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Recap / Homestar Runner The Homestar Runner Enters The Spooky Woods

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Airdate: October 30, 2019

Costumes: The Cheat as Little Caesar, Bubs as Commander Borf, Strong Mad as Pink Floyd's The Wall, Homestar Runner as Snufkin, The King of Town as Charlie, Pom Pom as Burt the Bashful, Strong Sad as The Loughton Candidate from The Cremaster Cycle, The Poopsmith as Condorman, Coach Z as The Fresh Prince's Mom, Homsar as A Bill, Strong Bad as Bic Boy, and Marzipan as Maetel.

When The Homestar Runner is literally scared to death by Tiny-Handed Strong Bad's Halloween costume, he must face his fears in the Spooky Woods to get his corporeal body back, while Strong Bad and his brothers try to sabotage his quest.



  • Absurd Phobia: The Homestar Runner's fears include an illustration of the Golgi apparatus from his old life science textbook and "frilly toothpicks". He even gets over his second fear when Strong Bad points out how absurd it is. Then Tiny-Handed Strong Bad tries to guess at The Homestar Runner's third greatest fear, and his guess is playing ping-pong on a non-regulation table, while wearing loafers with no socks.
  • Adoring the Pests: The Homestar Runner is confronted by his third and final fear, some "wet pigeons" entangled in a raccoon carcass, but he gets over it when he sees the pigeons trying to hatch a ping-pong ball.
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: Narrator Strong Bad lampshades the oddity of The Homestar Runner, of all people, suddenly using big words to describe his situation:
    The Homestar Runner: I'll have my corporeal form back in no time!
    Narrator Strong Bad: Said The Homestar Runner after clearly consulting a thesaurus.
    • This sets up a Brick Joke at the end:
      Narrator Strong Bad: And so, having faced his three fears, Homestar Runner gained back his corporeal form. (beat) Said narrator Strong Bad, who totally already knew what "corporeal" meant, like, way before this book.
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  • Body Horror: After The Homestar Runner regains his corporeal form, his "squiggly ghost-tail" appears, so impressing him that he shows it off to Tiny-Handed Strong Bad, who is so frightened by the sight that he dies and gives up the ghost.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The Homestar Runner's greatest fears are an illustration of the Golgi apparatus, frilly toothpicks, and wet pigeons entangled in a raccoon carcass.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: While explaining who Homestar is dressed as (Snufkin from The Moomins), Strong Sad briefly takes on a Swedish accent when saying Tove Jansson's name.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Homestar remarks that he remembers The Poopsmith dressing as "Tron-dor Man", a reference to the Poopsmith's Tron costume from the website's first Halloween cartoon "Homestarloween Party".
    • Homestar's "death animation" where he turns into a skeleton is a reference to him dressing as Dirk the Daring in "Mr. Poofers Must Die!" (Bubs is dressed as Commander Borf, the antagonist in another Don Bluth-created video game, Space Ace.)
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  • Cosmic Retcon: Parodied; Strong Bad claims that he's always been a fan of Bic pens, and the cartoon ends with a flashback to the Strong Bad Email "dragon" where some clumsily-edited Product Placement has been added by The Cheat.
  • Crack Pairing: In-universe, Strong Bad describes Strong Sad's costume as "the love-child of Dobby the House Elf and Ron Weasley from some of [Strong Sad]'s fan fiction".
  • Curse Cut Short: Tiny-Handed Strong Bad's reaction to his failure to scare The Homestar Runner with an "eyeball barf-bath".
    "What the...?" almost cussed Strong Bad.
  • The Drag-Along: Kids' Book Strong Sad is only following his brothers on their scheme because "Family is hard to say no to."
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: The storybook segment ends with The Homestar Runner, Strong Bad's ghost, Strong Mad, and Strong Sad laughing "in a satisfying, end-of-story fashion."
  • Face Your Fears: In order to get his body back, The Homestar Runner must face his three greatest fears in the Spooky Woods before midnight.
  • Faux Horrific: The Homestar Runner dies of fright on seeing Strong Bad in a crappy monster mask. Similarly, Tiny-Handed Strong Bad dies of fright and disgust on seeing The Homestar Runner with Fog Feet sticking out of his backside like a tail.
  • Forced Meme: Narrator Strong Bad seems to think Tiny-Handed Strong Bad is trying to make "All types of drat!" a new catch phrase.
  • Here We Go Again!: The book ends with Tiny-Handed Strong Bad dying and giving up the ghost having been frightened by the horrible sight of the Homestar Runner's "squiggly ghost tail".
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: The book opens with The Homestar Runner and Pom Pom "playing it safe", which involves taking turns imagining a soft pillow. Homestar's really into it, but Pom Pom isn't amused.
  • Lampshaded the Obscure Reference: The gang does plenty of pointing out their obscure costumes.
    • The King of Town claims to have never heard of The Mighty Boosh, and only went with his costume because he fell asleep chewing eight packs of bubble gum at once.
    • Strong Sad says that the source of his costume is way more obscure and pretentious than his fan fiction.
    • Coach Z admits to be running out of costume ideas by dressing as the Fresh Prince's mom from the intro to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: "I'm grawrsping at straws here!"
    • Marzipan says that she got her costume idea from Strong Sad, who admits that he hasn't seen Galaxy Express 999 since he was ten and is more of a Captain Harlock fan.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: The Homestar Runner's first two greatest fears are completely innocuous, while the third is gross enough to make narrator Strong Bad wonder if it really belongs in a book for children.
  • Loud Gulp: A Running Gag is made of The Homestar Runner saying "gulp".
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Strong Bad pointing out how ridiculous it is to be scared of frilly toothpicks helps The Homestar Runner get over his fear.
  • The Reveal: The costume round-up confirms that The Cheat does the voices for his Powered by The Cheat videos when he says "Cheatsa, Cheatsa" in the voice of PBTC Strong Bad.
    Strong Bad: Woah! Did no one else just see that?
    The Cheat: It's just a certain way I do things.
  • Said Bookism: Exaggerated—instead of merely saying their lines, characters "burped", "squelched", "quoth", or even "tedious'd" their words.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After The Homestar Runner dies, Pom Pom takes the first opportunity to abandon him and go to a party at a rich kid's house instead.
  • Sequel Hook: The storybook ends with Tiny-Handed Strong Bad becoming a ghost, after which Narrator Strong Bad announces a sequel where Tiny-Handed Strong Bad possesses The Homestar Runner.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the story, Strong Sad is referred to at one point as "a pallid bust of Pallas", which is a line from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe.
    • While trying to come up with a good reference for his The Wall costume, Strong Mad shouts "WIZARD OF OZ!" Strong Bad tells him he's got the wrong album.
    • Homestar's Snufkin costume is largely based on how Snufkin appears in the 90s anime version of The Moomins, and Homestar sings part of the anime's theme song in reference to that.
  • Spoof Aesop: According to The Homestar Runner, the wet pigeons entangled in a raccoon carcass were just as gulp of him as he was of them, despite them never showing any fear of him. Narrator Strong Bad lampshades this, describing it as The Homestar Runner "really shoe-horning some kind of half-baked moral into this thing".
  • Spoonerism: At the beginning, Narrator Strong Bad subverts the usual intro to a Storybook World adventure by calling The Homestar Runner an "athletic terrife" instead of a "terrific athlete".
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: We see Strong Mad puking up eyeballs to make an "eyeball barf bath".
  • Waxing Lyrical: Homestar and Strong Bad quote a few lines of "Parents Just Don't Understand" while talking with Coach Z about his costume.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: In-universe; Narrator Strong Bad dryly observes that what's supposed to be a children's book contains a somewhat-graphic depiction of a dead raccoon.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: The Homestar Runner has until "the witching hour" to get his body back.

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