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Strong Bad

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/currentbad.png
"You don't know it yet, but I'm the real reason you're here. Check me out! No, seriously, check me out."
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Arguably the real main character of the website. Strong Bad is an egotistical little man who appears to be wearing boxing gloves and a luchador mask, though according to him, those are what his face and hands actually look like. His hobbies include tormenting his neighbors (especially Homestar Runner, Marzipan, and Strong Sad), responding to e-mails from his fans, and playing retro video games. His pet peeves include Homestar and people asking him "How do you type with boxing gloves on?"

He is one of your opponents in Poker Night at the Inventory, along with The Heavy, Max, and Tycho.


  • Abandoned Catchphrase: Earlier, Strong Bad used to say "Holy crap!" This has now been largely abandoned and he gets annoyed whenever an email is signed with a variation of "crap".
  • Angrish: He once devolved to this when his Compé pretended to crash upon starting up.
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  • Bad Boss: Strong Bad can be pretty cruel to The Cheat, sometimes for no reason at all. It's implied he's kept in check by Strong Mad, however.
  • Bad Liar: To the point where he forgets that he's even a part of what he's lying about. One such example has him telling someone that he doesn't think The Cheat has a computer despite using it to check an email once. His attempts at prank calling Marzipan also qualify, not even bothering to change his voice or doing a poor job of disguising it. Many of his pranks consist of telling Marzipan to do stupid things no one with any common sense would do. Marzipan even seems to enjoy hearing his prank calls and gives him suggestions and constructive criticism on them.
  • Badbutt: He's absolutely convinced that he's a full-on badass. Suffice it to say, he's not. Perhaps best summarized by this.
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  • Berserk Button: He gets annoyed when e-mails ask him how he can type with boxing gloves on or end with any form of the word "crap".
  • Big Bad: He sure WISHES he was, but he's usually too busy playing video games and doing petty pranks.
  • Big Brother Bully: While his villainous side has mostly been flanderized away, he still regularly bullies and abuses his younger brother Strong Sad. Even his less physically harmful treatment of Strong Sad is well into psychological abuse territory.
  • Blatant Lies: One of his defining attributes, as a consequence of his Bad Liar status and his Small Name, Big Ego attitude. He'll lie about things that just happened, right in front of the person listening to him.
  • Breakout Character: He started out as the bad guy who opposed Homestar Runner, before eventually becoming the face of the whole site, even getting his own video game series.
  • Buffy Speak: He has a habit of making up his own words. Strong Sad even called him out on it in the "Fan Club" email.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He intentionally ticks off Strong Mad sometimes.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nowhere near the levels of Strong Sad and The King Of Town, but Strong Bad's attempts at various schemes tend to end in embarrassment and pain.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He sometimes thinks of himself as this. Why ask to borrow Homestar's newspaper when you can steal it dressed as a cat burglar?
  • Casanova Wannabe: He considers himself a ladies' man, yet he's never seen with any around. In fact, the only woman he does interact with hates him.
  • Catchphrase: Aside from "Holy crap!", which he has largely abandoned, his catchphrase is any variation of "DELETED!" Earlier, he occasionally says "Haselos theselos, haselos theselos" whenever he gets excited.
  • Character Blog: Has a Twitter account that can be found here
  • Characterization Marches On: He's gone from being the main villain and Homestar's foil to just a jerk who occasionally inconveniences people. His relationship with Homestar has also improved dramatically from the days of their rivalry; especially since the April Fools Day 2015 cartoon and on. He seems much less annoyed with Homestar and even tries to get him to come to the fallout shelter when Flash is 'dying.' His treatment of his brothers and the Cheat has also evolved as well; early on he was downright abusive towards Strong Sad and treated the Cheat more as an underling, but as the episodes went on, he changed to actually getting along with Strong Sad on occasion (while still throwing the occasional jab) and treating the Cheat more as a friend.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Most of the time.
  • The Chew Toy: Getting 100% Completion in Baddest of the Bands requires the player to find all five ways of Strong Bad getting abused.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: He's been caught in his tighty-whities sometimes.
  • Comically Missing the Point: He often misinterprets the e-mails he receives, although sometimes he does this on purpose.
  • Cool Mask: He wears a luchador mask, or rather, his luchador mask is his face.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: One way of interpreting his relationship with Strong Sad. At times, Strong Sad has stated that he wants to be miserable. With that taken into consideration, Strong Bad's bullying could be seen as this trope, in that he is giving Strong Sad exactly what he wants.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Since he strives to be a bad guy, he doesn't bother trying to be polite.
  • Defiant Stone Throw: He, or rather, his headless body, once opposed the King of Town by throwing stones at him.
  • Defictionalization: In-universe, a lot of things Strong Bad makes up become real, like the bands Limozeen and Taranchula and the cartoon Sweet Cuppin' Cakes.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Strong Bad's attempts to cheat often backfire on him.
  • Disco Dan: Aside from the New Paper and the Compé, he has ridiculously outdated technology. For starters, he considered Mode 7 to be state-of-the-art. He also seems to have quite an affinity for video games Older Than the NES. When he does use new technology, he's shown to be very out of touch with it, such as trying to enter the email command in The Cheat's iMac G3 from 2002. When he gets the out-of-his-competence-zonely modern Compé, he mistakes the wallpaper for a full-colored photo taped to the monitor, and when it's crushed by six years worth of dust into another older-style computer, the Lappier, he considers it a step up.
  • Drunk on Milk: He once acted drunk after drinking soy sauce.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While the canonicity of this is up for debate, in Poker Night at the Inventory, when The Heavy delves into Russian Humor about what he did to an Engineer, Strong Bad replied "That is some [BLEEP]-ed up [BLEEP] , man!" The Heavy also tells a story about a boy killing a sparrow, then running away, leaving the Heavy to bury it. Strong Bad replies "That's not even a little bit funny, man". This time, the Heavy agrees with this statement.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: A couple of instances with Homestar, plus an email from a lovestruck dude named Brian. Strong Bad takes the time to answer him in an email to ward him off:
    Look, man, unless Brian is short for... "Brianrietta" or "Brian-Sue" or something like that, it's just not gonna work out between you and me, alright? Sorry to crush your hopes and dreams, Strong Bad.
  • Evil Is Cool: Invoked and Zig-Zagged. Undoubtedly the reason why he keeps trying to proclaim himself a villain when he clearly isn't. Meanwhile, when he's genuinely abusive to his brother, it's never played as cool.
  • Expressive Mask: Justified in that his mask is actually his face. The one time he took it off (offscreen), it caused him extreme agony and gurgling noises.
  • Expy: Strong Bad gets both his name and the red-masked luchador appearance from the Data East NES game Tag Team Wrestling.
  • Fashion Model: He puts up pictures to see if he got hired, and was given a job as the model for the "Husky Head" catalog.
  • Genre Savvy: He often incorporates his knowledge of video games and movies into his logic.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The viewer never sees what happens while Strong Bad is removing his "mask". Given that the experience was incredibly painful, it was probably for the best.
  • Grammar Nazi: Strong Bad will always make fun of people whose emails have bad spelling and grammar.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?: He often reminds people that he has many girlfriends, none of which are ever actually seen.
  • Hidden Depths: He's an avid metalhead, a decent if amateurish director in the Dangeresque movies, and occasionally shows a more keen awareness of the world than others, usually when pointing out the moronic activities of his neighbors. In the email "lures & jigs", Strong Bad admits that he is a Casanova Wannabe and does not know anything about the ladies... but then he immediately catches what he is saying and runs off in embarassment.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • He enjoys criticizing people's grammar, but his own grammar isn't perfect either.
    • He finds it ridiculous that someone would still use Windows 98 even though his technological preferences are even more outdated
  • I'm Not Doing That Again: Strong Bad says this immediately after he removes his mask (or rather, rips his face off) and promptly puts it back on.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
    • The emails "rampage" and "your edge" has Strong Bad getting called out on it and trying his absolute best to assure everyone that he's not, with mixed results.
    • Zig-zagged with his career as a thief. He's been known to break into the King of Town's castle not just unopposed (there's usually only one actual guard, The Poopsmith) but also undetected until the next day. At the same time, his absolute lack of a budget and the Closed Circle nature of Free Country means there aren't a lot of places for him to hide.
  • Insult Backfire: His prank calls on Marzipan are so bad, that in "Marzipan's Answering Machine version 4.0", Marzipan actually suggests Strong Bad call her with a particular prank call because it's her favorite.
  • Jerkass: Strong Bad has been a jerk to everyone; his friends, his family, and even his fans; the email "your friends" in particular really highlights how much of a jerk Strong Bad can be. The only person he has never been mean to is the Little Girl.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: On occasion, he's quick to point out the idiocy of others, such as in "A Decemberween Mackerel".
    Strong Bad: What's goin' on here?
    Marzipan: Help, quick! I think Senor Cardgage is dying!
    Strong Bad: And what makes you think that?
    Marzipan: He told me so when I brought him a hot covered dish to brighten his dismal life.
    Marzipan: Maybe?
    Strong Bad: And, who not fifteen minutes ago, told me I "might paste away if I Dinty Moore." Besides, everybody knows the way to save Senor Cardgage is to cut a bunch of motorsports magazines in half and pour gravy on a defibrillator. A-like so.
    (Strong Mad tears a stack of magazines in half while The Cheat pours gravy on the defibrillator. It actually works)
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: There have been occasions where Strong Bad gets along perfectly fine with other people, even helping them out. He has a reputation as the resident Jerkass to uphold, but he also cares about his family and friends and does spend actual quality time with him. This also includes Strong Sad.
  • Kick the Dog: While Strong Bad is generally a Harmless Villain with a tendency to Poke the Poodle, he does have these moments when he gets a little more aggressive/violent.
  • Large Ham: He can be over-the-top sometimes.
  • Little Big Brother: Much smaller than his younger brother Strong Sad.
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: He provides the voices of all the characters of Teen Girl Squad. In addition, he could speak in Stinkoman's voice perfectly.
  • Masked Luchador: He used to be a wrestler with all sorts of gimmicks. The only kind he didn't use was being a masked wrestler, despite having a mask for a face.
  • Menace Decay: Acknowledged in the sbemail "Your Edge".
  • Meta Guy: He breaks the fourth wall more than most of the other characters combined.
  • Metal Scream: And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!!!!!
  • MST: On some Costumes made by fans They are quite funny. Not to mention the site intro.
  • The Napoleon: Strong Bad is the shortest of the Brothers Strong (and one of the shortest main characters), and is easily the biggest jerk among them.
  • Narcissist: He's convinced that he is the paragon of handsomeness, to the point where he once got distracted by a dancing toy of himself. Interestingly, he often imagines himself as being more buff than he actually is.
  • Neologizer: So much so that he's written an entire dictionary of his expressions. Many of them are here.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Strong Bad frequently shows a preference for old technology instead of new technology. He's repeatedly shown his disdain towards the New Paper for being worse than the old Paper, and once mocked the Cheat for using "new computers." When he discovers that the sound the Compé-per makes could be changed, he replaces its pop-up sound with the first Paper's sound. This quote from when the original Paper failed sums it up best:
    The Paper, NOOO! Why do all my thirty-year-old electronics keep breaking on me?
  • Not a Mask: Strong Bad's "mask" is actually his face. In the sbemail "the chair", he removes his "mask", but his new chair was blocking everything. Considering that the experience was incredibly painful for him (and that he actually ripped his face off), it was for the better.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Despite his "Poke the Poodle" behavior he can have pretty nasty moments, such as the abuse he heaps on Strong Sad and The Cheat and his more violent tendencies. This is also parodied in "Best Caper Ever", where he and The Cheat can't seem to remember how they got Homestar stuck in the Arctic after peeing in his melonade.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Lampshaded in the April Fool's 2014 return when Strong Bad notes his voice doesn't have a Mexican accent anymore.
  • Only Sane Man: Will occasionally play this part, usually snarking about the moronic activities that the others do.
  • Pet the Dog: Though it's usually on Strong Sad's part, there are times when Strong Bad actually gets along with him or even does not bully him at all. One particularly moving example is when Strong Bad plans to throw a pie at Strong Sad, but he catches him playing "Some Things Last A Long Time" by Daniel Johnston, who at the time recently died. He could not bring himself to see the plan through and decides to give Strong Sad a day to grieve in peace.
  • Poke the Poodle: As the years wore on, Strong Bad's ideas of evil acts shifted toward not inflating a deflated basketball, throwing feathers at people (he claimed he couldn't afford the hot tar), and spreading mayonnaise all over the living room and waiting almost half-an-hour before cleaning it up.
    "THIRTY WHOLE MINUTES!! Can you believe!!-yeah okay, we're losing our edge."
  • Prom Wrecker: Attempts to humiliate everyone at the local prom with a device that will make everyone's pants disappear. However, it turns out that he's the only one who actually wears pants, so he's the only one humiliated.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: His boxing gloves are actually his hands.
  • Rogues Gallery: Refers to himself, Strong Mad, and the Cheat as a "multi-purpose criminal element" in his character video. However, they are not much of a threat.
  • Self-Serving Memory: As he puts it, his memory is less photographic, and more of a doodle. It's pretty heavily implied that the more outlandish parts of his flashbacks are the result of this. He seemed genuinely convinced, for instance, that Pom Pom exploded when he pricked him with a pin, as opposed to what happened, which was that he missed and Pom Pom kicked his ass.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: One of his most defining characteristics is how inflated his ego is compared to his actual accomplishments.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Zig-Zagged. The private office he works in sometimes in almost always has a lit cigarette in an ashtray next to him, especially when he's playing the hardboiled P.I. Dangeresque in his homemade Dangeresque films. However, he's rarely seen actually holding it, and usually uses it just to fill the air with smoke. He actually DID smoke a cigar once, but there's no way of seeing the short toon anymore.note  Coach Z once found him "smoking," but Strong Bad denies being a smoker, and admits it's just a white crayon he lit on fire so he can use it to get a smoke break after he used all his other breaks that day, including maternity.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: He's had more screen time and importance than the character the website is actually named after.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: For some reason, he tends to mumble names of various Super NES games while dozing.
  • Technopath: We've actually seen how he types with boxing gloves — he just bumps his fists against the keys and magically gets the letters he wants. However, this isn't limited to just his fists; not only can he type with his forehead and feet, the words that result still match his mood (despair, hyperactivity, etc.)
  • Unreliable Narrator: His massive ego, combined with his "doodle memory", means his recollection of past events is usually warped beyond recognition. One flashback from his perspective is told like a storybook, while another showed his high school years as a hip Hanna-Barbera-style Amateur Sleuth cartoon.
  • The Unreveal: In a sbemail, Strong Bad takes off his mask... only for his chair Le Restige to block the view. Considering that his "mask" is actually his face, it was probably for the best. He also showed pictures of his parents in the same episode. Again, Le Restige blocked that, too.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Thanks to being a Jerkass, a lot of bad things that happen to him are Played for Laughs.
  • Villain Protagonist: He aspires to be one, and is to a degree when one considers some of his crueller acts. However, he's a Harmless Villain for the most part.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: What his relationship with Homestar evolved into, becoming his co-star in the Dangeresque films and co-workers at some unnamed cubicle corporation.
  • Vocal Evolution: He used to have some kind of Hispanic accent. There's even a DVD exclusive email entirely about Strong Bad's old accent. There are still traces of the accent in his current voice, but it's nowhere near as thick as it was in his earlier appearances.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He's almost never seen wearing a shirt.
  • Would Harm a Senior: He regularly bullies the King of Town, both verbally and physically.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He insults Marzipan on a regular basis and has tried to hurt or even kill her several times throughout the series, but he's never actually succeeded.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: His genre savviness can end up being this sometimes as Reality Ensues.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Trope Namer. His anime counterpart, Stinkoman, has blue hair for some inexplicable reason.
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