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Video Game / Stick It to the Man!

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It's a sticky situation...

Released in 2013 by Ripstone Games and developed by Zoink!, Stick It To The Man! is a multiplatform indie game that combines elements of point-and-click adventure games and 2D puzzle platformers.

In a world where everything is made of cardboard and paper, you are Ray Doewood, a timid, kind-hearted everyman and hard hat tester whose life gets shaken up after being hit on the head by a mysterious object from the sky. While he's unconscious, Ray dreams that he's in possession of a pink spaghetti arm giving him the ability to read minds... but the arm's still there when he wakes up. To complicate things even further, a team of agents working for a mysterious figure known only as "The Man" are hot on Ray's trail and hellbent on retrieving the source of his new powers. If he's going to survive the chase and see his girlfriend Arlene once more, Ray's going to have to use the arm, his wits, and quite a few stickers on a journey through his town, an insane asylum, space, and his own mind.


Yeah, it isn't exactly the most grounded of storylines.

Stick It! uses a gameplay hook similar to that of Paper Mario: Sticker Star; throughout the game, Ray collects various stickers that allow him to change the environment of the game in multiple ways with the spaghetti arm. This and the mind-reading are paired up with Metroidvania-esque levels and a heavy dose of tongue-in-cheek humor, provided from the pen of Ryan North.

Initially released for the PlayStation 3, since release the game has made it to Steam, the Wii U, the PlayStation 4 and Vita, the Xbox One, and the Nintendo Switch. The game's spiritual successor, titled Flipping Death was released 7 August 2018, with North returning as its writer and Ray Doewood coming back in a non-player role... as a ghost.


This game provides examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Arlene had previously undergone psychiatric therapy to cure her phobia of grapes.
  • Accidental Murder: In The Man’s base, Ray encounters a zombie who is in love with his trainer, who is trying to teach him how to fire a gun in order to become a Super Soldier. When provided with a gift to give her, the zombie accidentally engages her in a scuffle that leads to her being shot through the heart. Ray then resurrects her (albeit as another zombie), and she reciprocates the zombie’s affection. Ray uses their true love to solve another puzzle later on.
  • Acrofatic: The fairly-chunky Ray can perform some pretty impressive feats of running and jumping for his size.
  • Awkward Kiss: Ray and Arlene's first kiss happens as a result of Ray throwing a grape down his throat.
  • Babies Ever After: Ending cutscene after Ted returned to his home planet has Ray receive a letter from him that suggests he may have left something behind... then a baby spaghetti arm pops out from Ray's head.
  • Battleaxe Nurse: The primary enemy type in the Cuckoo’s Nest level, coming off as a carbon copy of The Man’s Agents, down to the burly physique and taser.
  • Big Bad: The titular Man, always in silhouette.
  • Brain Uploading: The Man uploaded his mother's brain onto his mothership as the onboard computer.
  • The Cameo: In the taxidermists store in chapter 7 there's a Double Fine logo hidden in one of the jars.
  • Cassandra Truth: Ray swears that the arm exists and is coming out of his head, but it's only visible to him and the player, leading the other characters (except for the Man and the Agents) to think he's lost a few marbles.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Averted when Arlene has to give Ray CPR during a flashback to a past date of theirs. It's lampshaded as well, as Ray particularly comments on how it wasn't like the movies.
  • Damsel out of Distress: When Ray finally finds Arlene, he's the one who ends up Thrown Out the Airlock and she escapes by herself and releases Ted to save Ray.
  • Frame-Up: Ray's made the victim of one of these, being blamed for the murder of Arlene.
  • Heroic Host: Ray, who gains the spaghetti arm as a result of being host to an alien named Ted.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Three of the game's chapters are these, all of which venture into Ray's inner thoughts. One is a lampshaded Coma Dream, another is the result of hypnosis, and the third is a Nightmare Sequence.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Ray's a nice guy, but to stop the Man, he'll steal pets, body parts, ideas, possessions, and even abstract concepts from the various characters in the game.
  • Living Macguffin: Ted is highly sought after by the villain of the game.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The solutions to the puzzles can be, uh, quite out there. If you need an intergalactic phone, what do you need to do? Of course, make a monkey think of donuts, use the donuts to make a robot chef make spaghetti for 10,000 people, and use the spaghetti and two empty tomato cans to make said phone.
  • Mister Seahorse: Becomes the fate of a chauvinistic general in Chapter Nine. It doesn't seem to affect how much one of his subordinates has a crush, however. The baby itself, however, is inconsolable because his insides are apparently uncomfortable and smell of whiskey.
    "I like a family man!"
  • Multiple Head Case: One puzzle is a siamese wrestler with three heads, one of which is smaller than the other two and subject to the whims of the others because the legs they control are longer than his. The actions of Ray reveal their legs are fake and their real ones are so stubby they can't stop him from running off to follow his dreams.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished; The Man apparently cares enough about people from his childhood to get them jobs on his spaceship or help them through his experiments, he has a terrarium for his pet turtle (though its unhappy because he put it there in front of a broken tv and called it a day), gave his childhood friend a job on his spaceship, preserved his babysitter's still living head in a jar, and uploaded his mothers brain as the station AI. In the final chapter Ray exploits all this to remind The Man's mother about embarassing anecdotes from his childhood, which leads to a chain of events that destroys the spaceship.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Ray. One shock and it’s back to the checkpoint for you!
  • Opposites Attract: Ray is short, awkward and timid, while Arlene is tall and relatively able socially. They're in a generally happy relationship.
  • Paper People: Everyone, save for one cutscene that renders Ted in three dimensions. Checkpoints are printers.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Ray does this while reading minds most of the time. It's mostly just for the Rule of Cool, however— he's capable of using the arm even while in a straitjacket, and Ted doesn't do it at all.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The numerous MiB Agents on your tail don’t actually seem all that bad, and can even come off as rather chummy, when you read their thoughts, as most muse that they’re only in it for the money / healthcare benefits, and indeed many don’t even seem to realize what they’re doing is bad, with the subconscious of some even voicing horror at realizing they’re playing from the wrong side, but that doesn’t stop them from gunning for you. Their jobs, and quite possibly their lives, are on the line, after all. Conversely, their Battleaxe Nurse counterparts in the Cuckoo’s Nest level are much more enthusiastic about their chosen profession for the most part.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" by Kenny Rogers.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": The Man, or Mister The Man to some of his subordinates.
    “I’m sorry The Man, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” ~ Mother
  • Symbiotic Possession: Ray and Ted develop this dynamic by the game's end, with the latter actually stating he prefers the former's brain over that of any of his other hosts.
  • Telepathy: In the form of a pink spaghetti arm. Crosses over with Telekinesis mixed with a generous helping of Reality Warping.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Arlene and Ray have this dynamic, as she easily stands a head taller than he does (spaghetti arm notwithstanding).
  • 2½D: Environments are rendered in three dimensions, but the characters are always flat. Parts of certain chapters also add layers as well.
  • Widget Series: More specifically, a WST, or Weird Scandinavian Thing.