Web Animation / Teen Girl Squad

I mean SO GOOD!

"Owww! My the fact that I was alive a second ago!"
The Ugly One, Issue 12

Teen Girl Squad is a spinoff sub-series of Homestar Runner, in which (canonically) Strong Bad draws, in comically bad style, a stick-figure cartoon depicting the misadventures of four "teenage girls between the ages of thirteen and nineteen". The main characters include Cheerleader (the de facto leader of the group, an Alpha Bitch wannabe whose popularity is all in her head), So and So (an overachieving brainiac who lacks common sense), What's Her Face (the cynic of the group, as well as the token poor person, and by far the least popular of the four girls), and The Ugly One (who seems to possess suspect hygiene and a strained relationship with reality among other things, but is still more popular than What's Her Face).

There are fifteen toons in the main series, and a number of other appearances elsewhere (most notably, the first three episodes of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People each feature an exclusive TGS toon, the first two of which are interactive).

Generally speaking, the characters go on various bizarre misadventures, which usually lead to them dying or otherwise being affected in very strange ways (usually announced loudly) in every episode, which include such things as...
  • being "lathe'd" by a miniature samurai with a naginata who jumped out of a bowl of corn chips;
  • being run over by a race car that makes the sound "TIIIIIIINES" driven by a fork;
  • being "arrowed" by a giant man who shoots arrows from his mouth;
  • dying... somehow.

The series is best known for spawning several minor memes, including "ow! my [something unusual]!", and being pwned by something with the caption "[said something]'D!", "It's over!", and others. It also makes fun of various stereotypical high-school/teen/young-adult activities, such as prom, sweet sixteen birthday parties, and Valentine's vamlumtimes day, with a gradually increasing ratio of directed, ridiculing humor to simple absurd humor.

A (so far oneshot) spinoff of this spinoff was created based on the several characters named "Greg" in the series. 4 Gregs is a misadventure of four such characters who each embody some sort of nerdy/geeky/dorky stereotype.

This series is the trope namer for:

This series provides examples of:

  • Adorkable: What's Her Face. "Uh... hi. I like music, and um, cloth."
  • Against My Religion: Parodied. According to Cheerleader in Issue 14, sweating goes against "several of [her] religions."
  • All Girls Like Ponies: In the Decemberween Special, the text on Cheerleader's intro card is "wants a pony".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: So and So has shown an attraction to Tompkins, considering him a "renegade", though he's more or less your typical high school slacker.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Subverted. Amongst the group, Cheerleader actually gets the least amount of attention from boys over the course of the series.
  • All Women Are Lustful
    "What time is it?"
    "It's valentimes!"
    "What time is it?"
    "It's valentimes!"
    "What we gonna get?"
    "Several boys!"
    "How we gonna get 'em?"
    "Erm. Um. Uh..."
  • Amusing Injuries: Characters frequently get injured and/or killed in bizarre fashions, such as getting run over by a car driven by a fork.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: In Issue 9, Cheerleader dies, and the rest of them celebrate... shortly before dying.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Two issues are in color: Issue 10 and Baddest of the Bands' Teen Girl Squad Meets Limozeen!
    • Issue 10 has more animation frames than other Homestar Runner cartoons due to the brief 3D sequence, but Teen Girl Squad's use of Limited Animation makes it impossible to notice until the sequence where Strong Bad is making out with his paper.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
    Sci-Fi Greg: Tonight, new Earthlings... tonight, we go... TO A VARSITY FOOTBALL GAME!
    (everyone else gasps)
    D n'D Greg: Into the dragon's lair?
    Japanese Culture Greg: Into the robotic dragon's lair?
    Open Source Greg: Into the Apple store?
  • Artistic License Sports:
    • In Issue 5, Thomas the alien is skateboarding and does a "Late 360 Shove-It to Boneless", which should be impossible because a boneless is a type of ollie (jumping) move.
    • Strong Bad describes So-And-So being "Twelve-Sided Die'd" in issue 8, when the die she's been crushed with clearly has twenty sides.
    • Science-Fiction Greg brags about his experience points going 'into the triple digits' as if it were a big achievement. In most versions of D&D, characters become level two at 1000 experience points, meaning any triple digits value is still a level one character. Justified as an in-universe example, since D'n'D Greg accuses him of biting his style, implying he doesn't actually know as much about fantasy as he does about sci-fi.
    • A Scotsman caber-tosses Cheerleader in Issue 10 and is disgusted that his throw only goes 23 meters. Success in the caber toss is measured by straightness, not distance. The creators point out their mistake in the DVD commentary.
  • Ascended Extra: Japanese Culture Greg and Open Source Greg initially had one appearance together in an Easter Egg as unnamed background characters. Later on, they star in the spin-off short "4 Gregs".
  • Blatant Lies:
    • In Issue 15, when Manolios Ugly One tells Dn'D Greg to not lay a finger on his daughter (or he'll gut him like a sheep), a random gutted sheep says that it isn't so bad... when it turns out to be bad.
      D'n'D Greg: (gutted) Owww! Sheep, you lied!
    • Arrow'd Guy claims that What's Her Face will come into her own in college... and then immediately afterward shoots her down with a flock of sparrows. "A new twist on an old classic!"
  • Bottomless Pit: The girls' school has a bottomless pit (named after its sports team, of course). So-and-So falls in and gets stuck.
    What's Her Face: When you fall in a bottomless pit, you die of starvation.
  • Canon Immigrant: Peacey P managed to enter the normal Homestar Runner universe after debuting in this series.
  • Continuity Nod: In a rare example, Issue #13 references So And So's incarceration in Issue #11.
  • Counting to Potato: Demonstrated in Issue 7, in which the girls are seen as babies, opening with So and So and The Ugly One doing their own version of pattycake:
    The Ugly One: One inch!
    So and So: Two inch!
    The Ugly One: Three inch!
    So and So: Four inch!
    The Ugly One: Um, that's as high as I can count.
    What's Her Face: (coming in) I can count to G!
    Cheerleader: (coming in) That's nothing. I can count to purple backwards!
  • Creator Cameo: In universe, Strong Bad appears as an Easter Egg at the end of the first episode, attempting to hit on Cheerleader and later shows up as the school principal.
  • Crossdressing Voices: In-Universe, the girls' (as well as everyone else's) voices are all done by Strong Bad.
  • Cute Little Fangs: On occasion, one of the girls will be randomly drawn with them, usually So and So.
  • Dada Comics: This "comic" is Strong Bad's outlet for creativity. Strange humor is to be expected.
  • Deadpan Snarker: What's Her Face. She was voted Least Likely To Care in high school.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Drummers Play A Drum"
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Arguably the whole point of the comic. It's drawn by Strong Bad—'nuff said.
  • Digital Avatar: In Issue #15, Open-Source Greg sends a game avatar to the prom "in his stead". Don't even try to wrap your head around that.
  • Ditzy Genius: So and So is a scholastic overachiever, but she also does things like talk to (and break up with) her imaginary boyfriend Brett Bretterson, and in Issue 13 she tries to get Tompkin's baby brother to study for the SATs.
  • Do Wrong, Right: In Issue 8, when Tompkins gets called to the principal's office.
    Tompkins: Aw, come on, Prinicpal [sic]note  Strong Bad! I only stole one Sega tape!
    Prinicpal Strong Bad: That's just it, Tompkins. You could have stolen upwards of one Sega tape!
  • Driven to Suicide: In Issue 13, So-And-So elects to throw herself in the garbage disposal rather than go back to jail.
  • Drives Like Crazy: The "crazy learner's permit girl" in Issue 9, who drives over Cheerleader in less than 2 pages. "10 o'clock and 2 o'clock!!"
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The girls are largely interchangeable in personality in the first couple Issues; they're only distinguished by appearance, some Informed Attributes provided by the opening sequence, and Cheerleader clearly being The Leader. Their distinct personalities don't start showing up until Issues 3-5.
    • So-and-So is called Kristen/Kristina (after one of the 4 girls mentioned in the email sent to Strong Bad) in the first Issue, as if it was her real name. This is completely dropped in all later Issues.
  • Electric Boogaloo: Parodied in Issue 10 with "ARROW'D 2".
  • Everybody Lives: The main cast tends to get killed off, but they all survive in Issue 2, Issue 3, and the Decemberween special.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Issue 10. "Corn is no place for a mighty warrior!"
  • Extracurricular Enthusiast: So-and-So explains that the "Priggity Prizom" is the name of this year's prom, and adds, with a deranged look, "I was on every committee ever." This fits well with the preppy overachiever stereotype she personifies.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Japanese Culture Greg's eyes tend to be closed, befitting his otaku personality. They briefly open whenever he randomly utters a Japanese word or name and assumes a Stinkoman-esque face.
  • Face of the Band: Invoked in Issue 8.
    Cheerleader: I'm Kissyboots, and she plays bass.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Several deaths are shown as graphic as you can get in poorly drawn stick figures, like an old guy's remains being exposed as he is eaten by vultures in Issue 9, or the tenthiversary issue where What's Her Face gets lathed.
  • Formerly Fat: "Teeny Tiny Girl Squad" shows that Cheerleader used to be overweight when she was younger.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: Cheerleader is the pretty one, So-and-So is the smart one, What's Her Face is the tomboy, and The Ugly One is the naive one. The roles are blurred a bit, since What's Her Face tends to have more common sense than So-and-So.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: What's-Her-Face is explicitly called the "pity friend" and is the one the other three are most likely to ditch or relegate to least-desired roles.
  • Funny Background Event: Strong Bad likes to insert random events into the background when he gets bored, such as helicopters shooting birds, clouds eating birds or the sun turning into a buzzsaw.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Cheerleader's dresses. Some examples include "Who ♥ed?" on the Valentines special and "(s)hallo (t)ween" on the Halloween special.
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Gender Flipped with the "4 Gregs" episode.
  • Gold Digger: Tompkins' mom is a bizarrely literal example, being a robotic prospector who needs somebody to babysit her sons while she goes "prospecting for future ex-husbands".
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Issue 12 gives us the two hipster kids who decide "She Likes Cloth" would make a good band name. Also, when the girls are forming a band, So And So suggests "Smartly Pretty", but is shot down in favour of "Kissyboots".
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Manolios Ugly One, The Ugly One's father, threatens to gut D'n'D Greg like a sheep if he lays a hand on The Ugly One.
    Gutted Sheep: (standing nearby) It's not so bad.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": Creator Strong Bad inserts himself into several of the comics, most notably to make out with the beautified The Ugly One.
  • Hidden Depths: D'n'D Greg turns out to be very knowledgeable about football. The other Gregs are surprised by this, but he explains that fantasy football is still 'fantasy'.
  • I Fell for Hours: "When you fall in a bottomless pit, you die of starvation."
  • I Lied: Inverted in Issue 15: Manolios Ugly One warns D'n'D Greg not to lay a finger on his daughter or he will "gut [him] like sheep." A sheep, with its innards removed, appears to say, "It's not so bad!" In the end, Manolios makes good on his threat, after which D'n'D Greg exclaims, "Sheep, you lied!"
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Cheerleader's excuse to get out of going to The Ugly One's sweet someteen birthday party is to claim the Olympics are that night.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted in TGS #7 where Kid Cheerleader and Kid Tompkins die, but played straight in TGS #13 where Timkins manages to survive while Tomkins gets killed.
  • Insult Backfire: In TGS #12, after Cheerleader shoots down her friends' suggestions on how to get "several boys":
    Cheerleader: You three are adorable. Maybe I'll come visit you at the convent or library someday.
    So-And-So: (triumphantly, leaping into the air) You'll find me in the reference section!
  • Interspecies Romance: What's Her Face showed interest in Thomas, a short alien inspired by the Grays, at least once. One of the officers in Issue 13 shows interest in Tompkins Robot Momerson.
  • Jive Turkey: All four teen girls, especially Cheerleader, tend to speak in the preppy kind of jive. Lampshaded in TGS #15 when What's Her Face admits she's "a bit rusty with [her] white girl gangsta".
  • Jumping the Shark: Invoked in the "tenthennial extravaganza":
    Cheerleader: It's our tenth issue-versary! Let's do a clip show!
    So And So: Let's have a wedding!
    The Ugly One: Let's have a baby!
    What's Her Face: Let's kill someone off!
    Narrator Strong Bad: (beat) Okay!
    (a "splat" sound is heard as we cut to Cheerleader having apparently been cut into segments and randomly re-assembled, So And So being crushed by a giant golf ball, The Ugly One being eaten by a carnivorous plant, and What's Her Face with a lampshade over her head)
  • Kill 'em All: All four girls are usually dead by the end. On rare occasions, one or two will survive. On even rarer occasions (issues 2, 3, and 6), none of them die.
    Cheerleader: [singing the closing credits over the ending screen] It's over! It's over! And everybody died 'cept me!
    Shark: Chomp.
    Cheerleader: Aw, crap.
  • Lighter and Softer: The other three girls attempt to take the group in this direction following Cheerleader's death in Issue 9. It doesn't work.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Pretty much the whole series.
  • Mind Screw: The ending of "4 Gregs." So basically, Strong Bad was drawing the Teen Girl Squad drawing the four Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs!
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In Issue 14, So-and-So takes her final exam by putting on a robot suit and fighting the test as if it were a giant monster.
  • Negative Continuity: It doesn't matter how many of the main characters die violent deaths in one cartoon, they're always back for the next one.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Issue 13 introduces a rapper named Peacey P, a parody of Snoop Dogg (with visual cues from Ludacris).
  • No Inner Fourth Wall: Characters in the comic will sometimes comment on the events happening to them, like The Ugly One responding to getting "dangled off a hotel balcony'd" in Issue 13 with a disappointed "That's it?"
  • 1 Million B.C.: Strong Badia the Free's Cave Girl Squad.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with the Gregs. There's Sci-Fi Greg, D'n'D Greg, Open Source Greg and Japanese Culture Greg. In the 4 Gregs spinoff, D'n'D Greg also beats on a school mascot that turns out to be Regular Greg.
  • Only Sane Man: What's Her Face is probably the only one with any common sense. For example, she is the only one who refuses to jump into a lion's mouth for the secret Santa. She is also probably the only one interested in having a real boyfriend, as opposed to picking up boys quickly as is Cheerleader's style.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: So-and-So's real name is Kristen, and the other three might be named Virginia, Joy, and Jennifer, but beyond that, their real names aren't even mentioned outside of the original email, and they're usually treated as if their nicknames were their only names: "Yes, Mrs. So-and-So... erson."
  • ...Or So I Heard: In episode 8:
    The Ugly One: Worldwide starlets get much boys!
    Cheerleader: Or so I have read.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: While So-and-So and The Ugly One stayed relatively as they always were when Cheerleader died in Issue 9, What's Her Face took advantage of not having to be the sensible one anymore and ate a heaping bowl of "Staple Sauce". This, unsurprisingly, killed her.
  • Out of Focus: Tompkins. Episode 15 hangs a lampshade on this:
    "Stupid 4 Gregs. There was a time where I would've been massacred as one of those girls' prom dates!"
  • Overprotective Dad: Manolios Ugly One. "You lay one finger on my daughter, I gut you like sheep."
  • Ow, My Body Part!: A frequent running gag. Examples include "Ow! My skin!", "Ow! My hopes of reaching first base!" and "Ow! My entire life!"
    • Variants are used, too, such as the classic "My blood hurts."
  • Perky Goth: So and So adopts this persona when the girls form a band in Issue 8. "I'm going with that gloomy keyboardist look I keep hearing about!"
  • The Pig Pen: One Spinoff Babies episode of Teen Girl Squad has What's Her Face as a direct parody of the original Pig Pen, as lampshaded in the commentary.
    • The Ugly One is sometimes suggested to embody this trope in the main series. Her father seems to be an example as well, given his slovenly appearance and stained wifebeater.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Cheerleader doesn't actually lead cheers much. Whether she's actually a cheerleader is inconsistent. Lampshaded in "4 Gregs" when Cheerleader states that she's like a cheerleader in the way she dresses and treats other girls.
  • Police Are Useless: "Uh, yes, ma'am. We got a report of us wanting to watch the Ola Toya fight. You mind if we investigate?"
  • Rapid-Fire Comedy
  • Repetitive Name: Brett Bretterson, So-and-So's imaginary boyfriend.
    • For that matter, her last name is apparently So-and-So-erson.
  • Rescue Romance: Quarterman saves The Ugly One from an upperclassman's prank and then asks her to accompany him to the end credits.
  • Ribcage Stomach: They feed themselves to a lion in the Decemberween special, and proceed to exchange gifts inside of its ribcage. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: The Wireless Wizard, of course.
    Man, sometimes wizards are so awesome, it hurts.
  • Running Gag: The series has quite a few of these, like Cheerleader getting the girls to shout "SO GOOD!" in unison, a flock of birds getting killed/attacked by a random background element, and gratuitous use of the suffix "-'d".
  • Self-Deprecation: The official description of the "4 Gregs" cartoon calls it "the spin-off nobody was asking for".
  • Serious Business: Valentime's Day (issue 12). Vamlumtime's Day is serious times. Apparently, Cheerleader risks losing her "Mindy cred" if she doesn't get enough Valentine's cards from enough boys.
  • Shaped Like Itself: "Teen Girl Squad, the teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 19!"
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • The Ugly One gets dolled up into "the Hotgly One" at her Sweet Someteenth in issue 10.
      Strong Bad: Woah! Did I draw that new hotness?
    • And Dn'D Greg looks awful good in a tux in issue 15.
  • Shout-Out: So-and-So's Scantron armor in Issue 14 is based on Voltron.
  • Shown Their Work: All of Dn'D Greg's references to Dungeons & Dragons are accurate and well-researched. Other characters', not so much.
  • Show Within a Show: The show is an amateur comic made (and acted out) by Strong Bad.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Ugly One's first name is apparently "The" (her father's name is Manolios Ugly One)
  • Spin-Off Babies: Issue 7 has Teen Girl Squad as toddlers—"Teeny Tiny Girl Squad".
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: An easter egg in Issue 5 remixes two lines said by two older boys at the beach with the Teen Girl Squad theme.
    Older Boy #1: I miss video games.
    Older Boy #2: I miss my mom.
    Older Boy #1: I miss video games.
    Older Boy #2: I-I-I miss my mom.
  • Stylistic Suck: The girls are stick figures on a looseleaf backdrop. Strong Bad provides all the voices himself, so they all speak in falsetto.
  • Summer Campy: Camp Firstbassawassa in Issue 11.
  • Surreal Humor: A frequent source of humor in the comics, including bizarre sight gags and characters coming out of nowhere to kill or injure other characters.
  • Talking to Himself: An in-universe example (as well as a real life one): Matt Chapman aside, Strong Bad voices all of the comics' characters.
  • Terrible Artist: Strong Bad isn't exactly the best artist, as he's only capable of drawing stick figures.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Some number of the Teen Girl Squad almost always die by the end of almost every episode, the exceptions being episodes 2 and 3 and the Decemberween special. Lampshaded at the end of episode 8 where the girls have all died except for Cheerleader, with the last casualty being What's Her Face, whose upper half had been bitten off by a shark (see below):
    It's over! It's over!
    Strong Bad says it's over!
    It's over! It's over!
    Everybody died 'cept me!!
    (chomp sound)
    Aw, crap!
  • Threatening Shark: In episode 8, What's Her Face's bass turns into a shark. "My bass feels seaworthy." And then the shark proceeds to eat most of her and take her place in Kissyboots.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Here and there, Strong Bad cuts one of the Teen Girl Squad a break. Examples include What's Her Face managing to get a date on (as well as survive) "Vamlumtimes Day" and a few occasions of The Ugly One having things work out for her (such as accompanying the quarterback to the end credits while the guys who pranked her get their comeuppance). Although this sometimes is done in a darkly comedic manner, such as The Ugly One getting a photo to commemorate her awesome prom experience, with the remains of her friends around her.
  • Title Drop: Done straight by Strong Bad at the start of every toon. Played with in issue 9:
    So And So: "You guys, I think this might be the start of a kinder, gentler squad of teen girls."
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked In-Universe. Japanese Culture Greg ends up getting killed by his prom date (a robotic girl designed to welcome American guests to a Japanese trade show) due to this. (Don't try to think too hard on how this works). Lampshaded by Sci-Fi Greg who notes that he'd be expected to like a robotic woman but she makes him want to puke.
  • Unfortunate Names: Since her father's name is Manolios Ugly One, The Ugly One's first name seems to be The. (Granted, this is so common in the Homestar Runner universe that it has its own name amongst the fandom.)
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Amongst fans and the creators of the show, What's Her Face may be the most popular character. In universe, the opposite is true.
  • Unsound Effect: Some sound effects include things such as "Uncanny Valley'd" and "Sparrow'd".
  • Vague Age: The Teen Girl Squad are described as "teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 19", with What's Her Face being fifteen at the youngest, since she's had her license for a year (in some states, mostly Midwestern ones, you can get your license at fourteen).
    • The Ugly One's birthday is her "Sweet Someteenth".
    • "We're in eighth grade!"
  • Vocal Evolution: Strong Bad's falsetto is higher pitched from Issue 6 onward. The change is most noticeable with Cheerleader's voice.
  • Waxing Lyrical: In Issue 14, Quarterman quotes "What I Have Been Looking For", a song from High School Musical, by telling The Ugly One, "All this time I was looking around, and you weren't right there in front of me. But I realized... when I was looking around... that you were right there in front of me... all this time...".
    The Ugly One: That makes so much sense!
  • Wicked Stepmother: Judith So-and-So-erson (So-and-So's stepmom), who looks suspiciously similar to the Arrowed Guy. In episode 11, she makes So-and-So get a summer job at Shirt Folding Store.
  • With Friends Like These...: None of the girls actually seem to like each other much. Cheerleader is obnoxious, bossy and domineering to everyone, So-and-So is an aggressively bland doormat when she's not being a pushy overachiever, nobody likes Whats-her-Face, and The Ugly One is insane and unhygienic.
  • Worthy Opponent: Sci-Fi Greg and D n' D Greg consider the Wireless Wizard to be one for claiming What's Her Face's heart. Because he's a combination of both Science Fiction and Fantasy.
  • Written Sound Effect: Stuff like "ARROWED!" and "SHAKESPEARED!"
  • You Killed My Father: An astronaut punches out So-and-So's overbearing manager at Shirt Folding Store because she killed his dog. And then he flies away.