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Video Game / Smoke 'Em Out Struggle

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"Tight bars, little man."

Smoke 'Em Out Struggle is a Friday Night Funkin' Game Mod by atsuovernote  and Rageminernote . It features Boyfriend and Girlfriend encountering a strange man named Garcello in a back alley, who tries to peer pressure Boyfriend into smoking a glowing, color-changing cigarette. However, as they have a friendly little rap battle, it becomes clear that Garcello is not as bad as he seems. But when he feels a pain in his will things finish?

Shortly after its release, the mod became a huge Sleeper Hit among the community, quickly becoming one of the most popular and viewed/played mods within a week! Nearly surpassing the Vs Whitty mod, the most popular mod, thanks to the combination of awesome music, unique storytelling, sympathetic characters, and a very strong and important anti-smoking message to players. This can even be considered an impromptu anti-smoking PSA in the form of a rhythm game and an unofficial Very Special Episode of Friday Night Funkin', much like how many franchises in The '80s and The '90s featured anti-smoking PSAs as Very Special Episodes.


An expansion for this mod has been announced and is currently being developed, titled "Smoke 'Em Out Struggle +", which will feature additional mechanics and songs, and an additional week that's meant to serve as what Garcello would look like if he stopped smoking or never did in the first place.

Song list:


Warning! This mod became so massively popular following its release, most especially the plot twists in it being massively adored by fans, that Garcello has become a major Walking Spoiler for his own mod. As such, this page will be made Spoilers Off. If you want to experience the twists unspoiled, play the mod or watch a playthrough before checking out this page.


"I-I'm not giving up just yet though. You've got some tight tropes, little man."

  • Alternate Universe: Word of God says that this mod takes place in a different timeline where Garcello smoked himself to death and canonically he is actually alive and well.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's never explained what's so special about Garcello's cigarette, how he knows Daddy Dearest, or what he did to incur DD's wrath. It's implied that it is not a normal cigarette, it glows in many different colors and has the user exhale different colors of smoke. It's also possible that it is much more deadly, potent, and dangerous than the average cigarette as it swiftly killed Garcello and released his soul in a huge cloud of green smoke and made his soul change colors. Garcello also realized he could've accidentally killed Boyfriend by offering him the cigarette. On a funnier note, the soundtrack video also ends with a quote and a picture from Garcello stating that he's going to the Ghost McDonald's. Whether this is a throwaway joke or an implication he'll live on as a ghost is down to the player's interpretation.
  • An Aesop: Don't smoke, it will very much kill you.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Garcello suddenly dies in the middle of the rap battle and regrets not being able to stick around with Boyfriend and Girlfriend, but makes peace with his situation, tells the pair to stay safe, and is even able to get one last song in before fading away with the sunrise. He is also seen with a proud smile by the fourth cutscene which is even more bittersweet since he had died in the process. At the very least, he went knowing he at least had a friend or two to remember him by just before his death. And hey, the afterlife has a McDonald's! As an added bonus, when you return to the week selection menu after "FADING", the in-game music is completely absent, acting as a Moment of Silence for Garcello. Return to the main menu and an instrumental of "FADING" kicks in, almost as a sweet tribute to the man you helped move on.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Boyfriend singing in response to Garcello's coughing fits whether he is aware it's intentional or not.note 
    • Garcello being unfazed he died and promptly apologizes for dying.
    • Garcello being so nonchalant about his death that he insists on continuing to sing with BF even as a ghost without missing a beat and as if nothing had happened.
    • The fact that Garcello has a ghostly trail leading directly to the cigarette on the ground. This insinuates that his spirit is manifesting through it, meaning that he literally smoked himself out. Indeed, per Word of God, Garcello's soul is bound to the cigarette and he fades away due to the cigarette crumbling to dust.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Garcello lets out puffs of smoke in various colors depending on which arrow he is singing and by "RELEASE", his whole spiritual body changes color depending on the arrow.
  • Cue the Sun: "FADING" features this trope, as Garcello's ghost notes.
  • Fearless Fool: Both Boyfriend and Girlfriend are rather foolishly audacious for walking around and entering a dark alley way and talking to a sullen, smoking stranger in the middle of the night. Even if that stranger is a genuinely friendly guy and only really posed a danger to himself.
  • Game Mod: One of the more notable mods that inverts the expectations of popular FNF mods, where the usual formula is for a character to get progressively tougher and difficult with a 3rd song transformation, and here there is a 3rd song transformation but instead of getting angrier, Garcello actually gets happier, and the mod overall is very chilled out and not very difficult with the mod focusing more on telling a story rather than difficult gameplay.
  • Meaningful Background Event:
  • Meaningful Name: All of the song names have significant meanings.
    • "HEADACHE" is Garcello suffering from a splitting headache and smokes to help the pain.
    • "NERVES" is Garcello singing more reluctantly and weakly due to being close to death from the smoking. Also a reference to Garcello's earlier comment about how smoking "calms the nerves".
    • "RELEASE" is Garcello leaving the mortal plane and singing a lot more confidently now that he doesn't have smoker's lung as well as dodging Daddy Dearest's wrath.
    • "FADING" is Garcello's last parting song as he slowly fades out mid-song.
  • Moment of Silence: When the week ends after Garcello's ghost fades away, the game returns to the week select menu but without the theme song playing giving the impression that a moment of silence is being given for Garcello's death.
  • Mundane Afterlife: Official art posted at the end of the OST video shows that after passing on to the afterlife, Garcello finds and eats at a "Ghost McDonald's".
  • One-Winged Angel: Played with. The Boyfriend ends up accidentally causing Garcello's death, prompting a dramatic cutscene where he coughs up a tidal wave of smoke and returns as a smoke ghost. So, in good and proper Friday Night Funkin' mod standards, this is where he hits his Rage Breaking Point and a huge Difficulty Spike happens as he sings the song that ends the earth, right? Nope. He takes his death in stride, figuring it's "still better than what Daddy Dearest would have done to him", and chooses to pass away peacefully, doing what he loves in the company of friends and goes out rapping before fading away with a smile. invoked
  • Silent Credits: Usually whenever a week ends, the game returns to the menu like normal with the theme playing, but after Garcello's death and his ghost fades away, the game returns to the week menu but without any music playing.
  • Smoking Is Not Cool:
    • "NERVES" features him coughing due to smoking too much. He dies after the second song, becoming a smoke ghost.
    • Boyfriend seems to think smoking isn't cool, since the rap battle began in order to get Garcello to stop trying to pressure him.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The week deals with a heavy smoker who is close to death and the songs sound rather upbeat for a situation like this, "NERVES" however is slower than the other songs as it represents Garcello struggling to sing as he is dying. "RELEASE" in contrast is faster and livelier perhaps to represent Garcello's release from all his smoking pains as he becomes a ghost instead.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't smoke... Or your soul might explode out of your body in a cloud of smoke. Downplayed as Garcello is clearly experiencing other painful symptoms before that moment, such as a pained chest and shortened breath.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: "FADING" is unique in that the song is short and ends while Boyfriend is in the middle of holding a note while Garcello fades away and his sprite and icon both disappear. And instead of the game returning to the story menu like normal, the theme song doesn't play, leaving the menu barren with only sound effects. Returning to the main menu replaces the usual menu theme with the instrumental of "FADING". And when the song ends, the game abruptly crashes and closes.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Aside from the obvious fact that smoking is deadly, Garcello shows signs of dying from smoking such as having major chest pains, cold sweats, strained talking, fits of coughing, and trying to ignore these signs and pains led to Garcello's death where he tried to sing and rap despite the consequences.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's basically impossible to talk about this mod without giving away the big twist that Garcello's smoking habit kills him halfway into it and the Boyfriend ends up rap-battling his ghost.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Within five minutes of meeting BF & GF, Garcello dies from smoking and only has enough time for two more songs before his soul disappears in the morning light with no indication if they will ever meet again.


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