Video Game / Club Penguin

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Waddle around and meet new friends!
This little browser game, owned by Disney, centered on users' personal penguin avatars, and their little lives. The game was somewhere in between a social network and a life simulation. Players could chat with other people, buy and care for a pet, buy clothes, buy and furnish your igloo, and even change the color of your little penguin avatar. All of this was paid for by little minigames you could play in the little world. Some games were competitions with other penguins, while some were solo games. However, most of the interesting things you could buy, you could get only if you paid for your account.

The game itself didn't provide much in terms of story. The closest thing to a plot the game provided came in the form of the Penguin Security Agency's missions, in which the player had to protect the island from any threats. Most of these threats came from Herbert P. Bear, a polar bear who floated to the island via iceberg and tried to wreak havoc on the islanders, and Klutzy, his pet crab. After the eleventh mission, the PSA was disbanded and turned into the Elite Penguin Force.

In 2014, a Christmas special called We Wish You a Merry Walrus was broadcast for the first time. It stars a group of penguins working together to save Christmas and stop Herbert's latest Evil Plan.

The game was shut down on March 29, 2017 and was replaced by the mobile-based Club Penguin Island. The original game lives on through private servers that dedicated old fans have set up, a list of which can be seen here.


This game provided examples of:

  • Achievement System: Stamps. If you have a membership, you can even show them off by decorating your stamp book cover with them.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The Box Dimension. There are boxes everywhere, physics rarely works, and everything is floating in a purple swirly flow.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: You can invoke this with your very own penguins and puffles, by giving them items like clothes and hats. The meetable characters (like Gary, Cadence, Rockhopper, etc.) also play this straight.
  • Adorkable: Gary and Rookie are quite often seen as this by the fans.
  • All-Cheering All the Time: Club Penguin used to have a play called "Team Blue's Rally 2", in which one of the characters was a cheerleader named Bella, who put everything that happened during the play in her cheers, and all she ever did was cheer.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Here's some stuff that only members can do.
    • Buy clothes.
    • Go to member-only rooms. (Not that there are many of them by default, though.)
    • Decorate and upgrade your igloo.
    • Continue to the next level on games such as Jetpack Adventure.
    • Own puffles colored differently from red and blue.
    • Transform into magical things like ghosts, reindeer puffles and Jack Frost, dinosaurs, and as of February 2013, movie stars.
    • Get clothing for your puffle and get upgrades in the mini-games like Hydro Hopper and Jetpack Joyride.
    • Island takes this Up to Eleven. Practically everything that isn't related to the main story is blocked behind a paywall. With microtransactions on top of that. It's to the point that even the most basic actions you can do in the original, are locked off. Better hope you can afford $6 a month.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Penguins and puffles can be purple, yellow, red... You name it!
  • An Ice Person: The Puffle Handbook describes White Puffles having the ability to "freeze liquids at will".
  • Art Evolution: The game's art style has definitely changed a lot throughout the years, which gets pretty funny when the newer clothing and items don't jell very well with the old ones, comparing the early items to the later ones is like night and day!
  • Artistic License Biology: Herbert P. Bear is a vegetarian polar bear who can't stand the cold and can't swim, as opposed to real life polar bears who are carnivores,are adapted to cold temperatures and are great swimmers.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • There was once a rumor where if you stand in the Dojo for 30 minutes, you will become a ninja. Now, we have Card-Jitsu.
    • The "tipping the iceberg" rumor (if many people use the Hard Hat and jackhammer one side of the Iceberg, it will tip over) was untrue until the final month of the game. Doing so revealed a floating dance party, a free hard hat, and a message that reads "Together, we can build an island, create a community, change the world... and even tip an iceberg. Waddle on.".
  • Bears are Bad News: Herbert P. Bear.
  • Big Bad:
    • Herbert P. Bear in the PSA and EPF Missions.
    • Protobot, which Herbert rebuilt.
  • Big "NO!": Herbert, if you completed Operation Blackout.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The server names. Rainbow, Hot Chocolate, Beanbag... Hypothermia?
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The minigame Puffle Launch has checkpoint cannons that (obviously) change your puffle's spawnpoint. Because of how the cannons are spaced out, this is bound to happen, and it's more annoying if you're going for 100% Completion.
  • Clam Trap: In the game "Aqua Grabber", a giant clam will close down on the player if they take its pearl, causing them to lose air, unless they pull a Weight and Switch with a pearl-shaped rock.
  • Collection Sidequest: Stamps, Pins and Free Items.
  • Crossover: The Take Over events, which basically brings many Disney media to the game.
  • Darker and Edgier: You'll notice it when you look at Operation: Blackout. Herbert kidnaps Gary (and plans on kidnapping the other EPF agents as well), takes him to his lair, and freezes him alive. Then, he builds a ray that can control the sun, which he uses to focus the sun on his lair alone, darkening and pretty much freezing the rest of the island. He declares himself the island's ruler, and demands the island's inhabitants obey him. Anyone who disobeys him gets the same punishment that Gary got. Also, as the days continued on suing the event, the ice caused by the blocked-out sun built up more and more, until by the last few days, the map was COVERED in ice.
  • The Dragon: Protobot was for Herbert. Until Herbert double-crossed him.
  • Easter Egg: While many have been removed over the years, some are still present, and new ones are added occasionally.
    • Mousing over Aunt Arctic's icon in the "Ask Aunt Arctic" column of any of "Club Penguin Times" issue gives her Cool Shades.
    • In Dance Contest, clicking on Cadence before selecting a difficulty unlocks Expert Mode.
    • Almost every catalog has hidden items that can be obtained by clicking on certain things on the pages. This has somewhat died down over the years, but they still pop up from time to time.
    • Pressing "et" outside the chat bar causes your penguin to fart.
    • At certain times, a penguin can get abducted by aliens. The room of which this occurs in changes every five minutes. Unless you're on an empty server, being the one abducted is entirely random.
    • If you look through the binoculars at The Cove, you'll eventually see a penguin playing Hydro Hopper pass by, and later, Fluffy jumping out of the water.
    • Every 30 minutes, a bird comes out of the Cuckoo Clock in the Ski Lodge.
    • The homepage pre-2012 had a few clickable spots on it.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Card-Jitsu is basically this: Water extinguishes fire, fire melts snow/ice, snow/ice freezes water.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Take a wild guess what everyone plays as.
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": The Puffle Handler, who is otherwise called "PH".
  • Extreme Omnivore: Orange puffles eat everything, including boxes and food bowls.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Fragile Speedster: The yellow bots from the minigame "System Defender" are the fastest bots in the game, but not very strong and can be taken down rather easily, especially by yellow cannons. From the same game, red cannons also count, as they shoot fast, but don't take a lot of damage.
  • Friendly Ghost: The music video for "Ghosts Just Wanna Dance" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The ghosts of Cadence and the Penguin Band greet 3 innocent penguins as friendly and music-loving. They even turn them into ghosts.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: This can be invoked by your own penguin with shirts, pants, dresses, formal wear, swimsuits and even wigs. This trope is fully emphasized in promotional artwork and media especially in the 2013 redesign, by using "miniature teenagers with beaks and big eyes".
  • Funny Animal: The penguins and Herbert P. Bear fits this the best, although they might be Civilized Animals too.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Brown puffles. Also, if the name is of any indication, Gary the Gadget Guy, who made most of the field agents' equipment.
  • Game Within a Game: The mini-games. You earn coins from them, too.
  • Gass Hole: A penguin can fart by pressing "et" outside the chatbox.
  • Genius Ditz: Rookie is the most absent-minded member of the EPF, but can speak fluent crab using nothing but a typewriter.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Card Jitsu allows your penguin to be one, complete with card playing, Elemental Powers of fire, water, and snow, Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, and cool ninja accessories.
  • Harder Than Hard: Club Penguin's stamp system has stamps in four levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, And Extreme, which are green, yellow, blue, and red, respectively. Most of the former three aren't too bad, but Extreme stamps require a lot of patience and many of them can easily feel like That One Achievement for some players.
    • Some Minigames have this as well. Dance Contest has standard Difficulty Levels selectable in the difficulty menu, each of which gives each song a specific arrow pattern. Expert, however, requires that you click on Cadence in the difficulty menu, then confirm your choice. In this mode, arrows are faster and the pattern is randomized each time you play, denying the ability to memorize the pattern!
    • Another minigame example: Bean Counters has two levels of this above Hard in the secret Jellybean mode: Expert and Extreme; as well as having more colors to sort by than on Hard, all objects are tossed out super fast in these modes, especially Extreme! Jellybean Mode has Hard Mode Perks such as invincibility powerups and faster scoring!
  • High-School Dance: The Penguin Prom in early June of 2014. This was a little controversial due to the fact the target audience are school-age children.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": EPF agent Jet Pack Guy really is named "Guy".
  • Idiot Ball: When Rookie is tricked into letting Herbert go free in Mission 10 by lending him his Spy Phone, which has a teleportation functionality built in.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Fire Ninjas from Card Jitsu Snow have balanced stats, unlike the Water and Snow ninjas who excell in one area, but are terrible in another.
  • Kaizo Trap: In the time trial mode for the minigame Aqua Grabber, the time can expire (signaled by the clock walking away) while the "Stage Clear" message is displayed. This causes you to have to retry the mode to unlock Compressed Air Mode. The way to avert this, of course, is by moving quickly enough to spare 6-7 seconds minimum by the end note . Subverted, however, in that you don't actually lose a sub from this, but you are still disqualified from the timer.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A screen in the EPF headquarters can be tuned in on two penguins having a conversation. Cue a caption on the bottom of the screen...
    This conversation would probably be a lot more interesting in sound... huh?
  • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
  • Meaningful Name: "Cadence" (the DJ penguin's name) is a musical term describing a progression of chords.
  • Mighty Glacier: The purple bots from the minigame "System Defender" are slow, but take a lot of damage and require a lot of/powerful shoots to be taken down, which is why the purple cannons (which also count for this trope) are the best option when you have to deal with them.
  • Minecart Madness: You can play a third-person version of this, called "Cart Surfer", in the Mine.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: Used a lot in fan-art and fan fiction.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Some of the comics in the "Fun Stuff" section on the website feature a penguin who combines several mini-games to make it more extreme (like combining Jetpack Joyride, Cart Surfer and Catching Waves to make "X-Treme Jetpack Surf Cartz").
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Subverted. Penguins can wear wigs, which makes them appear to have hair.
  • Old Master: Sensei, who taught players the art of Card-Jitsu.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Compressed Air Mode in the Aqua Grabber minigame; if you hit any obstacles (terrain, fish, etc.), your sub will be destroyed, costing you a life.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Black puffles are rarely seen smiling note . Jet Pack Guy is similarly grumpy.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: In "Aqua Grabber", there is a giant clam with a pearl. The player can steal the pearl by performing a Weight and Switch with a rock.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Shadow Guy and Gamma Girlnote  in the play, "Squidzoid vs. Shadow Guy and Gamma Girl", and their own graphic novel, Shadow Guy and Gamma Girl: Heroes Unite!
  • Playing with Fire: Black puffles will catch fire when given O-berries.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: Downplayed. There's one polar bear, Herbert P. Bear, on an island populated with penguins, and he came from the North.
  • The Professor: Gary the Gadget Guy.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Herbert and Klutzy. Though considering Club Penguin a children's game to begin with, this is expected.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Teams on Club Penguin are almost always divided into reds and blues.
  • The Reveal: At the end of Operation: Blackout, it's revealed that Aunt Arctic is the director of the Elite Penguin Force.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Puffles.
  • Sailor Earth: You wouldn't believe how many fanfictions there are about penguins who join the PSA/EPF. Most of which end up going through the exact same story.
  • Secret Identity: The Director of the EPF is better known by their secret identity, Aunt Arctic.
  • Shrinking Violet: Gary switches back and forth on this. On one hand, he's perfectly fine with just about everyone in missions and okay with getting interviewed. But if a decently sized crowd of people gather around him outside of missions, he'll run into another room or hide behind things.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Club Penguin itself. When the Ice Rink is up, this trope is played relatively straight, as you sliiiide from point A to point B.
  • Snowlems: The basic Mooks you'll face in Card-Jitsu Snow.
  • Surfer Dude: Red puffles seem to embody this. Their favorite minigame are Catching Waves, and their bathing animation involves surfing a wave inside the tub.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The cardboard dragon in the Puffle Launch minigame launches explosive boxes that you use to attack Klepto.
  • Terrible Trio: The Test Bots.
  • Those Two Guys: A couple of the penguins in one of the PSA missions.
  • Trope 2000: Gary loves adding big numbers to his inventions. Usually it's "3000", but he also uses "2000" and "1000" for prototypes.
  • Wily Walrus: Tusk is a massive walrus with ice powers who created an army of snowmen to destroy Sensei and the other penguins.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: A recurring joke in the comics was a penguin who would create "X-Treme" versions of games by adding jetpacks.

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