- Strong Bad started out as a villain who was always doomed to lose to Homestar. Now he's debatably the most popular character, and definitely one of the most recognisable.
- To a lesser extent, there's Homsar. He first appeared as a one-shot gag to make fun of a typo, and over time, has been promoted up the ranks to become part of the main cast. HR's creators have joked about avoiding giving Homsar his own cartoon since they would never need to use him again. Even more so considering his tragic (albeit sort of weird) circumstance revealed in Marzipan's Answering Machine #17 that he is limited to only speaking normally on the phone, and that he thinks his non-sequiturs are "garbage". If you go in the comments of that video, you're sure to find people feeling bad for Homsar.
- Same goes for Senor Cardgage.
- Trogdor and Stinkoman (Strong Bad's blue-haired anime counterpart) are also very popular with the fans. They even appear together in the fifth episode of SBCG4AP!
- Also Eh! Steve from the Show Within a Show Sweet Cuppin' Cakes. Strong Bad insists that the main character is Sherlock, some kind of "mix between a cow and a helicopter" who is constantly trying (and failing) to get a worm out of the ground, and that Eh! Steve is a background character who delivers his Catchphrase once an episode. Nevertheless, Eh! Steve is vastly more popular and a much more recognizable symbol of the show.
- Teen Girl Squad is another good example.
- Strong Bad Lampshades this, along with The Other Darrin in the email original. After the departure of "Original Bubs," his temporary replacement "Onion Bubs" became a fan favorite.
- Onion Bubs! ONION BUUUUUBS!!!
- Played with in-universe in Strong Bad's commentary for an old King of Town toon. He hates every single thing about it except for the Blacksmith.
- The unused character Homeschool Winner had quite a lot of fans for a while, along with fan animations, and someone even created a blog by him.
- Strong Bad used to be the Ensemble Darkhorse of the series. He had become the face of the site by 2003.
- Both in-universe and in real life: ONION BUBS! ONION BUUUBS!!
Ensemble Dark Horse / Homestar Runner