Homestar Runner

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Is this what the internet was invented for? Some say yes.

"Everybody loves the Homestar Runner. He is a terrific athlete."

Original Children's Book, The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest

"Everybody loves the me! I'm a terrific athlete!"

Homestar Runner, being himself

Homestar Runner is a comedic and sort-of surreal web-based Flash cartoon by two guys from the state of Georgia, Mike and Matt Chapman ("The Brothers Chaps"). Starting as a dead-tree children's picture book, it eventually found its way to the internet and spread through word of mouth.

The main character is the eponymous Homestar Runner, a goodhearted athlete with no arms and no clue. However, Strong Bad, a narcissistic, loudmouthed "wrestleman" with a Luchador mask for a face and boxing gloves for hands, seems to have exceeded the titular character in popularity. Along with his pint-sized lackey The Cheat and hulking brute older brother Strong Mad, Strong Bad constantly pushes everybody around, especially his gray, depressed younger brother Strong Sad. Other characters include Homestar's on-and-off hippie girlfriend Marzipan, Homestar's best friend and straight man Pom Pom, the verbally challenged and slightly creepy Coach Z, greedy concession stand owner Bubs, the ever-hungry King of Town, and the Poopsmith. And to round out this wacky cast, we also have Homsar, an odd-speaking midget who seems to be able to openly defy physics. Over the years, the series has come to include many recurring and minor characters, many of which simply debuted as one-off jokes.

The most popular part of the site is the Strong Bad Emails (aka "sbemails"), where Strong Bad responds to viewers' questions and suggestions, such as "Why don't you creat a montage?", "What would you do different, if you could do it all over again?", and the ever-popular "How do you type with boxing gloves on?" This usually involves mocking the sender's spelling and grammar mistakes (in fact, the character of Homsar was actually created this way), and quite often not actually answering the question.

Other features on the site include Teen Girl Squad, a comic about shallow teenage girls dying in improbable and hilarious ways, which is written, drawn and narrated by Strong Bad; Old-Timey Homestar, what Homestar Runner would be like if it was made in the 1930s; and the Cheat Commandos, a parody of Merchandise-Driven shows in general and G.I. Joe in specific. The Brothers Chaps have also collaborated with They Might Be Giants a few times. A series of episodic point-and-click adventure games by Telltale Games, Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People (or SBCG4AP), was released for PC and WiiWare between August and December 2008, and later ported to Playstation Network in 2010.

Most episodes include Easter Eggs, accessible by clicking on the right part of the screen at the right time.

Thanks to The Wiki Rule and to its Internet longevity, a disturbingly comprehensive wiki has been built up by fans over the years.

Since the birth of Matt Chapman's second child in November 2009, the site's flow of new content has trickled to a halt. However, in late 2011, Matt confirmed via his Twitter page that the series has not been cancelled and that future updates are coming "sporadically and without warning" (and went so far to say that nobody in their right mind would voluntarily quit making Homestar Runner altogether). The Brothers Chaps have worked on other projects, including the game Poker Night At the Inventory, in which Strong Bad meets up with Tycho (Penny Arcade), Max (Sam and Max Freelance Police), and the Heavy (Team Fortress 2), during the hiatus. More recently, Matt has become a writer and director for Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba! and The Hub's The Aquabats Super Show. Matt Chapman recently posted the beginning of the script for Sbemail 206, which has been inactive since the start of the hiatus, stating "Someday, when you least expect it" confirming the site ain't dead. The show successfully returned starting with an April Fool's 2014 video, with some cartoons released here and there, mostly Halloween specials.

If you find the speech hard to understand, the wiki has subtitled versions of most toons

Homestar Runner is the Trope Namer for:

Tropes used in Homestar Runner include:

General Tropes about the Homestar Runner Universe

  • Absentee Actor: Strong Bad doesn't appear in email "anything", which was instead answered by Homestar.
  • The Ace: Supposedly, Pom-Pom.
    • He was once named Prom King at a dance he wasn't even attending, if you want proof.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Taken to Eleven with Bubs. In the most extreme case, he once actually sold Wireless Extension Cords for $100 apiece. Homestar bought four of them.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Invoked in-universe: Strong Bad gets annoyed at the Cheat if one of the Cheat's shorts reflect this about Strong Bad. Usually, however, the Cheat isn't exaggerating his wrestler's persona.
  • Adipose Rex: The King of Town.
  • All There in the Manual: Several of the character's names are only mentioned on DVD Commentaries.
  • Alternate Universe: Several, each with its own version of the cast. Many of the universes appeared in this Strong Bad Email.
  • Always Night: Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Land
  • American Accents: Bubs and Coach Z bear exaggerated versions of regional accents.
  • Anachronism Stew: The "Old-Timey" era, supposedly the 1930s, but containing elements from the 19th Century to the 1950s.
    • Strong Bad's computers are Anachronism Stews all on their own, from a Tandy with a monochrome display that can display a full-resolution image of the Hairstyle Runner Flash game, to the new Compé, an all-in-one widescreen flat-panel that's apparently limited to VGA-level graphics.
    • Videlectrix is a pretty good example of this Trope too, a modern company that produces Atari-level games.
    • How about Bubs' internet service, whose lone customer is (surprise) Strong Bad? Strong Bad claims his normal connection speed is "1200 baud", a measurement of connection speed so outdated, there are Bachelor of Computer Science graduates who've never even heard of it.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Loads and loads of them.
  • Anvil on Head: The Heavy Lourde, which has a habit of dropping on Homsar.
  • Art Evolution: As spoofed in the Strong Bad Emails "flashback" and ""
  • The Artifact: Pom-Pom was originally created to be Homestar's best friend and sidekick. However, his personality was never developed much beyond that, and with the shift of focus from Homestar to Strong Bad, he's pretty much superfluous these days. (The fact that he speaks only in bubbles probably makes it hard to write dialogue for him as well.)
    • Not to mention that he's generally been the Straight Man in a series that doesn't often have much use for one, as the other characters went through Flanderization.
  • Art Shift: Several different versions of the characters, including Old Timey, 20X6 Animesque, Powered By The Cheat, and Puppet stuff.
  • Ascended Fanon: The Brothers Chaps themselves forgot that the Fhqwhgads Robot's Fan Nickname "Visor Robot" was Fanon, and upon realizing their mistake decided to run with it.
  • Authority in Name Only: The King of Town was the former Trope Namer.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears: Parodied with Peacey P, to the point that he's a guest star on one of his own albums.

Crample-O Stow Records presents "Deliberance", the new album from Peacey P! Featuring: Large Craig, featuring: The Overripe MC, featuring: Tenerence Love, featuring: Akryllix & 3rd Lung, featuring: Peacey P!
Peacey P: I'm a guest star on my own album, y'all biscuitheads!

  • Bad Bad Acting: Happens pretty much any time a character is given a script to read. Two very prominent examples are the Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People tutorial and Coach Z's performance in the Dangeresque installments.
  • Badbutt: Strong Bad. To a lesser extent, Strong Mad.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty: Strong Sad was never sad that he was flying; that was a Powered By The Cheat version, not the real deal. His line "I don't like food anymore" was something Strong Bad dreamed up.
    • The Quote of the Week often supplies misquotes to some lines, such as Strong Sad himself saying "Some animal died!" or Senor Cardgage saying "You bet small girl! How 'bout I hit you on the slant?" This could be attributed to the creators using outtakes as quotes of the week.
  • Berserk Button: It's probably not a good idea to question Homestar about his apparent lack of pants.

"W-well, that's simply not true! I have long pants, I wear long pants. I'm a long pants man, long pants long pants... Long pants, Strong Bad! The longest pants! Everybody everybody, longest pants. Long long long long long long pants!"

    • Also, don't hurt The Cheat whenever Strong Mad is around, as Strong Bad learned the hard way in the Strong Bad Email #23 "Little Animal".
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb
  • Better Than Sex: This Book is Better Than 1st, 2nd, and Quite Possibly Even 3rd Base from the sbemail "studying."
  • Big Eater: The King of Town.
  • The Blacksmith: Mostly just a cameo character.
  • Blatant Lies: So common, the Homestar Wiki has a page to list nearly every occasion of an obvious lie. Most of them are from Strong Bad.
    • Parodied in the toon "Cool Things" where Homestar falls into a random pit marked "Death Hole". The fact that the pit's, like, three feet deep doesn't stop him from yelling like he's still falling.
  • Bleached Underpants: The original version of the Poot-Slap song is less than family-friendly.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: TROGDOOOOOOR!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Here's a list for all the examples.
  • Brick Joke: In sbemail #38, titled helium, we discover that Strong Mad's voice doesn't change at all when he sucks helium, to his annoyance. Exactly 114 emails later in sbemail #152, isp, we find out that Strong Bad's internet connection is so slow because Strong Mad is siphoning his bandwidth through a garden hose. Apparently bandwidth acts like "super helium" and Strong Mad finally gets his helium voice.
    • The short "The Luau" begins with Homestar peeing behind Marzipan's gazebo. Later on in the short, when Homestar visits Strong Bad's party, and finds out that he can't get the wood to start on fire, Homestar then asks if Strong Bad got the wood from behind the gazebo, in which Strong Bad answers "Yes, why?". Homestar then explains "Well it all started when I drank 32 glasses of melonade..."
  • The Brute: Strong Mad.
  • Buffy-Speak: Used a lot.
  • Butt Monkey: Strong Sad, The King of Town, Coach Z, and Nebulon when he appears. (No one likes his style.)
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Strong Badia's space program has Space Captainface. Pretender of the Galaxy.
  • Cargo Ship: Among other examples, Sign and Cinder Block in "2 years", and Strong Bad and a Wagon Fulla Pancakes in "montage".
  • Casanova Wannabe: Both Strong Bad and, occasionally, Homestar.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Not to the extent of other cash cows, but when co-creator Matt Chapman looked at all the T-shirt orders he received, he wondered "Are there even this many people in the world!?" The creators now live entirely off of the sales of their merchandise.
  • Character Title
  • The Cheat-ed Angle: Homestar and The Cheat are never seen from the front.
  • Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs: "Cheat Commandos...O's", featured in its own short cartoon.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Characters Strong Bad made up in his emails become actual characters. Example; Señor Cardgage was a theoretical Strong Bad, but now is a character in his own right.
  • Clingy Costume: Strong Bad's mask/head and boxing gloves.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Homsar, and possibly Senor Cardgage. Also, Homestar at times.
    • King of Town certainly qualifies.
    • Strong Mad qualifies, too, because he has No Indoor Voice and, according to Strong Bad, has "a pretty tenuous grasp on the English language." Example:

Strong Bad: *calling out* Hey, Strong Mad! What, uh, what's my favorite movie?

Homestar Runner: Hey, girlfriend, have you tried any of this free ice cream Strong Bad made?
Marzipan: Homestar, didn't anyone tell you? That's, like, cottage cheese and The Cheat hair!
Homestar Runner: WHAT!? *spit take* Strong Bad told me it was sour cream and The Cheat hair!

  • Comic Trio: Strong Bad, Strong Mad, and The Cheat.
  • Companion Cube: Quite a few.
  • Continuity Lock Out: It's not really a continuity cartoon, but half of the gags will make no dang sense if you don't start at the beginning and work your way forward. Because everything's broken into separate series, there's no way to be sure you're watching it all in the right order, either. They've even referenced cartoons that had already been removed from the site. Thank goodness there's a fan wiki.
  • Cool Car: In his contribution to the Halloween story, Bubs describes a cool car the Goblin owns: a pimped-out AMC Gremlin that includes, among other things, a flux capacitor.
    • The same car appears in later cartoons and is...decidedly less cool. And decidedly less functional.
      • Shark Mobile! Can it work?
      • Don't forget the chainsaw car! (Which, sadly, has only ever appeared in the form of a toy prize from a box of cereal.)
  • Cool Helmet: Various styles are worn by "The Broternal Order of Different Helmets," introduced in "Ever and More."
  • Cool Shades: A running staple of the series, most notably worn by Dangeresque and Dangeresque Too. In fact Dangeresque Too's shades are so cool, they can be worn in Team Fortress 2 by the Demoman.
  • Crack Fic: Strong Bad's fanfic in the sbemail, "fan club" has qualities of one.
  • Crack Pairing: A number of in-universe examples.
    • Homsar's parents are a cup of coffee and a Chipwich.
    • Lil' Brudder's Maw and Paw are, respectively, a dog and a unicycle.
  • Crunchtastic: Mocked on many occasions, most notably on the sbemail "Dictionary", which is overflowing with made-up words.
  • Cuckoolandian Counterpart: Homsar for Homestar, and Senor Cardgage for Strong Bad. Strong Bad actually has more than one, as highlighted in the sbemail "alternate universe".
  • Dastardly Whiplash: The Old-Timey version of Strong Bad.
  • Defictionalization: Several in-universe examples, almost all without any involvement (or in some cases, even awareness) from the character who came up with them in the first place (usually Strong Bad). Fake Bands Limozeen and Taranchula, the TV shows Stink's Reach and Dartmouth...the list goes on.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Many of the characters often "try" this, which leads to them creating new mangled words or portmanteaus. In fact, these portmanteaus and Buffy-Speak are a staple of the series' humor.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Several minor jokes, mostly in labeling products. For instance, "Heavy Lourde" means "Heavy Heavy" ("Lourde" is French for "heavy").
    • Alternatively, they were simply using a bilingual label, such as are required on many products in Canada. Nevertheless, the object has officially become known as a "Heavy Lourde".
    • Lampshaded in "Where U Goin 2?":

Strong Bad: I dunno. Maybe he's just going to the ATM Machine.

  • Development Gag
  • Development Hell: In-universe: Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, eventually made into the fourth episode of SBCG4AP.
  • Disco Dan: The Videlectrix guys are ridiculously behind the times, releasing Atari 2600-style games in the present day.
    • Strong Bad himself, as far as video games and technology are concerned. His computers are all hopelessly outdated, and his most current system is a TurboGrafx-16. To put that into perspective, Old-Timey Strong Bad is still using the telegraph in 1936, when the telephone had seen widespread use for over 50 years.
      • That, and only in 2009 has he upgraded to a computer with a graphical interface, having used command prompts on all his previous computers, including his (16-pound!) laptop. Not very surprising when his favorite manufacturer, Compy, still makes house-sized computers. The Cheat, on the other hand...

Homestar: (sees Strong Bad digging out the Tandy 400 from his garbage can) Umm... that's my old one. It barely works. I'd be surprised if you could check more than forty emails on it.
Strong Bad: Ohh, you can't fool me. This thing's top of the line! It's got two contrast knobs!

      • Bubs too. Strong Bad's internet connection (and, thusly, Bubs' internet service) is so out of date it's still measured in baud (a measurement of connection speed so small in comparison to actual bytes-per-second that it would literally be faster to just wait until you next met up with any given friend and talk about whatever was on the webpage you wanted to see). Then again, Bubs is probably doing this deliberately, in order to take advantage of Strong Bad's unfamiliarity with modern technology.
  • Distaff Counterpart: According to the toon "Why Come Only One Girl?", Champeen was originally going to be this to Homestar. Unfortunately, she never showed up in any toons (though she does appear in one of the backgrounds of the Dancin' Bubs game).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Inverted when matters of dating are explained by comparison to sports.

Homestar: Well, it's Marzipan's birthday, and I don't know what to get her!
Coach Z: Well, Homestar, I tell you. Girls are like a great sports play. You can't just rush in to the score zone! You kiddin' me? You'd be clobbered! You've gotta stick and move and zig and zag to get past the defenses, so youse can score!

    • This tends to be Coach Z's answer to everything.
  • Double Standard: Homestar and Marzipan's relationship is a curious example of this at work. For all that Marzipan gets offended and dumps Homestar on a weekly basis, other evidence would suggest that he's actually a much better boyfriend than she is girlfriend; Homestar appears to actually pay attention to her when he isn't inadvertently insulting her in a half-aware fit of ditziness, while Marzipan is just about aware that Homestar is, in fact, rather dim.
  • Dummied Out: Several secret pages, along with a few of the site components.
  • Easter Egg: The sbemails are covered in them. Most toons have at least a couple on the final screen.
  • The Eeyore: Strong Sad.
  • Egopolis: Strong Badia.
    • Even more so in "Strong Badia the Free", which had seven "countries" named for their founder... or founders in the case of Marzistar/Homezipan. There are even more if you count inanimate objects like The Stick as characters (it has a country called Sticktenstein).
  • Elephant in the Living Room: What would happen if Homestar and Marzipan got married and had kids? Also, none of the characters think it strange for the two to be together, despite their two completely different personalities.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Homestaw suffows fwom this. "I have twouble with my aw's."
    • Lampshaded when he tells Coach Z to "Say words right", while the chalkboard behind him writes this the way he says it, aka "Say wouds wide."
  • Elseworld: Old-Timey and 20X6 versions of the cast and setting. Interestingly, the two elseworlds have met at least once.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Eh! Steve! is an in-universe parody of this phenomenon. So is Onion Bubs.
  • Era Specific Personality: The 1936 (and Romans), storybook, early 2000s and 20X6 characters.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Strong Bad, as seen here starting at about 6:10 and ending at about 6:22. Don't touch his mom.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears/Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: The Bear Holding A Shark fulfills both.
  • Expositron 9000: Strong Bad's computer.
  • Expressive Mask: Strong Bad's mask is his face.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The King of Town will eat extreme quantities of things like eggs, butter, and deodorant, but hates peas and "whatsit". Strong Mad will eat nails, rocks, computers and The Cheats.
    • At one point, Strong Mad is actually seen eating bandwidth from a wire hooked to a group of computer towers. And it acted like helium, while actual helium had no effect on him when he tried it earlier.
  • Fake Band: Limozeen, Taranchula, Cool Tapes, Sloshy, K.o.T. High School Marching Band, Kissy Boots, Fatty's Big Chance, Brainkrieg...this is one of their favorite jokes, actually.
  • Fake Video Camera View: A number of examples, including the "videos" on the character page and Strong Bad's "most amazing e-mail" from "Weclome Back".
  • Fan Disservice: Nobody seems to wear pants except Strong Bad.
  • Fantasy Twist: Not that the Homestar Runner 'verse is mundane, but it doesn't stop Strong Bad from imagining it being more fantastic.
  • Finger in the Mail: Parodied when Strong Bad's old computers kidnap his Lappy, they send him her "toe" (a keyboard key) through the mail.
  • Flanderization: Arguably for the better, in that the series took several characters with somewhat generic personalities and gave them memorable quirks which could be mined for humor.
  • Fridge Logic: A rare case of it being applied in-universe with "Best Caper Ever," in which Strong Bad doesn't quite understand how he and the Cheat managed to get Homestar stranded on an ice floe in the Arctic simply by stealing his melonade and peeing in it.
  • Funny Answering Machine: Marzipan's Answering Machine is mostly about the funny calls she gets, but some of her answering machine messages can be pretty unusual, too.
  • Fun with Flushing: In one episode, Bubs turns into a large Godzilla-like monster after accidentally flushing himself down the toilet while shaving. Strong Bad tries to do this himself at the end.
  • GASP: The webtoon uses a "GASP!" stock effect whenever a character declares they're going to do something daring (or what they think is daring.) A good example is Decemberween.
  • Gentle Giant: Strong Mad, for all his muscle and hostility, nevertheless has a big heart and a soft side, especially towards The Cheat, to whom he is quite defensive (see also: Papa Wolf). He also is quite childish and naïve.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Not really much of a radar to get past, as it isn't exactly regarded as being for little kids in the first place, but if it were, their subtle innuendos could help them get away with a hell of a lot.
  • Girlfriend In Outer Space: Strong Bad claims to have many, many girlfriends... whom we never see because they're supposedly visiting other planets.

Strong Bad: And she was a very, very special lady. And she loved me so much and had skinny blonde hair and was always hanging out at the beach, gazing at a photo of me... Too bad when she had to go to another planet for reasons too complex to elaborate on. I'll probably never see her again. And neither will any of you.

  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: The appropriately-titled Strong Bad Email "band names", in which Strong Bad explains how to pick a good one. Two in-world bands, Limozeen and Taranchula, got their names in this email.
    • When Homestar writes Cool Tapes on Marzipan's wall she is at first upset, but then decides she likes it and makes it the name for her band.
    • According to the commentary for Experimental Film, Strong Bad thinks "Real Smooth Moves" is the best band name ever.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Cursing is very rare and only done a handful of times in-universe. This means the worst language most characters use are euphemisms like "freaking," "crap," "sucks," "screw." unintelligible Angrish, or bizarre phrases like "sweet genius!"
    • In Poker Night At the Inventory, there is the option to keep swears in the dialogue, or bleep them out. Even if you keep them in, Strong Bad's are still bleeped out.
  • Grammar Nazi: Strong Bad, despite making many spelling and grammatical errors of his own.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture
  • Granola Girl: Marzipan.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: The series was named for a friend of the Chaps getting confused about baseball. See A Good Name for a Rock Band.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Lampshaded endlessly.
  • Halloween Cosplay
  • Halloween Episode: Once a year.
  • Hammerspace: Constantly used.
  • Harsh Life Revelation Aesop:
    • One Strong Bad Email asks how Homestar and Strong Bad met. It details they entered a race over an egg, later revealed to be The Cheat. Though Homestar won, Strong Bad was awarded the egg, leading Strong Bad to conclude in the present that you don't have to put in your full effort to get what you want.
    • As "Virus" puts it at the end, sometimes a person needs to destroy personal property to right a wrong. Strong Bad accidentally downloads a virus which causes the world to break and enter a Mind Screw; Bubbs has to shoot the computer to save the world. When Strong Bad screams in horror, Bubbs points out everyone's faces were misaligned.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: Strong Bad, from his "girlfriends", to his theoretical situations with many hot girls.
  • Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Dangeresque and the Powered By The Cheat cartoons are prominent examples. The definitive example, however, has to be Strong Sad's original character Twelve-Times-A-Day Man from the "fan fiction" Strong Bad Email.
    • There's also Gene in the email "Hygiene", until Strong Bad's hygiene film takes an odd turn and has the Straw Loser played by Homestar get his life together and turn out successful while Strong Bad's Marty Stu Gene falls from his high pedestal.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Bubs and Senor Cardgage.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: The Cheat, on more than one occasion. Pom-Pom also has his moments.
  • I Ate What?: Many characters have been known to eat non-food items, whether due to ravenous eating habits or just barefaced ignorance.
  • I Call It Vera: Marzipan calls her guitar Carol.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: In "theme song", Strong Bad makes a "Trogdor" shadow that breathes fire. Wearing gloves without fingers.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The Sblounskched! bar, which is made of (are you ready for this?) marshmallow vapor wrapped in licorice colloid in a sea of nougat rolled in a cookie log covered with rich, creamy pepperoni sprinkled with entire tiny bowls of puffy rice cereal covered in Boring Brown Chocolate. In the shape of a pair of pants.
    • With a bite taken out of them. For security. Because who would want to steal a half-eaten pair of choco-pants? (Homestar.)
  • Incendiary Exponent: Strong Bad loves things being on fire. Science fair projects, kids in children's books, the car in his album cover concept...
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Strong Badman's idea of villainy involves wasting water and stealing cable from his neighbors while bossing around his sidekick Stiny.
    • Strong Bad himself sometimes qualifies.
  • Inherently Funny Words: The cartoons' gratuitous misuse of "twice" seems to stem from this.
    • Really anything Coach Z says is an example of this. One toon focuses entirely on his inability to say the word "job".
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Trogdor.
    • Our Dragons Are Different: Trogdor has one helluva beefy human arm sticking out of his back, "for good measure".
      • The one that's occasionally seen hanging around the King of Town's castle looks like a lavender kangaroo with elements of bug and Roswell Gray mixed in. Its stomach scales are also labeled with various functions (such as "sanitize", "puree" and "pots n pans"), presumably to control the strenght of its fire breath, but the only one that's shown is the one labeled "instant death", which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Invisible Anatomy: Often Lampshaded.
  • It Meant Something to Me: The Compy.
  • Jerkass: Strong Bad, and proud of it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Strong Bad has his moments of this.
  • Juxtaposed Store: Bubs' Concession Stand sells a lot more than just food.
  • Kill It with Fire: Trogdor the Burninator, as in he kills everything else with fire.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: The old theme song video ("old" as in "replaced 10 years ago") has Strong Bad as the knife thrower and Strong Sad as the (unwilling) target. It's obvious that Strong Bad is trying to hit Strong Sad, but the camera cuts away before the knife hits.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lots of it. A veritable lampshade factory on par with XKCD. A good example is the beginning of 8-Bit is Enough.

Strong Sad: It sounds like the fan is broken. You'll have to get it serviced.
Strong Bad: Serviced? But where am I gonna get... Fan Service... around here?
(Trogdor machine comes to life)

  • Loads and Loads of Characters: For instance, just try and figure out how this character fits into the HR universe.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Depending on your internet connection, especially true back ion the days of dial-up. Taken quite literally in this short.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Ultimate Trogdor in 8-Bit is Enough. Homestar even calls him a load-bearing dragon.
    • Lampshaded in the email "the paper". Strong Bad finds himself on a sinking island and exclaims "How is this island sinking? I didn't even kill any end bosses!"
  • Long Pants: Supposedly...
  • Loud Gulp: The Cheat Commandos say it out loud.
  • Malaproper: Senor Cardgage is perhaps the most evident example, but Strong Bad, Homestar, and other characters do this on occasion, as a lot of the series' humor revolves around wordplay.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: Matt Chapman voices pretty much every character on the site except Marzipan. And the times when his brother does intentionally bad impressions of the characters for the Cheat's cartoons.
  • Masked Luchador: Strong Bad wears the mask.
  • Meaningful Name: This is how a lot of the characters got their original names. Homestar Runner had no arms, is an athlete, and wears a star on his shirt. Strong Bad is mean, Strong Mad is frequently angry, and Strong Sad is constantly depressed. The Cheat was originally created to help Strong Bad, well... cheat.
  • Menace Decay: Strong Bad. Lampshaded in "your edge", where Strong Bad tries to get his edge back. And fails. Epically.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Cheat Commandos...sort of, as there actually isn't much real CC merchandise, but they're meant to be this way as a spoof of G.I. Joe.

"Buy all our playsets and toys!"

  • Meta Guy: Usually Strong Bad or Strong Sad.
  • Mind Screw: Sbemaliarized Entertainment. ("Uhhh, can you say 'mindblow?'")
  • Misplaced Sorrow: Done with Frank Bennedetto (a popcorn popper), complete with the standard "he owes me $5" lament.
  • Montages: Conversed, with specific subexamples given, in the Strong Bad email montage. The ones used are, in order, a "Falling in Love" Montage, a Travelling Salesman Montage, a Training Montage and an end-credits Photo Montage (complete with "where are they now?" subtitles).
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Senor Cardgage routinely addresses other characters with incorrect (female) names.
    • Strong Bad often employs this deliberately with his email correspondents.
  • No Budget: All of Strong Bad's artistic work, especially his Dangeresque films.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Some of the band members of Sloshy resemble members of Weezer.
    • Bubs' voice was originally a very blatant Redd Foxx impression before it evolved into a more distinctive form.
    • Likewise, Strong Sad's voice was originally inspired by Michael Stipe.
  • No Indoor Voice: Strong Mad.
  • No Inner Fourth Wall: There are numerous crossover gags involving the main cast and characters from the ShowWithinAShows. The best example is probably 8-Bit Is Enough, which features Strong Bad hopping in and out of many in-universe video games, as well as several characters from said games showing up in Free Country USA.
  • Noodle Incident: A couple of them, like the incident that somehow gave Strong Sad the nickname Dairy Queen. That one is (almost certainly) a reference to that disturbing soft-serve flip on his head. Strong Bad's mentioned it before.
  • Only Shop in Town: Not only is his Concession Stand this, Bubs also seems to control every form of business in Free Country, USA.
  • Out of Focus: Pom Pom is hardly used at all anymore.
  • Overly Long Name: Fhqwhgadshgnsdhjsdbkhsdabkfabkveybvf. It has a string of sixteen consonants in a row. Strong Bad manages to pronounce it just fine, but quickly shortens it to "Fhqwhgads" because in the time it took him to say that, he could have made a painting of a guy with a big knife...which he does at the end of the email.
  • Pac-Man Fever: Strong Bad's technologically backwards. Let's just say that.
  • Papa Wolf: Strong Mad is very defensive of The Cheat. A perfect example of this occurs in Strong Bad Email #23: "little animal", when Strong Bad, asked what he would do if a little animal comes up to him, answers by kicking The Cheat and arousing Strong Mad's wrath as a result.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When dressed like The Thnikkaman, Bubs dresses the same way he normally does, only with a pair of shades and a piece of paper with "tH" written on it taped to his chest. Despite this, most of the main characters (save Homestar in "Happy Dethemberween") are completely oblivious to The Thnikkaman's true identity.
  • Parodic Table of the Elements: The Periodic Table of Candy Elements.
  • Parody Commercial: Oh so many.
  • Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Missy Palmer. For the rest of her life, it will probably be impossible for anybody to hear her speak and not think "Marzipan". Possibly the reason why all her DVD commentary appearances are in-character as Marzipan.
  • The Pig Pen: The Poopsmith, due to his job.
    • Coach Z as well, who among other things, leaked what could only be crude oil after taking off a ratty thong in the swimming pool.


  • Pixellation: This happens whenever Homestar's shirt is removed, because without it he's totally nakers. The funny thing about this being that the entire area his shirt normally covers is pixellated, implying everything there isn't fit for all ages.
  • Poke the Poodle: Strong Badman's "evil schemes" turn out to be this sort, to Strong Bad's disappointment. Strong Bad catches himself heading down this path in the email "Your Edge".
  • Portmanteau: The series is very, very fond of these, to the extent that it's practically a defining feature of the dialogue. As with other gags, there's a complete list on the wiki.
  • Product Promotion Parade: Cheat Commandos is a deliberate parody of this, with the sets being literally referred to in-universe as "playsets" and a theme song that ends in "Buy all our playsets and toys!"
    • Ascended Meme There are toys available for the Cheat Commandoes. There are playsets, too, but they're free cardboard-cutouts.
  • Punny Name: They show up every now and then. For example, the protagonist of Peasants Quest is Rather Dashing and the stealth expert of the Cheat Commandos is Silent Rip.
  • Put on a Bus: Happens to Crack Stuntman when he makes one too many frivolous demands on the producers, although apparently he eventually gets his job back.
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy: Used very often, especially in self parodies of the original kids' book like this.
  • Reality Warper: Homsar is such a Cloudcuckoolander that he defies the laws of physics, floating, shapeshifting, and even distorting the scenery.
    • Senor Cardgage recently completed his transformation into a second Homsar in hremail3184, in which he manages to walk in place as if the carpet had no friction and make ambient city sounds appear out of nowhere. Strong Bad put it best: "I'm ... quite scared right now."
    • The Paper might also qualify, subverting the laws of perspective.
    • Heck, even Strong Bad might qualify. Several things he's imagined have become real, including the future of his entire world.
    • Sufficient quantities of viruses (virii?) on one computer cause reality to go mad until the computer is shut off and/or destroyed.
  • Replacement Scrappy Scrappy: New Paper. At least in Strong Bad's opinion.
  • Riddle for the Ages: There are a number of mysteries about the Homestar Runner universe which the creators have said will likely never be given a serious answer.
    • "How does Strong Bad type with boxing gloves on?"
    • "What do the characters' parents look like?"
    • Often thought to be an example by the fans is the question "What does Strong Bad look like without his mask?" However, this one actually has been answered: That's not a mask- it's his face!
  • Repeating So the Audience Can Hear: Done with Pom-Pom and The Cheat, eventually lampshaded in Strong Badia the Free.
    • Justified in "The Best Caper Ever". For once, he's not informing the audience of what The Cheat's saying—he's trying to work out how they got from "[The Cheat] made peepee in [Homestar's] melonade" to watching him via satellite feed (which they also don't know how they got) on an ice floe in another hemisphere entirely.
  • Ridiculympics: One Strong Bad Email is about the "Strong Badathalon", with events such as "Greco-Roman Homestar Crud-Out-Of-Beating", the "Clean and Jerk Strong Mad's Underwears Over His Head" ("fortunately, you don't really have to clean them") and "Probably Something with Guitars, Lasers, Robots, and Hot Girls".
  • Running Gag: A good third of the dialogue consists of in-jokes at this point. Based on the Homestar Runner Wiki, there are over five-hundred.
    • Especially in 8-bit Is Enough. With the inclusion of gamer in-jokes, practially any joke in that game requires you know what they're referencing.
  • Schedule Slip: The creators have been guilty of this from time to time, mainly when the creators' family lives get in the way. Also, while Strong Bad Emails were originally meant to be released every week, they were later reduced to being "updated somedays" so that other kinds of cartoons could get their fair share.
    • From April to December 2010, the Brothers Chaps went over eight months without producing any new cartoons, a combination of family matters (both brothers are parents now) and working on other projects. The site began updating again in December...before totally dropping off the radar for all of 2011.
      • In addition to the revelation of Poker Night At the Inventory, Nick Niespodziani (of the Atlanta music collective Pleaserock, who has worked with the Chaps several times) announced that he was recording with Strong Bad again, which may be an indicator of a second music album.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Bubs and Coach Z.
  • Shout-Out: Lots, mostly to friends of the creators, or musicians or movies they liked as kids, although most of the sources tend to be extremely obscure. Not always, though.
  • Show Within a Show: Quite a few, including Sweet Cuppin' Cakes, Limozeen--But They're In Space!, and Stinko Man K 20X6. "Teen Girl Squad" started out as one of these before it became a feature of its own, as did Cheat Commandos.
  • Silent Offer: In Stong Bad Email #182, the King of Town and Strong Bad negotiate in this way. What is being negotiated over is never revealed, and the King of Town's offer is "a piece of lasagna."
  • Simpleton Voice: Strong Mad and Homsar are an extreme version of this. Homestar is slightly less extreme.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Show Within a Show and In-Universe example- Crack Stuntman, the voice of Gunhaver in Cheat Commandos, who insists on script changes and even voicing different characters because he "likes that guy's lines better."
  • Small Reference Pools: Averted, especially during the Halloween specials. They will come up with some of the most bizarrely obscure characters and mascots from decades ago. How many people honestly could recognize Marzipan's "log lady" costume at the first glance?

Strong Bad: So, Bubs, your approach this year was to ensure that absolutely no one recognized your costume?
Bubs: (dressed as the Clarence Clemons character from Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure) You got it!

  • So Bad It's Good: Dangeresque as a whole, though this is intentional.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: The Cheat has made a couple, including one of the "geddup noise" (the sound Strong Bad's chair makes when he leaves his computer) and the King of Town's attempt at a jam. Strong Bad's "The System Is Down" could, arguably, also be one.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Marzipan is the only girl character in the main cast. The situation was lampshaded in the DVD exclusive toon "Why Come Only One Girl?"
  • Special Effects Failure: Strong Bad: "Introducing Tito the Top-Haticent! And his beautiful assistant: Strong Mad with two basketballs shoved down his singlet!"
  • The Speechless: The Poopsmith. Subverted, when he broke his vow of silence for Strong Bad's 200th email and was voiced by John Linnell of They Might Be Giants fame.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Cheat, The King of Town, The Poopsmith, etc.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The character is named Stinkoman, but his anime series is called "Stinko Man K 20X6". And although the character's name is usually spelled "Coach Z", it was originally intended to be "Coach Zee".

Strong Bad: Or "Coach Zed", as you Canucks call him.

Strong Bad: Congratulations, Coach! I just spent several hours carrying around my brother's internal organs, and you still managed to outdo me on the creepy scale!

  • The Stoner: Probably Senor Cardgage.
  • Stopped Clock: In the Strong Bad Email "vacation", Strong Bad sends a postcard from (among several other places) "It's that CLOCK (Look at it go!)". Of course, the clock isn't going at all.

Strong Bad: Okay, the best thing about this postcard is if you look at the clock, that's the exact same time that I first laid eyes on the clock! 2:55, man. And like, iddi—oh, wait, it still says... 2:55. Okay, well, the clock is broken, but still! It's about the best thing I've ever seen [sings] in my whole liiiiiife!

  • Strong Family Resemblance: Averted. Members of the Strong Family have no resemblence to one another. Lampshaded in the DVD exclusive email "family resemblance".
  • Stylistic Self Parody: Usually with arms.
  • Stylistic Suck: Basically any time the characters attempt anything artistic, though Strong Sad is sometimes an exception. Notable examples are The Cheat's cartoons, the Teen Girl Squad, and Dangeresque.
  • Surreal Humor: Huge doses of it. In fact, this is all Sweet Cuppin' Cakes is.
    • Especially in the DVD-exclusive content, this being a prime example.
  • Take That: Strong Bad has poked fun at both Memetic Mutations (here's his take on the Trogdor phenomenon) and the darker side of fandom. Funnily enough, the fans haven't been offended. This is probably because it's Strong Bad, who's supposed to be a jerk about these things, and because it's really funny.
    • While the Brothers Chaps are usually more quiet about their political views, the Strong Bad Email "environment" as well as their Earth Day toon made it clear that they don't particularly care for the environmentalist movement.
  • Talking to Himself: All of the major characters except Marzipan, Pom Pom (who only speaks in bubbles), and The Poopsmith (who has only spoken once in the cartoon's entire history), are usually portrayed by one guy. And let's not get into the ramifications of the characters impersonating each other's voices...
    • And you can tell which character is impersonating the other.
  • Inner Dialogue: Homestar frequently seems to forget who he is and behaves as if that "Homestar Runner" guy is someone else, leading to several instances where he will argue with or even fight himself. This also happens to be a fairly regular occurence anyway, what with the old-timey and 20X6 incarnations coexisting with the main Free Country USA citizens.
  • Teasing Creator: They have acknowledged a lot of fan questions that will never be answered. This, for example.
  • Telegraph Gag STOP:

"Sir Strong Bad STOP How do you operate the 'telegramophone' whilst wearing gentlemans' sporting gloves STOP Signed, Sir Elsington Halstindingdingworth STOP"

"You say tomater, I zader matermorts."

Tropes specific to individual cartoons

Strong Bad: Wait -- that's not supposed to be possible...!!"

  • Burger Fool: "Blubb-O's"
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: Happens to Strong Bad and The Cheat in Strong Bad Email #197, "your edge", when they saw a hole in the floor and fall in through it and into total darkness:

Strong Bad: Whoa! Where are we? I suddenly feel so... easy to animate.

  • Calvin Ball: The nebulous and nameless sport Coach Z coaches and Homestar plays, as shown in the opening of "A Jorb Well Done".
  • Cargo Ship: In-universe, Strong Sad and some cans of Yella paint in "Cool Tapes".

Homestar: (when the Chairscoot noise is made, little hearts flutter from Homestar, as he swoons dreamily) Ah! There it is! It's positively dreamy! (faints)

Strong Bad: Where did you get snowballs at this time of year?? And how did you fit them in that notebook?!?
Strong Sad: I've been saving these in the freezer since I was eight!!

  • Crossdresser: For Halloween, Marzipan has been Prince, Willie Nelson and Joey Ramone, just to name a few. Lampshaded by Homestar in the 2008 Halloween toon. There are also other instances of this, such as Pom Pom as the Statue of Liberty, Strong Bad as "Carmen freakin' Miranda" and "Carmen freakin' Sandiego", Coach Z as Queen Latifah, or The King of Town as Hello Kitty.
    • Coach Z does this inside his mind. Constantly.
  • Crossover: Telltale's Poker Night at the Inventory, which crosses over with Team Fortress 2, Penny Arcade, and Sam and Max.
  • Curse Cut Short: In the sbemail, "trevor the vampire", Strong Bad types "what the f--" before interrupting himself with another train of thought.
  • Darker and Edgier: Parodied in the new intro for April Fool's Day 2010, with HSR Xeriousxly Forxe. ([1])

Revamped for The Nineties!
So much more exciting!
Pointy elbows and lots of lightning!
Edgy and angry, so zesty and tangy!
There's new demographics
When nobody asked for it!

  • A Day in the Limelight: "The King Of Town's Very Own Quite Popular Cartoon Show".
  • Dead Air: In the Strong Bad email "radio", he summes up College Radio in five words: "Dead Air, 'um', Dead Air".
  • Depth Deception: "Bubs' foot isn't huge! He's just in the foreground!"
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: In the sbemail "pet show", Strong Bad should be able to win the pet show in a walk since his entry, The Cheat, is the only one resembling an actual pet. (The other contestants are a dog-shaped cookie jar, a George Foreman grill, and... Homestar Runner.) Yet he feels compelled to cheat anyway, and proceeds to sabotage the other contestants. And then he almost gets away with it, only to be disqualified for an unrelated rule infraction (The Cheat's unauthorized use of "relish foot").
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud??: Coach Z's reaction in an Easter Egg on the cartoon "Trogday 08", when he has said to "Wormdingler" (his snake-like drawing of a "dragon" from the Sbemail of the same name): "You don't need no consummate V's ta be my bride..."
  • Discredited Meme: Invoked by Strong Bad, who complains in "Trogday '08" that the internet ruined Trogdor, along with "zombies, pirates, ninjas, and Strong Bad!"
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Appears in the "DNA Evidence" arc. After being Arc Words in a number of otherwise unrelated shorts, we get a story about a vial of green DNA Evidence that keeps changing hands and getting stolen. Turns out that it was from Strong Sad, who doesn't want anyone to find out if he's part elephant.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: The 2009 Halloween cartoon, "Doomy Tales of the Macabre".
  • Dramatic Ellipsis: Spelled out by Stinkoman.
  • Dumb and Drummer: In the Limozeen cartoon, the following exchange takes place:

Drummer: How come they made me fat and have orange hair?
Lead Singer: Because you're the drummer! You're the Plucky Comic Relief!

  • Dumbass DJ: In the email "radio", regarding morning drive deejays: "These guys are like bad stand-up comics that you can't heckle... or jeckle... or throw highball glasses at."
  • Eldritch Location: The Sweet Puttin' Cakes miniature golf course. You get there by desiring to play miniature golf. It goes downhill from there.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Mr. Shmallow.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The sbemail "senior prom" starts with an opening for "The King of Town's Very Own Quite Popular Cartoon Show", which is quickly pre-empted by the email.
  • Fake Shemp: Parodied in the email "original"; after Original Bubs quit, they tried to hide his non-presence. Literally. Behind large objects.

Homestar: Original Bubs, who is totally behind that dishwasher box (cut) behind that washer/dryer box (cut) that hot water heater box (cut) behind that... toothpick sculpture?

Strong Bad: So that's fan clubs, the next worst word you can couple with the word 'fan' is, you guessed it (ominous, eerie music plays) the word (Strong Bad's voice slows down, and the camera zooms in on the word as he types it) fiction.

  • Fanwork Ban: Done in-universe in Rough Copy
  • Far Side Island: There's a sbemail in which Strong Bad is asked what he would do if stranded on one.
  • Fashion Magazine: Spoofed in the sbemail "Modeling".
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: The sbemail 200 flashbacks are done with Strong Bad's current model.
  • Flipping the Bird: In "the bird" sbemail, Strong Bad, Pom Pom, and Homestar do this, despite neither of them having any visible fingers.
  • Follow the Leader: Made fun of by the sbemail "geddup noise". The "Geddup Noise", the noise Strong Bad's stool makes when he gets out of it, is apparently a huge hit, and a lot of furniture shifting type sound effect shows try to cash in on the wagon.
  • Free Prize At the Bottom: Strong Bad email "specially marked".
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The Thanksgiving-themed Cheat Commandos toon, "Let Us Give TANKS", in which Blue Laser invites the Cheat Commandos over for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Groupie Brigade: In the Limozeen cartoon.
  • Heroic BSOD: Induced on Homestar by Strong Bad when the latter claims that Homestar doesn't wear pants, just blue soles glued to the bottoms of his feet. Homestar essentially has an emotional breakdown. Homestar gets over it, however, when Marzipan tells him that everyone thinks she is a broom, and Homestar is surprised (and upset) to learn that she isn't.
    • Strong Bad when Bubs shoots his computer.
      • Earlier, he had another one when said shot computer got 423,827 viruses. (A new record!)
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Strong Sad in this episode of Marzipan's Answering Machine; he apparently considers recording over people's outgoing voicemail messages as one of the best perks of house-sitting.
  • If I Had a Nickel: "Man, if I had a nickel for every email I get, I would throw them at people in the food court. From that railing, like up above."
  • Imaginary Friend: Lil' Strong Sad's friend, Scotty Titi.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Vantastic!
  • Interface Screw: Strong Bad's computer gets a virus that quickly spreads to the site itself.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Sbemail #91, "Caffeine".
  • I See London: Strong Bad's pants poofed away at the senior prom because when he tried to make everyone else's pants disappear, he forgot that he was the only one at the prom who was technically wearing pants.
  • Is This Thing On?: Sbemail #149
  • I Will Show You X: In the dragon Strong Bad email:

Strong Sad: I think I've improved on your methods a bit, too. I employed some chiaroscuro shading, and-
Strong Bad: I'll improve on your methods!
(Strong Bad sets Strong Sad's drawing on fire and reduces it to nothing)
Strong Sad: What?! That's not an improvement!

  • Jail Bake: In "Strong Bad is in Jail", Strong Mad bakes a cake with a jackhammer in it for Strong Bad and The Cheat.
  • Jumping the Shark: Referenced in-universe.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: In the Strong Bad Email "trevor the vampire", when the email ends abruptly, Strong Bad assumes the worst.
  • Lamaze Class: And Strong Bad didn't even need it.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: A borderline example in one of the DVD toons, "Why Come Only One Girl?", in a montage of Strong Bad meeting different ideas for a new girl character.

Strong Bad: -my style. (gets slapped, cut) -my types. (gets slapped, cut) -my stuff. (gets slapped, cut) -The Cheat. (gets slapped)

  • Littlest Cancer Patient: Lil' Brudder. He's... he's such a trooper... got such a strong... one... leg... sniff...
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Marzipan, in this email.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: An Easter Egg in the 2010 Decemberween cartoon spoofs this in their introduction of a new drink, the Hot Pooey. The tagline: "Dear god, what have we done?"
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: On the main page, the ticker for the very long awaited Decemberween 2010 cartoon says "for real!" when moused over.
  • The Nudifier: In the Strong Bad E-mail "senior prom", Strong Bad tries to prank the prom by bringing in a device that makes everyone's pants "poof away".
  • One Last Job: The Tandy and the Compy both want to check one last email in the Cliffhangers/Retirement arc, and kidnap the Lappy in order to force Strong Bad to grant this request.
  • Only Sane Man: Admiral Flashfight, when Blue Laser's latest scheme is revealed to be that he's ultimately caused skeeball prizes to cost more tickets.

"You've made a game for 8-year-olds slightly more of a ripoff. I still don't see how this concerns the military."

  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Weclome Back (sic), Strong Bad states he recorded his very first, very awesome mid-air SBemail check. Unfortunately, he pulled the old mash-Stop-when-you-think-you're-mashing-Record-and-mash-Record-when-you-think-you're-mashing-Stop routine.

Strong Bad: Oh, the believing is hard to be doing, because that was so incredible! We met so many celebrities in midair! And the part with the narwhale was so illegal.

  • Opaque Lenses
    • Reynold in Cheat Commandos.
    • Flight Engineer Ted Avril in Career Day.
    • The video game programmers in the DVD exclusive email, Videro Games.
    • The Lowball Kid from The Sketchbook.
  • The Other Darrin: The sbemail "original" is a parody of this phenomenon.
  • Overly Long Gag: After answering his 100th email, Strong Bad says "email" 100 times in a row, with increasingly silly pronunciations.
  • Parody Magic Spell: Halloween Potion-Ma-Jig has Homestar gathering ingredients for a Halloween potion, including one of three possible incantations:

"Loquentia, Imbruglia, Precipitous, Saraleecheesecakea, Denouement!"
"Bettah ask somebod-ay!"
"Do you even have half a brain!"

  • Performance Anxiety: In the short "A Decemberween Pageant", Strong Sad gets the part of The First Decemberween in the titular pageant. He gets so nervous that he locks himself in the bathroom before his scene, and the rest of the cast are forced to improvise to extend the play. When Strong Sad finally does come on-tage, it turns out that The First Decemberween's entire part consists of walking on-stage and saying "What?" (or alternately, that Strong Sad's part was supposed to be larger, and no one in the audience noticed or cared that he messed it up).
  • Phone Number Jingle: 555-55-5585-555-SENOR-MORTGAGE-TODAY.
  • Pimped-Out Car: Mocked in the email toon, "Car", with a baseball cap.
  • Pistol-Whipping: In "That Time of Year", one of the pages in the book shows a boy building a snowman, which Strong Bad then defaces to include a gun in the boy's hand to make it look like the snowman is getting hit by it and adds in a giant mantis.

Strong Bad: (rewriting the book text) "De giant mantis is almost here. Get ready to be pistol-whipped, snowman!"

  • Potty Emergency: Happens to Homestar in the long-lost short "A Jumping Jack Contest", after being tricked into drinking too much melonade. He then relieves himself in a jar provided by the Poopsmith.
    • In the S Bemail "Extra Plug", after the power goes out, and they are told to not move, Homestar and Strong Sad start singing about how badly they have to pee, to Strong Bad's disgust.
  • Precision F-Strike: That is some [BLEEP] up [BLEEP], man! It's obviously bleeped out to keep the family friendly appeal, but...damn!
  • Recycled in Space: Parodied with the short-lived Limozeen cartoon. Lampshaded in the Strong Bad Email that introduced it.

Strong Sad: Why are they in space? There's no reason for them to be in space!
Strong Bad: On the contrary, my dear fatson, there's every reason for them to be in space.

  • Revenge SVP
  • Ridiculympics: The Strong Badathlon, from the SBEmail of the same name.
  • Ribcage Stomach: Played straight in Teen Girl Squad 6 and Sickly Sam's Big Outing, averted in the Stinkoman Thanksgiving special.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies / Downer Ending: Strong Sad's conclusion to an improvised Halloween story bums everyone out.
  • Rule of Funny: Strong Bad waits patiently for Strong Mad and The Cheat to say "Douglas"...and when it's Strong Sad's turn, he smashes him with the computer's keyboard.
    • The word "Douglas" in this trope doubles as a Brick Joke in an Easter egg for Strong Bad Email #76, in which Strong Bad tries to teach the characters to say, "Fhqwhgads."

Strong Bad: Fhqwhgads.
Homestar: Fubugrass.
Strong Bad: Say with a flourish: Fhqwhgads.
Homestar: Fubumagu.
Strong Bad: It doesn't sound like it looks. Fhqwhgads.
Coach Z: Forhorglingrads!
Strong Bad: Coach Z, I thought I asked you to leave, like, an hour ago.
Strong Mad: DOUGLAS!!!
Strong Bad: Whoa! We've just had a breakthrough! You get a gold star.

  • Say My Name / Skyward Scream: Per-duc-ci!!
  • Scenery Censor: Done to hide the fact that one Limozeen member was played by a woman in one live-action sequence.
  • Self-Deprecation: The Flash adaptations of The Homestar Runner Enters the Strongest Man in the World Contest and Where My Hat Is At? make a point to have the cast lampshade how ridiculous the plots and scripts are. Example:

Homestar: [My hat] isn't cooking on the grill? Man, I really thought it'd make complete sense if my non-edible hat would be cooking on a food grill!

Strong Sad: Ooh, and he had a cameo as Stevedore #2 in the prequel, and he was in that car commercial with the wisecracking transmission, and he has a Bacon number of 4!

  • So Long, Suckers!: Homestar says this twice: once in the Strong Bad Email "secret recipes" after tricking himself into eating a pinecone, and once in one of the yearly Halloween episodes after tricking the King of Town (whose Halloween costume is Colonel Sanders) out of his secret blend of eleven herbs and spices needed to make Marzipan's Halloween potion.
  • Spinoff Babies: One email has baby versions of the main cast (except Homestar, who is still an adult, for some reason).
  • Squee: Homestar's reaction to "Chairscoot".
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: In a Halloween Costume cartoon, Strong Bad freaks out at the sight of a hot girl dressed as Homestar.
  • Swallowed a Fly: "Bug In Mouth Disease" features Homestar distraught because he accidentally swallowed a bug. "The good times are over!"
  • Tear Jerker: Invoked. Strong Bad has this drawing of a one-legged puppy nicknamed "Li'l Brudder", whose Woobie-ness is sufficient to drive Homestar into an existential crisis whenever Strong Bad shows it to him. He manages to do the same to Strong Sad with a picture of a two-legged elephant named "Tendafoot". At the end, even Strong Bad himself starts choking up from it.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Reynold in "Shopping for Danger" after he falls backward onto the rocket pack he's wearing

My land. I can't see this ending well.

  • This Isn't Heaven: An Easter Egg in the program Macromedia Central features a cartoon where Homestar and Strong Bad are stuck in "blue-fadey-land." Homestar thinks they died and went to heaven, and Strong Bad agrees after they find a Twinkie. Then Homestar says that it's just Strong Bad and him, forever! It suddenly dawns on Strong Bad that they're definitely not in heaven. He pounds on the edge of the frame screaming frantically as the background turns red...
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Subverted in the 2009 Halloween toon. Strong Sad, upset at not being invited to any Halloween parties, turns around to discover all of his friends standing behind him to throw him a surprise party. Or so it seems. Turns out that his "friends" are actually a large cardboard prop, and their cheering is provided by a tape recorder. The whole thing was set up by Strong Sad himself to make himself seem more popular to the viewers.
  • Two Scenes, One Dialogue: The opening scene in "Date Nite".
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Played with in the Cheat Commandos toon 2 Part Episode, where Admiral Flashfight shows up to take over command of the Cheat Commandos from Gunhaver. Unlike your typical Tyrant arc, Admiral Flashfight actually makes the Cheat Commandos effective (the very first thing he does is arrest Blue Laser, who at the time had been invited over to play video games), but since the Commandos are used to goofing off (and he summarily fired Gunhaver, Silent Rip, and Crackotage) they chafe under his leadership.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Strong Bad dressed up as a woman for Halloween two years in a row. Sadly for him, this resulted in the King of Town making fun of him.
  • Villains Out Shopping: One Cheat Commandos episode had the Commandos trying to stop the Blue Lasers from shopping at the supermarket, believing their activities were cover for some nefarious scheme, like trying to "make it snow at the beach or something". However, it turned out that the Blue Lasers truly were just buying groceries.
    • Then subverted because the latest computer analysis pointed to mold in the showers as the reason the Cheat Commandos remained uncrushed.
  • Vinyl Shatters: In concert, Strong Bad breaks a Sloshy record over Strong Sad's head.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Used in the Strong Bad Email "bottom 10", when Homestar starts to perform a butt dance for Strong Bad.
  • Wham! Shot: A literal gunshot: When Strong Bad opens a virus email, it causes his world to glitch. He ends up trapped outside of his window as pop-ups of Homestar appear. It seems everyone is doomed to glitch forever, until the world resets. Strong Bad and the Cheat start to dance, but then Bubs appears. He's holding a shotgun. When Strong Bad asks what happened to his computer, Bubs reassures him it's in a better place. Bubs shot the infected computer to save the world.
  • What Could Have Been: Pretty much the DVD-exclusive cartoon "Why Come Only One Girl?", which shows ideas for other female Homestar Runner characters.
  • White Void Room: Homsar's children's show, Whaddaya Know, Haddi-man?.

Tropes unique to the Flash Games

  • Adventure Game: Peasants Quest and the Thy Dungeonman series.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: Thy Dungeonman 2 has the Saw Doctor. When the player gets the plague, you can see him to have it "sawed off". He also gives you a sucker for being a good patient, which you can use to explode the Dongrel that's disguised as a sous chef.
  • Defictionalization: This cartoon had the four "games that may be released in a possible future" redone into Thy Dungeonman, Secret Collect, Rhino Feeder, and Strong Bad Zone.
  • Empty Room Psych: Quite literal in Thy Dungeonman 3, which has a room with absolutely nothing in it.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the easter egg game Super Kingio Brothers, The King of Town is too out of shape to jump over the first goomba, making it impossible to survive for more than a few seconds.
  • Fishing Minigame: There's one hidden as an Easter Egg in the email "lures and jigs", but being that this is Homestar Runner, it's an...unusual...take on the idea. "Come on and get in the boat!"
  • Nintendo Hard: The Stinkoman 20X6 game.
  • Rhino Rampage: Videlectrix's video game "Rhino Feeder", which stars Strong Bad.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Dangeresque Roomisode game feels like a spiritual successor to Peasants Quest
  • Vaporware: Level 10 of Stinkoman 20X6. Eventually subverted by Dangeresque 3, which was referenced for years before finally being made in video game form.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: Thy Dungeonman 3 has walls of spikes that smash the character if they are not stopped with the convenient bone lying around before 12 turns have elapsed.
  • You Dirty Rat: Percy the rat in Thy Dungeonman II.
  1. Well, ex-Trope Namer