|“||I'm Sans. Sans the Skeleton.||„|
|~ Sans introducing himself.|
|“||It's a beautiful day outside. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming... on days like these, kids like you... Should be burning in Hell .||„|
|~ Sans just before fighting the player in the Genocide route.|
|“||Do you wanna have a bad time?||„|
|~ Sans' most famous quote.|
Sans the Skeleton is the tritagonist of the indie-game Undertale. He serves as a major character in the Neutral Route (serving as the tritagonist or major character), the tritagonist of the True Pacifist Route, and the main antagonist of the Genocide Route. He also appears as a minor character in Deltarune. He is a skeleton and brother of Papyrus, and is somewhat lazy, as he doesn't really help his brother capture Frisk.
Sans is an extremely short and big-boned skeleton, wearing a light-blue parka, unzipped at all times, with a white tank-top underneath, black shorts and salmon slippers according to his official Fangamer plushie and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Mii Gunner costume.
He has a huge round skull shaped similarly to a slice of bread and has large bags under his eye sockets, which have white glowing pupils floating in it. One strange thing about his skeletal body are his hands which look more like mittens rather than skeletal hands.
He is seen with a very large toothy grin at all times, and hardly moves the corners of his mouth. He has white pupils, which tend to disappear when he is serious. A bright, flashing iris appears in his left eye during the battle against him, as well. This eye starts off merely glowing, but as he utilizes his time warping powers, it starts to flash vividly.
Sans is shown to be very laid-back and flippant, sleeping on the job as often as he takes breaks. He does just enough work to avoid being fired by Undyne. He enjoys making bad puns, usually relating to skeletons, to the annoyance of his brother. He is kind and reassuring, but becomes eerily serious at abrupt moments (particularly when angry). He deeply cares for and admires his brother, Papyrus, and reads him bedtime stories. He likes to mess with Papyrus, as he sends him "bad puns in a goofy font" on the UnderNet. He also leaves a dirty sock in their living room for Papyrus to fuss over. Sans worries about others hurting Papyrus or taking advantage of him. In some Neutral Endings, Sans is afraid to tell Papyrus about other characters' deaths, so he lies about them going on a vacation.
He is also very observant, and his lines and actions change the most through the path and the way of playing the game. He knows the number of times he had defeated the player (in Genocide Route). He tends to say he hates to make promises, this is likely a result of having to harm a human, as he promised Toriel he would protect humans. He will deeply resent Frisk if they kill Papyrus. In the same case, he also seems to go missing, nowhere to be found until the end of the game. Despite this, he only fights Frisk on a Genocide Route, when they are a threat to the timelines. This is possibly due to his promise to Toriel to protect humans, as killing Frisk would obviously break the promise and he figures he has no choice but to do so on a Genocide Route.
His laziness is noted again during the final fight in the Genocide Route - he is unsure if being somewhat aware of the timeline resetting has broken his spirit, knowing that everything he does will mean nothing... or if he's just using it as an excuse to slack off. He also seems to be quite patient, as shown by his willingness to use his "Special Attack" (which is nothing) until the end of time in order to bore the protagonist into quitting the game.
As shown during his fight on a Genocide Route, Sans isn't above using underhanded tactics in battle, as shown when he tries to manipulate Frisk into sparing him, then killing them if they yield. Granted, Sans knew that Frisk would very likely end all timelines if they get past him, so this may be out of desperation to stop them, or out of spite for their murder of Papyrus and other monsters.
Somehow, Sans knows that he's really in a video game, because if the player gets an "Impossible Ending" by somehow meeting none of the requirements for completing Undertale or by hacking the game, Sans will explain in his phone call that the call is an error-handling message and will suggest contacting the developer so he can fix it or add another ending. Sans then says "chances are, though... you're just a dirty hacker, aren't you? yeah, get outta here" before hanging up.
Powers and Abilities
Sans can quickly travel or teleport using what he calls "shortcuts."
In combat, he uses "Gaster Blasters," devices that resemble a skull, to shoot a kind of laser beam. Sans excels in combat and fights with unique abilities that include: Karmic Retribution, changing the effect of gravity on the SOUL, and attacking the protagonist in the selection menus. His magic reacts to EXP; Karmic Retribution would presumably be weaker if the protagonist had little EXP.
Because of his "research," he has knowledge of timelines and the SAVE function. However, he does not retain his memories when the protagonist loads a SAVE, and he cannot use the SAVE function. His awareness of time travel makes him scrupulous, and he recognizes when the protagonist is behaving unusually. Sans reads the protagonist's expression and determines if they have experienced events before and are repeating them. He also knows how much EXP the protagonist has and comments on it when judging them.
Sans also plays the trombone, though he is only seen playing it once. Papyrus finds his "incidental music" annoying, implying that he has played many times before.
Like other characters, Sans is aware of when the game's code suffers bugs and calls the protagonist a "dirty hacker" if they achieve an impossible ending of a Neutral Route.
Super Smash Bros.
Sans was added in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a downloadable costume for the Mii Gunner character in Wave 3. He uses a Gaster Blaster as his arm cannon.
- Sans's boss fight is widely considered by fans to be the hardest boss fight in the game, despite only having 1 HP, 1 AT and 1DF and the game literally describing him as "The easiest enemy. Can only deal 1 damage."
- Sans is the only enemy in the game who starts his turn before Frisk does in battle, which can catch unwary players off-guard. He is also the only enemy who dies off-screen after his battle, which can lead people to question whether or not he really died.
- According to Papyrus, Sans has a pet rock that he forgets to feed.
- If Papyrus is killed, Sans won't appear at all until The Last Corridor. In the same case, a flavor text in Shyren's battle mentions that a hooded figure is watching the battle from afar. Given that this text only appears if Papyrus is dead, the hooded figure is most likely Sans.
- Sans's dialogue is shown in all lowercases, not even capitalizing sentence starters and names, with a few exceptions. This probably represents his laziness.
- His name is also a pun on the Comic Sans font, as that is used whenever he speaks.
- Sans occasionally speaks in the Sans Serif font, usually when trying to get a serious point across. When this happens, Sans's text includes capital letters, appears on screen slower and with no sound. Notable instances of this include Sans's line "You'd be dead where you stand." and the start of his judgement.
- If Frisk spares Papyrus instead of killing him, Sans will appear in Hotlands, selling hot dogs. The second hot dog bought will be a hot cat instead. If Frisk tries to buy one when their inventory is full, Sans will start stacking hot dogs on their head, free of charge. He will do this up to 30 times.
- Sans is implied to have a scientific background, as he has a book about quantum physics, a lab behind his and Papyrus's house, is implied to know Alphys, owns a telescope and mentions researching into the timespace continuum. As well as that, he uses Gaster Blasters in combat, which may be related to W. D. Gaster, the former royal scientist.
- The snails of Blook Family Snail Farm remind Papyrus of Sans, as according to him, they, like him, are round, slow and "constantly emitting slime".
- Unlike Papyrus, Sans is never seen moving or opening his mouth, even when drinking ketchup. This, combined with other unusual moments such as where Sans bleeds when he's struck down in the Genocide run, seems to indicate Sans is not a Skeleton, and perhaps is even human.
- Sans's battle theme, "MEGALOVANIA", did not originate from Undertale. Toby Fox originally composed it for his Halloween hack of Earthbound. He later used another version for the webcomic "Homestuck", before using yet another different version for Undertale.
- According to Papyrus, Sans is somehow able to man two sentry stations at once and, as such, slacks off twice as much.
- Papyrus mentions in a phone call that Sans' illegal hot dog stand in Hotlands is actually one of his sentry stations, but he sells hot dogs instead of doing his job.
- It is implied that Sans has fought Flowey on multiple occasions and won prior to the game's beginning, as at the ending of a neutral route Flowey warns Frisk not to let him find out anything about them, mentions that he's "caused him more than his fair share of resets" and to stay away from him. This hints that Sans caught on to Flowey's nonstop circle of resets and decided to do something about it.
- Sans was placed at number 8 in tats top 60 hardest bosses in games.
- Many fans believe that Sans's voice was made with a sample of Patrick Star's voice saying "Maybe its the way your dressed."
- Kenny Omega from a wrestling program wore a Sans costume on Halloween of 2019 and referenced Undertale in his entrance.
- Sakurai himself from Nintendo stated that Sans is a highly requested character to be in Smash Bros.
- Sans is considered one of the most famous indie video game characters.
- The theme that plays during the fight with him MEGALOVANIA, has became a popular internet meme.
- There are a few connections between Sans (and by extension Papyrus) and Gaster, the Royal Scientist before Alphys.
- Sans, Papyrus and Gaster are named after fonts (Sans is after Comic Sans, Papyrus after Papyrus, and Gaster's full name is W.D. Gaster, with W.D. standing for WingDings and Gaster is presumably after Aster)
- As an extension to the latter, all three have their own fonts (Sans has Comic Sans, Papyrus has Papyrus and Gaster has WingDings).
- Sans outright has a weapon called a Gaster Blaster. Papyrus is implied to have Gaster Blasters as well.
- Sans has a scientific background, which might connect him to Gaster.
- In the Steven Universe episode, "Steven's Dream", Steven wears a coat that is almost identical to Sans' coat.