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The Henry Stickmin series is a series of Web Games created by Puffballs United, featuring the titular protagonist Henry Stickmin.

The series currently consists of five games. In each game, the player has to help Henry succeed in an assignment. To do so, they can choose between multiple tools for Henry to use or actions to perform.

The games are:

  • Breaking the Bank: Henry tries to break into a bank to rob its vault.
  • Escaping the Prison: After having been caught while robbing the bank, Henry attempts to escape from jail.
  • Stealing the Diamond: Henry tries to steal a large diamond from a museum.
  • Infiltrating the Airship: Henry is recruited to infiltrate the airship of a mighty criminal organization.
  • Fleeing the Complex: Henry is taken to a prison complex and tries to escape.
  • Completing The Mission: The Grand Finale of the series. Coming for August 7th 2020.

The games can be found here.

A new sixth game is confirmed to be in development, and it will be the final game in the Henry Stickmin series called Completing the Mission that appears to take place in some sort of space center in the jungle. Additionally, remastered versions are in the works for each current title in the series, which will touch up the visuals, joining Completing the Mission to round off the Henry Stickmin Collection.

In the trope list below, please abbreviate each of the above titles as the last word of its name; Escaping the Prison, for example, should be Prison.


The Henry Stickmin series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The file Henry uses to wear down the bars of his cell in Prison. It takes four movements to cut through a bar.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Implied retroactively in Prison, for the events of Bank — Henry’s lawyer argues that Henry couldn’t possibly have tied the money bag shut from inside said bag, making him innocent. In reality, Henry tied off the bag without much difficulty.
  • Art Shift: A minor example, but in Bank the stick figures are drawn even more simplistic than in later games, without visible feet or fingers.
    • Which will be averted for the remake, as it will be done from the ground up to bring it in line with the other games.
  • A-Team Firing: The guards in Prison suffer from this, but Henry himself suffers from this as well in Diamond. One scenario has him steal a night guard's rifle and try to shoot him down with it from point-blank range, but he still manages to miss. Also, he needs to be electrocuted to avoid missing or teamkilling.
  • Action Girl: Ellie in Complex. She has no trouble whatsoever keeping up with Henry.
  • Agony of the Feet: One option in Diamond is to throw a bomb from a museum case at the guards. Instead, it just hurts one guard's foot and the other shoots Henry.
    Fail Screen: Why would they keep a live bomb in a museum?
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In Airship, Henry can go into an air vent inside the Airship.
  • The Alcatraz: The Wall in Complex. They have tons of security even without the guards equipped with laser spears and freaking Freddy Fazbear protecting the place.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Prison, should you go the Legal route, has you take control of Phoenix Wright as he defends Henry in court. Diamond and Airship, during the last turn of the Epic and Thief routes respectively, have you choose an action in place of a Center for Chaos Containment employee.
    • Airship and Complex have a few moments where you choose actions for Charles as he assists Henry.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Complex features a path flowchart where you can go back to certain choices rather than playing through to them again, and each choice spot has an x/y count saying how many fails you unlocked there. This makes getting every fail ending significantly easier.
      • Additionally, a new timer is displayed for time-based events so you know how long you have left.
    • The Henry Stickmin Collection reintroduces the map system from Complex, which is now usable in all previous entries. It also has a timer marker on some events showing that it's a timed event.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Some of the choice outcomes flagrantly violate real-life physics for the sake of the Rule of Funny. Lampshaded on a few fail screens; For example, the magnet fail in Complex (on the "Wait For Transfer-Toppat Clan" route), where Henry manages to pull the Toppat Clan airship with a magnet:
    Fail Screen: You see, because the entropy of, uh... Alright, I can't BS my way outta this one.
  • Attack Backfire: Multiple examples. In Prison, firing a rocket launcher will result in the rocket getting reflected back at you. In Airship, firing a laser cannon at the Right Hand Man will result in Henry getting blown off the ship due to the backdraft.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In Diamond, Henry can use a Mega Mushroom to grow to a massive size.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the weapons and tools in the games are pretty awesome, but they have a tendency to backfire horribly.
  • Battle Couple: Henry and Ellie certainly come off as this during the route to the Convict Allies ending in Complex.
  • Big Bad: The Toppat Clan's leader (the one with two hats and a gold chain) in Airship and The Wall's warden in Complex.
  • Big First Choice: In every game after Bank, the ending Henry gets is typically determined by the very first choice made. There are a few exceptions, however.
    • In Diamond, the choice after the Sneak In option determines whether Henry gets the Sneaky or Epic ending.
    • In Airship, there's a Last-Second Ending Choice where two different endings are possible from one group of options.
    • In Complex, the Boost Up and Wait for Transfer options each lead to an additional branching option.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Almost no deaths in the series feature gore or blood, and explosions are always off-screen.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • A sniper from a helicopter can do this to Henry on Diamond's Aggressive route if he doesn't react quickly enough.
    • And later in the same game, a police officer can do this to Henry if Henry tries to bribe him, or again if Henry doesn't react quickly enough.
    • In Complex, Charles has the option to snipe a Mook blocking Henry's path. He hits Henry instead.
    • Complex also lets Henry do this to Ellie if you give Henry the Sniper Rifle and Ellie the Crossbow.
  • Boom in the Hand: In Diamond, Henry can attempt to use a sticky grenade for one segment. However, he ends up being unable to throw it due to being stuck to his hand, resulting in it blowing him up.
  • Boom Stick: Some guards in Complex have these. It turns out they can fire blasts of energy capable of vaporizing a person. In-universe they're called Spears of Shocks according to the pickpocket option.
  • Blatant Item Placement: No matter where he is, Henry always finds multiple objects he can use. Even objects you would not expect to find in that location. Who would expect to find a crowbar in a museum, for instance?
  • Boring, but Practical: More often than not, it's the simpler and more mundane tools that get the job done rather than the awesome gadgets. For example: in Prison, the file actually gets Henry out of jail while the rocket launcher and teleporter do not.
    • The Legal route of Prison is this incarnate: Henry simply calls his lawyer, who gets him acquitted of the charges.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: in Diamond, several scenarios involve Henry or the guards using museum pieces to fight one another. For example, Henry can use a model airplane, shield and Super Mushroom, while the guards use a cannon against the giant Henry. Sometimes this doesn't work, because the weapons are in a museum and are therefore disarmed.
  • Bribe Backfire: Trying to bribe a police officer with the titular diamond in Diamond gets you shot for federal offense.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Charles on the Earpiece route in Airship and IRO route in Complex is far more likely to accidentally kill Henry than help him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Henry. Quite a few of the options will result in a humiliating injury happening to him.
  • Caffeine Bullet Time: Happens upon ingesting the NrG drink in Prison.
  • Call-Back: Many of the games make references to previous ones. Airship even opens with a Call-Back to each of the three games that came before it.
  • Ceiling Cling: Used successfully by Henry in Airship (with the help of glue on his hands) in order to make it past a meeting room filled with Toppat members.
  • Chainsaw Good: During the Cannonball Route in Airship, in Final Fantasy-style battle with the Right Hand Man, Henry pulls out a chainsaw and a hockey mask if you chooses the "tool" option.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Using a tool gun in Complex to levitate out of the complex causes the game to 'kick you out' for cheating. The fail screen that follows contains these exact words.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Subverted during the Ghost Inmate route in Complex. The game claims "Ellie will remember that" when you abandon her after she helps you out. She never appears again during that route.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: Multiple times during the game the player is offered several choices, mostly about what kind of action Henry should take or what object he should use. Mission uses a interesting variation of this trope as it allows you to pick two endings from both Airship and Complex to combine with before you launch the mission. Even The Betrayed is a option.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Fail screens do this numerous times.
  • Compilation Re-release: The Henry Stickmin Collection, which will include remastered versions of all 5 previous games in addition to the new 6th and final game.
  • Continuity Nod: Throughout the games, events from a previous game are frequently mentioned.
    • For example; in the "Legal Ending" of Prison, Henry's lawyer presents a Doctor's Analysis in which it says that Henry survived a lot of cuts and hits the day they found him, referring to the many fail-scenarios from Bank.
    • Two of the prison guards from Prison return as museum guards in Diamond (they got fired because Henry escaped). So does the truck driver from Bank (after that incident, he decided driving a money truck was too dangerous).
    • In the start menu of Airship, you can take a look in Henry's garage and see both the police car he stole in the "Badass Ending" of Prison, and the scooter he used in the "Aggressive ending" of Diamond, while later the military shows Henry footage of his previous adventures to prove they know about his past.
    • In Complex, Henry can call either Charles the Helicopter pilot or the Toppat Clan (both from Airship) for help to get out of prison. Also in Complex, one of the Fail scenarios takes Henry back to the prison in Prison; this one is given a lampshade:
      "This place seems familiar."
  • Cool Airship: The Toppat Clan's airship in... erm, Airship.
  • Cool Bike: Henry's scooter from Diamond (see inserted image).
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Henry may be clumsy and sometimes even dumb, but this is also the same thief who managed to escape from a prison just with some gadgets in his arsenal, steal the Tunisian Diamond unscathed, have a group of soldiers kidnap him to successfully infiltrate an airship of a gang leader because of his skills, and finally manage to escape The Wall, a maximum security prison that holds the worst criminals and has never lost a single inmate until Henry showed up.
  • Curse Cut Short: In Prison, when Henry uses a belt of grenades and throws a grenade at the guards, only for it to bounce into the room he's in as he closes the door. The grenade blows up on him moments after he realizes his mistake.
    Henry Stickmin: What the f— *explosion*
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Henry either has the superpowers, or the gadgets, of dozens of fictional characters. With Zero Point Energy alone, he could probably make a fortune in legitimate money.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Zig-zagged.
    • Prison establishes that Henry used the bag to get into the bank in Bank, as that's the only ending where he ends up getting arrested.
    • Even though every game since Prison has multiple endings, the games that follow afterwards hardly make any attempts to firmly establish one of the endings of their predecessors as canon and discard the others. A good example of this can be found in Complex (see Schrödinger's Gun below).
    • And if this concept art for Mission is any indication, this game will allow the player to determine which endings from Airship and Complex the game should treat as canon.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: One ending in Airship has the leader of the Toppat Clan admitting defeat and telling Henry that he's now the new leader. Depending on the choices he'll either just turn them in to the authorities anyway or fly off and start a new life as a supervillain.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Did you only complete certain routes in Bank, Prison, or Diamond? Captain G's notes in the intro to Airship will only have scenes from the routes you've completed for a given game.
    • Diamond has a unique fail screen if, instead of picking any of the options after sneaking in through the wall, you just sit there and listen to the guards' conversation.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • In Bank, one of Henry's attempts at breaking the wall has him using a Lazer Drill that would have succeeded if he realized that the wall would fall onto his position.
    • A fail in Diamond involves Henry ditching his motorcycle to escape the cops, only to realize that he left the diamond behind on the motorcycle.
    • A fail in Complex involves Henry and Ellie getting on a truck full of prisoners to escape... but there's no one driving the truck, and it's implied that the back door is now locked.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Henry does this in Prison.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In Prison, several guards can be seen eating donuts. Clicking on all the donuts in the game gets you a medal.
  • Downer Ending: The Lightning Quick Larcenist ending in Airship arguably qualifies, although the game acknowledges it as a fail. More traditionally, Complex has the Betrayed ending, where the former Toppat Clan leader betrays Henry and lets him fall to his death. However Mission calls into question whether Henry actually died from that fall.
  • The Dragon: Airship has the Right Hand Man (the Toppat member with the red mustache). He fights Henry twice in the Cannonball scenario, at the cockpit and a catwalk. He borders on Dragon-in-Chief since the Big Bad spends most of his time in that scenario fleeing from Henry and when Henry catches up to him after defeating the right hand man, the Big Bad surrenders the airship to him.
    • Gregory from Complex acts as the Warden's right hand man, though he doesn't really do much besides shuffling Henry from one cell to another and holding Ellie hostage in one pathway.
  • Dread Zeppelin: The Toppat Clan's airship classifies.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The series started with this very simple prequel.
    • Bank can also be considered this. Compared to the other games it's relatively simple and straight-forward; the player can only make a choice in the very beginning, and every choice results in failure. The stick figures are drawn even more simplistic than in later games, without visible feet or fingers (though this will be corrected in the remastered version).
  • Enraged by Idiocy: It's implied that Henry gets shot in the LQL ending in Airship for bringing back a teddy bear in a safe.
  • Epic Fail: Some of Henry's choices end in absolutely humiliating things happening. For example, trying to snap the final guard's neck in Diamond's Undetected ending path results in Henry falling down the small flight of stairs that's right beside him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Toppat Clan may be evil, but at least they let their members go to visit their families.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Guards, your own tools, worms...
  • Evil vs. Evil: Henry versus the Toppat Clan in Airship. Subverted if he joins them in one of the endings.
  • Explosive Stupidity: In "Prison", during the Sneaky route, Henry can at one point use a belt of grenades to dispose of some guards, but the one grenade he throws bounces right back into the storage room he's hiding in. He realizes his mistake mere seconds before the grenade goes off.
  • Eye Scream: A couple of FAILs involve this.
    • In Prison, there's an option to pull a rocket launcher out of the cake. The rocket misses the bars, goes through a duct and back at Henry, drilling into his eye before exploding.
    • In the hallway standoff, Henry can choose to throw a grenade while Ellie shoots it with a crossbow, sticking in a guard's eye. The result? The guard runs at Henry in order to kill him.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In Airship, a chaos containment officer has the option to activate a dark energy blaster that disintegrates everyone in the vicinity. He takes one last look at a picture of his family before he closes his eyes as the screen fades to white.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In Bank, every choice the player makes will eventually lead to failure. The other games avert the trope however; there are still plenty of ways you can fail, but they also have multiple ways of succeeding.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • One of the options in Complex. It gets you pushed out the trash disposal.
    • Also appears in the PD (Presumed Dead) ending in Complex.
  • Fartillery: In Airship, while chasing the Big Bad down a hallway, Henry can eat a can of beans and use the resulting farts to gain the extra speed needed to make it past the closing Slow Doors.
  • Fission Mailed: Subverted in Prison. Using the jetpack on the roof causes it to sputter out and the Fail screen comes up, then it starts to work and propels Henry upward... but it's so uncontrollable that Henry crashes back into the prison, bringing up the real Fail screen.
  • Flat "What": Sometimes the actions Henry chooses will baffle the Have a Nice Death screen. A good example would be the "Distract" option in Complex; Henry starts dancing, followed shortly after by the guards and Ellie joining in.
    Fail Screen: I... Wh... I just... Whaat.
    • And in the same game, the guard will be utterly confused if Henry uses "Flash" to escape the Cafeteria, resulting in this.
  • Flash Step: An option in Complex.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Over the course of the games, Henry goes from a guy who got caught robbing a bank to a thief whose exploits include breaking out of jail, stealing a giant rare diamond, taking down or taking over a massive criminal organization, and escaping one of the most well-guarded prisons in the world.
  • Gang of Hats: A literal example with the Toppat Gang of Airship.
  • Gatling Good: One of the options when trying to get past the vault doors in Airship is for Charles to use the helicopter's, well, gatling gun. The result is Henry and a Mook lying dead on the floor - and the door is intact.
    • Also from Airship, The Right Hand Man uses a Gatling gun when you fight him.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Should you get the Betrayed ending in Complex, the camera cuts off right before Henry hits the water.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Diamond, growing to huge proportions using a Mega Mushroom also renders Henry bulletproof. Downplayed since a cannonball does manage to take him down.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The Center for Chaos Containment, which appears in Diamond (when you go for the Epic Ending) and Airship (when you start by entering the ship with the grappling hook).
  • Groin Attack: Attempting to use the magic pencil in Airship will result in Henry creating a "Nutshot Crawler" that proceeds to make good on its name by hitting him in the nuts and then crawling away.
    • Played with in Prison, the shooting range after using the teleporter shows that there is a lot of points if aiming for the groin in comparison to other parts (excluding the head).
    • In Complex, picking the sandwich option causes Henry to turn into a hulking beast and then he knocks out two guards. He turns back to normal while trying to knock out a third guard who then pulls this on Henry.
  • Hammerspace: Most likely the place where Henry pulls all of his tools from whenever no in-universe explanation is offered (like in Prison, where the objects can clearly be seen lying around).
  • Have a Nice Death/It's a Wonderful Failure: Every game is full of these kind of scenarios.
  • Hero Antagonist: The warden in Complex.
    • Though the "hero" part is questionable considering that the route to the International Rescue Operative ending shows that the Wall's guards are willing to even fire upon Government agents to prevent inmates from escaping.
    • This trope also applies to pretty much all the police officers, security guards and museum guards that oppose Henry during the games, since all of them are just people doing their job, namely preventing Henry from committing crimes.
  • Heroic Mime: Henry rarely speaks, aside from screams of pain or fright as something horrible happens to him. This is especially evident in Complex when he's with Ellie, who's much more talkative.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: The NrG drink from Prison eventually has this as a side effect, leading to a fail just when it seems Henry successfully escaped.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Henry, too many times to count.
  • Hurricane of Puns: One of the fails in Airship gives you four of them:
    "WATT are you doing?"
    "Why, I'd say that's quite SHOCKING!"
    "I'd rather not be in your CURRENT situation."
    "I bet you can't wait to go OHM."
    • And if you mouse over them...
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: In "Airship", when Henry uses 'warp' while chasing the Clan Leader down a hallway, the experience of traveling through warp space shatters Henry's mind. Upon emerging from it, he falls to the ground frozen.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Verbing the Noun.
  • Inconvenient Darkroom Illumination: In Airship, when Henry asks Charles to help him get past an electric trap by remotely rerouting the power, Charles reroutes the power to a darkroom, where a Toppat member is developping photo's. The sudden increase in power causes the one lightbulb to go Up to Eleven, ruining the photos. The man can be heard screaming in agony and frustration.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Henry can do this in Diamond; however, choosing this option results in him getting eaten by a worm.
  • Informed Ability: Parodied in Undercover Agent (Wait For Transfer-Cafeteria [Toppat Clan]) fail in Complex. The fail screen claims that the undercover agent of the Toppat Clan has been working for three years, even though it's incredibly obvious in the previous scene that the agent clearly has no clue how to even act like one, considering that he publicly declares himself as an agent in front of many police officers.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Diamond, sending a mecha after the enlarged Henry is one of the four things the Center for Chaos Containment can do. It's this choice that allows the player to reach the "epic ending" of the game.
  • Intangibility: Prison features a device that makes Henry intangible. Unfortunately, it malfunctions — and by "malfunctions", we mean "works exactly as advertised" — and causes Henry to fall to the center of the earth.
  • Interface Spoiler: An attentive eye will be able to make out a quick-time event choice by how the scenario reacts when the options appear. Normal events have everything go slightly darker and pause; QTE's have the colour remain and animations continue.
  • Jail Bake: At the start of Prison, Henry receives a cake that contains no less than six items, including a huge drill and a rocket launcher. Even better that one of the guards was supposed to check the cake, but forgot and when he realizes that he didn't he lies to his fellow guard that he did. (Diamond reveals that said guard got fired over the incident.)
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Discussed in "Diamond", where the fail screen suggests to do this after Henry's failed attempt to use one of the guns in the museum on the guards.
    Fail Screen: Quick! Pretend you were joking!
  • Kaizo Trap: In one of the possible endings of Airship, Henry manages to sneak on-board, retrieve a large safe, and bring it back to the helicopter. He earns the title of "Lightning Quick Larcenist"... only for the safe to be opened to reveal nothing but a teddy bear. Cue Fail screen.
    • In Complex (the Boost Up — Solo route) Henry can ride the S.S. Annie to escape. It seems you've won, the victory music starts to play... then suddenly a shipmate comes by and stabs you from behind. Cue Fail screen.
  • Kill Sat: The Center for Chaos Containment in Diamond has one of these at its disposal.
  • Klatchian Coffee: The NrG drink in Prison. Grants Henry Caffeine Bullet Time, allowing him to just waltz through the place. Too bad it also gives him a heart attack as he exits through the front door...
  • Klingon Promotion: The Rapidly Promoted Executive ending in Airship features Henry becoming the new leader of the Toppat Clan, after he has disposed of the Right Hand Man and taken the Clan Leader hostage.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The Fail screens do this a lot.
    • The loading screen in Airship says that Henry «may be considered extremely lucky».
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Inverted - which ending you get usually depends on what route you pick at the very first choice.
    • Played straight in the "Cannon Ball" route of Airship, where Henry is offered the choice between bringing the captured Toppat leader to the government agents as he was originally tasked to; or, accept his offer to become the leader of the Clan and turn on said government agents.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Involving an actual lawyer, no less. The "Legal" ending of Prison is a clear parody of the Ace Attorney series, and in the original version Henry is represented by Phoenix Wright himself. Presumably due to copyright reasons, the remaster changes the name of Henry's lawyer to Felix White.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band:
    • Near the end of the "Aggressive" route in Diamond, you're given a choice to jump with the diamond. What follows is slow-motion and dramatic music...only for Henry to fall down and the music falls flat.
    • Getting the "Lightning Quick Larcenist" ending in Airship has a triumphant, upbeat song... which slows to a halt once the contents of the safe are revealed: one teddy bear.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Complex, near the end of the Presumed Dead ending, the truck Henry is in comes to a stop at the edge of a ravine, just barely balancing on the edge. The Warden threatens to push it over if Henry does not surrender. Letting him do so is actually the correct choice.
  • The Load: Asking Charles the helicopter pilot directly for help usually has him crashing his helicopter at your enemy (and you).
  • Magic Misfire: In Airship, one of the options for opening a door is for Henry to use wizard magic. However, the spell fails and causes Henry to freeze instead.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Too many to count.
  • Matchlight Danger Revelation: According to this teaser for the upcoming remastered version of Bank, the shovel fail will become Henry digging into something hard. He then pulls out a lighter and reveals that he dug into a gas main. Cue explosion.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Complex apparently takes place in Russia, due to the cold temperatures, furry hats, and accents.
  • Motorcycle Jousting: In Diamond, during the Agressive scenario, Henry can try this when rushing through the museum on his scooter. It fails because Henry loses his balance, so the lance strikes the ground and Henry is catapulted off his scooter. The fail screen even comments on this.
    Jousting. It's harder than it looks.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: At the beginning of Airship, Henry is shown a file of his past crimes. The file is randomized, and it can show the events of different routes for his evasion from prisom (in Prison) and his museum heist (in Diamond).
  • Multiple Endings: Naturally, considering that it's a choose-your-own-adventure style game series. There are three in Prison, three in Diamond, four in Airship note , and five in Complex.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Toppat Clan from Airship.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Deconstructed, as the various deaths demonstrate. Just because Henry can use new powers, items, and abilities at a whim doesn't mean they're appropriate for certain occasions.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted in Airship. During the battle between the Toppat gang, the military, and the Center for Chaos Containment, one of the CCC employees takes off his power armor so he can pee. Henry uses this opportunity to steal the armor and escape from the scene.
  • No Fair Cheating: Played for laughs in Complex. If you pick the Tool Gun in the Charge Tackle route, Henry activates server cheats, followed by noclip, and flies through the roof. And then...
    Message Box: Connection Terminated. You have been kicked from Fleeing the Complex for cheating.
    Fail Screen: Cheaters never prosper.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Henry pulls one in the "Presumed Dead" ending in Complex by climbing out of his truck and clinging to the cliff face before the warden pushes the truck off the cliff.
  • Nuke 'em: In Diamond, this is one of the ways the Center for Chaos Containment can try to deal with the enlarged Henry.
  • Obligatory Earpiece Touch: In Airship, this trope naturally shows up when you select the "earpiece" at the start of the game.
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: One of the options in Prison is calling your lawyer.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The "disguise" that Henry can use in Airship consists solely of a hat, yet the criminals fall for it anyway. Similarly, wearing guards' hats is enough to fool guard and convict alike in Complexnote . Justified by the fact that all the characters in the game are stick figures.
  • Paper Tiger: The Toppat Clan's airship looks intimidating, but it can be brought down with simple things like a magnet.
  • Pet the Dog: If he chooses to free Dave, the trapped guard in Airship. It's particularly noteworthy since Henry doesn't benefit in any noticeable away from helping him escape. There's also the more obvious example of helping Ellie escape instead of leaving her behind.
  • Playing Sick: In Complex, Henry can try this to get the guards to open his cell. However, they instead tranquilize him and put him in quarantine with actually sick inmates. There's one guy whose arm falls off in front of Henry.
  • Point-and-Click Game
  • Poor Communication Kills: One fail in Complex involves Henry jumping off the building so Charles can catch him with the helicopter. Henry instead falls to his death because he forgot to tell Charles about his plan, so Charles isn't ready.
    Charles: Wait, was that the plan? Man, we really should have coordinated that better.
  • Powered Armor: Two examples in Airship. Henry can use one of these suits to escape the airship after stealing the Ruby, and later the troops of the Center for Chaos Containment use Powered Armour suits to fight both the Toppat gang and the organization that hired Henry. Specifically, the suit that Henry uses is the T-45d Power Armor of Fallout.
  • Press X to Not Die: At some points, you have to choose quickly or you fail. Complex introduces a timer system that shows how much time you have to choose. And then subverted in the Cliffside Wreck scenario: all the options result in failures; you have to wait until the timer runs out to get the "Presumed Dead" ending.
  • Prison Riot: Henry and Ellie start one when they release multiple, if not all, prisoners during their escape by pure accident, leading to total chaos.
  • Pun: The Game Over messages are filled with them.
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: In Diamond, one of the ways the Center for Chaos Containment tries to deal with the enlarged Henry involves sending him a pocket calculator that automatically calculates the equation "1337 / 0". Cue the universe destroying itself.
  • Reality Ensues: Some of the fails happen because of this trope, which the game often lampshades.
    • When Henry tries to liquefy himself to bust through the walls in Diamond, he ends up becoming just plain liquid water, as he has no solid objects to hold his body firm and intact.
    • Henry tries to use a Falcon Punch to get past a guard in Diamond, only for him to realize that he is not a superhuman capable of doing such feats. He makes a normal, weak punch, and the guard promptly points his gun at him.
      • Henry tries to use a Falcon Kick on the guard in the records room in Airship, and actually does successfully replicate the attack - only to then incinerate himself.
    • In one of the stealth options to take the diamond, Henry just drops to the ground, only to end up both injuring himself and alarming the museum. The game even mocks you for thinking it would work.
    • In the final stealth option, Henry attempts to use the guard's rifle to shoot him down, only to end up missing every shot. After all, First-Person Shooter games rarely address the problems of inexperience with firearms, the weight of the gun, the recoil during firing, or even the shooter's requirement to retain proper aim of the weapon, making it look easy in the eyes of FPS gamers.
    • Another option one has Henry attempting to jump far away from the guard, but because he's carrying such a large and heavy diamond, he only manages to jump a small distance before falling.
    • In the Epic option, Henry tries to use a gun from a museum exhibit to shoot down the two guards, only for it to fail because it is just a museum exhibit, meaning it has no ammo. If you pick the bomb instead of the gun, Henry throws it at the guards and it just hits one of them in the foot without exploding, since as a museum exhibit it was obviously disarmed, alerting the other guard and causing him to shoot you. The fail screen asks "Why would they keep a live bomb in a museum?"
    • Diamond, when choosing the invisibility pill to get into the museum, Henry falls off the roof since he can't see a thing now that he is invisible. Invisibility means that light does not interact with the object in question, but vision relies upon light striking and stimulating the rod and cone cells of the retina; if light cannot interact with these cells, the retina cannot work and vision cannot happen.
    • In Complex, choosing to steal a boat has Henry using it to escape The Wall... only for the crew on-board to realize they're in the middle of an unscheduled departure. Stealing the rocket goes even worse, because Henry has absolutely no idea how to fly one - he ends up deploying the parachute first, which then drags the rocket back down into the ground when he finally gets the boosters to fire.
    • At one point in Complex, Henry is driving a truck while guards are shooting at him. If he chooses to shoot back, he ends up crashing — because he wasn't keeping his eyes on the road.
    • One of the options to get down an elevator shaft in Complex is for Henry to bungee-jump all the way to the bottom. He ends up ripping his own body in half because he used an ordinary rope, instead of the specialized bungee rope that can help sustain his fall.
    • During the Hallway Showoff segment, if you choose Henry with a sniper rifle and Ellie with a crossbow, Henry will try to snipe the guards by spinning (or rather, 360 noscope them), only to end up shooting Ellie. It's hard to make out specific details while you're spinning around at a fast speed, after all, and even if you can get the number of rotations correct normally, the addition of a large and heavy sniper rifle will make it harder to get it right. There's a reason that even passing the muzzle of a gun over anyone or anything you don't intend to shoot, even with your finger away from the trigger, is considered a gross violation of gun safety, after all.
    • Two of the options Henry could use to enter the Airship is to use either the C4 or the acid. Both of them fail, the former because Henry didn't take cover and got knocked off the airship by the blast debris, and the latter because the wind blew the acid onto Henry's legs.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: An In-Universe example: Henry’s lawyer in Prison argues that Henry couldn’t possibly have tied the moneybag he was hiding in without someone else. We see in Bank that he does just that without much fanfare.
  • Recruiting the Criminal: Happens to Henry by the Toppat Clan in Airship in the Rapidly Promoted Executive ending.
  • Recurring Character: Dave, a police officer who made a cameo in the credits of Bank and during the intro of Prison in which he forgot to inspect Henry's package; this results in him getting fired and becoming a security guard at the museum in Diamond. He returns once again in Airship as a prisoner Henry must free to complete a sidequest.
  • Remaster: Puffballs announced that along with the sixth game, he will also release remastered versions of the first 5 games, with better graphics and art design. Bank will even get a complete remake.
  • Repeating so the Audience Can Hear: Often done by whomever Henry is talking to on a phone, what with Henry being a Heroic Mime and all.
  • Running Gag: The teleportation device appears in all games, but hardly ever works properly. The only time it works is in Diamond.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: Who Henry chooses to call at the "Phone a Friend" point in Complex determines who he sided with in Airship: the Toppat Clan or the government (Charles, at least).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Near the end of the "Epic" route in Diamond, Henry decides that the museum has gotten way too dangerous, and runs away while leaving the diamond behind. By pure chance, once he's out of danger the Diamond is blasted out of the museum and right next to him.
  • Shout-Out: Oh, so many...
  • Side Quest: In all the games, you can earn medals for doing extra tasks, like finding all the donuts in Prison or clicking on all of the paintings in Diamond. Airship has a more detailed side quest in which you find Biggoron's Sword. Here's how you do it: when using the Grapple Gun to enter the ship, you can pick up a key found next to the computer to free Dave, who you run into later. This in turn allows you to pick up a flash drive he drops, which reveals a code. Then, when playing through the Earpiece route, you can use this code to open a door, which you can enter while playing through the Cannonball route, leading to you finding the sword.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: In-Universe. In Airship, one of the ways to fail is by clicking on a computer. Henry will go and try to download secret incriminating documents, but will get sidetracked by Civilization V, and play it for so long that he ends up getting caught.
    Fail Screen: Just one more turn?
  • Slow Doors: Downplayed in Airship. When the Clan Leader is chased by Henry down a hallway, he tries to close the blast doors to escape. The trope is played straight in that the doors close one after the other rather than all at the same time, but averted in the speed with which they close; if Henry does not do something to speed up, he will not make it past them.
  • Smurfette Principle: Ellie in Complex is the only significant female character to appear so far in the whole series.
  • The Starscream: Picking the Toppat Clan route in Complex leads Henry to stage a daring escape on his scooter to the Toppat's Airship. Just when it looks like he's going to make it to safety, his lieutenant catches him and announces he'd rather have his old job as Head of the Clan back before dropping Henry into the ocean below.
  • So Much for Stealth: In "Complex", Henry can use a spring from Sonic the Hedgehog to reach a higher platform, but it makes so much noise that it instantly alerts a guard to Henry's presence, leading to a fail:
    Fail screen: Come to think of it those boingers are kinda loud.
  • Stick Figure Animation
  • Stock Scream: One of the night guards in Diamond utters the Wilhelm Scream when he is attacked by a Pterodactyl that Henry accidentally caused to hatch from an egg.
  • Taking You with Me: In "Fleeing the Complex", if you choose to arm Henry with a grenade and Ellie with a crossbow, the crossbow bolt pins the grenade to a guards face to which the guard responds with a small, "Ow." Then, realizing what just happened, the guard says, "Uh oh!" This is followed by the guard charging at Henry while shouting, "Never!"
    Fail Screen: If he goes down he's taking you with him!
  • Take Your Time: Zigzagged. Most of the time, the player doesn't have to hurry with his choices and can carefully examine them. However, there are also situations in which not making a choice within a matter of seconds will automatically result in failure. Complex introduces a timer in the top of the screen which indicates how long you have to make up your mind in these cases. Then there's one segment (in Complex) that slowly adds options as the timer ticks slowly to 0. However, the answer is to allow the timer to run out; all other options end in failure.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Ellie (see Smurfette Principle above) is differentiated from the boys by her visible red hair.
  • Third Time's the Charm: The infamous teleporter, which only works properly in "Diamond"; the third game it appears in.
  • Throwing the Distraction: One of Henry's few tricks that consistently works (probably because it's so mundane).
    • He distracts a guard by throwing a penny in Diamond and runs past the guard when he looks at it.
    • In Complex, he throws a guard's hat past some guards, which causes them to go investigate and arrest the hiding other inmates in the process, allowing him & Ellie to use the elevator they were in.
    • Henry uses a similar trick in a different route in Complex, where he throws a whoopie cushion tied to a rock. The sound makes each guard think that the other farted, which leads to them fighting each other and allowing Henry to pass unnoticed.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In Complex, Henry and Ellie try this to get past a group of guards. It doesn’t work.
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction:
    • The eponymous diamond from Diamond is colossal; just as big as Henry himself. In the Undetected route, he can exploit this by dropping the diamond on the head of an unsuspecting guard.
    • In Airship, one of the scenarios involves Henry finding and stealing a ruby of identical proportions to the diamond.
  • Train Job: The Steam previews of Mission hint that at least part of the story will take place on a train.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: While there's a tendency for more mundane objects to be the correct option, there's no guarantee that a certain type of item will always be the right choice, either due to outside interference or Henry himself messing it up. There are also occasions where the crazier or more outlandish options are actually successful due to sheer luck or Toon Physics suddenly coming into play. What keeps this acceptable is the game instantly puts you back at your last choice and many of the failures are hilarious.
  • Trojan Horse: In Bank, the only choice that comes close to succeeding is hiding inside a money bag and having the guards take you into the vault. It still fails, however, because upon leaving the bag, Henry sets off an alarm.
  • Unfriendly Fire:
    • In Airship, Charles tries to use a gatling gun to blast open a door. It results in Henry and a Toppat Clan mook getting mowed down... and the door is completely undamaged.
    • In Complex, in a standoff with some guards, Henry can choose the sniper rifle, if Ellie chooses the crossbow, Henry will attempt a 360 no-scope and accidentally shooting Ellie who is standing next to him.
    • Another in Complex, where Henry can tell Charles to shoot the guard in front of him. Charles mistakes Henry for the guard and shoots him.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: During the "Betrayed" route in Complex, apparently none of the guards in the Wall notice the Toppat Airship just outside the Cafeteria until the Toppats attack them.
  • Updated Re-release: The Henry Stickmin Collection features all five previous entries with updated graphics and a new, final sixth entry.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Choosing to help Ellie in Complex after she helped you escape will give you a partner that can help you escape and ultimately leads to one of the most heartwarming endings in the entire series when you finally escape together. On the other hand...
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can also choose to leave Ellie behind instead right after she helped you escape, complete with an "Ellie will remember that." message from the game itself to really drive it home.
  • Violation of Common Sense: A large number of correct choices.
  • Villain Protagonist: Henry Stickmin is a burglar, he's willing to take out pretty much anyone who gets in his way, be they evil goons, police officers or museum night guards.
  • Waiting Puzzle:
    • Timed choices normally lead to automatic fails if Henry doesn't do anything in time, but to get the PD ending in Complex,he has to wait until time runs out on the last choice and ignore the options that pop up as the timer slowly depletes.
    • While not a winning ending per se, the most difficult part of getting the achievement in Diamond for seeing all unique fails is realizing that one of these fails requires waiting several minutes at the start of the Epic route for the security guards to finish a lengthy conversation.
  • Watch Out for That Tree!: Early in Diamond's Epic route, Henry throws an airplane and knocks one of two guards down. The other one attempts to run and find help, only to meet a pillar face-first and KO himself.
  • What the Hell, Player?: Choosing to have Charlie help you in Complex will have the flavor text on the "Fail" screen tell you "Not again! You should know better!"
  • Wheel o' Feet: In Complex, Henry can use a pair of Speed Shoes to get away from a guard. It just slams him into a wall when he finds himself unable to stop.
  • Wingding Eyes: Henry gets these during the introductory cutscene of Diamond, when he hears about the value of the titular diamond.
  • A Winner Is You: The Worthless Treasure Twist mentioned below has this as the Fail text.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: The final solution to the Presumed Dead ending in Complex has Henry sit there and let the warden shove him off a cliff. This allows him to fake his own demise and escape.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: One of the scenarios in Airship ends with Henry stealing a vault from the airship, which turns out to contain nothing but a teddy bear.
  • Worthy Opponent: The warden in Complex sees Henry as one.
  • Wrong Parachute Gag: Used in Prison.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Subverted in Complex. Pick the motorcycle route and Ellie will ride away on your bike once you've been grab a stop sign and knockout the Warden on you so you can also escape.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Happens to Henry in Complex when trying to use the Sonic Pulse.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Right Hand Man of the Big Bad in Airship tries this twice with Henry.


Video Example(s):


Wizard Magic option

Henry tries to open the door with magic, but instead freezes himself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MagicMisfire

Media sources:

Main / MagicMisfire