Random Encounters

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Random Encounters
Random Encounters "RE" logo.png
Created byAJ Pinkerton
Peter Srinivasan
StarringAJ Pinkerton
Peter Srinivasan
Composer(s)AJ Pinkerton
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes98
Production location(s)Palmdale, California
Running time2–6 minutes
Original networkYouTube
Original releaseJune 7, 2011 (2011-06-07) – present
External links

Random Encounters is an American musical web series co-created by AJ Pinkerton and Peter Srinivasan. The series' first official short, "A Pikachu Song", premiered on YouTube on June 7, 2011.[1] Since launching, the series has been partnered with Disney Digital Network, Maker Studios, and at one point IGN Entertainment.[2][3]

Each short consists of an original musical number (often performed by live-action actors in costumes recreating scenes or starring characters from a popular video game series (such as Suber Mario Bros or Pokémon Black). The series was first inspired in 2010 when the creators' Sonic the Hedgehog musical parody won the grand prize in an international video competition hosted by Sega.[4]

Since launching their YouTube series, Random Encounters has traveled to various festivals and conventions to perform live.[5][6]


"Random Encounters" was initially conceived during a Sega-sponsored contest, for which Pinkerton co-developed the winning entry and his first video game parody song, "Needlemouse: The Musical".[7] The Needlemouse song was requested by Sega to be performed live at their 2011 Sonic Boom community event, where Pinkerton and Srinivasan first recognized the demand for their product and began development on a series of popular games as musical numbers.[8]


Random Encounters consistently caters to both children and adults. Songs are often written to be cleverly self-censored, such as disregarding the rhyming scheme or timing sound effects to avoid profanity. Shorts based on mature content, such as Assassin's Creed, Five Nights at Freddy's and Dead Space, typically present light-hearted versions of the characters, rather than their colder in-game incarnations.

Musical styles for each short vary, but often consist of extremely bouncy rhythms and upbeat tempos. Some songs borrow heavily from other sources, such as Disney numbers or in-game themes. The series' derives much of its humor from each song's lyrics, which often make reference to in-game events, pop culture or internet memes.

While most videos are performed with live action, some songs feature animation, generally designed to appear more cartoonish and kawaii than lifelike.


Video games[edit]



Primary Actors[edit]

  • AJ Pinkerton is the writer and director of the series, frequently starring as both male and female characters. AJ is typically eccentric and energetic and is particularly known for playing Enis in the "Resident Enis" series. His other notable roles include Pikachu, Bonnie Bunny from Five Nights at Freddy's. and the entire cast of the game Kindergarten.
  • Peter Srinivasan is the channel's co-founder. He sings in or stars in many videos, most famously playing The Neighbor in RE's Hello Neighbor musical. Peter creates the digital effects for the series and is the primary audio engineer for each song. During RE's February 2018 live stream, Peter announced he would be taking a 3 month hiatus beginning in April, in the interest of mental health and outside creative endeavors.[9]
  • Nathan Morse is a primary actor, editor, and producer for Random Encounters. He co-created the very first RE song, "Needlemouse: The Musical." but remained relatively uninvolved with RE for the next five years, until returning full time in July 2016. His most popular appearances include starring roles as both Granny and Baldi, as well as playing Dr. Eggman in several Sonic the Hedgehog videos. In 2016, Nate created and starred in a comedic new RE game review series, "The Shovelwarewolf."[10] The series has since expanded to become a seasonal feature of Random Encounters.

Guest Stars[edit]

  • Brooke Lawson has made several appearances on the RE channel most notably as her role in "Resident Enis" as herself as well as the adorable Eevee in "The Eevee Song".
  • Morgan Want made a brief appearance on the channel as Osana in the Yandere Musical.
  • Xander Mobus is a professional voice actor credited with voicing Freddy Fazbear in "FNAF: The Musical," along with making a small cameo as a police officer in the video.
  • Lora Srinivasan first appeared in "Singachu." Her most famous role was playing Amy Rose in RE's Sega-sponsored Sonic Boom musical.
  • Aleu Moana has been featured in musicals for the games Yandere Simulator, Pokémon GO, and HuniePop. She was also cast as The President in RE's Godzilla musical.
  • Dave Bloom is best known for playing Sephiroth in RE's "One-Winged Office" Final Fantasy VII parody, as well as Link in "Hyrule Warrior's Heart."
  • Casey Dwyer provides the gruff voice of RE's recurring skeleton character, "Eisenstein McBones." He has also been featured in "Sonic Boom: The Musical," and voiced characters in RE's videos based on Pac-Man, Angry Birds, and Tetris.
  • Emily Dane voiced Pinky in "Pac-Man: The Musical," as well as the square block in "Tetris: The Musical." Emily appeared again in RE's HuniePop song portraying the love goddess, Venus.
  • David King has been featured repeatedly on the channel, famously voicing both Foxy and Phone Guy in "FNAF: The Musical." His earliest starring role, Dr. Badboon in the Sega-sponsored Super Monkey Ball musical, led to him becoming RE's canon Professor Oak actor for several future Pokémon projects. He also runs his own Youtube Channel called Midnight Marinara, featuring voice acted Creepy Pasta that several RE stars have acted in including, Miss Bird, Gwen and AJ.
  • Anna & Sara Bartlet are twins who appeared together in "Pikmin: The Musical," and again later in "The Eevee Song" as Plusle and Minun waitresses. Though Anna has been featured more frequently, Sara was inducted before her sister to "join" RE's fictional Smash Brotherhood as the Pokémon Jigglypuff in a post-credits sequence following "The Eevee Song."
  • Mark Fischbach is a popular gaming celebrity with his own YouTube channel, Markiplier. He first worked with Random Encounters in 2014, leading to iconic collaborations based on FNAF, Cuphead, and even chess (co-starring animal actress Crystal the Monkey). Mark also teamed up with RE two film two episodes of an original series, "Resident Enis," which was partly funded by Disney XD.[11]
  • Nathan Sharp is a fellow YouTube music artist, responsible for the channel NateWantsToBattle, where he uploads a mix of covers and original songs. His work with RE includes co-starring in the Five Nights at Freddy's musical, voicing the character King Dice in RE's Cuphead song, and appearing as the titular senpai in "Senpai Notice Me."
  • Xander Mobus is a professional voice actor credited with voicing Freddy Fazbear in "FNAF: The Musical," along with making a small cameo as a police officer in the video.
  • Sarah Williams is a professional voice actress known on RE for her voicing Chica in "FNAF: The Musical." In 2017, she was cast in a major on-screen role as Wendy Oldbag in RE's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney parody.
  • Angi Viper is an online streamer and cosplayer who has done both acting and costuming work with Random Encounters. In addition to creating the star's outfit worn in "The Eevee Song," Angi has played Princess Peach in several RE musicals, building the costume herself. Despite her rise in popularity, Angi returned for major roles in both "Phoenix Wright: The Turnabout Encounter" and "HuniePop: The Musical."
  • Matthew Patrick , known online as 'MatPat,' is another YouTube guest who appeared in "FNAF: The Musical," playing the primary antagonist, Phone Guy. Matt has also starred in RE's stopmotion Bendy and the Ink Machine musical, as well as in "How to Beat a Monkey at Chess" on Markiplier's channel. Together with his wife, Steph, Matt runs three major YouTube channels: The Game Theorists, The Film Theorists, and GTLive,.
  • Katie Herbert is an actress featured in several RE musicals, including songs based on the games Paperboy and DDLC.
  • Gwendolyn Saltzman has appeared in RE musicals since 2016, playing the characters of Info-chan, Six, and Team Rocket's Jessie in musicals based on Yandere Simulator, Little Nightmares, and Pokémon, respectively. Following her performance as Yuri in "Just Monika: A DDLC Song," she went on to portray Playtime in "Baldi's Basics: The Musical," and was cast in the starring role in RE's Granny-inspired song, "Let Me Go." In the second season of the RE gaming series, "The Shovelwarewolf," Gwen was cast as the title character's psychiatrist, appearing in all six episodes. As of October 2018, Gwen is married to Random Encounters creator AJ Pinkerton.[12]
  • OR3O is a Youtube musician who stars in the Doki Doki Literature Club song, "Just Monika," playing Monika herself. She has her own YouTube channel, OR3O, where she creates vocal covers for video games.
  • Adriana Figueroa is a YouTube musician appearing as Natsuki in "Just Monika." Adriana later recorded vocals for the character of Baroness VonBonBon in RE's animated Cuphead musical. She has her own YouTube channel, adrisaurus, where she produces a mix of original music and vocal covers of video game songs.
  • Scott Leverett is a prop master who appeared in many RE videos musical and non-musical alike as the stoic original character, Sweeping Man. Because of his fabled ability to find or create rare items, as well as make emergency repairs with few resources, Scott is commonly joked to have otherworldly powers (referenced in both RE's Minesweeper song, as well as by Markiplier during "FNAF: The Musical.") Scott maintains a DIY channel for aspiring prop-makers.[13]
  • Joshua Wittenkeller is known on the channel for his role as Professor Elm in the Pokémon Professor musical, "Pokémon University".
  • Kial Natale Or better known as MegaSteakMan made a cameo in the popular Pokémon musical, "Pokémon University".

Original characters[edit]

  • Eisenstein McBones is a grouchy half-torso human skeleton (referred to as a "Stalfos" in the series). He wears various costumes and hats depending on the occasion and is most frequently associated with his boss, Ganondorf. Eisenstein often uses the term "meat-sack" as both a synonym for "human" and an expletive.
  • The Sweeping Man is a mysterious, fedora-clad man who sometimes appears sweeping the floors in RE videos. Sweeping Man rarely speaks, even in live Random Encounters performances. He is one of very few humans to have survived an attack from The Beard (allegedly).
  • The Giant Crazy Snake is a bearded sock puppet, first featured in "The Legend of Ganondorf". Many of his appearances end with a special message warning kids against reckless behaviors "without parental supervision". The Giant Crazy Snake is also shown to be an accomplished cage-fighter.
  • The Beard is a faceless creature used as an easter egg in each Random Encounters short. It is typically seen in a long black coat and hat, with a thick yellow beard entirely obscuring its face. The Beard does not speak English, but instead prefers to make "Oogh" sounds. At conventions, The Beard keeps a stash of marshmallows, which it throws when spotted by fans. On YouTube, viewers post timecode for The Beard's appearances in each video's comments section as warning to other viewers. Few people outside Sweeping Man are rumored to have lived through a Beard attack.[14]

Corporate relationships[edit]


After "Needlemouse: The Musical" won top honors in their Sonic Birthday contest, Sega arranged to have the Random Encounters team perform an alternate version at Sonic Boom 2011, this time highlighting the Modern Sonic/Classic Sonic chemistry from Sonic Generations.[15] Nine months later, Random Encounters co-produced a musical game trailer for the fictitious title "Sega Bass Fishing of the Dead" as part of Sega's online April Fools' prank.[16] Sega approached the Random Encounters team a third time with the release of Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, which became the focus of the first sponsored Encounter.[17]

In August 2012, the Random Encounters Facebook page confirmed their involvement with Sega on a Super Monkey Ball video.[18]

Sega collaborated yet again with Random Encounters on a musical promoting the Sonic Boom franchise when the channel uploaded a live action musical in late 2014.[19]


In 2013, Random Encounters joined the Nintendo Ambassador program as part of the Wii U Challenge. Their first project as a brand ambassador, for the Challenge, was a musical promoting The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.[20]

In June 2014, Nintendo sent Random Encounters to E3, along with Black Nerd Comedy, Lamarr Wilson, and Smosh Games.[21] To help promote Nintendo's titles, Random Encounters produced a short musical starring Wario, which included a surprise Charles Martinet cameo at the end.

Nintendo teamed with RE again in 2015 for the launch of their new franchise, Splatoon, by helping host a multi-cam let's play tournament[22] and inviting AJ to compete at their Mess Fest obstacle course promoting the game on the Santa Monica Pier.[23]

Disney XD[edit]

In August 2015, Variety.com posted an online article linking Random Encounters to a Disney XD initiative labeled "Disney XD by Maker." The crossover will reportedly seek to "find and develop video concepts for distribution on YouTube, as well as potentially DisneyXD.com and the Watch Disney XD app. It was later reported by Random Encounters that Disney XD by Maker would be funding Resident Enis 2: Monster Gulch, which was released early February 2016"[24]


  1. ^ "Singachu: A Pikachu Song". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  2. ^ "Disney XD & Maker Studios Launch Talent & Content Incubation Program 'Disney XD by Maker'". TV By The Numbers. 8/31/2015. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "IGN Daily Fix 11.23.11". IGN.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
  4. ^ "Jace Hall Show Blog RE Interview". JaceHallShow.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  5. ^ "AODSF History". aodsf.org. Archived from the original on 2013-03-12. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
  6. ^ "JPOP 2012 Guests: Random Encounters". NewPeopleWorld.com. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  7. ^ "Sonic's 19th Birthday Winners Announced". sega.com. Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  8. ^ "Watch Your Favorite Games Being Acted Out". dailydot.com. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  9. ^ "Monthly Live Stream (February 2018)". YouTube. 02/03/2018. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Random Encounters (2016-10-31), The Shovelwarewolf: DUCK DYNASTY (Ep. 1x05) [SEASON FINALE], retrieved 2017-02-09
  11. ^ "Disney XD by Maker videos to premiere March 31". Kidscreen. 03/29/2016. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  12. ^ "CRAZY Try Not To Laugh Challenge w/ Kati Morton & Random Encounters | Game Theory Charity Livestream". YouTube. Theorist Media. 12/02/2018. Retrieved 01/04/19. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  13. ^ "PropMaster's Handbook Intro". YouTube. 10/12/2013. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ "Glimpse Into the Beard". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  15. ^ "Random Encounters Interview". jacehallshow.com. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
  16. ^ "Introducing Bass Fishing of the Dead". sega.com. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
  17. ^ "Sega and Random Encounters Deliver a Rhythm Thief Musical". destructoid.com. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  18. ^ "Random Encounters". facebook.com. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  19. ^ "Sonic the Hedgehog status". Twitter. 12/2/2014. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73EW1I0a6IY
  21. ^ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2JiZAV5BmDXrGBFTDQz2FuIOWp7l2RDf
  22. ^ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTBpRwPSoxqmnzfj3olpxWP0kweEOgY2e
  23. ^ "Splatoon to make a big mess in Santa Monica, California next Friday 5/15". vgtidbits.com. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  24. ^ "Disney XD Might Make TV Shows Starring YouTube Creators". variety.com. Retrieved 2015-08-31.

External links[edit]