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Storybook

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/duckieshirt.png
The Homestar Runner, Tiny-Handed Strong Bad, and his The Cheat

The first and oldest universe, the Storybook universe is a simplistic, crudely-drawn world based on the original children's book by Mike Chapman and Craig Zobel. The star of the show is The Homestar Runner, a simpleminded, athletic fellow who often finds himself facing off with Tiny-Handed Strong Bad, a Card-Carrying Villain who likes messing with him.

    General Tropes 
  • Adaptation Name Change: Zig-Zagged and Downplayed for Coach Z, whose name is changed to "Coach Zee" to reflect its pronunciation in one book and spelt with a "The" in another.
  • Depending on the Writer: While some episodes show the Storybook world as a flashback setting, others portray it as a series of in-universe books.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to the main universe, situations seem far stranger in the books than in the main cartoons. For example, in one adventure, there is a swimming compeition. Homestar Runner uses a submarine to win, while Strong Bad has a fish pushed through his head. This is even lampshaded by Strong Bad at times.
  • Hey, You!: One of the running gags is Narrator Strong Bad's refusal to call Storybook Strong Sad by his name, instead referring to him by titles like "Some Fat Girl", "The Ghost of Christmas Suck", and "A Pallid Bust of Pallas". The one time he does get his name right, it's grudgingly.
  • Lemony Narrator: Starting with "flashback", all stories taking place in this universe are narrated by Strong Bad, who quips and changes the narrative as he sees fit.
  • Living Prop: Aside from The Homestar Runner and the Brothers Strong, very few of the Storybook counterparts to the main cast do anything but fill crowd shots. Several book-only characters like Señor also lack lines.
  • Long Title: Aside from Where My Hat is At? and Strong Bad Meets The Homestar Runner, many of the book titles follow this format, along with Character Action Title. Special mention goes to Strong Bad's Ghost Enters The Homestar Runner, Thereby Possessing Him Demonically.
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Both the narrator and the storybook character are Strong Bad, but the two are designated "Narrator Strong Bad" and "Tiny-Handed Strong Bad" to make it easier.
    • The Homestar Runner and his similarly-named Old-Timey counterpart avert this in-universe, as they're both called as such without any modifiers.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The shorts are written similarly to the original book (and some of the early kids' book-like flashes).
    • Counterparts based on the main 12 that didn't come from the original book are usually taken from their preliminary sketches (seen in the Museum), while The Homestar Runner's voice is based on Homestar as heard in the site's early flashes.
  • Once an Episode: Episodes featuring The Homestar Runner often have some kind of sport or challenge for him to participate in.
  • Phrase Catcher: The Homestar Runner is usually called "a terrific athlete" by both the narration and people he knows.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Homestar Runner, The Cheat, and The Sneak have this naming scheme. In "flashback", this also applies to Coach Z (as "The Coach Z") and Strong Sad (on the book cover of The Strong Sad Wets Yonder Bed).
  • Stylistic Self-Parody: The narration often makes fun of how the Storybook characters are drawn, even pointing out Hypocritical Humor when the scene calls for it.
    "Who the crap are you, duckshirt?" asked No-shirt.
  • Stylistic Suck: It looks a cleaned-up version of the book visuals, wobbly lines and all. The voices for The Homestar Runner and Tiny-Handed Strong Bad are also much more wooden.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: Narrator Strong Bad is occasionally at odds with the actual text displayed in the book, such as cutting off The Homestar Runner while he's talking or calling Strong Sad anything other than his name.

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Teen Girl Squad

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/teengirlsquad_girlies.png
Cheerleader, So and So, The Ugly One, and What's Her Face, shortly before their demise.
Debut: "Email comic"

A badly-drawn comic made by Strong Bad. The main characters are 4 girls who only want one thing: Boys. Lots and lots of BOYS. However, more often than not, everybody dies before this is accomplished. See its own page for applicable tropes.


Old-Timey

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/old-timey_5172.PNG
Fat Dudley, The Homestar Runner, and Old-Timey Marzipan
Debut: "Kick the Can"

The universe in the style of 1930s cartoons. As in the original children's book, Homestar is "The" Homestar Runner. The characters have to deal with economic hardship as well as the schemes of the Old-Timey Strong Bad. Other recurring characters include The Homestar Runner's friends Old-Timey Marzipan and Fat Dudley (Pom Pom), Strong Bad's lackeys The Sneak (The Cheat) and The Strong Man (Strong Mad), Sickly Sam (Strong Sad), the Fort Wayne Locomotive (Coach Z), Old-Timey Bubs, Mr. Shmallow (Marshie), and Rumble Red (probably Nebulon). Old-Timey versions of the other characters also show up in most episodes.

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    General Tropes 
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Compared to his modern-day counterpart, Old-Timey Homestar is quite a bit more on-the-ball about things. However, he also seems to be partially deaf, as he has difficulty understanding people and just goes "What?"
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite being set in the 1930s, there are references to concepts from as late as 1960 to as early as the 1800's. Examples include The Sneak doing the Hully Gully (which was first introduced in 1959) in "The Ballad of the Sneak" and "Mr. Shmallow" having an overall Zeerust aesthetic.
  • Antiquated Linguistics:
    Old-Timey Strong Bad: Everything is better with this pescatory oculation!note 
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Old-Timey Strong Bad, compared to his modern-day counterpart, is much more villainous.
  • Catchphrase: The Homestar Runner's "What?" and "Now I'll do a dance." Old-Timey Strong Bad has "Curses!"
  • The Chew Toy: Strong Sad's counterpart, Sickly Sam, possibly even more so than Strong Sad himself; The Homestar Runner refers to him as the gang's "worst friend".
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Old-Timey Strong Bad.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The whole sub-series. Exceptions are Sickly Sam's Big Outing which parodied early color films where one color was added afterwards (in this case, pink) and the 2014 April Fools where it was colorized. Sickly Sam still showed up in grayscale.
  • Dem Bones: As seen in "That A Ghost", the characters get so scared of the ghost in question that their skins all melt off, revealing their skeletons inside. Marzipan has bones in her pigtails, and Old-Timey Strong Bad has bones in his mustache and his shoes.
    • Also, Sickly Sam has bony legs.
  • Flat "What": Spoken by The Homestar Runner several times in "Parsnips A-Plenty" when Old-Timey Strong Bad challenges him to a duel over a parsnip.
    Old-Timey Strong Bad: We'll have our parsnip pie and The Homestar Runner will go hungry! It's curtains for you!
    The Homestar Runner: ...What?
    Old-Timey Strong Bad: (producing a gun) We'll have a duel!
    The Homestar Runner: What?
    Old-Timey Strong Bad: (as he and The Homestar Runner hold the guns) Ten paces, turn and fire!
    The Homestar Runner: What?
  • Halloween Special: "That A Ghost".
  • Large Ham: Old-Timey Strong Bad. "Curses! I've gone to hell! How unfortunate!"
  • Retraux: Made in the style of black and white cartoons from the early 1900s.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: How Old-Timey Strong Bad speaks.
  • The Strongman: The Old-Timey equivalent of Strong Mad, who dresses in the costume of a circus strongman.
  • Stylistic Suck: They have deliberately bad pacing and voice acting. Marzipan, in particular, has horrible timing and often repeats her lines awkwardly until somebody responds.
  • Unfazed Everyman: The Homestar Runner, in contrast to Modern Homestar Runner's role as The Fool acts as more of an understated straight man. This is most obvious when he squares off against Stinkoman in 20X6 vs. 1936.
  • Wartime Cartoon: The King of Town's counterpart is The Kaiser, a Germanophobic stereotype.

20X6

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Stinkoman, 1-Up, and Cheatball

The Animesque 20X6 is the future where all the Homestar characters have Japanese cartoon versions of themselves. Here, everyone seems to be obsessed with challenging, especially Stinkoman (Strong Bad). There is currently a game, in which Level 10 has been in the works for... a while now, not getting released until December 2020. See its page for applicable character tropes.

Cheat Commandos

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cheat_Commandos_7296.png
Top row, L-R: Silent Rip, Fightgar, and Ripberger; Bottom row, L-R: Crackotage, Gunhaver, Firebert, and... Cracotage again?
Debut: "Cheat Commandos"

An Affectionate Parody of G.I. Joe and other Merchandise-Driven cartoons from The '80s. Every character (not counting the voice actors and A. Chimendez) resembles The Cheat. See its own page for applicable tropes.


Sweet Cuppin' Cakes

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L-R: Sherlock (the cowcopter), Eh! Steve (with D-ween styles), The Worm, Keyboard Strong Bad, and The Wheelchair

When Strong Bad is challenged by a viewer to make "[his] craziest cartoon", the result is something so bizarre even he doesn't understand it. Sweet Cuppin' Cakes is apparently about a half-cow/half-helicopter creature who tries to get a little worm out of the ground, and a wheelchair (voiced by Bubs) who chases a talking trapezoid named Eh! Steve... but who can tell? Strong Bad himself is also a character, except his head is an old keyboard that plays the demo music when he gets angry.


    General Tropes 
  • All There in the Manual: Sherlock—the cowcopter—is never named in any of the videos on the site, but on one of the DVDs.
  • Author Avatar: Strong Bad inserted a keyboard-headed version of himself into the cartoon.
  • Breakout Character: Eh! Steve is a parody of this.
  • Brooklyn Rage: The Wheelchair is apparently from Brooklyn judging by the way he pronounces "boiled" ("burled"). He's also pretty angry.
  • Catchphrase: Eh! Steve's is "Eh! Steve."
  • Celebrity Voice Actor:invoked Parodied with the Wheelchair, who is "voiced by" Bubs.
  • Cloudcuckooland: The whole place lacks any kind of sense.
  • Deranged Animation: Made intentional with the challenge of Strong Bad to make a crazy cartoon.
  • Eldritch Location: Sweet Puttin' Cakes, a mini-golf course based on the show. Nobody knows how they get there, the laws of physics apply themselves freely, and the only way out is to will yourself back to reality.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Sherlock.
  • Informed Species: Sherlock is stated to be a cowcopter, but compared to to the portmanteau's components (a cow and a helicopter), he resembles neither. The only cowlike things on him are the dark spots on his back, and he makes helicopter noises when he floats, but that's it.
  • Mind Screw: Even its creator doesn't understand a lick of it.
  • Non-Indicative Title: The show has nothing to do with cupcakes at all.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Keyboard Strong Bad and Ready For Primetime both have colored outlines, given that they're respectively based on Strong Bad and Strong Mad.
  • Pokémon Speak: Eh! Steve.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: The Wheelchair to Eh! Steve. Or vice versa. Hard to tell.
  • Surreal Humor: So surreal, that the humor in the rest of the show seems normal.
  • The Unintelligible: Sherlock.
  • The Voiceless: Ready for Primetime (aka Eh! Greg) and Keyboard Strong Bad.

Dangeresque

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dangeresque_8181.png
Dangeresque and his sidekick Renaldo

A character played by Strong Bad in a trilogy of home movies produced, written, directed, and starring himself. He's a private and/or police detective who doesn't play by the rules, aided by his sidekicks Renaldo (played by Coach Z) and Dangeresque, Too? (played by Homestar). The rest of the cast play various supporting roles, and Strong Sad plays pretty much everyone's beleaguered stunt double, mostly against his will.


    General Tropes 
  • Accidental Misnaming: Baron Darin Diamonocle gets everyone's names wrong—for instance, "Dangerskew" and "Perdukey".
  • Acting for Two: invoked Marzipan (as Cutesy Buttons and her Evil Counterpart Sultry Buttons), Strong Sad (as five suspiciously identical informants and everybody's stunt double), and Homestar (as Dangeresque Too? and Uzi Bazooka) in Dangeresque 3. Several characters also play different roles between episodes.
  • Aerith and Bob: Dangeresque, Renaldo, Perducci... and Craig.
  • April Fool's Gag: Dangeresque 6, In-Universe.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Stingy Relenque's "French" line for "Done in by my own Decemberween theme" is complete gibberish.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Invoked with Uzi Bazooka.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Everyone talks in a stilted tone as if they're just reading something out loud. Except for Homestar, Strong Bad, Marzipan, Pom-Pom, and oddly enough, The King of Town.
  • Bad Santa: Stingy Relenque's robotic Santam'n.
  • Big Bad: Perducci in "Dangeresque 1" and (supposedly) Baron Darin Diamonocle in "Dangereseque 2".
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Perducci and Uzi Bazooka in "Dangeresque 3".
  • Brown Bag Mask: All of Strong Sad's costumes while serving as someone's stunt double include wearing a paper bag over his head.
  • The Brute: Killingyouguy.
  • Canada, Eh?: Stingy Relenque is French-Canadian.
  • Catchphrase: Dangeresque uses "Looks like I'm gonna have to jump...!" In addition, he says "Sounds dangeresque!", "I work alone! Except when I work with Renaldo. Which is all the time.", "Or did I?", "Nobody do anything... Dangeresque!", and "Cool cool glasses!". Lampshades when he says "Six-syllable catchphrase!"
  • The City: Brainblow City (a badly-painted cardboard backdrop).
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Sultry Buttons.
  • Cool Shades: Dangeresque's trademark. Both of them.
  • Cowboy Cop: Except when he's a Private Detective.
  • Crosscast Role: The Poopsmith as a "beautiful woman" in Dangeresque 3.
  • Development Hell: Dangeresque 3 was stuck there for several years, in-universe and out.
  • Dirty Cop: And proud of it, too.
  • Distressed Damsel: Dangeresque's maybe-girlfriend, Cutesy Buttons (played by Marzipan).
  • Distressed Dude: Renaldo in "Dangeresque 3".
  • The Dragon: Killingyouguy plays this role to Perducci.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: invoked. Marzipan's normally blond hair is dyed black as Sultry Buttons.
  • Femme Fatale: Dangeresque's ex-girlfriend, Sultry Buttons (played by Marzipan with a dye job).
  • French Jerk: Stingy Relenque has a French accent and is a smuggler slash Decemberween-themed supervillain.
  • Ham and Cheese: In-Universe. Homestar does this as Stingy Relenque in "Dangeresque: Puppet Squad - the Hot Jones Hi-Jack!" with an outrageous French accent.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": These films serve as an attempt by Strong Bad to make himself look as cool as possible. Keyword being "attempt."
  • High-Class Glass: Worn by Diamonocle.
  • Informed Attribute: His jobs as a secret agent and celebrity pharmacist. Also, he supposedly plays for and against both sides of the law, but we only ever see him go up against James Bond-style Diabolical Masterminds.
  • Informed Loner / I Work Alone: "Let's get one thing straight, meatball. Face. Butt. I work alone! 'Cept when I work with Renaldo. Which is all the time." In later films, he adds Dangeresque Too to his list of exceptions.
  • The Juggernaut: Killingyouguy in Dangeresque 3. He is immune to bullets, smoke clouds, and sawmerangs. Also, he can maintain pace with a high-speed vehicle chase entirely on foot.
  • MacGuffin: The serum in Dangeresque 1 and various collectable items in Dangeresque 3.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: His nunchuck gun.
  • Movie-Making Mess
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Killingyouguy, played by Strong Mad.
  • No Escape but Down: See Catchphrase, above.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Renaldo's ethnicity is... confused. He wears a fez and turban with a moon and star on it (meaning he's either Middle Eastern, Moroccan, or a shriner), and his name is Hispanic. Despite all of the above, Coach Z uses his usual vaguely Midwestern accent.
  • Numbered Sequels: Dangeresque 1: Dangeresque... Too?, Dangeresque 2: This Time, it's Not Dangeresque 1!, and Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: Strong Sad serves as everyone's incredibly obvious stunt double. Even when he's not availible, like when multiple characters have to jump, this trope still applies- during a Dangeresque 3 "Jump", Marzipan is replaced with a cardboard cutout of her and Coach Z's is a bush with his Z taped on it.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with Dangeresque, Too?
  • On Ice: Dangeresque: Put 'Em on Ice.
  • Private Detective: Strong Bad can't seem to make up his mind if Dangeresque is this or a police detective.
  • The Professor: Professor Experimento, played by Pom Pom.
  • Robotic Reveal: Uzi Bazooka.
  • Robot Master: Stingy Relenque unleashes a robotic "Santam'n" on Dangeresque and Firebert.
  • Rogues Gallery: Baron Darin Diamonocle (played by Bubs), Perducci (played by the King of Town), Killingyouguy (Strong Mad), Uzi Bazooka (Homestar), Szechuan Steve (the Cheat), Craig (also the Cheat), Stingy Relenque ( also Homestar), and an unnamed villain played by Shark Tooth Bubs.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: Dangeresque certainly gives this impression, given Strong Bad's insistence that "he fights the law" and "he works alone", neither of which appear to be true (in all of his appearances, he's out to stop criminals, and he works with at least one partner).
  • Say My Name / Skyward Scream: "Perducciiii!!!"
  • Serkis Folk: Subverted. Strong Sad was supposed to play motion capture for a tentacle-armed T-rex in Dangeresque 3, but the Cheat forgot to fix it in post.
  • Show Within a Show: These are homemade movies made by Strong Bad.
  • Stylistic Suck: Basically what a movie made in a weekend would look like if Strong Bad was writing, starring, and directing, and only had a VHS camcorder for equipment — and edited everything in-camera.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Killingyouguy was quickly disposed of in Dangeresque 1: Dangeresque, too? In Dangeresque 3, Killingyouguy becomes a juggernaut.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-Universe, Homestar, Strong Bad, Marzipan, and the King of Town are the only actors who at least try to give a good performance. Marzipan and the King of Town give actually decent, if unrefined, performances. By comparison, Homestar and Strong Bad are evidently trying, but their performances ultimately fall short.
  • Vanity Project: At the end of the premiere of Dangeresque 3, Strong Bad states flat out that parts of the movie are edited to make him look good.
  • Worthy Opponent: Uzi Bazooka.

Yonder Website

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yonderwebsite.png
Characters 1-7 in Characters from Yonder Website. That's right.

A universe in the style of a TV show, best described as "unbelievably soothing children's programming".


    General Tropes 
  • Canon Immigrant: Mr. Poofers. It helps he looks like a Yonder character to begin with.
  • Cast of Expies: Characters 1 through 8 are re-drawn versions of a 'regular' character.
  • Continuity Nod: The "Yonder Website" versions of the characters are based on the "Cartoon Characters" episode of Strong Bad's Skills of an Artist series, where Strong Bad draws simplified versions of himself and Homestar and labels them "Character 1" and "Character 2".
  • Dance Party Ending: The time comes for everyone to bend at the knees, at which point they do. (Well, the Marzipan Expy can't, so she just bends over at the waist.)
  • Deliberately Monochrome: All the Characters from Yonder Website are drawn in black and white.
  • Mushroom Samba: The series is revealed to be the result of the cast all tripping on expired Smarty Juice.
  • Product Placement: Today's episode of Characters From Yonder Website is brought to you by "a grant from Greencheat and our corporate sponsors: Smarty Juice: A faceless Mega-Corp with a couple of hills on the logo". It's revealed that this is because the cartoon is a result of the cast tripping out on expired Smarty Juice.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Yonder Website versions of the cast all speak in different types of gibberish.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The series is considered to be this to Teen Girl Squad. Though the two have a crudely drawn black-and-white style, Teen Girl Squad is incredibly violent. Yonder Website, however, is much more tranquil.
  • Sugar Bowl: The universe of the Characters from Yonder Website is more playful and sedated than Free Country, USA.
  • Surreal Humour: The entire short runs on a parody of "unbelievably soothing children's programming", which involves characters solving their problems by "going on an inordinately long walk", thinking up ways to combine their "personal type of spice", and taking time out of the day to "bend at the knees".
  • Stylistic Suck: While not as overtly amateurish as the Powered by The Cheat segments, the simplistic plot, music and character designs are thrown in sharp relief to the 'regular' style.
  • Verbal Tic: The narrator frequently uses "That's right" or "Far out" to punctuate sentences.
  • You Are Number 6: They don't have names, just numbers in order of introduction.
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