Tag Archives: Smash Bros

No Johns

This entry can loosely be described as videogame folklore. The interviewer (DP) and the informant, C, were playing a game called Super Smash Bros for the Wii, a widely popular fighting game with well documented analysis for every character, stage, and since two players tend to face each other from a list of characters, every potential matchup as well. The game is considered to be well-balanced to the extent that the player makes all the mistakes – the game is consistently precise and accurate. The game is played with 4 lives “stocks” and set to an 8-minute timer. The first to force their opponent to lose their stocks is declared winner.

during a casual, friendly game:

DP: Man I really hate the way Game and Watch plays [character in the game]

C: What do you mean?

DP: He’s just really janky. His moves come out on frames earlier than my character can put out moves. I’m honestly just losing because your character is carrying you, he’s broken.

C: No Johns, man

The interviewer has a few things to say about this piece. It isn’t very common for both people in a collection setting to know equal amounts of the activity they’re describing, but this is a niche scenario where it happens to work out. The crux of this is the folklore behind the statement, “No Johns” which in communities that know about Smash terminology, is commonplace to those who are familiar with the term. No Johns essentially means “no excuses” and is an end-all-be-all phrase that is intended to stop further argumentation about the game acting as a hindrance to your ability to play. No Johns comes in as an ultimatum. The origin of No Johns, however is essentially a mystery. For reasons unknown to the smash community, the phrase originated around 10 years ago when tournaments were just beginning to start up, and it stuck. Perhaps there was a player who played under the tag John, who would have endless excuses as to why he couldn’t win, but as far as conclusive evidence goes, there is none.