Homestar Ruiner— In which Strong Bad sets out to "beat the snot out of Homestar", but instead ends up impersonating him at the Free Country USA Tri-Annual Race to the End of the Race, humiliating him in the process... which wouldn't ordinarily be a problem, except that Homestar takes refuge in Strong Bad's house and refuses to leave unless Strong Bad can fix Homestar's shattered reputation.
Strong Badia the Free— In which Strong Bad rebels against the King of Town's new e-mail tax, and tries to rally his neighbors (who have all set up their own countries) to overthrow the Of Town's "fat-thority".
Baddest of the Bands— In which Strong Bad organizes (and then attempts to win) a Battle Royale of the Bands in order to fund repairs for his beloved Videlectrix Funmachine.
Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective— In which Strong Bad finally completes his latest "cine-magic masterpiece", where a routine mission to save the rainforest traps Dangeresque and Renaldo in a web of treachery, lies, heartbreak, and bad action movie cliches. This is a unique installment in that you play in-character as Dangeresque, trying to solve your way through the movie's plot.
8-Bit Is Enough— In which Strong Bad's malfunctioning Trogdor cabinet leads to Free Country USA merging with the world of video games, forcing Strong Bad to team up with his favorite video game characters and take out a rampaging Trogdor.
Absentee Actor: Of the five episodes, only "Strong Badia the Free" has all twelve main characters appearing on screen. Homsar is missing from "Dangeresque 3" and "8-Bit Is Enough" (the latter of which also lacks Pom Pom), and makes a voice-only appearance in "Homestar Ruiner". The Poopsmith makes a photo-only appearance in "Baddest of the Bands." Not literally true, however, as nine of the twelve main characters are voiced by Matt Chapman.
Actually Pretty Funny: From "Strong Badia the Free", when the gang has set up an effigy of the King of Town outside Strong Bad's house, consisting mainly of an old stick.
Strong Bad: Why'd you bring that ugly, misshapen stick?
Homestar: She organized the protest rally!
Strong Bad: Not Marzipan! (softly) Though that's a pretty good one. Gotta remember that.
Anticlimax: Surprisingly enough, subverted in SBCG4AP's Strong Badia the Free. The siege of the Of Town's castle lasts five minutes and takes place off-camera. And then it turns out that being King of Town is the lousiest job in the world. The real challenge turns out to be Strong Bad directing the Of Town's coup against him.
Bad Bad Acting: During the tutorial, and a few times in "Dangeresque 3" (chiefly from Coach Z as Renaldo).
Badass Boast: When Strong Bad gets his gloves on the Trogsword in 8-Bit is Enough, he shouts out an epic one (also, see Shout-Out below):
Strong Bad: A-HA! By the power of EGA! Extended memory management! Raster interrupt 6! Hold and modify! And the mighty Mode 8! The power of the Trogsword is MINE!
Batman Gambit: In Strong Badia the Free, the King of Town levies an intentionally unfair email tax and then places Strong Bad under house arrest for not paying it. Strong Bad is infuriated, decides to rebel, and stages a coup to overthrow the KOT's authority. Turns out that this was exactly what the KOT was anticipating- he was tired of being the King of Town and set up the whole scheme just so he'd be dethroned.
Strong Bad turns the tables by using the King of Town's own scheme against him, levying an intentionally unfair tax on Creamy Ding Snack Cakes in order to provoke the KOT into staging a coup and taking his old job back. Then he throws in some Briar Patching to make the King repeal the e-mail tax.
Big Boo's Haunt: In "8-Bit Is Enough", after the real world and the video game world merge, Strong Bad's house becomes haunted by American Revolution-themed ghosts from a game called "Spirits of '76". It becomes up to Strong Bad to rid his house of the ghosts.
Big "NO!": In "8-Bit Is Enough", spoken by Strong Bad after he catches Trogdor burninating Strong Badia.
Strong Bad:Trogdor?! NOOOOO!!! Bad Trogdor! Heel!
Big Red Button: During "Homestar Ruiner," the race's tape is ruined by pushing a red button labeled ERASE. There's a post-it tacked to it warning "DO NOT PUSH." Also makes an appearance during "Baddest of the Bands," when one is supposed to reveal Strong Bad's stage prop.
Bootstrapped Theme: "Handle My Style", the intro song from the first episode, has more or less become the series's theme song.
Brick Joke: In "Homestar Ruiner", the episode begins with Strong Bad getting an email asking why he hasn't "beat the snot" out of Homestar yet. Strong Bad thinks it's a good idea, but his intention gets derailed. In the end, when Homestar crashes out of the window in the conga line, he yells out, "Ow, my snot!"
When the game was first announced on the Homestar Runner website, the Brothers Chaps made an animation where Strong Bad presents his interpretation of what he should look like in the game, featuring bulging muscles, robot legs, and an Awesome, but Impractical sword. This design is finally used in the last episode when Strong Bad faces off against a 64-bit rendition of Trogdor.
Bring My Brown Pants: Strong Sad will say "Where are you going? You can't take on Trogdor without calling product support first! You'll void your warranty! And maybe your bladder!" if you try to go outside without talking to him first in 8-Bit Is Enough.
Butt Monkey: Strong Sad, more so than usual. He gets ridiculed, pummeled, conned, humiliated, and otherwise tormented throughout each episode (though he does get to dish some abuse back to Strong Bad in "Baddest of the Bands").
Character Filibuster: Parodied in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", when Strong Bad fast-forwards through Marzipan's lecture on the environment.
Chewing the Scenery: Strong Bad in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective" when mourning the death of his father, Dadgeresque.
The Chew Toy: One of the things necessary for 100% completion of "Baddest of the Bands" is finding all the ways Strong Bad can get hurt.
Chocolate of Romance: In Homestar Ruiner, Strong Bad, in order to mend Homestar's relationship (and get him out of his house), puts "ChocoOpps" (which are revealed to be nothing more than chocolate-covered packaging peanuts) on Marzipan's door.
Colon Cancer: Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People: Episode 4: Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective.
Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For: In "Homestar Ruiner", Bubs is distributing coupons for free candy called ChocoOpps, which turn out to be nothing more than chocolate-covered organic packing peanuts. When Strong Bad complains about this, Bubs is quick to invoke this trope.
Strong Bad: Chocolate-covered organic packing peanuts?! What kind of candy is that?
Bubs: The kind of candy that I give away to people for free, dummy!
Dummied Out: Some costumes from later episodes are programmed into earlier episodes, along with an Ab-Abber 2000 "shirt."
DVD Bonus Content: The Extended Play for "Dangeresque 3" is done in the style of this.
Egopolis: In addition to Strong Badia, an existing location from the web series, "Strong Badia the Free" features all the other characters, and some inanimate objects, forming their own countries, most of them named after themselves (such as the Homsar Reservation, Pompomerania, Coachnya, and Marzistar/Homezipan).
Fetch Quest: In 8-Bit is Enough "Princess" Strong Sad keeps sending you on quests to find items like "The Sigil of Dark Dampening" and "The Shimmering Trinket of Endless Bargain-Hunting." The reward for each quest is another quest to fetch the same item (with a different name) that keeps respawning. This will go on forever, if you let it. And you don't actually have to do any of them. All you need to do to make the story progress is get him to assign you the first quest; there's no need to actually complete it.
In Baddest of the Bands, whenever Bubs suggests Strong Bad could pay off his debt by working at his store rather than jumping through elaborate hoops to arrange, sabotage, and win a battle of the bands, a floating pixelated head of Limozeen's Larry Palaroncini appears over Strong Bad's shoulder and says "Rock and Roll, Strong Bad!"
In 8-Bit is Enough, Strong Bad ponders a way to distract the rampaging Trogdor machine so he can repair it, and recalls Strong Sad telling him "You'd have to be some kind of idiot to take on Trogdor alone!" in this fashion. Right on cue, Homestar Runner blunders into the scene.
Foreigner for a Day: In "Strong Badia the Free", everyone runs off to form their own countries after Strong Bad declares his independence from the Municipality.
Foreshadowing: If you pay attention at the start of "Baddest of the Bands", you can see the lump of aerosol cheese that turns out to have caused the Funmachine to malfunction all along.
Fourth Wall Greeting: Dangeresque 3's "Extended Play" is treated as Strong Bad going around filming material for the DVD's behind-the-scenes documentary sections.
Game-Breaking Bug: A number of the SBCG4AP episodes have some bug some which freezes or causes trouble for the game. The PC and Wiiware versions have different bugs between them.
Gameplay-Guided Amnesia: Subverted in "Homestar Ruiner". As Strong Bad (posing as Homestar) is about to begin the Race to the End of the Race, he stops to ask Coach Z if he gets some instructions first. Coach Z tells "Homestar" he shouldn't need any instructions, as he's been training for weeks.
Genre Savvy: "8-Bit is Enough" has its fair share of this.
Geographic Flexibility: A Lampshade Hanging is applied on this by the map system. You can move all the notable locations around on the map and put them wherever you want. Very amusing when doing this to a world map in Dangeresque 3. Nothing's stopping you from placing Tokyo in Africa, for starters.
Pom-Pom and Homestar's act in "Baddest of the Bands" is named "Pom Star." Now remember that an "m" looks like "rn."
"Baddest of the Bands" also has Wade, the guy from the benefit concert for endangered bats Marzipan originally joined. He leaves a few messages on Marzipan's answering machine where he sounds suspiciously like he's stoned.
Good Angel, Bad Angel: A variation: when Strong Bad interacts with someone, often he has one of two choices of how to speak to them, represented by an angel and a devil, respectively. Choosing the "angel" choice causes Strong Bad to say something nice, while the "devil" choice causes Strong Bad to say something mean. However, when Strong Bad is explaining this system in a tutorial, he says that choosing the "devil" option will cause him to "say something I would say."
A Good Name for a Rock Band: The third episode of SBCG4AP lets you name Strong Bad's band, DÖI (or rather, pick from choices provided by SB, the King of Town, and Homsar... which all spell out DÖI anyway and hence don't matter in the end).
Guide Dang It: SBCG4AP has its moments, especially when it comes to finding collectibles and other 100% completion achievements. The worst one is probably one of the Expressions of Affection in "Baddest of the Bands": To get it, you have to have hints turned up to maximum, sabotage two specific bands in the Battle Royale of the Bands, pick up an item used to sabotage the third band without using it, and then wander around a particular spot for a while until the hint drops. How the game makers expected anybody to figure this one out on their own is a real mystery.
Hint System: Depending on the settings, characters will drop hints on what to do next. Also, some of the messages from the Drive-Thru Whale in The Field are incredibly cryptic hints.
Lighter and Softer: In-Universe, Strong Bad emails when they're taken over by King of Town near the end of Strongbadia The Free, who avoids all the usual conventions of making fun of the sender and simply politely writes back.
Load-Bearing Boss: Lampshaded in 8-Bit is Enough. "Must've been a load-bearing dragon!"
Lost Forever: Getting collectibles and other 100% completion achievements in SBCG4AP can be difficult, because many of them can only be achieved in a small window of opportunity. Thankfully, the game averts Unwinnable, as anything needed to complete the game will always remain accessible to you.
Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, Uzi Bazooka's "murder" of Dadgeresque as featured in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective". However, the moment is kinda ruined when Senor Cardgage just walks offscreen.
Naked People Are Funny: After Strong Bad steals his clothes in "Homestar Ruiner", Homestar is forced to run home naked, to the shock and horror of his friends and neighbors.
Narm: Invoked with Senor Cardage walking out of the set during Dadgeresque's death scene.
Never Trust a Trailer: The "next episode" previews. While the lines spoken are from the actual games, they occur in scenes that never actually happen.
Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: At one point in "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective," Strong Bad as Dangeresque and Coach Z as Renaldo, while traversing the treacherous jungles of Strong Borneo, have an encounter with "a Western Lowland Grizzlysharkasaurusbot — and it's holding a shark!"
Obvious Beta: As with many games made by Tell Tale Games, there's manyGame Breaking Bugs. One infamous example is on the Wii version of Homestar Ruiner; if the wii is set to widescreen mode, and if the player talks to Coach Z in Extended Play, the game will freeze.
Old Save Bonus: The PC version will add the costume items unlocked from versions prior if at least one other SBCG4AP episode is installed.. The Wii version skips this enirely, as it just unlocks all of them from the start.
One Steve Limit: Dangeresque's partner, Dangeresque Too, in "Dangeresque 3".
Overly Long Name: "Homestar Ruiner" features the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race and the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race Silver Trophy of Ultimate Destiny, both of which are almost always said in full, and almost always accompanied by an overly-dramatic fanfare, though they do start saying "The Free Country Race Yadda Yadda Yadda" (quick fanfare).
Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Homestar Ruiner", Strong Bad manages to convince everyone he is Homestar simply by donning Homestar's clothes and using the head from a destroyed Homestar Runner float (and mimicking Homestar's speech impediment). It matters not one bit that Strong Bad is quite a bit shorter than Homestar, nor that Strong Bad's face can clearly be seen underneath the papier mache Homestar head. Nor that Strong Bad has visible arms. In fact, the only time anyone noticed in that whole game that something was amiss is when Marzipan thought "Homestar's" voice sounded funny over the phone, and when Coach Z noticed that Homestar's head was bigger than usual. If he talks to Bubs at the Concession Stand while wearing the costume, Bubs will recognize that it's Strong Bad. But he doesn't seem to notice during the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race To The End Of The Race.
Parrot Expo-what?: "Bubs, please tell me you've got my Snake Boxer 5 manual!" "Snake what now?"
Phrase Catcher: People telling Dangeresque "But you're not gonna like it" in Episode 4.
Playable Epilogue: After you complete each episode, Extended Play becomes available. This allows you to pick up collectibles you might have missed, play the Funmachine mini-games, or simply hear some additional scenes and dialogue.
Prank Call: In the episode Homestar Ruiner, Strong Bad can use Homestar's cell phone to prank call several characters, including Homsar and himself.
Product Placement: Parodied in "Dangeresque 3". Bubs goes off-script to launch into a sales pitch for a sports drink being sold at the concession stand. Strong Bad warns him, "No product placement!"
Strong Bad: Say it with me, The Cheat: Licensed video games are never good.
Pun: "Where am I supposed to get fan service around here?"
Region Coding: In-universe example. In "8-Bit Is Enough", Strong Bad is originally unable to access the Stinkoman game because it is region-locked. Getting around this is one of the objectives you have to accomplish.
Removing the Rival: Strong Bad plants Pom Pom's locker with an energy substance in one part of Homestar Ruiner, in order to cheat in the race.
Retirony: Lampshaded to hell and back with Renaldo in Episode 4.
Running Gag: Several characters say to Strong Bad in Dangeresque 3, "But you're not gonna like it!"
Lampshaded when Strong Bad, after hearing this phrase spoken to him, says, "Why does everybody keep telling me that?"
Also, "It looks like I'm going to have to juuuump!"
Sanity Slippage: When Strong Bad starts talking like Homsar, Strong Sad thinks he's gone insane.
Save the Princess: Parodied in "8-Bit Is Enough". Rather Dashing tells Strong Bad that he's gotten out of the dragon slaying business and switched to rescuing princesses. However, work is very slow because there simply aren't many princesses around who need saving. He eventually has to settle for rescuing Strong Sad from the King of Town.
Say My Name: "PERDUCCCCCIII!" and "BAAAAZOOOOOKAAAAA!!!", both from Dangeresque.
Shout-Out: A number of these. "Baddest of the Bands" is simply loaded with rock and pop music references, while "8-Bit is Enough" references a number of video games.
In Dangeresque 3, when Dangeresque is beating up the Bear-Holding-A-Shark, he shouts, "And a boot to the head! And one for Jenny and the wimp!" in reference to "Last Will and Temperament" by The Frantics.
Twice, (once in Homestar Ruiner, and again in 8-Bit is Enough) Strong Bad says versions of a familiarphrase. The first is "By the power of, er, Brown-skull!" (uttered when Strong Bad picks up a plunger in the King of Town's Castle) and the second is "By the power of EGA!", (shouted when Strong Bad takes possession of the Trogsword).
Skyward Scream: In "Homestar Ruiner", after Homestar hides out at Strong Bad's house, Strong Bad directs one at "IRONY!" He also pulls off a few in "Dangeresque 3".
Smash Cut: In "Homestar Ruiner", Marzipan asks Strong Bad if he remembers "what happened the last time [she] invited [him] to a party". Cut to a flashback of Strong Bad about to leap off of her house's roof into a large cake. Just as he's about to hit it, it immediately cuts to Strong Bad saying "No, not really".
Stealing from the Till: Bubs openly admits to "skimming off the top" with regard to the proceeds from Strong Bad's band contest. Strong Bad either doesn't notice this, or accepts it as a standard part of doing business with Bubs.
Stylistic Suck: Much of the music in Baddest of the Bands, the special effects and plot in Dangeresque 3 and the retro video game graphics in 8 Bit Is Enough.
Take That: In-story example; in "Baddest of the Bands", after Strong Bad turns Marzipan against Limozeen with some staged evidence, she composes a song called "Limozeen is Not Very Nice".
Take That, Audience!: Before the series was officially released, it was previewed by Strong Bad as being "for attractive people — but you can play, too!"
Strong Bad also does this at the very beginning of "Dangeresque 3", which had been in development for a long time (originally intended to be released in June 2004, according to the Strong Bad Email: "stunt double").
Strong Bad: (typing on his laptop computer) "Dear all the annoying morons that have been bugging me about it for four and a half years... Yes, I finally finished Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, so you can all EAT IT!"
The Three Trials: Spoofed in "Strong Badia the Free"; Homsar asks Strong Bad to perform "three ancient tasks of great boredom", then reveals he was just joking. Other episodes have legitimate three-pronged objectives, like the three things you need to do to fix Homestar's reputation in "Homestar Ruiner".
Throw It In: Marzipan insists on having her potted plant Credenza onscreen in "Dangeresque 3", over Strong Bad's objections. He does end up finding a use for it later, though. The movie also includes some very obvious errors that should have been edited out but weren't, though this is more likely because of laziness or incompetence on the part of The Cheat, who was in charge of editing and post-production. On top of it all, the errors can be collected for 100% Completion.
Strong Bad: Onward to Strong Badia! Strong Badia the Free!
Homestar: Hey, that's the name of this—
Strong Bad: Shut up.
Today X, Tomorrow the World!: In "Strong Badia the Free", after conquering Strong Sad's Bleak House, Strong Bad says, "Today, Blecch House! Tomorrow, the world!" However, he doesn't quite finish saying the line when Strong Sad interrupts, asking if he can at least be Strong Bad's cultural adviser.
Strong Bad: As long as that doesn't mean you follow me around everywhere and waste my time trying to talk to me. Strong Sad: Actually, that's exactly what it means.
Translator Microbes: In the form of a Mysterious Pylon on the Homsar Reservation in "Strong Badia the Free".
Trapped in TV Land: Strong Bad enters the world of Videlectrix games in "8-Bit Is Enough".
Undisclosed Funds: Repairing Strong Bad's Funmachine in "Baddest of the Bands" will cost him "one big sack of cash".
Unusual Euphemism: Marizpan doesn't like to use the word "hate", so after some teasing from Strong Bad in "Homestar Ruiner" she tells him "I really chonk you, Strong Bad. I chonk you with the passion of a thousand exploding whales."
Since this game does have graphics, though, we can see the reason is because his arms are too short
You Killed My Father: In "Dangeresque 3", Homestar as Uzi Bazooka kills Senor Cardgage as Dadgeresque. When that happens, an anguished Strong Bad as Dangeresque confronts Homestar/Uzi, brandishing his nunchuck gun, and says...