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Recap / Strong Bad Email E 152 ISP

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Airdate: Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Sender: Gary, UK

Strong Bad: (singing) A badaly-doo, it's time for email, bra-doop-da-dabadoo.

Strong Bad's email this week asks about what kind of Internet service he gets, since he has to be checking his emails somehow. It comes from his self-proclaimed "bestest buddy in the whole wide world" ("Not even close!") "Gary You 'Kay?"

Strong Bad: Yeah, I'm fine, Gary. Calm down. Of course I've got the internet. How else could I download this awesome animated gif/jif of a cute breakdancing rodent?

Sadly, despite having been downloading for two days, Strong Bad's animated rodent art is only at eleven percent, with "less than a fortnight to go". A furious Strong Bad decides to call up tech support and give them a piece of his mind, and ends up finding Homestar on the other end of the line.

Homestar: Thank you for calling the internet, may I have your account number or identity theft, please?
Strong Bad: No, but you can have a heapin' helpin' of my unbridled rage!
Homestar: (slowly, reading from a script) Ma'am, please calm down. Your CD tray is not a cup holder. I cannot help you clear your browser cache. No, I'm not in India.
Strong Bad: Shut up and listen. My internet's crawling along like... something funny... that crawls along.
Homestar: All right, I can help you with that. Please hold while I transfer you to someone who can help you with that.
Strong Bad: What?!

After Homestar subjects him to "the hold music" and an offer to "send you my weight in free sign-up CDs", Strong Bad hangs up and decides to march down to his ISP in person... and naturally, his service is provided by Bubs.

Bubs: Well, if it isn't my lone internet customer. How's e-business?
Strong Bad: Now listen here, old man Bubs! What's the big idea of throttling me down?
Bubs: Throttling you down? That's not one of the ninety-nine ways I rip you off!

Bubs suggests they check on things over at the Datum Center ("Dat'um sounds good!"), and the two walk into Bubs' garage, which has a row of computer towers... including one with a garden hose sticking out of it. The two follow the hose to Strong Mad, who has apparently been literally sucking up Bubs' bandwidth.

Strong Bad: Strong Mad!
Strong Mad: (in a high-pitched voice) I'M A WEBSITE!

Bubs and Strong Bad share a laugh at this (one that gets a little maniacal near the end), and we cut back to the Lappy, where the GIF of an (allegedly) break-dancing rodent finally finishes downloading.

(The Lappy displays a GIF of a cartoon rodent doing some hip-hop dances while a computer tune plays. The rodent is replaced by yellow text that reads "NOT REALLY BREAK DANCING". The Paper comes down.)

Tropes include:

  • The Alleged Computer: Strong Bad's computer takes multiple days to download a simple low-resolution GIF. His internet service operates in baud, a format so obsolete there are computer science graduates who have never heard of it. Strong Bad claims his standard rate is 1,200 baud, the equivalent of 1.2 kilobits per second. For reference, a standard broadband connection in 2006 would average 4 megabits, or 4,000 kilobits, per second.
  • Brick Joke: In "helium", it was revealed that helium doesn't make Strong Mad's voice any higher. As it turns out, bandwidth is what does the trick.
  • Con Man: Bubs openly admits to ripping off his ISP customers in ninety-nine different ways.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: In-universe. Strong Bad refers to the animated .gif as a mouse breakdancing, but when the gif finally arrives (and the mouse acts like a hip-hop star and doesn't do much dancing at all), the image openly admits that it's "Not Really Breakdancing".
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Strong Bad accuses him of throttling his Internet service, Bubs protests "That's not one of the ninety-nine ways I rip you off!"
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Parodied when Strong Bad and Bubs laugh at Strong Mad's high voice, only for Strong Bad's laughter to increase in pitch and decrease in sanity.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: Homestar refers to Strong Bad as "ma'am", and simply reads straight from the script for the entirety of the call.
  • Metaphorgotten: Strong Bad calls tech support to complain "My internet's crawling along like... something... funny... that crawls along."
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Bubs now serves as Strong Bad's internet service provider.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Strong Bad pronounces .gif as both "gif" and "jif".
  • Noodle Incident: Strong Bad complains that his Internet service has suffered ever since "the merger".
  • Operator from India: Homestar denies being one. Apparently, it's written into his script.
  • The Operators Must Be Crazy: Homestar is the customer service representative Strong Bad has to sit through in order to receive service.
    Homestar: All right. I can help you with that. Please hold while I transfer you to someone who can help you with that.
    Strong Bad: What?!
  • Plug 'n' Play Technology: In the Homestar Runner universe, one is capable of siphoning bandwidth by cramming a garden hose into the CD port of a computer and then sucking it out. Bandwidth also evidently has the same properties of helium.
  • Reveal Shot: As Bubs wonders where the trouble in the Datum Center could be, it cuts to Strong Bad standing next to a computer with a hose sticking out as he sarcastically says "Yeah, I wonder..."

(Cut to the Field. A figure in the shape of Homestar made from his weight in free sign-up CDs runs by while the arrangement of the Homestar Runner theme song from "Bug in Mouth Disease" plays.)