on anything to use it as a guitar. Including fire hoses, babies, airplane controls, and chainsaws. Yes, chainsaws.
  • Evil Counterpart: Rammy
  • Fake Band: MilkCan.
  • Fission Mailed: The intro to the Hell stage (in the Japan and Europe versions): "If... if I'm dead, then the game's over! What a stupid game!!" Roll credits. Or... not.
  • Funny Answering Machine: "Hiii. This is Lammy? I can't come to the phone right now, b-b-b-because the MilkCan l-l-live show is coming up real soon, and I'm not really ready for it, b-b-but Katy, Ma-san and I have spent our last time in the studio, and my solo's not really the way I want it to be, so I kept practicing and it turned out to be okay! Anyways, leave your name and a b-b-brief message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible, okay? Bye-bye!"
  • Furry Confusion: Not seen in-game, but the credits song "Keep Your Head Up" has Lammy sing about taking the dog for a walk at one point...
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the cinemas in-between PaRappa's levels, an ad for Joe Chin's Foundation for Natural Preservation is shown. After the level is beaten, the very next cinema is an ad for Joe Chin's chainsaws, which is able to chop down whole trees.
  • Killer Rabbit: Ma-San.
  • Medium Awareness: If you screw up on Teriyaki Yoko's level on Um Jammer Lammy, she'll say "Start all over! You should be banned from every game," and Lammy will respond, "From every game?? Even this one?????" Same goes for Parappa's screw-up on said level, when Parappa responds, "But... but.... but.... ha......"
  • New Game+: Beating the game's seven levels unlocks the option to play with Parappa, either separately or co-op with Lammy.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: Cathy Piller. As if she wasn't freaky enough.
  • Planet Heck: The second-to-last level (at least in the Japanese and European versions).
  • Raymanian Limbs: The character Cathy Piller is shown to have raymanian segments when viewed form the side.
  • Recurring Riff: "Parappa's End Roll in G Minor" is a bit of a Tear Jerker version of "Thank You for Everything", the ending song from PaRappa 1. Only in the Japan and Europe versions, though. (The full version can be heard in the original soundtrack for Um Jammer Lammy.)
  • Red-Headed Heroine: Lammy.
  • Scare Chord: Parappa's rendition of "Taste of Teriyaki" has several piano ones throughout.
  • Speech Impediment: See the above example? Lammy really does stutter that much.
  • Spin-Off: Um Jammer Lammy, where Parappa could be unlocked as a playable side character.
  • Split Personality: Captain Fussenpepper flips between Drill Sergeant Nasty and a doddering old man whenever he gets hit on the head.
    • Lammy herself is a borderline example. She's normally a neurotic mess, but she becomes much more confident and capable when she has her guitar (or if she can imagine having it).
  • Stealth Insult: If you fail the last level, Katy Kat provides this little gem: "o, oh, I didn't expect you to do this bad." Take note of the emphasis on the word "this".
  • Stylistic Self Parody: The paper-thin art style is parodied in UmJammer Lammy, when Lammy gets faxed at one point.
  • Tareme Eyes: A handful of UmJammer characters have eyes like this.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Rammy demands a guitar duel (2-player mode) because she doesn't get any calls on her beeper.
  • Unknown Rival: Rammy towards Lammy.
  • Visual Pun: In the 3rd level you are literally "Rocking" a baby to sleep.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Need to put out a burning building? Play the hose like a guitar! Need to put hundreds of babies to sleep? Play one of them like a guitar! Flying a plane? Play the steering wheel like a guitar! Cutting down a tree? Play the Chainsaw Good like a... take a guess!
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Cathy Piller is always puking weird pink vomit as she talks, much to Lammy's dismay.
  • X-Ray Sparks: These show up when you do poorly on Terriyaki Yoko's stage and get electrified. Even the little frog face on Parappa's hat seems to be affected.


Anime-only examples[edit | hide]


Rodney Fun Comic Collection-only examples[edit | hide]