Messi's debut in "New Season, New Friends" has some hidden genius behind it. Unlike Pepper's promotional art, the finished Messibelle piece becomes animate, dashing about the screen before pressing up against the camera, transitioning into her standard set of character stills thereafter. This presentation choice mirrors her birth, namely that it was Crafty who created her, not unlike how several art pieces he made in past episodes came to life.
In "The Art of the Con(vention)," Messibelle mentions a busted ice cream machine to the others. In response, everyone stares at her in bewilderment — apparently, Crafty never installed one. However, given Messi nourishes herself with cleaning products, she could have mistaken a fancy soap dispenser for one such machine. Considering Crafty's wasteful spending habitsnote (In the same episode, he bought a top-class limo without consulting Nurse about it first — they tend to live paycheck-to-paycheck, so to speak.), it's not outside the realm of possibility that he bought one — or even made one himself.
In cooking, cephalopod ink is used as an additive for, among other foods, pasta. It's little wonder why Pepper enjoys the latter so much, seeing that she cooks with ink herself, being an octopus-woman and all.
Notably, Pepper tends to wear undersized tops no matter what. It seems impractical at first, but then again, she's also very gluttonous, often eating until her stomach doubles in size. And there's also Octo-bloat, where she bloats willingly as a defensive technique. Keeping her belly uncovered allows her to eat comfortably and use her ability practically, all without straining her clothing when her gut expands.
Blue-Paint-Sea's first concept art for Pepper mentions that she's an experienced housemaid. This trait never explicitly comes up in the show proper; Messibelle exists, and for the sake of character diversity, it's more practical to stress Pepper's skills as a chef. However, with this knowledge, those times when Messi left all the cleaning to Pepper suddenly make sense. She doesn't have to wade through chores herself because someone's around who's dealt with them for years!
During the flashback dream sequence of "GEMS! Truly Outrageous," Greta writes a love letter to Colin, and the letter clearly has writing drawn upon it. Yet when she finds Colin and Sasha sharing an intimate moment, the writing suddenly disappears before she tears up the letter in heartbreak. This was no accident — everything she had written was ultimately rendered meaningless; the now-empty page symbolizes that at a subconscious level.
In those flashbacks, Greta appears as she does today as Nurse Worse, rather than her pre-Dr. Crafty self. By this point in the plot, Greta still doesn't remember her entire past, let alone her original appearance; thus, her mind fills in the blanks with concrete knowledge.
The moment also retroactively contextualizes Nurse's memory of Sasha and Crafty sitting together in "The Beachles." After first seeing them making out on the beach, she must've taken to jealously watching them from afar whenever they visited the same spot.
"I Need a Hero Academia" reveals that Nurse Worse's name was coined by Crafty (more specifically, Colin before he developed the Dr. Crafty persona) when he resuscitated her. Nothing seems to prompt this decision at first... But Crafty does seem to recognize her as a classmate. Thus, he could have derived the alias from Nurse's real name: Greta Franzisca Wunderwurse.
Knowing that Crafty coined Nurse Worse's ironic nickname adds another layer of irony to them both. According to Crafty, her newfound presence made his life better, not worse; she's his hero. Also, his nickname choice could be a subconscious reflection of who he truly is at heart: much like Nurse herself, he's a villain in name only, who dresses the part but is ultimately a pretty decent person.
For that matter, the entire resuscitation parallels the creation of Frankenstein's monster. It's a rather easy connection to make, and Colin, being a pop-culture buff, no doubt drew the comparison himself during the process. It helps that both he and Dr. Frankenstein were outcasts, meaning he could've related to him well before this event. Thus, he took the mad scientist aesthetic and ran with it as an outlet for both him and his new friend.
The Spin-Off hostesses were chosen for their roles based on their inherent qualities, mostly their jobs:
Pepper, being a chef, is a culinary artist with diverse cultural cooking knowledge and enough experience to experiment. The Chara-Cafe involves creating culturally diverse original characters and experimenting with their archetypes.
Crystelle, a fortune-teller, has the simplest justification for her role. After all, the Questionable Qloset's main purpose is to be Dr. Crafty's QnA section, and her psychic powers and nigh-all-seeing eyes are perfect for the show.
Stylene is a hairdresser, a person who styles someone's hair to improve their image. In the Shake-Up Salon, she carefully improves the character designs voted into the show, with special care taken to accentuate their best qualities.
The odd one out is Messibelle, whose occupation doesn't correlate to her show. However, the Top Ten Tub serves as a way for her and Crafty to bond over mutual interests — as many father-daughter duos like them try and do — without their discussion being predicated on an ongoing drawing.
Building off of Nurse's apprehensions in "New Season, New Friends," there is one more superficial detail she and Pepper have in common: when utilizing their expression sets, the show tends to alter their heights for compositional purposes. Nurse appears a bit taller, while Pepper appears a bit shorter.
Messibelle's design is filled with all sorts of brilliance:
In the series premiere, "The Dreadful Doctor," Crafty establishes that the green slime he uses for decoration is actually his homemade brand of shampoo. It appears in every succeeding episode. Come Season 2, Messi is introduced; she was born within Crafty's piping after he poured tons of cleaning chemicals down his drain. Most likely, Crafty's shampoo is the main chemical in Messi's composition. By the time Messi is born, much of that shampoo had served its purpose as set dressing, so it's the cleaning product that Crafty dumped the most.
Her cyan skin is not just a common color for cleaning products. It hints at her sense of humor, which is noticeably ribald. Another name for ribaldry is blue comedy.
She also has quite the bubble butt on her. How appropriate for someone literally made of soap. It's also a hint at her original design. Instead of legs, she carried herself on a massive pile of slime beneath her waist, making her extremely bottom-heavy.
What exactly would Mindstein have to gain from capturing Crystelle, Messi, and Pepper? Aside from owning three potential bargaining chips, all three women have some unusual qualities. Crystelle is a psychic celestial entity, Messi is a slime-girl made of cleaning products, and Pepper is a genetic anomaly. Each of them would be worthy of study, perhaps to create an army of stronger, versatile minions. And Mindstein loves to break things down to figure out how they work.
"LoveCrafty" reveals that Sasha became a film director during her and Crafty's time apart. Back when they were together, Sasha and Crafty shared a Relationship Upgrade just after they finished watching a movie. It seems that she picked up her profession to try and relive those better times, Crafty or no Crafty.
In her backstory in "I Need a Hero Academia," Disgustilda reveals that Crafty's castle used to be hers. She lost it to him in one of the most simple, embarrassing ways possible — he tricked her outside by ringing her doorbell, then snuck inside while she was distracted. There's no doubt that she takes him more seriously than other people, accepting his super-villain persona at face value because of the theft and her bruised ego. Because of these circumstances, it's entirely possible that her own world-domination ambitions are strictly meant to spite Crafty. She not only wants to take back her home, but she also seeks to achieve the goal he claims to want and do so better than him. By her logic, it's an act of perfect revenge.
"Salt and Pepper's" title holds a few additional meanings aside from referencing Pepper's debut:
The episode's art incorporates an off-white and almost black color scheme, not unlike literal salt and pepper.
Peppercorns are larger and rounder, while salt grains tend to be smaller and more angular. Thus, the title is an analogy to the dichotomy between Pepper and Crafty's designs.
What's more, Crafty tends to be a somewhat salty person, especially throughout Season 2.
At the end of "Magic Kingdom Mania," Screw's Megaton Punch ultimately sends Crafty all the way to U.A. High's campus. For as convenient as Crafty's destination seems, the month had been dropping hints about an upcoming Hero month prior to this episode. In the end card segment of "IMA VAMPIRE," Crafty outright says that the Chara-Cafe's next installments will relate to My Hero Academia. Thus, it's very likely that Crafty would have approached Class 1-A's students for help regardless of how he was sent their way. The chance to speak directly with the source material he's covering for the month, in addition to receiving the help he needs, did not go unnoticed.
In "Migraine Over Matter," Jedah shouts a very familiar annoyed grunt from The Simpsons as he's teleported away. It's extremely close to Homer's cadence. In an earlier episode, "Street Frighters," he shows off his legal team. One of the members is Lionel Hutz, the lawyer whose most frequent client is the Simpson family. At some point, Jedah likely picked up Homer's grunt while assisting him with Hutz.
It's rather appropriate how Crystelle and Stylene's workspaces lack windows (At least until Disgustilda builds one for Crystelle's in "Atop the 4th Door"). Both of them enjoy working alone, or at least at a distance from the rest of the Crew.
The way Sasha reintroduces herself in the "Aqua Marina" flashback is not unlike how a horror movie monster would. It carries some interesting food for thought:
Now that her characterization is firmly established, it's evident that she wasn't intentionally trying to frighten Crafty, especially when the succeeding flashback in "The Legend of Lonk" shows them getting along quite well. Rather, she wasn't well-acquainted with human culture and related social cues at the time. She didn't want to draw too much attention to herself, but she lacked the know-how to shape-shift into a human until she got to know Crafty more. Thus, she opted to awkwardly sneak into his hospital room without anyone else knowing.
And to justify her lack of knowledge on shapeshifting, "We're Back! A Crafty Story" reveals that Sasha had been asleep beneath the ocean since the dawn of the universe until Crafty's first suicide attempt. She'd inevitably be quite rusty with several of her skills, but connecting with Crafty helped her familiarize herself with them.
In Part 3 of "I Need A Hero Academia," the rescue group begins its assault on Mindstein's forces, and here we see that Midoriya lent Crafty One for All to give him a fighting chance. At a glance, it may seem foolish; after all, in canon, All-Might had to spend months training Midoryia just to even hold One for All's power, as otherwise, it would rip him apart. However, with his durability and quick healing factor thanks to his Infinium Heart, Crafty doesn't have to worry about that issue, at least. Even firing the quirk through his fingers doesn't seem to be as big a deal for Crafty as it did Midoriya, who risked permanently damaging his body in the first season before undergoing further training.
Crafty loves to identify his audience members as "subjects" as in, test subjects, keeping true to his Mad Scientist aesthetic. However, "subjects" can have an additional meaning since the show primarily takes place in a castle. The audience isnt just made up of test subjects, but royal subjects, with Crafty as the king. It feeds into his ego just a little bit more.
In "Magic Kingdom Mania," Mindstein raids the castle, and after incapacitating Nurse and Crafty, she has Screw summon her Doc Drohnes to round up the spin-off hosts. Pepper and Messi try putting up a fight, as does Crystelle... who suddenly stops and lets the Drohnes surround her. For their part, the Drohnes leave her unharmed and escort her to her cell — a cell which Crystelle's coworkers have to be thrown into, whereas she simply walks inside. As Crystelle establishes in the subsequent Spin-Off Special, despite her future sight, she has no say in how the timeline plays out, and she can't look into her own future. Plus, with all the chaos unfolding around her, she likely couldn't concentrate enough to get a clear view of future events — the furthest she could see is her capture. And with no other option in sight, she gives up.
Stylene comes around to the Crafty Crew fairly quickly. She was likely so cold to them throughout her debut, the Season 4 Premiere Month, because she had just recently left prison. While acclimating to this unfamiliar environment, she put forth the same tough facade that helped her survive Salem's violent prison culture. After realizing that the Crafty Crew isn't a threat, she eases up. Stylene's still brash and sometimes annoyed by her coworker's antics, but she starts to enjoy their company and comes to understand them. Tellingly, even when she's upholding the facade, her biggest complaint about her coworkers is that they're sometimes very loud.
Nurse has a fairly notorious electricity addition. A Cutaway Gag in "Original Characterror" shows her ingesting some electricity by attaching some plugged-in alligator clips to her head bolts. Much later, "I Need a Hero Academia" reveals that, in the past, Crafty revived Nurse in the exact same way. Up until she regains her memory in the same special, her subsequent first meeting with Crafty was her earliest memory. Judging by how she handles her addiction, it was a happy enough memory for her to relive over and over again.
The root word of Crafty's real name, Colin, is the Scottish Gaelic word for "whelp." While the term typically refers to puppies, it also serves as a disparaging descriptor for immature young men. Both very much apply to Crafty — he's quite childish at the start of the series, but like any dog, he's loyal to his loved ones and has the potential to grow up and mature (which he does).
In "Crafty Idol," Bernard Cockatrice makes an offhanded remark about Crafty's scientist aesthetic being a dead trend. Crafty mentions in "As Seen on DVD" that his aesthetic is built upon outdated things. Thus, at least some part of Crafty is sticking to his outfit because it's out of date.
According to her flashback in "I Need a Hero Academia" Part 1, a younger Nurse broke free from Mindstein's lab and, with her newfound energy, escaped off to the cliff where Crafty used to hang out after breaking up with Sasha. She ended up falling into an open grave in the area, and after calling for help, Crafty discovers and repairs her, then later goes to Florida to start their show. Their meeting may seem somewhat contrived at first, but the succeeding episode contains a flashback that reveals how Nurse took care of Crafty on that same cliff as he spent an alarming amount of time up there, at least before Mindstein locked Nurse away. Nurse may not have been thinking clearly while running away, but she undoubtedly found security in caring for Crafty. Thus, her first instinct was to head off to their regular meeting place in hopes that he would return the same kindness that she gave to him. And return that kindness he did!
In "Kerchoo," Crystelle is interrupted not once, not twice, but four different times — once by Disgustilda and thrice by Special Guest Ceradust. Considering that she's holding this Questionable Qloset episode outside of the Qloset for once, it would appear that she doesn't have all of her usual defenses up. The fact that Crystelle resorts to tossing Ceradust out of the bus rather than teleporting him lends further credence to that idea; she only teleports him away when he appears a second time, seemingly only having enough energy to teleport Disgustilda at first.
This conclusion provides just enough context to infer where Jedah's bitter outlook on Crystelle came from. Jedah honed his skills thanks to his immense time and effort devoted to his law studies. Crystelle didn't have to put forth any effort to achieve such knowledge, leaving Jedah feeling inadequate. To him, her existence undermines his accomplishments, so they separated. In the present, he tries invalidating Crystelle's abilities in court to improve his self-image.
Nurse's Ironic Fearof Thunder becomes a little darker after "I Need A Hero Academia." Mindstein uses electrical torture to jog her memory, and the first thing that Nurse remembers is a crack of lightning. She equates strong levels of electricity with her mother — in other words, thunder is her PTSD trigger.
While Crafty and Nurse's bodies spend most of "The Foreshadow Game" possessed, Pepper's and Messibelle's bodies are nowhere in sight. There's no telling what's happening to them while their consciences are trapped in the Shadow Realm.
The flashback in "I Need a Hero Academia Part 2" reveals that Crafty saved Nurse's life. She ended up losing her memory as a result, but Crafty refused to help her remember. He chose not to simply because he didn't want to induce more stress in Nurse. Whatever Nurse did remember after her near-death experience, she was clearly distraught about it. Throughout Cartoon Month, unbeknown to Crafty, Nurse relives two key traumatic memories of her past, and she reacts to them exactly as Crafty feared.
Screws childhood under Mindstein is implied to be just as unpleasant as Nurses, but for vastly different reasons:
"ADnDiction" is the first Questionable Qloset segment to host a question about Screw, and it asks about the age difference between her and Nurse. According to a now very solemn Crystelle, the age difference between Screw and Nurse is minimal; Screw was an unexpected twin whose birth immediately followed Nurses. Crystelle then mentions how Screws physical growth was severely stunted and refuses to go further than that. Through those details alone, its all but outright stated that Screw was a victim of Parental Neglect as a child, with Mindstein favoring Nurse over her.
The information revealed in "ADnDiction" retroactively makes Screws appearance in the flashback of "GEMS! Truly Outrageous" quite alarming.
There, she looks tiny and skinny, whereas her sister is twice her height and far larger proportionally, being well-fed even as a teen. Poor Screw wasn't that small due to a big age gap — she was malnourished, with Nurse receiving the lion's share of food and Mindstein's unwanted attention.
"GEMS! Truly Outrageous" also reveals how much more emotive Screw was as a child. She seems noticeably concerned about Nurse sneaking out, and she later apprehensively denies that she told Mindstein about Nurse's whereabouts. But now, as an adult, she's emotionally detached, a common result of childhood abuse. It grew worse not only because Screw didn't — or, more likely, couldn't — escape her home, but because of Mindstein's sudden focus on her after Nurse left.
"I Need a Hero Academia" drops some hints about Screw's rough upbringing after Nurses departure:
In Part 2, Mindstein and Screw discuss their plans for world domination, with Mindstein placing special focus on Nurses part in the scheme. Screw becomes noticeably confused about Mindsteins fixation on her sister. According to Screw, Mindstein created her to match Nurse in every conceivable way. Mindstein directly answers Screw's question by explaining how Nurse has an Infinium Heart replica in her chest, while Screw does not. It seems that Mindstein's neglectful treatment of Screw extends past Screw's childhood. While Mindstein could feasibly make another replica for Screw, she simply chooses not to because she's already devoted time and effort to creating Nurse.
Notably, its only after Nurse escaped Mindstein that the two sisters physiques and fighting styles are now almost exactly the same. The implication behind this mirror match is that Mindstein molded Screw into a temporary substitute for Nurse. While Screw is valuable for her muscle, Nurse simply can't be replaced for Mindstein's plan to succeed, something that Screw herself seems to recognize and wishes to challenge. In the last moments of Part 4, Mindstein actively enables Screw's envy to secure her loyalty, offering upgrades to help her surpass Nurse. Screw is visibly determined to receive these improvements, never wanting to be outshone by her sibling again.
Mindstein: "After all, you don't want to be overshadowed by your big sister now, right?" Screw, coldly: "No, master. Absolutely not."
By "Let's. Get. Metal," it's very apparent that Metal Crafty has DNA scans of every Crafty Crewmate. Provided that he's willing to offer them up to her, Mindstein now has access to that information. There's no telling what she can do with it all, but whatever it is, it can't be anything good.
When the void entity takes Crystelle's spirit away in "Let's. Get. Metal," they leave behind only Crystelle's spiritless crystal ball head. Crystelle herself reveals that she herself is the crystal ball, with her body merely being a psychic construct. So, when Stylene picks up the now empty crystal ball and hurries it to the Qloset for Crystelle's spirit to reinhabit, she was effectively lugging around Crystelle's corpse.