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Video Game / Club Penguin

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Waddle around and meet new friends!
Club Penguin was a browser game. Launched in 2005 and bought out by Disney in 2007, it centered on users' personal penguin avatars, and their little lives. The game was somewhere in between a social network and a life simulation. Players could chat with other people, buy and care for a pet, buy clothes, buy and furnish your igloo, and even change the color of your little penguin avatar. All of this was paid for by little minigames you could play. Some games were competitions with other penguins, while some were solo games. However, most of the interesting things you could buy, you could get only if you paid for your account.

The game itself didn't provide much in terms of story. The closest thing to a plot the game provided came in the form of the Penguin Security Agency's missions, in which the player had to protect the island from any threats. Most of these threats came from Herbert P. Bear, a polar bear who floated to the island via iceberg while trying to find somewhere warmer to live and tried to wreak havoc on the islanders, and Klutzy, his pet crab. After the eleventh mission, the PSA was disbanded and turned into the Elite Penguin Force.

In 2014, the first of the three Club Penguin Stop Motion TV specials, a Christmas Special called We Wish You a Merry Walrus, was broadcast for the first time. It stars a group of penguins working together to save Christmas and stop Herbert's latest Evil Plan. 2 followed in 2015: Monster Beach Party, in which a megalodon is accidentally unleashed and must be stopped from wrecking havoc to the beach party, and Halloween Panic!, in which a group of penguins must stop the evil guests from possessing everyone else.

Club Penguin was shut down on March 29, 2017, and replaced by Club Penguin Island, which too was shut down on December 20, 2018. The original game lived on through private servers that dedicated old fans have set up, but most of them were shut down in 2020 after The Walt Disney Company sent DMCA takedowns to them after an English admin who worked on the popular private server Club Penguin Online was arrested on child pornography charges alongside reports of the server being largely unmoderated and thus laden with offensive messages and other content. For a while, Club Penguin Rewritten (another popular private server) was the most popular private server, and the developers of it were working on converting it to HTML so it'd live on after Flash died; however, as of April 13, 2022, it too was met with a DMCA takedown, leaving the fate of all Club Penguin private servers and their ability to live past the death of Flash much grimmer. While other private servers still exist (there's Club Penguin Legacy and New Club Penguin), only time will tell whether they will stay up.

This game provided examples of:

  • Achievement System: Stamps, which were introduced in 2010. If you have a membership, you can even show them off by decorating your stamp book cover with them.
  • Acid-Trip Dimension: The Box Dimension. There are boxes everywhere, physics rarely works, and everything is floating in a purple swirly flow. This is also where the Orange Puffles originate from, as they could be seen there when penguins first visited.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: You can invoke this with your very own penguins and puffles, by giving them items like clothes and hats. The meetable characters (like Gary, Cadence, Rockhopper, etc.) also play this straight.
  • Adapted Out:
    • In Club Penguin Island, Paige (the Puffle Handler) never got to make any appearance whatsoever, since the game was shut down before the puffles were introduced. Similarly, many other characters from the classic version do not appear here, such as the Penguin Band, Sensei, Ultimate Protobot, Tusk, and Merry Walrus, although the credits shown in the goodbye party do feature cameos of Sensei and Franky.
    • During the Monsters University event, the HSS fraternity aren't mentioned at all, nor were they a joinable team for the event.
  • Advanced Tech 2000: Gary loves adding big numbers to his inventions. Usually, it's "3000", but he also uses "2000" and "1000" for prototypes.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The minigame "Catchin' Waves" required surfing along the wave while trying to avoid the tube. Downplayed, because the penguin could surf inside the tube, just not dive too far into it, otherwise they would be knocked out.
  • Aerith and Bob: The implemented characters have both normal, real-life names and unusual names. Gary, Franky, Petey (K), (Stompin) Bob, (G) Billy, Dot, Herbert and Paige (although she's only called PH or Puffle Handler in the game) are normal, while (Aunt) Arctic, Rockhopper, Sensei, Cadence, Klutzy and Jet Pack Guy (whose real name really is Guy) are unusual. Rookie has once said his real name is not Rookie, though his real name was never revealed.
  • All-Cheering All the Time: Club Penguin used to have a play called "Team Blue's Rally 2", in which one of the characters was a cheerleader named Bella, who put everything that happened during the play in her cheers, and all she ever did was cheer.
    • The Penguins at the end of Sled Racer are another example, which is lampshaded more often than not.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Here's some stuff that only members could do:
    • Buy all but, like, 10 pieces of clothing (before 2013 they couldn't buy any at all) and wear most of the clothing given out at parties.
    • Go to member-only rooms. (Not that there were many of them, though.)
    • Buy all but, like, 10 igloo decorations (before 2012 they couldn't buy any at all) and use most of the decorations given out at parties.
    • Following the addition of stamps, continue to the next level on games such as Jetpack Adventure.
    • Own more than 2 puffles, and in any color except red and blue.
    • Transform into magical things like ghosts, reindeer puffles and Jack Frost, dinosaurs, and as of February 2013, movie stars.
    • Get clothing for your puffle and get upgrades in the mini-games like Hydro Hopper and Jetpack Adventure.
    • Island takes this up a notch. Practically everything that isn't related to the main story (and even most of the main story itself) is blocked behind a paywall. It's to the point that even the most basic actions you can do in the original are locked off. Better hope you can afford $6 a month.
    • Thankfully, private servers avert this entirely, making the whole game free to play.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Penguins and puffles can be purple, yellow, red... You name it!
  • Ancestral Name: Gary's great uncle is called Gariwald VIII, possibly having ancestors with the same name.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In 2014, the team started introducing loads of new puffles. For people who wanted to adopt all or many of them, but didn't have time to take care of each one, the Backyard feature was introduced: it was a private area used as an extension of the player's igloo, but meant exclusively for puffles. All the puffles' stats were frozen while they were at the backyard.
  • An Ice Person: The Puffle Handbook describes White Puffles having the ability to "freeze liquids at will".
  • Animorphism: Played with since penguins are animals themselves, but some of the parties allowed the players to turn into different less sapient species.
    • The Puffle Parties permit members to turn into puffles.
    • The Prehistoric Parties have you going back to the Mesozoic and turning into dinosaurs (and a Pteranodon).
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: As the years went on, penguins started wearing wigs and shoes and eating more varied food.
  • Art Evolution: The game's art style has definitely changed a lot throughout the years, which gets pretty funny when the newer clothing and items don't jell very well with the old ones, comparing the early items to the later ones is like night and day! The 2011 and 2013 design overhauls are obvious.
    • Want examples? Just take a look at the catalogs throughout the years. Scroll down to the gallery section. Try comparing the first one to the last one.
    • Also, check out how much the map has changed from the beta ages in 2005 to the final days in 2017. Again, scroll down to the gallery.
  • Artifact Title: The "Snow Forts". In the later years of the game, the room often replaced the forts with something else and made it an entirely new place. After August 2016, when the parties became so long the normal rooms never came back, the forts were nowhere to be seen again.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • There was once a rumor where if you stand in the Dojo for 30 minutes, you will become a ninja. Now, we have Card-Jitsu.
    • The "tipping the iceberg" rumor (if many people use the Hard Hat and jackhammer one side of the Iceberg, it will tip over) was untrue until the final month of the game. Doing so revealed a floating dance party, a free hard hat, and a message that reads "Together, we can build an island, create a community, change the world... and even tip an iceberg. Waddle on."
    • Common rumors were the "Gold Puffle" and the "Rainbow Puffle," incredibly rare Puffles that could only be earned by completing insane tasks. They were added to the game around 2013.
  • Assembly Line Fast-Forward: "Pizzatron 3000" had the player making pizzas, putting sauce, cheese, and toppings on them. Your goal was to make 40 pizzas with 4 or less mistakes, which became harder as the line speeds up the more you make.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Gonna Be Epic" and "Perfect Day" are both powerful and heartwarming songs reflecting all the fun the penguins had and sparking hope for the future, though the latter is slower than the former.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Polar bear Herbert P. Bear is the antagonist of the game.
  • Big Bad:
    • Herbert P. Bear in the PSA and EPF Missions.
    • Protobot, which Herbert rebuilt.
  • Big "NO!": Herbert, if you completed Operation Blackout.
  • Brainy Brunet: Brown puffles are smart and inventive.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The server names. Rainbow, Hot Chocolate, Beanbag... Hypothermia?
  • Cartoon Penguin: The default penguin fits this to a T. Penguins that don't fit the color scheme still have the yellow bill, white bellies, and round bodies.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: In the PSA Mission "The Veggie Villain", playing with Gary's frequently failing "Thingamajig-2000" (Now called the "Thingamabob-3000" due to the previous one breaking down) shows a tiny field of corn with a sun lamp over it, only to accidentally overheat the corn and turn it into popcorn. Later on, you're stuck at the bottom of a tall ledge with an out-of-reach ladder next to two decorative fire torches. The solution is to throw some corn kernels into the torches to make popcorn that knocks down the ladder.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Spy Phones Herbert acquires in Missions 6 and 10 come back with a vengeance in Mission 11.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The minigame Puffle Launch has checkpoint cannons that (obviously) change your puffle's spawnpoint. Because of how the cannons are spaced out, this is bound to happen, and it's more annoying if you're going for 100% Completion.
  • Clamshells as Mouths: As mentioned below as well, in the game "Aqua Grabber", there is a giant clam with a pearl in its mouth. The clam is drawn with eyes, a tongue, and is even shown snoring with its mouth open Catching Some Z's.
  • Clam Trap: In the game "Aqua Grabber", a giant clam will close down on the player if they take its pearl, causing them to lose air, unless they pull a Weight and Switch with a pearl-shaped rock.
  • Collection Sidequest: Stamps, Pins and Free Items.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: If the player doesn't have a black belt in Card-Jitsu, they will always lose when playing against Sensei.
  • Crossover: The Take Over events, which are basically Product Placement of Disney media. These include Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Frozen, Monsters University, and The Muppets.
  • Cryo-Prison: Herbert traps multiple EPF agents in this during Operation: Blackout.
  • Cuckoo Clock Gag: The ski lodge has a cuckoo clock that goes off every half-hour. The clockwork bird's name is Fred the Clockwork Cuckoo, or otherwise simply Fred.
  • Danger — Thin Ice: The minigame "Thin Ice", where you play as a black Puffle who has to melt all the ice across a pond before moving on to the next level. If you get trapped in the middle of the pond, you have to start over.
  • Darker and Edgier: You'll notice it when you look at Operation: Blackout. Herbert kidnaps Gary (and plans on kidnapping the other EPF agents as well), takes him to his lair, and freezes him alive. Then, he builds a ray that can control the sun, which he uses to focus the sun on his lair alone, darkening and pretty much freezing the rest of the island. He declares himself the island's ruler, and demands the island's inhabitants obey him. Anyone who disobeys him gets the same punishment that Gary got. Also, as the days continued on suing the event, the ice caused by the blocked-out sun built up more and more, until by the last few days, the map was COVERED in ice.
  • Dark Reprise: The EPF Command theme was remixed into the much darker sounding "Gear Up" during Operation: Blackout.
  • The Dragon: Protobot was for Herbert. Until Herbert double-crossed him.
  • Easter Egg: While many have been removed over the years, some are still present, and new ones are added occasionally.
    • Mousing over Aunt Arctic's icon in the "Ask Aunt Arctic" column of any of "Club Penguin Times" issue gives her Cool Shades.
    • In Dance Contest, clicking on Cadence before selecting a difficulty unlocks Expert Mode.
    • Almost every catalog has hidden items that can be obtained by clicking on certain things on the pages. This has somewhat died down over the years, but they still pop up from time to time.
    • Pressing "et" outside the chat bar causes your penguin to fart.
    • At certain times, a penguin can get abducted by aliens. The room of which this occurs in changes every five minutes. Unless you're on an empty server, being the one abducted is entirely random.
    • If you look through the binoculars at The Cove, you'll eventually see a penguin playing Hydro Hopper pass by, and later, Fluffy jumping out of the water.
    • Every 30 minutes, a bird comes out of the Cuckoo Clock in the Ski Lodge.
    • The homepage pre-2012 had a few clickable spots on it.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Card-Jitsu is basically this: Water extinguishes fire, fire melts snow/ice, snow/ice freezes water.
  • Everyone Has Standards: In Catchin' Waves, Survial mode can only be played without a puffle, since if you're currently walking a red puffle, they won't accompany the penguin in this mode. Because of this, the "Puffle Surfin'" stamp can't be earned in this mode.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: This is the main reason Herbert fell out with the Ultimate Protobot: The former only wanted to defeat the EPF, while the latter wanted to destroy them. Herbert later dropped hints to the EPF on where to find the Ultimate Protobot.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: An in-game music group is called The Penguin Band. Its a band comprised of penguins.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Orange puffles eat everything, including boxes and food bowls and cars.
  • Fantastic Fauna Counterpart: The Animal Puffles, such as the Border Collie, Tabby Cat, Unicorn, Rabbit, Raccoon, and Deer puffles, which serve as the penguin's counterpart to the animals these puffles are based on.
  • Fiery Stoic: Black puffles are the most stoic puffles, and are able to catch fire.
  • Fishing Minigame: The Ice Fishing minigame has you catching as many fish as you can with a limited number of worms.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During Gary's takeover of the "Ask Aunt Arctic" column in the Club Penguin Times, Herbert used an obvious alias to ask Gary on how to build a solar-based gadget.
    • Some of the music videos have a hidden shot of Herbert holding an item such as a book with a Sun picture in it or a Puffle handbook, foreshadowing the Operation events.
  • Fragile Speedster: The yellow bots from the minigame "System Defender" are the fastest bots in the game, but not very strong and can be taken down rather easily, especially by yellow cannons. From the same game, red cannons also count, as they shoot fast, but need to shoot a lot to take down strong enemies, like the purple bots.
    • The Snow Ninja from Card Jitsu Snow also counts: they have the fastest movement speed but the lowest health.
  • Friendly Ghost: "Ghosts Just Wanna Dance" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In the music video, The ghosts of Cadence and the Penguin Band greet 3 innocent penguins as friendly and music-loving. The penguins don't mind being turned into ghosts too.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Rockhopper's favorite drink, Cream Soda, seems to be meant as a stand-in for beer. He stores the drink in several barrels around his ship, and drinks it in sparkling mugs.
  • Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: This can be invoked by your own penguin with shirts, pants, dresses, formal wear, swimsuits and even wigs. This trope is fully emphasized in promotional artwork and media especially after 2013, to the point where they look less like penguins and more like miniature teenagers with beaks and big eyes.
  • Funny Animal: The penguins, Herbert P. Bear, Tusk, and Merry Walrus, walking and talking animals who do human things.
  • Furry Confusion: According to Chris Hendricks, one of the main reasons why the game never had a Thanksgiving Party was to avoid this trope note . He noted that eating turkey is a staple of Thanksgiving, but portraying penguins eating another species of avian could potentially raise several questions, in a similar vein to Donald Duck and his nephews eating poultry despite being birds themselves.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Brown puffles. Also, if the name is of any indication, Gary the Gadget Guy, who made most of the field agents' equipment.
  • Game Within a Game: One of the rooms was the Arcade, where you could play the in-universe arcade games Astro Barrier, Thin Ice, and Bits & Bolts. An arcade game was also playable in one of the Spy missions.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Every official media of Club Penguin besides the main gameplay itself (such as the PSA missions, 2D shorts, stop-motion specials, and even the artwork on the Club Penguin Times and main page of the website, for example) portrayed countless things that could not be reproduced in the game, or at least not precisely in the same way. Most notably, several pieces of artwork depict penguins playing mini-games, such as Aqua-Grabber and Ice Fishing, while wearing their pieces of clothing, which was not possible in the actual game.
  • Gasshole: A penguin can fart by pressing "et" outside the chatbox.
  • Genius Ditz: Rookie is the most absent-minded member of the EPF, but can speak fluent crab using nothing but a typewriter.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: In the Normal mode of Smoothie Smash, Herbert is among the mascots who can appear ordering a smoothie for the player.
  • Goofy Buckteeth: All orange puffles have buckteeth and zany personalities.
  • Grand Finale: The Waddle On party was a retrospective of everything that happened in both games, with trivia questions and items. At both games' final day, every player got a membership before the games shut down.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Card Jitsu allows your penguin to be one, complete with card playing, Elemental Powers of fire, water, and snow, Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors, and cool ninja accessories.
  • Harder Than Hard: Club Penguin's stamp system has stamps in four levels: Easy, Medium, Hard, And Extreme, which are green, yellow, blue, and red, respectively. Most of the former three aren't too bad, but Extreme stamps require a lot of patience and many of them can easily feel like That One Achievement for some players.
    • Club Penguin Rewritten adds 3 stamps branded with an even harder difficulty level—Insanity. Good luck earning them, because you will need it!
    • Some Minigames have this as well. Dance Contest has standard Difficulty Levels selectable in the difficulty menu, each of which gives each song a specific arrow pattern. Expert, however, requires that you click on Cadence in the difficulty menu, then confirm your choice. In this mode, arrows are faster and the pattern is randomized each time you play, denying the ability to memorize the pattern!
    • The minigame Bean Counters has two levels of this above Hard in the secret Jellybean mode: Expert and Extreme; as well as having more colors to sort by than on Hard, all objects are tossed out super fast in these modes, especially Extreme! Jellybean Mode has Hard Mode Perks such as invincibility powerups and faster scoring!
  • Herding Mission: The Pet Shop minigame "Puffle Roundup" had the player guide puffles, the choice fluffy pets of penguins, into a pen. Different color puffles have different speeds, and it's possible to accidentally herd them outside the area.
  • High-School Dance: The Penguin Prom in early June of 2014. This was a little controversial due to the fact the target audience are school-age children.
  • "I Am Great!" Song: "Awesome to Be Rare" is about Glitterpants the Yellow Unicorn Puffle boasting about his mythical powers and extreme rarity.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Fire Ninjas from Card Jitsu Snow have balanced stats, unlike the Water and Snow ninjas who excell in one area, but are terrible in other areas.
  • Kaizo Trap: In the time trial mode for the minigame Aqua Grabber, the time can expire (signaled by the clock walking away) while the "Stage Clear" message is displayed. This causes you to have to retry the mode to unlock Compressed Air Mode. The way to avert this, of course, is by moving quickly enough to spare 6-7 seconds minimum by the end note . Subverted, however, in that you don't actually lose a sub from this, but you are still disqualified from the timer.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Letting the crab in the ''Soda Seas'' level of ''Aqua Grabber'' take the entire pile of coins will have it bring out a large gem.
  • Lampshade Hanging: A screen in the EPF headquarters can be tuned in on two penguins having a conversation. Cue a caption on the bottom of the screen...
    This conversation would probably be a lot more interesting in sound... huh?
  • Loophole Abuse: During the Puffle Party 2012, bringing your puffle to the Puffle Show would allow it to take part in an obstacle race. Since the finish line is close to the start, black puffle would simply head straight to the finish line and poke their tongue at the screen.
  • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Cadence" (the DJ penguin's name) is a musical term describing a progression of chords.
    • The symbol used by the Director is the 27th symbol of the "Tic-Tac-Toe" code, which is one letter off the alphabet. Some interpretations would list this as AA, which are Aunt Arctic's initals.
  • Mighty Glacier: The purple bots from the minigame "System Defender" are slow, but do a lot of damage and require either a lot of weak shots or powerful shoots to be taken down. This is why the purple cannons, with their equally slow and powerful laser beams, are the best option when you have to deal with them.
  • Minecart Madness: You can play a third-person version of this, called "Cart Surfer", in the Mine. Gameplay involves riding a cart through a tunnel and doing tricks.
  • Moe Anthropomorphism: Used a lot in fan-art and fan fiction.
  • Mouthy Bird: The penguins have strangely round beaks with the regular mouth on the short lower mandible and the bigger upper mandible functioning like a snout. The first design was more natural, with round beaks moving more like a beak yet with human expressions and the same small jaw. The stop motion animated specials use Cheeky Mouth on the still round beaks.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Rookie is tricked into letting Herbert go free in Mission 10 by lending him his Spy Phone, which has a teleportation function built in.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Some of the comics in the "Fun Stuff" section on the website feature a penguin who combines several mini-games to make it more extreme (like combining Jetpack Joyride, Cart Surfer and Catching Waves to make "X-Treme Jetpack Surf Cartz").
  • Non Fatal Explosion: In the PSA mission "Questions For a Crab", when Klutzy makes the Crab Translator 3000 explode, he's completely unharmed despite being inside a cage attached to the machine, and the protagonist and Gary aren't hurt either, aside from Gary having an Ash Face.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Subverted. Penguins can wear wigs, which makes them appear to have hair.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The Bean Counters minigame is infamous for this. You catch large bags of coffee (up to five, with your penguin clearly struggling under the weight), which will crush you if you take too many, and have fish, flower pots, and anvils, being thrown at you from the same truck. The "Jellybean Counters" variant makes it worse by adding an obnoxious overseer that yells at you when you screw up.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The game started out as "Be a penguin, waddle around the island, meet friends, and decorate your igloo." Then Herbert P. Bear came in as the Big Bad and attempted to add in some plot.
  • No Such Thing as Dehydration: Your puffles have to eat to stay healthy, play to stay happy, sleep, and need to be kept clean, but they don't need to drink.
  • Old Master: Sensei, who taught players the art of Card-Jitsu.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder:
    • Compressed Air Mode in the Aqua Grabber minigame; if you hit any obstacles (terrain, fish, etc.), your sub will be destroyed, costing you a life.
    • Cart Surfer's Hardcore Mode (exclusive to Club Penugin Rewritten) gives you one cart in exchange for unlimited time to perform tricks.
    • Ice Fishing's Time Trial mode (also Rewritten-exclusive) gives you 1 worm alongside a short time limit and maximum difficulty (all hazards are already present).
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are two characters named Herbert: Herbert P. Bear, the main antagonist, and Aunt Arctic's black puffle.
  • One-Word Vocabulary: Subverted. Webnark, the lost sea monster from the final act of Shadow Guy and Gamma Gal: Heroes Unite, seems to only be capable of saying "Glabook," but as it turns out when Shadow Guy gets his attention, he is perfectly capable of speaking Penguin; Glabook is his friend.
  • Old-Fashioned Fruit Stomping: The "Smoothie Smash" minigame features a penguin making smoothies by jumping on a bunch of fruit laid out on a table - not just grapes but also other fruit like bananas, strawberries, and mangos, while avoiding stepping on anvils and bombs.
  • Oxygenated Underwater Bubbles: During the Aqua Grabber minigame, the player pilots a machine underwater in order to collect, depending on the level, pearls or soda cans. The player has to inhale air bubbles every now and then to avoid a drowning-caused game over.
  • Penguins Are Ducks: The penguins all have orange or orangish-yellow beaks and feet which are soft and rounded. While the feet aren't quite like those of any bird in real life, the beaks and feet are still closer to those of a duck than a penguin.
  • Penny-Pinching Crab: One appears in the "Aqua Grabber" minigame's "Soda Seas" level, who leaves its hideout and frequently takes some coins back home. You can choose to take all of it or just sit by and watch them take it all home, netting you a stamp in the process. Doing the latter will have the crab give you the hidden emerald treasure as thanks.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Plenty of items and parties never returned.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Black puffles are rarely seen smiling note . Jet Pack Guy is similarly grumpy.
  • Perplexing Pearl Production: In "Aqua Grabber", there is a giant clam with a pearl. The player can steal the pearl by performing a Weight and Switch with a rock.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Shadow Guy and Gamma Galnote  in the play, "Squidzoid vs. Shadow Guy and Gamma Gal", and their own graphic novel, Shadow Guy and Gamma Gal: Heroes Unite!
  • Playing with Fire: Black puffles will catch fire when given O-berries.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins:
    • Downplayed. There's one polar bear, Herbert P. Bear, on an island populated with penguins, and he came from the North.
    • Early in the development, the developers planned to have the moderators use polar bear avatars, but this idea was scrapped so they won't attract too much attention.
  • Polar Penguins: This game takes place on an island that's mostly covered in snow year-round, though it does have a tropical beach.
  • The Professor: Gary the Gadget Guy is Club Penguin's inventor. Many of his inventions can be found on the island, often to help celebrate parties, although they sometimes end up going wrong.
  • Prone to Tears: There is a brown penguin who appears in several PSA missions who cries every time a thing is broken (his telescope, the ski lift, his snowman, his glasses).
  • Propeller Hat of Whimsy:
    • Rookie, the most immature, goofy, and cheerful of the secret agents, is always seen with a propeller cap.
    • Green puffles are zany and like to goof around. One of their favourite toys is the propeller cap, which they can actually use to fly.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Herbert and Klutzy. Though considering Club Penguin a children's game to begin with, this is expected.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: The final PSA mission, "The Veggie Villain". Despite everyone’s best efforts, Herbert detonates a bomb filled with popcorn in the PSA’s headquarters, destroying it and ending the PSA as a threat to his plans. However, all is not lost, as Dot and the EPF reveal themselves and vow to continue where the PSA failed, with the PSA members joining the EPF as well.
  • Resort to Pouting: In the Paint By Letters novel "Lime Green Dojo Clean", when the janitor decides what to do when all of their options of stopping the Dojo from being vandalized fail, the player has the option to either shout or pout, which results in one of two endings. When choosing to pout, a penguin inside the vat of lime green paint pops out, and she suggests using an inflatable rubber octopus to clean up the paint after the party's over.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Puffles are small balls of fur with faces. Many characters in-universe find them cute.
  • Samus Is a Girl: At the end of Operation: Blackout, it's revealed that Aunt Arctic is the director of the Elite Penguin Force, which was quite a shock to some players who believed that the Director was a male at first.
  • Sailor Earth: You wouldn't believe how many fanfictions there are about penguins who join the PSA/EPF. Most of which end up going through the exact same story.
  • Secret Identity: The Director of the EPF is better known by their secret identity, Aunt Arctic.
  • Secret Room: The Iceberg, Dojo and Mine Shack all started out as this; they weren't acessible by any other rooms at the island, and were discreetly hidden at the map; the mouse pointer would change to a hand, but the rooms' names wouldn't show up unlike the rest of the rooms' did. Eventually averted with the latter two, with the Iceberg being the only room which remained fitting this criteria (although it was more of an Open Secret at most).
  • Semiaquatic Species Sailor: Captain Rockhopper is a Friendly Pirate and a penguin.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The PSA's hidden entrance in the Sports Shop prior to the EPF rollover was hidden behind several doors of different types.
    • The Box Dimension's theme was mostly inspired by Mystic Cave Zone, due to the composor of the former struggling to think of a theme, then began to think of places where he saw floating boxes, which led him to the ones in Mystic Cave Zone.
    • During the Star Wars event, a whiteboard with a topic written in red marker is "Anger Management".
  • Shown Their Work: The Pteranodon from the Prehistoric Parties is quadrupedal on the ground like real pterosaurs. The 2014 party featured a Deinonychus-like raptor with feathers.
  • Shrinking Violet: Gary switches back and forth on this. On one hand, he's perfectly fine with just about everyone in missions and okay with getting interviewed. But if a decently sized crowd of people gather around him outside of missions, he'll run into another room or hide behind things.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Club Penguin itself. When the Ice Rink is up, this trope is played relatively straight, as you slide from point A to point B.
  • Snowlems: The basic Mooks you'll face in Card-Jitsu Snow are snow monsters.
  • Suddenly Voiced:
    • The first instance of characters being voiced was in the 2011 animated short, "Never Wake a Sleeping Sensei," around 6 years after the game launched. Prior to that, the characters only spoke through speech bubbles and text.
    • Among the shorts were music videos sung by DJ Cadence and the Penguin Band. Some of the songs ended up making it into the game as well!
    • Furthermore, the first time a character was voiced specifically for the game itself (as opposed to the shorts), was during Operation Blackout in 2012. The event concluded with a cutscene where the voice of the EPF's Director was heard for the first time, and revealed to be Aunt Arctic
    • For several years, Puffles were portrayed as only being able to emit a squeaking sound, as heard on "Puffle Roundup". However, after the redesign, they started instead being portrayed as speaking through saying noises.
  • Stock Food Depictions: Puffle food includes solid red apples, orange carrots with green tuft, yellow cheese with holes, a slice of cake with pink frosting, and chocolate chip cookies.
  • Surfer Dude: Red puffles seem to embody this. Their favorite minigame are Catching Waves, and their bathing animation involves surfing a wave inside the tub.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: The cardboard dragon in the Puffle Launch minigame launches explosive boxes that you use to attack Klepto.
  • Terrible Trio: The Test Bots are three robots invented by Gary that became evil and often appear as antagonists.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: This was one of the games in the Fall Fair (later known as The Fair) events in the original game, and it was more a matter of timing than actual strength.
  • Themed Party: It had a lot of parties with unique themes at least once per month. All the places on the island were decorated, players could purchase special items and play minigames related to the event. Some of the more recurring parties were the Puffle Parties, Medieval Parties, Music Jam Parties and Holiday Parties with a theme. In its final years, it featured a lot crossover-themed parties (mainly with Disney), such as Marvel, Teen Beach Movie or Descendants.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Rockhopper's cream soda. One of the main reasons he comes back to the island is to buy barrels of it for his ship.
    • Since August 2013, each puffle had an assigned favorite food to them, all listed on the Puffle Handbook.
  • Vibrant Orange: Orange puffles are characterized as zany and curious.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: The Wii game Club Penguin: Game Day!, the mobile app for Club Penguin (originally called My Penguin), the Sled Racer and Puffle Wild mobile games, and Club Penguin Island are spin-offs of Club Penguin that are in 3D.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Don't take care of your puffles for a long time? They'll run away from you.
  • Villain Decay: Herbert was once portrayed as an actually dangerous and menacing villain. In "Operation: Blackout" from 2012, he goes to the extent to kidnapping the EPF agents, blocking out the sun and almost ruling the island for good, with the player having to do some considerable effort throughout several weeks to be able to defeat him and save the island. Fast forward to "Operation Tri: umph" in 2016, where the mission to defeat him is just completing a relatively simple maze... and then pulling out a plug.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: During Operation: Blackout, Herbert took over the island, and the newspaper. In the newspaper, he revealed the identities of two EPF agents.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Players can exchange coins to dress their penguins up in various outfits.
  • Warm-Hearted Walrus: In We Wish You A Merry Walrus, the Merry Walrus is kind and generous, and is essentially the Funny Animal version of Santa Claus.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of Operation: Blackout, The Director congratulates you... then a shot of their feet emerging from the darkness eventually reveals them as Aunt Arctic.
  • Wily Walrus: Tusk is a massive walrus with ice powers who created an army of snowmen to destroy Sensei and the other penguins. He used to be childhood friends with Sensei; but after being trapped within an avalanche as a result of him using most of his power during a sparring match, Tusk became the power-hungry pinniped he is today.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: A recurring joke in the comics was a penguin who would create "X-Treme" versions of games by adding jetpacks.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Club Penguin traditionally held a Christmas Party (later renamed to Holiday Party in 2009 note ) every year since its founding in 2005. However, in 2014 they instead held the Merry Walrus Party, themed around the titular Santa Claus-like figure who delivers presents around the world to everyone, regardless whether they have been naughty or nice. The Holiday Party returned the next year and continued until Club Penguin closed in 2017. Merry Walrus himself did return after December 25, 2015 during the 2015 Holiday Party to give out a free Deluxe Gingerbread House to all players.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Club Penguin Island


Club Penguin Island

Saberspark brings up just how Club Penguin Island, the replacement game to Club Penguin, manages to be more restrictive to free players than Club Penguin.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AllegedlyFreeGame

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