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Headscratchers: Sam & Max: Freelance Police
  • In What's New, Beezlebub?, Satan claims that Sam and Max helped bring about the apocalypse for selfish reasons. But the only thing they did towards that was lower Hell's efficiency, giving the Soda Poppers an excuse to fire Satan. And they did that by destroying their soul taking operation, which they did to stop a vampire from stealing people's souls and raising a zombie army to take over the world, destroying their soul crushing operation, which they did in an attempt to save Bosco, and saving some of their acquaintances from their own private Hells. Sam's escaping from his private Hell afterwards could be seen as selfish, and they did some less than moral things to accomplish their goals, but their motives seemed more pure than usual.
    • It seems that the duo are police more out of boredom and for the chance to cause additional mayhem. They might just be insane, since Sam talks about justice but never justifies his actions.
      • The commissioner probably pays them pretty well, too.
      • In the comics (the first one, in fact) Max thwarts a mugging-flavored marriage proposal. Later, he mistakes a television shoot for a crime-in-progress and starts taking potshots. So there may be justice there. It's just Sam & Max flavored.
      • I always interpreted that scene as an actual mugging, just with a creepy mugger who thought pretending to propose to the woman would be fun.
      • Plus, there's ANOTHER comic in which Sam bites a criminal holding up a 7-Eleven-esque convenience store. So, I see them as good and in favor in justice, but in a Chaotic Good and not very ACLU-friendly sort of way.
    • Satan was possibly referring to all the previous encounters with the Soda Poppers in the previous season, during which Sam & Max apparently motivated the trio towards murder, full-scale war, and becoming hated enough to usurp Hell.

  • In "Chariots of the Dogs," the past Sam and Max ask for help on how to get to the moon. If they really haven't even gotten on Myra's show yet, why would they ask that, when they shouldn't even know that they needed to go there to stop the season's Big Bad?
    • Maybe they're planning to go there for a different reason? We don't know what they did between episodes.
    • Wasn't that a Shout-Out to the animated series or one of the comic books?
    • It would make sense if it was a shout-out to "Bad Day on the Moon," but we know for a fact that that episode happened even long before episode 101. They actually have photos of themselves with their penny-conscious moon gear hanging in their office in "Culture Shock."

  • Midtown Cowboys. If you ask Mr. Pennyworth/Featherly about the show in Episode 106, he explains that the show was canceled shortly after Sam and Max appeared on it due to the Alien Love Triangle scandal in Episode 102. But by Episode 203, it's not only back, it's a huge hit. Is this improbable reversal of fate ever explained in-canon?
    • Rule of Funny, just go with it.
    • The show was cancelled for a season, then brought back due to viewer demand.
      • ... in Germany.
    • If you ask Jurgen twice about Midtown Cowboys, Sam will ask him if they've just been watching the same repeat of Midtown Cowboys over and over. Jurgen replies that yes, they indeed are. When you go to the TV studio, the director says they've been waiting for Sam and Max to stop by so they can film a new episode, implying that the main show itself hasn't been in production since it was cancelled after episode 102. The most likely reason for it's cancellation despite it's popularity in Germany is that Germans didn't discover the show until after it was cancelled.

  • Also in "Chariots of the Dogs". What the hell is up with the timestream? There's some situations in the original timeline which clearly required Sam and Max's interference to have come about in the first place (e.g. Sam not being a nerd, Bluster Blaster being an asshole) but there's also ones that did not originally exist yet come about as a result of the interference (e.g. Max being interested in girls). Then there's the whole paradoxical Stable Time Loop with the egg. What the hell happened?
    • I stopped trying to figure out the massive Timey-Wimey Ball that is Chariots of the Dogs long ago. I recommend that you do the same.
    • Bluster Blaster became abusive and Sam stopped being a nerd without future Sam and Max's interference. Little Sam was working on changing Bluster Blaster's personality, and he seemed to like the abusive one. And if having his screwdriver stolen made Sam give up on computers, he can't have been that interested in them in the first place. The real question is, if Mama Bosco was always obsessed with finding out who trashed her store, why was Bosco not always a cow? The effects stemmed from the same event.
      • Well, actually, there's no proof that she was ALWAYS obsessed with the person who trashed her store. We only ever talk to her after Bosco becomes the cow, which means the future was altered. Bosco acts like he's spent his entire life living in fear because of her because, to him, it would have felt that way, since the future was changed. In reality, she might never have been that way before then.

  • Episode 204, Chariots of the Dogs, allegedly takes place a year and a half after Episode 102, Situation: Comedy (because Sam comments that their past selves forced them to "relive the past year and a half"). However, Episode 205, What's New, Beezlebub?, takes place only a year after Episode 102 (because Specs mentions that the Embarrassing Idol incident occurred "one year ago today"). If you believe both of these, you must therefore accept that Episode 205 supposedly took place half a year before Episode 204, and all the plotholes that stem therefrom. What.
    • Well, the episode was about time travel, after all. It isn't unreasonable that all the crazy time-jumping antics messed up the timeline a bit, making that timeline a distinct possibility.
    • Well, according to the time cards, the Soda Poppers' birthday is on December 21, but Episode 205 starts on September 6, one year and 8 months after Situation: Comedy. Maybe Hell is in a different time zone, or something.
      • If the President of the United States can declare it to be any date he wants (as in 204) then surely the rulers of Hell can make it their birthday if they feel like it — say, if they've just been presented with a cake. Besides, if it's always Monday at 4:59 PM in Hell, the exact date is pretty hard to figure out.

  • I'm still a little confused as to how the projector in "The Tomb of Sammun-Mak" worked. I understand that Sam and Max could use it to see their ancestor's past, and the fact that the reels were there will most likely be explained, but how did Sameth and Maximus use information that was pulled all across time?
    • They weren't just seeing it, they were living it. I think the intro cutscene makes much of that pretty clear.
      • But for the last reel of film, Sam wasn't there with the projector. How was Sameth still doing anything if Sameth and Maximus were being controlled by Sam and Max?
      • I figure that the "astral projection" is a power of both Maximus and Max, so the two were able to interact- Maximus was able to learn what Max saw in later parts of the film and use it to obtain knowledge.
      • But Sameth is the one always using the information through time...
      • I guess Sam also has projection with Sameth, but, since he doesn't have powers of his own, he has to be near of Max for use it. Which make sense, because, in the last reel, they aren't using any knowledge Max couldn't remember.
      • I'm surprised they were able to get anything done, then. -_-
      • Speaking of which, I seem to recall that if you use the projector again once you've finished the first three reels, you get Sam saying "We've already finished the other reels" or some-such... despite that he's off screen at the time.
      • It's mostly explained in "The City That Dares Not Sleep." It allows the user to project themself into the body of alternate versions of themselves - basically, someone or something that shares DNA, like ancestors, clones, relatives, etc. So Sam and Max were actually taking control of Sameth and Maximus's bodies during 302, meaning they were able to actually live the movie, change events or use information pulled across time.
      • The question then becomes this: how is Max able to get Sameth to do the various things he needs to do in the final reel, in order to solve the final confrontation? Sam was in the bathroom at the time. I suppose we can assume that it was just Sameth himself, acting with no assistance (other than his memory of the Sphunx Challenge), but then how is it possible to fail at Sameth's part? It's assumed that all of the various death scenes are the result of Sam and Max messing up their directing their ancestors, but it's possible to die in Reel 4 by way of Sameth not acting fast enough.
      • In a moment of Fridge Brilliance, this also explains how Skun-ka'pe was able to sneak up on Max: Max wasn't merely distracted by the movie, his consciousness was actually not in his body at the time.
      • But if Sameth and Maximus were being controlled by Sam and Max, why did they keep calling each other Sameth and Maximus?
      • Maybe it's just subconscious. Sam and Max didn't know the full details about the Astral Projector, and assumed they were just movies. They knew the characters as Sameth and Maximus, so that's how they addressed each other.

  • One of The Soda Poppers' evil actions was introducing the Intelligent Design theory to the world. Considering that the episode focuses on the Spiritual realm, complete with Ghosts, demons, and eternal sentencing, shouldn't that mean that, within the Sam and Max universe, that the ID theory is true?
    • Clap Your Hands If You Believe was mentioned with regards to hate empowerment of the Dark Lord, and it is possible that there is a Devil but No God.
    • And, you know, just because you believe in God doesn't mean you believe in Intelligent Design.
    • Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment in mind, unless one takes the stance that the Bible is literal there's no conflict between science and faith anyway. The creation story is just a metaphor for the Big Bang and evolution, explained in a way comprehensible to primitive desert tribesmen. Thus the natural progression from single-celled organisms to primitive sea life to tool-using apes to technological humans to colorful floating balls of light trapped inside cheap dioramas.

  • How can Sameth and Maximus be Sam and Max's ancestors if they died without having any children?
    • Cloning.
    • Alternatively, while Maximus seemed surprised at them having children to begin with, let's remember that Maximus IS Max's ancestor, and therefore probably has all the attention span of a hyperactive six year old. So he probably just forgot.
    • Maybe they just aren't actually their great grandparents; maybe they're great grand uncles, instead. Or maybe it's just Rule of Funny, and you shouldn't think too hard about stuff like this. Sort of like how you shouldn't wonder why the hell the projector was all set up there in the first place.
      • I think that was Norrington
    • It pretty clearly said great-grandfathers and since Sameth was the one who said it, it seems likely that they do have children.

  • In Beyond the Alley of the Dolls, Bosco is apparently stuck in Vegas, paying back a debt he owes a bunch of casinos. In season 1, he got enough money to take a sledgehammer to the US's economy. His debt is 20 grand. Explain.
    • I thought he kept blowing his cash on more and more elaborate security systems. By episode 104, he was able to afford a missile defense system. Not to mention he briefly lost all his money to an online scam in 105 (the fortune he got simply filled an empty pot, not added to it). The sixty trillion dollars in 106 was in Canadian, meaning it probably wasn't worth much after Canada dumped the USA. And between Seasons 1 and 2 he revamps the store into a military-grade bunker, complete with red lights and plenty of lasers. Sorry to go into WMG territory, but since Sam and Max don't buy anything from him in Season 2, it's possible he ran low on funds. Hence why he taking Bluster Blaster to try and cheat Vegas casinos.
    • I thought it's simpler than that: he lost it all gambling. Yes, all of it.
      • Makes sense. According to Momma Bosco, he had all, if not most, of the money from Season 1 when he left.
  • Um, how was Bluster Blaster fixed? He's back to normal...
    • COPS probably got fed up with his stupid and asked Sam to repair him. Sam may have forgotten a lot, but he was Bluster Blaster's creator, and probably had the blueprints lying around somewhere.
  • Just gonna say this before anyone feels like pointing fingers at the ending of The City That Dares Not Sleep: It was the Max time paradox duplicate from season 2. Okay?
  • What WAS the Devil up to at the end of season 2 with the bug? It wasn't mentioned at all in season 3, even though the Devil appears for the finale. Is there gonna be a season 4?
  • Why exactly did Max's super-ego narrate the story to begin with? I mean, it was entertaining and intriguing, but, in context of his master plan, what purpose did his doing that serve?
    • Perhaps the player was a pawn in his plan in one way or another, as well.
      • "Only you can manipulate the outcome, my friends..." The Superego clearly (and, as he says, lamentably) has very little impact on Max's brain. Maybe the only way to control things in his favor was to manipulate the person who could manipulate Sam, the only guy Max listens to. Sam and Max do occasionally comment on the mainstays of point-and-click adventure games, after all, so Max may subconsciously have some awareness of the fourth wall.
  • Here's something that's been sticking in my mind. The latter half of Episode 303 circles around a reality rewrite that Sammun-Mak made while in Max's body. At the end of the episode, when reality is restored, Sam remembers nothing of the rewrite, and Max doesn't bother filling him in. And yet, Sam knows enough about it to taunt Sammun-Mak about it when they meet again in Episode 305. Explain.
    • Based on Sam and Skun-ka'pe's interactions in 304, where Sam is clearly aware of him pwning Skun-ka'pe, it can be assumed that Max brought Sam up to speed when heading to Stinky's.
  • The Big Bad's justification for hating Max. Max wasn't using his psychic powers to take down criminals. He first used them to stop someone from obtaining the Devil's Toybox and conquering significant portions of reality. Yes, then he DID goof off with the Astral Projector, but he got right back into the swing of things by fixing reality after Sammun-Mak's meddling AND he stopped Junior from destroying New York. These might not have been "selfless" acts, but to accuse Max of chasing "petty" criminals instead of using his powers to discover the infinite is stupid. He was doing a lot of good and if he hadn't transformed into a monster, might have had the chance to do more infinity-ness, since he was clearly on that path in the battle during 304.
    • Perhaps said Big Bad has still grander aspirations than those. The sky's the limit, and he is Max's superego after all.
  • In 305, how did Sam Jr. survive the radiation in Max's arms when Sal didn't?
    • I'm guessing that he just didn't stay among the radiation long enough to feel any real effects, since he quickly left when he realized that he couldn't read.
  • So, in 204 it's established that Stinky would own a mega-corporation in the future. However in 305, Stinky dies.
    • The future can change, remember? Stinky was supposed to rise to power when she became famous for the "super-adhesive," but Sam and Max managed to use time travel to patent it themselves first, meaning she would never be able to use to become famous. Her death in 305 follows the same principle; the future isn't set in stone, and it's always possible to alter the timestream.
    • Actually in the altered timeline, Girl Stinky rose to power by creating a spray that repels zombie hands. The future can be be changed, yes, but this only seems possible using time travel, and no time travel was used to change this as far as we know.
    • Time travel itself wasn't used, but it's possible that when Skun-ka'pe used the Eyes of Yog-Soggoth to see the future and alter it, it functions the same as time travel. Essentially the same thing happened: Sam and Max went to the future and brought back some information and items they needed to solve a puzzle in the past, and Skun-ka'pe looked into the future for information he needed to solve a puzzle in the present, thus changing the timeline in both instances. Different means, same effect.
  • When Sam is trying to bring back Max at the end of 305, Momma Bosco says she'll need DNA of his that's less then one week old. But if the cloning tank only works with DNA less then one week old, then how was Momma Bosco able to get her body back in 304? She would have been dead for at least a year by that episode, or at least a few months, so the eyelash she kept would have obviously been too old to clone from.
    • When the process failed, she notes that Max's DNA is just "too weird" to clone. Maybe she was hoping a fresher specimen would be more stable, or more effective?
  • In Hit The Road, why isn't Conroy Bumpus interested in collecting a talking dog and a talking rabbitlike creature for his animals-and-freaks collection? He immediately loses interest in them as soon as they reveal they're not a bigfoot, even though Max in particular is way weirder than one.
    • A six foot tall dog and a hyper-kinetic rabbity thing are an Unusually Uninteresting Sight. People just don't think those things are all that strange.
  • Okay, I understand that Dr. Norrington was just a pseodonym, and I understand WHY Yog-Soggoth chose to use a fake name in the first place, but where the HELL did he get the name "Dr. Norrington" from in the first place? It seems like a really random choice, and he's not even a real doctor! Is it supposed to be some kind of obscure movie reference or something?
    • It sounds proper, it sounds formal, and it sounds vaguely British. I assumed it was meant to seem like the Narrator's pseudonym, thus making who it actually belonged to come even more out of left field. Plus, it gave them the ability to use the 'two heads and three names' gag.
  • In 305 Sam takes control of Max's arms and legs, so aside from the spores that fed off nightmares he was pretty mush harmless. Why pray tell was that not reason enough to call off or at least delay the assault on Max, after showing that they were making progress? This was the half of the reason that Sam had to leave, and thus they were not able to keep max from dying.
    • While the game definitely needs a better explanation for not calling off the robot attacks when they got Giant Max under control, it ultimately wouldn't have effected Max's death by much. The robots did injure Max, but it was his head catching fire and exploding from an overload of psychic energy like Momma Bosco warned could happen that ultimately killed Max.
  • According to 305, Girl Stinky wasn't really created from the Cake of the Damned. So why did Girl Stinky turn back into it when you said her true name in 205?
    • In the same room where you find this out you can see the holographic projector and smoke machine she used to make the illusion.
  • The "Do you have any...?" gag from 106. It's funny but the second part, the video of a chicken eating cow manure, doesn't work, for too reasons: 1, if the video in question didn't contain Sam and Max, it would be useless. 2, if it did, then it was obviously only recorded after the show had gone to air. Why didn't they go with, say, "an answer sheet to "Who's Never Going to Be a Millionaire?" or "a birthday cake made with tomato ketchup?"
  • What the heck ever happened to the "Tear Gas Grenade Launcher"? In the first two episodes it was there, but in the third episode it's gone! Wouldn't that have made it much easier to, say, make the elf cry in episode 201?
    • Like much of the equipment they've picked up over the years, they lost it, or they broke it, or they lost it in a card game, or the US Marshalls confiscated it, or Max sent it to Sam's mother, or anything you think might be funny. Or maybe it's still in Max's inventory, that place is a mess.
  • I'm no expert on politics, let alone Sam & Max politics, but it's hard to wrap my head around the idea that Max can sell the deed for the entirety of the US to Canada in 106 and still be its president in 201.
    • I always figured that because Sybil was the queen, she kept Max as the president as a "thank-you" for an old friend.
    • Rule of Funny.
  • In episode 201, why did Jimmy think he could commit suicide by jumping off Sam and Max's office building, when he was able to survive being dropped out of their office window in 101?
    • Despair may have clouded his mind, but that doesn't explain why Sam & Max didn't just let him jump and catch him. (Or it's possible he was counting on the boxing glove to weigh him down more, so that his fall would be harder.)
  • In 305, if Abe was in charge of the Maimtron army, and presumably was the one who would give them the order to attack, why did a Maimtron attack Max when Sybil - Abe's pregnant wife - was in there? Abe knew she was inside and still apparently ordered the attack on Max, who at this point has been mostly subdued. Why would he do that? This is pretty important; it led to the death of an eponymous character.
    • If President Superball gave the order as he said he would, Abe would have had no choice but to comply.
  • In Episode 303, when Max asks Jebediah about curses, Jebediah says that the old ways have been lost, and nobody knows how to perform curses anymore. Fair enough, I know from my own family that second or third generation immigrants like Jebediah and Obediah WILL have forgotten a lot of cultural knowledge. Except... isn't Nefertiti, first generation immigrant and master of the Holstein Hex, standing right there?
    • The curses may just be very difficult to master — Nefertiti spent her entire childhood in the tomb of Sammun-Mak, and by the time she's a teenager she still can't maintain it for a long time. Jebediah and Obediah seem pretty old, so it may be too late to learn. Another explanation is that when we see Natasha the mole woman in Little Arctic Circle, she's got a scroll with a bat on, and seems to be using that to curse Slushie. Cursing may take additional resources, which could have been lost or destroyed.
    • Nefertiti was only a moderately good hexer in 302, most likely because she was young and still learning. The cow form would only stick around for a minute, hardly enough time to make it a particularly harsh curse. It's possible that when the family arrived in America, Nefertiti decided she wanted to embrace the new culture and assimilate to fit in better, and she put hexing aside. It's not unusual for immigrant children to put aside customs from the old world faster than their parents do. Thus, she wouldn't have improved, and even now that she's older and seems to take her heritage more seriously, that might have been enough to ensure she'd never be a master of mole curses.
  • The ending of 302 seems to imply Papierwaite was sucked into the Devil's Toybox. So...how did he get free? Did the Toybox acting as a power source to the Penal Zone weaken its power or something?
    • It shows him disappearing, one of the powers of the Devil's Toybox is teleportation. He could have just been blasted to any random corner of the globe with Yog-Soggoth stuck in his chest.

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