Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Club Penguin

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clubpenguin_9663.png
Waddle around and meet new friends!
This little browser game, launched in 2005 and acquired by Disney in 2007, 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 in the little world. 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.
Advertisement:

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 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 3 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 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.

Advertisement:

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 nearly all those private servers after child predator allegations were made towards an English admin who worked on the popular private server Club Penguin Online.


Advertisement:

This game provided examples of:

  • Achievement System: Stamps. 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.
  • 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: 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 he 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 can do, including (but not limited to):
    • Buy clothes.
    • Go to member-only rooms. (Not that there are many of them by default, though.)
    • Decorate and upgrade your igloo.
    • Continue to the next level on games such as Jetpack Adventure.
    • Own puffles colored differently from 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 to Eleven. 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.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Penguins and puffles can be purple, yellow, red... You name it!
  • An Ice Person: The Puffle Handbook describes White Puffles having the ability to "freeze liquids at will".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet 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.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: The server names. Rainbow, Hot Chocolate, Beanbag... Hypothermia?
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Spy Phone Herbet uses in Mission 10 comes 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.
  • 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.
  • Crossover: The Take Over events, which are basically Product Placement of Disney media. These include Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Frozen (2013), Monsters University, and The Muppets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Prehistoric Parties exist for this reason, for they have you going back to the Mesozoic and turning into dinosaurs (and a Pteranodon).
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Take a wild guess what everyone plays as.
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": The Puffle Handler, who is otherwise called "PH".
  • 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.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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: A major part of Club Penguin is the mini-games you can play to earn coins.
  • 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.
  • 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 28th 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 take a lot of damage and require either a lot of weak shots or powerful shoots to be taken down, which is why the purple cannons (which also count for this trope) 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-Mammalian Hair: Subverted. Penguins can wear wigs, which makes them appear to have hair.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Up to Eleven. 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 Girlnote  in the play, "Squidzoid vs. Shadow Guy and Gamma Girl", and their own graphic novel, Shadow Guy and Gamma Girl: 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.
  • 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).
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Herbert and Klutzy. Though considering Club Penguin a children's game to begin with, this is expected.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Teams on Club Penguin are almost always divided into reds and blues.
  • The Reveal: At the end of Operation: Blackout, it's revealed that Aunt Arctic is the director of the Elite Penguin Force.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Puffles are small balls of fur with faces. Many characters in-universe find them cute.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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".
  • 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.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: The genera you can transform into in Prehistoric Party 2013 are Tyrannosaurus rex, Triceratops, and Pteranodon. The 2014 one adds in Stegosaurus and a generic raptor (with feathers).
  • 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.
    • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 sequels to 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.
  • 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.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: A recurring joke in the comics was a penguin who would create "X-Treme" versions of games by adding jetpacks.

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Club Penguin Island

Top

#WaddleUp Episode 10

The "Spirit of Song" appears when two penguins express their desire to have an actual singing voice over speech bubbles and grants their wish.



Later, one of the penguins watching their concert at the end suggests that the Spirit of Song give himself a voice since he also talks in speech bubbles. Unfortunately, the Spirit's voice isn't as good as the penguins he gave a voice to.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuddenlyVoiced

Media sources:

Main / SuddenlyVoiced

Report