Papyrus

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Character
Name: Papyrus
Occupation:
Title/Rank:
Location:
Status: Varies based on route
Relationships: Sans (brother), Undyne (friend), Flowey (friend)
Fandom: Undertale
Other:
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Papyrus is a major character from Undertale.

Canon Overview

Papyrus is the final boss of the Snowdin area. He wants to capture a human to prove his worth to Undyne so that she will let him into the Royal Guard, where he will become popular and have friends. Throughout Snowdin Forest, he continually challenges Frisk with various puzzles, but rapidly becomes fond of them and even helps them solve his own puzzles if necessary. When he is encountered, he often has a lot of banter with his brother Sans. No matter how the player reacts to him he will always interpret it in a positive manner.

He is fought at the exit to Snowdin Town, but he is notable for never killing Frisk; his attacks will only ever drop them to 1 HP, after which he will stop his boss battle and put them in his garage. He is also impossible to kill except in cold blood; he automatically spares the player after the end of his event battle sequence, and if his HP gets too low, he will use his final attack early and then spare the player anyway. If spared, it is possible to either date or hang out with Papyrus depending on whether or not the player flirted with him in the early stages of battle; the date event always ends with Papyrus turning the player down, and the hangout event ends in Papyrus becoming concerned at the player's perceived obsessive devotion towards him, and his encouraging them to make friends with other people as well, starting with Undyne. He will then give Frisk his phone number so that they may call him at any time. If he is killed, Sans will stop appearing from this point until the judgment scene.

In Neutral endings where Toriel, Undyne, and Mettaton are all dead, Papyrus becomes the new ruler of the Underground. In this ending, Sans hides from him that Asgore and the others are dead.

In the Genocide/No Mercy route, his entire boss sequence is skipped, and he will spare the player immediately. This is considered to be a test of the player's resolve to kill monsters in cold blood, and is an event where many players abandon this route and spare Papyrus.

Papyrus mentions that he wants to have a car, and his fantasies of being popular involve the king trimming a hedge in the shape of his smile. Both these wishes are shown to come true in the True Pacifist Ending credits.

Fandom

Papyrus is very prevalent in fanworks, both because he is family to the ever-popular Sans and because he is very popular in his own right; he is a common secondary cast member in fanfiction as well as having a lot of works that center around him specifically.

Some fans characterize Papyrus as being autistic, pointing to his difficulty with and anxiety towards social situations, as well as his strong interests in various subjects strongly resembling real-life special interests, among other things. He is also sometimes headcanoned to be nonbinary because of the note he has on his bedroom door, which forbids both boys and girls from entering but ends in "PAPYRUS ALLOWED".

Fanworks often have characters refer to Papyrus by fan nicknames such as "Pap" or "Pappy".

Fan Theories

As with Sans, Papyrus is often theorized to be related to resident cryptid W.D. Gaster in some way, usually his son, brother, or a fragment of him.

It is popular to theorize Papyrus as being more aware of the meta nature of Undertale's story than he might seem, and deliberately choosing to believe in the player and give them a chance instead of reacting with cynicism and apathy the way that his brother does. These theorists often depict Papyrus as being capable of the same over-the-top magical badassery as Sans. Added dialogue in v1.01, where if Papyrus is befriended after aborting a Genocide/No Mercy route by sparing him, he mentions that he could have dispatched the human very easily if he had used his never-seen special attack, increased the popularity of this theory.

Papyrus' internet handle is "coolskeleton95". If the "95" comes from his year of birth, that would suggest that he is between 15 and 24 years old, as Undertale is set in the year 211X.

Common Pairings

Spinoff Characters

Much like Sans, many AU variations of Papyrus have become popular in fandom, and especially in selfcest shipping fics are referred to by different nicknames.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Wank

As with most other characters in Undertale, Papyrus is the subject of shipping wank. Monster Kid has a line questioning whether Papyrus is a kid or an adult, leading some fans to claim that Papyrus is a child and should not be shipped; due to the way that Papyrus turns Frisk down during their date, it is popular to headcanon Papyrus as on the asexuality or aromanticism spectrum, which leads some fans to claim that he should not be shipped; another popular headcanon is that Papyrus is autistic, which again leads some fans to claim that he should not be shipped. The latter claim has lead to a considerable amount of backlash from autistic fans, who see these views as infantilizing autistic adults, and therefore ableist.

Fan focus on Sans also comes under fire, with Papyrus fans believing that Sans is given too much credit and Papyrus too little, or that it is a disservice to Papyrus to portray him as an innocent cinnamon roll who just exists as a potential victim to motivate Sans' angst.

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