The Homestar Runner or just Homestar Runner is a comedic and surreal cartoon by two guys from the state of Georgia, Mike and Matt Chapman ("The Brothers Chaps").note Starting as a dead-tree children's picture book, it eventually found its way to Kids' WB! as a well-regarded and fondly remembered modern classic.
The main character is the eponymous Homestar Runner, a goodhearted athlete with no arms and no clue. However, Strong Bad, a narcissistic, loudmouthed "wrestleman" with a Luchador mask for a face and boxing gloves for hands, seems to have exceeded the titular character in popularity. Along with his pint-sized lackey The Cheat and hulking brute older brother Strong Mad, Strong Bad constantly pushes everybody around, especially his gray, depressed younger brother Strong Sad. Other characters include Homestar's on-and-off hippie girlfriend Marzipan, Homestar's best friend and straight man Pom Pom, the verbally challenged and slightly creepy Coach Z, greedy concession stand owner Bubs, the ever-hungry King of Town, and the Poopsmith. We also have Homsar, an odd-speaking midget who seems to be able to openly defy physics. And to round out this wacky cast, two more characters were intro introduced in the last season, Jelly, a walking mold of gelatin who is curious about the world around her, and Señor, an oddball adapted from the original book.
The show is aired in ABA/ABC format. The A episode is the main episode, or one of which, the C episode being the other, with the B episodes being Mail Strong Bad/Strong Bad Email shorts (depending on how the mail was sent), which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
The series lasted five seasons from 1999-2005. Matt Chapman has hinted that the show may return, but in webisode form, once again guided by the Brothers.
The show is now in reruns on The Hub.
- The Ace: Supposedly, Pom-Pom.
- Big Eater: The King of Town. One episode however has him going anorexic, sorry, becoming a non-eater.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: Strong Bad says that only Strong Sad would watch Kids' WB!.
- Broken Ace: Pom-Pom. He may have incredible athletic skills and high popularity, but under that is a life of being abused by his parents.
- Brown Note: Homsar's "evil face" causes Homestar to "piddle [his] pants-y-pants", as quoted by Coach Z.
- Cash Cow Franchise: During its peak, shirt and DVD sales were through the roof.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Around the fourth season, this was parodied.
- Credits Pushback: Parodied in the MSB "Ending Credits".
- Does Not Like Spam: Homestar doesn't like sub sandwhiches.
- Downer Ending:
- Subverted in "In Search of the Yellow Dello". The episode seems to end in Marzipan mistakenly believing he cooked the Yellow Dello (and declaring it's the worst birthday ever) and Homestar lamenting that he doesn't understand "the ladies". The Stinger shows Marzipan noticing that the Yellow Dello is fine after all, and going to apologize to him. This stinger is actually kept in on The Hub.
- Played straight, however, in "CGNU". Strong Bad is permanently expelled from the college.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first season in general was full of it, with hand-drawn animation, Matt Chapman voicing all the male characters, Missy Palmer voicing Marzipan, and the show just not being as good as its contemporary seasons, but the pilot "Marshmallow's Last Stand/The King of Town" seriously takes the cake. It didn't even have a Mail Strong Bad short.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Homestar. When Matt Chapman voiced him, it was just "R" sounds, but his later VA Flanderized it to "L" sounds too.
- End-of-Series Awareness: The final episode has Homestar trying to tell everyone the series in ending.
- Gone Horribly Right: Marzipan's attempts at getting Homestar to eat tofu in "No More Marshmallows!" actually work. Only problem is, he becomes addicted to it. And then some.
- Hidden Depths: Strong Sad is a motivational speaker. Who knew? A demotivational speaker, of course
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: "I'm the only one allowed to kick The Cheat!"
- It Will Never Catch On: Homestar decides not to patent a device that he believes won't be of use to most people. Strong Bad patents it instead.
- Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Missy Palmer. For the rest of her life, even after being replaced by Tara Strong, it will probably be impossible for anybody to hear her speak and not think "Marzipan".
- You Mean Decemberween: It's like an altered form of Christmas, with "The Decemberween Thinkkaaman".
- You Say Tomato: This is Coach Z's schtick:You say tomater, I zader matermorts.