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Tra la la. I am the riverman. Or am I the riverwoman...? It doesn't really matter. I love to ride in my boat. Would you care to join me?

First interaction with the River Person

The River Person is a hooded figure who provides transportation services to Snowdin, Waterfall, and Hotland on their wooden boat for the Underground. The protagonist can request a ride to any of the locations above if they reach Hotland on any route.

During the trip, they have a list of messages they can say at random, often being a hint to a secret or an allusion to something in the game, or just something cute. At least one hint – the hint to finding Temmie Village – is specifically scripted to occur.

Messages

With No Known Special Meanings

  • Tra la la. The waters are wild today. That's [bad/good] luck...
  • Tra la la. Eat a mushroom everyday. Why? Then I know you're listening to me...
  • Tra la la. What's inside an acorn? It's really just a mystery.
  • Tra la la. Dancing on a boat is danger. But good exercise...
  • Ah,
  • Tra la la. Why don't you sing with me. Tra la la.
  • Tra la la. Uh oh. Suddenly, feeling tropical...
  • Tra la la. Hmmm... I should have worn a few more pairs of pants today.
  • Tra la la. Hmmm... I should have worn a few million more pairs of pants today.
  • Tra la la. Tri li li. Tre le le.
  • Tra la la. The water is very [dry/wet] today.
  • Tra la la. What's my name?... It doesn't really matter...

With Known or Possible Meanings

Message Meaning/Allusion
"Tra la la. Remember to take a break every-so-often..." Possible reference to Ness's father in EarthBound who would occasionally phone Ness and remind him to take a break.
"Tra la la. Did you ever hear the old song coming from the sea?" Possibly alluding to the Sound Test room, which can be found near the riverbank west of Snowdin at fun = 65.
"Tra la la. I heard ASGORE has a favorite food." Eating the Butterscotch-Cinnamon Pie during the fight against Asgore will reduce his Attack and Defense.
"Tra la la. I heard spiders have a favorite food. It's spiders." A hint to an alternate way to defeat Muffet.
"Tra la la. The piano plays the tinkling song. Hmm... tinkling." Hinting at the solution to the Piano Room puzzle.
"Tra la la. You can never have too many hot dogs... Sadly, this is not true." If the protagonist buys a hot dog from Sans with a full inventory, he will place it on top of their head. He will continue to stack 29 hot dogs on their head before stopping, saying "i'll be 'frank' with you. as much as i like putting hot dogs on your head... thirty is just an excessive number. twenty-nine, now that's fine, but thirty... does it look like my arms can reach that high?"
"Tra la la. Don't snoop behind people's houses... You might be mistaken for a trash-can." A hint directing the protagonist to check behind houses for secrets, particularly the back entrance to the Papyrus/Sans residence.
"Tra la la. The angel is coming... Tra la la." Alluding to the legend of the Delta Rune, appears during a True Pacifist Route.
"Hum hum hum. Hum hum hum. I'm having a little concert." A hint on how to get a happy ending for Shyren.
"Pet pet pet... The neck stretches infinitely into the cosmos. ...Don't worry about it." Hinting at the Lesser Dog petting easter egg.
"Tra la la. What's a game you can play with a dog? Asking for a friend..." Possibly referring to how the protagonist can use the Stick in battle to play fetch with some enemies.
"Tra la la. Temmie Village... the room before the darkening lantern room..." A hint on how to find Temmie Village. This appears to always be used the first time the River Person's boat is in the shape of an animal – a dog, cat, or Temmie.
"Tra la la. Somewhere, it's [day of the week]. So be careful." This changes depending on the day of the week it is on the system clock.
"Tra la la. If it's hot or cold, you can count on me." Refers to the fact that the River Person can stop in both Hotland and Snowdin.
"Tra la la. Humans, monsters... Flowers." Flowey is not a human or a monster, but an entity all on his own.
"Tra la la. Beware of the man who speaks in hands." Presumed to be a reference to W. D. Gaster.
"Tra la la. Beware of the man who came from the other world." Presumed to be a reference to W. D. Gaster, Frisk or So Sorry.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Sometimes their boat has the face of a dog and runs on top of the water. This is possibly a reference to Mother 3 when Lucas rides his Running Table.
  • The River Person is likely based on Charon, the ferryman of the River Styx in the Greek Mythology.
  • The River Person's gender is not decided, as they even dismiss it as not mattering. However, their sprite name is spr_riverman, hinting that their gender may be male (or at least was intended to be, as the dialogue for the character could have been made after the sprite was named).
  • The River Person is used for public transport in the Underground, as implied by calling Papyrus and Undyne.

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