'Cause you can't, no you can't
Uhn! Handle my style!
Seriously, quit trying to handle my style
Unless you're a lady,
then you're cordially invited to have a giant slice of my style!"
A spin-off of the wildly-popular Flash cartoon series Homestar Runner, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People (or SBCG4AP for short) is a five-episode adventure game developed by "the people who made that game Rabbit-Dog and Bunnyman" and released on a monthly basis starting in August 2008. Each episode features a different adventure starring Breakout Character Strong Bad as he goes about a typical day of checking e-mails, writing Teen Girl Squad comics, committing arson and petty larceny, perpetrating Zany Schemes, tormenting his neighbors, and/or playing video games.
The episodes are:
- Homestar Ruiner — In which Strong Bad sets out to "beat the snot out of Homestar", but instead ends up impersonating him at the Free Country USA Tri-Annual Race to the End of the Race, humiliating him in the process... which wouldn't be a problem, except that Homestar takes refuge in Strong Bad's house and refuses to leave unless Strong Bad can fix Homestar's shattered reputation.
- Strong Badia the Free — In which Strong Bad rebels against the King of Town's new e-mail tax, and tries to rally his neighbors (who have all set up their own countries) to overthrow the Of Town's "fat-thority".
- Baddest of the Bands — In which Strong Bad organizes (and then attempts to win) a Battle Royale of the Bands in order to fund repairs for his beloved Videlectrix Funmachine.
- Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective — In which Strong Bad finally completes his latest "cine-magic masterpiece", where a routine mission to save the rainforest traps Dangeresque and Renaldo in a web of treachery, lies, heartbreak, and bad action movie cliches. This is a unique installment in that you play in-character as Dangeresque, trying to solve your way through the movie's plot.
- 8-Bit Is Enough — In which Strong Bad's malfunctioning Trogdor cabinet leads to Free Country USA merging with the world of video games, forcing Strong Bad to team up with his favorite video game characters and take out a rampaging Trogdor.
Strong Bad also appears in Poker Night at the Inventory, using the model from this game.
The games were released monthly between August and December of 2008 for Wii and PC, with a PS3 port released in 2010.
Tropes featured in this game include:
- Absentee Actor: Of the five episodes, only "Strong Badia the Free" has all twelve main characters appearing on screen. Homsar is missing from "Dangeresque 3" and "8-Bit Is Enough" (the latter of which also lacks Pom Pom), and makes a voice-only appearance in "Homestar Ruiner". The Poopsmith makes a photo-only appearance in "Baddest of the Bands." Not literally true, however, as nine of the twelve main characters are voiced by Matt Chapman and Pom Pom's voice is a recording of milk bubbles (done by Matt's brother, Mike).
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: If you complete everything in an episode, your reward is a shirt for your wardrobe.
- Awesomeness Meter: The meter progresses for full completion of all five episodes.
- Big Red Button: During "Homestar Ruiner," the race's tape is ruined by pushing a red button labeled ERASE. There's a post-it tacked to it warning "DO NOT PUSH." Also makes an appearance during "Baddest of the Bands," when one is supposed to reveal Strong Bad's stage prop.
- Bootstrapped Theme: "Handle My Style", the intro song from the first episode, has more or less become the series's theme song.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
- In "Homestar Ruiner", Strong Bad can accuse Pom-Pom of being on steroids, a robot, or a robot on steroids.
- Also from "Homestar Ruiner", Homestar complains about the contents of Strong Bad's kitchen while trying to cook up a token of apology for Marzipan.Homestar: Marzipan's vegan, and most of the food in here contains meat, milk, milky meat, or... meaty milk.
Strong Bad: Hey, don't be dissin' my meaty milk!
- In 8-Bit Is Enough, Strong Bad can respond to an e-mail about video games where you can't die.Strong Bad: What are you supposed to do in a game where you can't die? Pick up things? Talk to people? Talk to people about things you just picked up?
- Brick Joke:
- In "Homestar Ruiner", the episode begins with Strong Bad getting an email asking why he hasn't "beat the snot" out of Homestar yet. Strong Bad thinks it's a good idea, but his intention gets derailed. In the end, when Homestar crashes out of the window in the conga line, he yells out, "Ow, my snot!"
- When the game was first announced on the Homestar Runner website, the Brothers Chaps made an animation where Strong Bad presents his interpretation of what he should look like in the game, featuring bulging muscles, robot legs, and an Awesome, but Impractical sword. This design is finally used in the last episode when Strong Bad faces off against a 64-bit rendition of Trogdor. Strong Bad even points out that this meant the developers listened to him
- In the Extended play of "Dangeresque 3", Strong Bad offers Homestar a quarter to re-paint the fence in Strong Badia, and Homestar expresses hopes that his new "lucky quarter" will taste like butterscotch. Near the start of "8-Bit Enough", Homestar denies eating his "lucky quarter", saying it didn't even taste like butterscotch.
- The first Episode, "Homestar Ruiner", featured the Villain Song "Handle My Style," which was all about how people couldn't handle Strong Bad's style. In the first phase of the Trogdor Fight in "8 Bit Is Enough," when you hit and defeat Trogdor, he yells "No! Your style! I couldn't handle it!"
- Butt-Monkey: Strong Sad gets ridiculed, pummeled, conned, humiliated, and otherwise tormented throughout each episode (though he does get to dish some abuse back to Strong Bad in "Baddest of the Bands").
- Collection Sidequest: Each episode features two or three different sets of collectibles, like Coach Z's trophies in "Homestar Ruiner" or the miniature flags in "Strong Badia the Free".
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Every character's subtitles are colored according to who is speaking (Strong Bad's text is a pale red, Homestar's text is white, Marzipan's text is purple, etc.).
- Cruelty Is the Only Option: It's a game based around Strong Bad, so naturally the solution to several puzzles involves doing dickish things to his friends and neighbors, like decapitating a papier maché sculpture of Homestar, making Strong Sad think he has a terrible disease, and tricking Coach Z into throwing a rock through Marzipan's front window.
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- "Homestar Ruiner" has the Tri-Annual Race to the End of the Race.
- In "8-Bit is Enough", Stinkoman insults Strong Bad this way. If Strong Bad asks Stinkoman if he can have the TrogSword, the latter refuses:Stinkoman: One day you'll get your baby turn, for babies who have a turn!
- Or when Strong Bad thinks that Stinkoman sounds harsh for a name, Stinkoman asks Strong Bad why he is called Dumb Face:Stinkoman: Is it because your face is dumb and at the same time you have a dumb face?
Strong Bad: No one calls me that.
Stinkoman: Maybe they should call you Dumb Butt-Face, because your face and your butt are both dumb!
- Dummied Out: Some costumes from later episodes are programmed into earlier episodes, along with an Ab-Abber 2000 "shirt."
- Empty Room Psych: Several episodes have rooms that contribute nothing but a few gags.
- Episodic Game: The game has five episodes total.
- Fictional Video Game: In addition to the various mini-games on Strong Bad's Funmachine, a number of fictional games appear in "8-Bit is Enough", such as Lady Crate Ape, Spirits of '76, and Halfathalon.
- Floating Advice Reminder:
- In Baddest of the Bands, whenever Bubs suggests Strong Bad could pay for repairs to the Funmachine by working at his store rather than jumping through elaborate hoops to arrange, sabotage, and win a battle of the bands, a floating pixelated head of Limozeen's Larry Palaroncini appears over Strong Bad's shoulder and says "Rock and Roll, Strong Bad!"
- In 8-Bit is Enough, Strong Bad ponders a way to distract the rampaging Trogdor machine so he can repair it, and recalls Strong Sad telling him "You'd have to be some kind of idiot to take on Trogdor alone!" in this fashion. Right on cue, Homestar Runner blunders into the scene.
- Frameup: On Numerous occasions.
- In "Homestar Ruiner," Strong Bad (accidentally) frames Homestar Runner for destroying Marzipan's garden party decorations. He also plants Total Load Total Body Energy Enhancement Powder in Pom Pom's locker to get him disqualified from the Race to the End of the Race.
- In "Baddest of the Bands," Strong Bad frames Coach Z for several crimes in order to convince Bubs he's still "hardcore" so the two will reform the Two-O Duo for the Battle of the Bands. Later, he frames Limozeen for doing all the things Marzipan is getting preachy over, resulting in her writing a song dedicated to trashing them, which hurts her band's position in the contest since Limozeen are the judges.
- Game-Breaking Bug:
- A number of the SBCG4AP episodes have some bug some which freezes or causes trouble for the game. The PC and WiiWare versions have different bugs between them.
- In-universe, taking advantage of one is needed in 8-Bit Is Enough - to recruit Gel-Arshie, you have to break his Pro Fruitboarder game by scoring over a trillion points.
- Game Within a Game: There's one of these in each episode, some of which even factor into the plot.
- Geographic Flexibility: A Lampshade Hanging is applied on this by the map system. You can move all the notable locations around on the map and put them wherever you want. Very amusing when doing this to a world map in Dangeresque 3. Nothing's stopping you from placing Tokyo in Africa, for starters. Averted in Strong Badia the Free, where Strong Bad uses the board from a Risk-like game as his map to replace the one eaten by the King of Town at the start of the game.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: A variation: when Strong Bad interacts with someone, often he has one of two choices of how to speak to them, represented by an angel and a devil, respectively. Choosing the "angel" choice causes Strong Bad to say something nice, while the "devil" choice causes Strong Bad to say something mean. However, when Strong Bad is explaining this system in a tutorial, he says that choosing the "devil" option will cause him to "say something I would say." Most of the time it's recommended that you choose the angel option in order to make progress in the game, though at least one occasion does require choosing the devil. Getting the Nuisance achievement, however, requires using the Bad Devil twice in many situations.
- Guide Dang It!: SBCG4AP has its moments, especially when it comes to finding collectibles and other 100% completion achievements. The worst one is probably one of the Expressions of Affection in "Baddest of the Bands": To get it, you have to have hints turned up to maximum, sabotage two specific bands in the Battle Royale of the Bands, pick up an item used to sabotage the third band without using it, and then wander around a particular spot for a while until the hint drops. How the game makers expected anybody to figure this one out on their own is a real mystery. It doesn't help some of the Expressions are lost for good if you don't do them before certain story beats.
- Hint System: Depending on the settings, characters will drop hints on what to do next. Also, some of the messages from the Drive-Thru Whale in The Field are incredibly cryptic hints.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- In "Baddest of the Bands", Marzipan complains about people who destroy the environment... while she throws a piece of litter on the ground.
- Strong Bad makes several derogatory comments about licensed games, and games where the player character cannot die.
- Watching TV in '8-Bit is Enough', Strong Bad comments on a Saturday Morning block of Videlectrix cartoon adaptations:Strong Bad: This is the one where some real-world kids get sucked into a video game. Ridiculous!note
- Kleptomaniac Hero: This is Strong Bad (in an Adventure Game) we're talking about, after all.Strong Bad: [singing] Taking Marzipan's balloons, and I don't know why.
- Licensed Game: A Telltale Games series based on the Homestar Runner web animations.
- Leitmotif: "Handle My Style" is used for the incidental music — since the player is always controlling Strong Bad.
- Medium Awareness: "Who's the star of this game? That's right, you are!"
- Microwave Misuse: If the microwave is examined, Strong Bad claims that it is unusable due to the doors being stuck shut by nacho entrails and mangled action figures.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The "next episode" previews. While the lines spoken are from the actual games, they occur in scenes that never actually happen. For example, the trailer for episode 3, "Baddest of the Bands", has Strong Bad standing on top Bubs' Concession Stand and preparing to perform while asking if the audience is ready to rock. While the line is said in the game, Strong Bad never stands on top of the stand in this game, the bands perform at night (not middle of the day), and The Cheat and Strong Mad aren't in Strong Bad's band.
- Nintendo Hard: The Funmachine mini-games.
- Obvious Beta: As with many games made by Telltale Games, there are many Game Breaking Bugs. One infamous example is on the Wii version of Homestar Ruiner; if the Wii is set to widescreen mode, and if the player talks to Coach Z in Extended Play, the game will freeze.
- Old Save Bonus: The PC version will add the costume items unlocked from versions prior if at least one other SBCG4AP episode is installed.. The Wii version skips this entirely, as it just unlocks all of them from the start.
- Ow, My Body Part!:
- At the end of "Homestar Ruiner", when Strong Bad has everyone slip on the banana peel so they fall out a window and thus out of his house, Homestar groans "Ow! My snot!" upon landing.
- At the beginning of "Strong Badia the Free", Strong Bad is mercilessly pummeled by the Poopsmith while being placed under house arrest, and yells "Ow! My freedom!"
- Pac Man Fever: While playing the Fun Machine games, Strong Bad shakes his controller around wildly and presses buttons in such a way that can't possibly match what you're doing.
- Permanently Missable Content: Getting collectibles and other 100% completion achievements in SBCG4AP can be difficult, because many of them can only be achieved in a small window of opportunity. Thankfully, the game averts Unwinnable by Design, as anything needed to complete the game will always remain accessible to you.
- Playable Epilogue: After you complete each episode, Extended Play becomes available. This allows you to pick up collectibles you might have missed, play the Funmachine mini-games, or simply hear some additional scenes and dialogue.
- Product Displacement: Strong Bad's lighter, which appears in episodes 2 and 3, does not have the BMW logo on it.
- Retraux: The games for Strong Bad's Funmachine.
- Shout-Out: A number of these. "Baddest of the Bands" is simply loaded with rock and pop music references, while "8-Bit is Enough" references a number of video games.
- In Dangeresque 3, when Dangeresque is beating up the Bear-Holding-A-Shark, he shouts, "And a boot to the head! And one for Jenny and the wimp!" in reference to "Last Will and Temperament" by The Frantics.
- The Trogsword looks a lot like the Sword of Omens. Strong Bad even holds it like Lion-O did when activating its powers- namely, so that the curved crossbar frames the eyes of the user while the red gem with the animal-themed logo in it sits between the users' eyes.
- Twice, (once in Homestar Ruiner, and again in 8-Bit is Enough) Strong Bad says versions of a familiar phrase. The first is "By the power of, er, Brown-skull!" (uttered when Strong Bad picks up a plunger in the King of Town's Castle) and the second is "By the power of EGA!", (shouted when Strong Bad takes possession of the Trogsword).
- The title 8-Bit is Enough itself is a reference to an obscure late 70s/early 80s sitcom.
- Some of the Fun Machine games bear a close resemblance to classic games: Snake Boxer 5 to Activision's Boxing for Atari 2600, Math Kickers to Double Dragon, and Limozeen's Hot Babelien Odyssey to Defender.
- Schizo Tech: In regards to the Fun Machine games. Sometimes they resemble Atari 2600 games, other times they resemble ones for the NES/Master System, which are from two different generations of video games. Physically, the Fun Machine resembles an Atari 2600 but appears to use an NES controller.
- Skyward Scream: In "Homestar Ruiner", after Homestar hides out at Strong Bad's house, Strong Bad directs one at "IRONY!" He also pulls off a few in "Dangeresque 3".
- Stylistic Suck: Much of the music in Baddest of the Bands, the special effects and plot in Dangeresque 3 and the retro video game graphics in 8 Bit Is Enough.
- Take That, Audience!: Before the series was officially released, it was previewed by Strong Bad as being "for attractive people — but you can play, too!"
- Strong Bad also does this at the very beginning of "Dangeresque 3", which had been in development for a long time (originally intended to be released in June 2004, according to the Strong Bad Email: "stunt double").Strong Bad: [typing on his laptop computer] Dear all the annoying morons that have been bugging me about it for four and a half years... Yes, I finally finished Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, so you can all EAT IT!
- Strong Bad also does this at the very beginning of "Dangeresque 3", which had been in development for a long time (originally intended to be released in June 2004, according to the Strong Bad Email: "stunt double").
- Villain Protagonist: Strong Bad straddles the line between this and Anti-Hero.
- Work Info Title: The title contains the fact that it's a video game, and tells you that the target audience is attractive people (but you can play too).
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Several occurrences, mostly as Continuity Nods to Thy Dungeonman.
- Air-Vent Passageway: Strong Bad uses one to sneak through the King of Town's castle.
- Chocolate of Romance: Strong Bad, in order to mend Homestar's relationship (and get him out of his house), puts some free chocolates he got from Bubs on Marzipan's front porch.
- Complaining About Things You Haven't Paid For: Bubs is distributing coupons for free samples of a candy called ChocoOpps, which turn out to be nothing more than chocolate-covered organic packing peanuts. It's a justified example, as the resulting confection would be inedible:Strong Bad: Chocolate-covered organic packing peanuts?! What kind of candy is that?
Bubs: The kind of candy that I give away to people for free, dummy!
- Cutaway Gag: Marzipan asks Strong Bad if he remembers "what happened the last time" she invited him to one of her parties. Cut to a flashback of Strong Bad (AKA "Lord Barglebroth") about to leap off the roof of her house into a large cake. Just as he's about to hit it, it immediately cuts back to Strong Bad saying "No, not really".
- Disqualification-Induced Victory: Invoked, where the goal during the first part of the game is to win a race. However, Pom Pom is much faster than Strong Bad, so you must get him disqualified by putting some performance-enhancing powder in his locker, making it seem like he won only because of it.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The metal detector and shovel are separate items in this episode, forcing you to use both to dig up buried objects. Initially, all you could do was go to places and put down a little flag to dig up later. Future episodes cut out the middleman and combine the two into a single item.
- Gameplay-Guided Amnesia: Subverted. As Strong Bad (posing as Homestar) is about to begin the Race to the End of the Race, he stops to ask Coach Z if he gets some instructions first. Coach Z tells "Homestar" he shouldn't need any instructions, as he's been training for weeks.
- I Regret Nothing: Inverted at the end, when Strong Bad ousts the other characters, who are doing a conga line, from his house by placing a banana peel in their path so they slip on it and fall out the window. In Coach Z's case, when he slips on it, he cries, "I regret everything!"
- Justified Tutorial: Or lack thereof. Coach Z won't give you any instructions for the Race to the End of the Race, because you're running as "Homestar," and he's been training for the race for weeks.
- Laser-Guided Karma: For ruining Homestar's life in the first half of the episode, Strong Bad has to deal with Homestar staying in his house until his life is pulled back together.Strong Bad: IRONY!!!
- Look, a Distraction!:
- Strong Bad uses this tactic to distract the Cheat so he can kick him into the dryer in "Homestar Ruiner."
- Also see Look Behind You below.
- Look Behind You: How Strong Bad tricks Homestar into thinking he won the Race to the End of the Race:Strong Bad: Hey, look at that... thing... over there.
Homestar: A thing? Where?!
- Naked People Are Funny: After Strong Bad steals his clothes, Homestar is forced to run home naked, to the shock and horror of his friends and neighbors. It gets him a criminal record that Strong Bad must expunge.
- Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: This episode opens with Strong Bad checking an email from Eddie M. of Frenchtown, CA, who asks him why he hasn't beaten the snot out of Homestar and questions if he is chicken to do so, which Strong Bad takes as well as you would expect.Strong Bad: I don't think a Frenchy like yourself is in any position to be calling anyone "chicken", (pronounced French accent) comprende-vous cordon bleu?
- Noodle Implements: When Homestar is moping about his "scandalous downfall and nationwide manhunt":Strong Bad: Dude, it's a public nudity charge. I've done more scandalous things while buying a pair of brown and tan socks.
- Overly Long Name: This episode features the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race and the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race to the End of the Race Silver Trophy of Ultimate Destiny, both of which are almost always said in full, and almost always accompanied by an overly-dramatic fanfare, though they do start saying "The Free Country Race Yadda Yadda Yadda" (quick fanfare). There's also Total Load Total Body Energy Enhancement Powder, a dietary supplement that's almost always called by its full name.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Strong Bad manages to convince everyone he is Homestar simply by donning Homestar's clothes and using the head from a destroyed Homestar Runner float (and mimicking Homestar's speech impediment). It matters not one bit that Strong Bad is quite a bit shorter than Homestar, nor that Strong Bad's face can clearly be seen underneath the papier mache Homestar head. Nor that Strong Bad has visible arms. In fact, the only time anyone noticed in that whole game that something was amiss is when Marzipan thought "Homestar's" voice sounded funny over the phone, and when Coach Z noticed that Homestar's head was bigger than usual. If he talks to Bubs at the Concession Stand while wearing the costume, Bubs will recognize that it's Strong Bad. But he doesn't seem to notice during the Free Country USA Tri-annual Race To The End Of The Race.
- Parrot Expo-WHAT?: "Bubs, please tell me you've got my Snake Boxer 5 manual!" "Snake what now?"
- Prank Call: Strong Bad can use Homestar's cell phone to prank call several characters, including Homsar and himself.
- Reality Ensues: Strong Bad's most physically challenging activity is his daily e-mail check while Homestar and Pom Pom are athletes who've spent weeks training for the race. So when Strong Bad takes Homestar's place in the race, he performs abysmally. The first time works to Strong Bad's advantage, as he's trying to discredit Homestar. When he has to actually do well in the race, he's still no match for the athletically-superior Pom Pom even after blatantly rigging everything in his favor, forcing him to get Pom Pom disqualified.
- Removing the Rival: Strong Bad plants Pom Pom's locker with a fitness supplement in one part of the episode, in order to cheat in the race.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Strong Bad ends up turning Homestar Runner into a publicly humiliated criminal fugitive without a girlfriend, but this also results in Homestar moving in with Strong Bad until he gets his life back together. This forces Strong Bad to go out and resolve the "publicly humiliated," "criminal fugitive," and "without a girlfriend" parts in order to get Homestar out of his house.
- Side-Effects Include...: Attempting to use the Total Load on Strong Bad will have him note the side effects include "Fits of rage, excessive back hair, and mysterious pants issues."
- The Something Song: The protest song Marzipan composes in this episode was originally officially titled "Protest Song", though the Strong Bad Twitter account would later rename it to "Justice Combo Meal".
- Spoof Aesop: From the Extended Play mode:Strong Bad: I think we've learned an important lesson today... that messing around with people's houses and private property is a really bad idea. Unless it's me mess-arounding. Then it's hilarious.
- Unusual Euphemism: Marizpan doesn't like to use the word "hate", so after some teasing from Strong Bad, she tells him "I really chonk you, Strong Bad. I chonk you with the passion of a thousand exploding whales."
- Villain Song: "Handle My Style" by Strong Bad.
- "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: One of the exchanges if you get caught by Strong Mad in the King of Town's castle.Strong Bad: Hey, brother Strong Mad! Are you here to help me steal Homestar's record? [cut to outside where a screaming Strong Bad is thrown out a window] I'll take that as a no.
- Actually Pretty Funny: When the gang has set up an effigy of the King of Town outside Strong Bad's house, consisting mainly of an old stick.Strong Bad: Why'd you bring that ugly, misshapen stick?
Homestar: She organized the protest rally!
Strong Bad: Not Marzipan! [to himself] Though that's a pretty good one. Gotta remember that.
- Anticlimax: Surprisingly enough, subverted. The siege of the Of Town's castle lasts five minutes and takes place off-camera. And then it turns out that being King of Town is the lousiest job in the world, and that the Of Town set the whole thing as part of a Batman Gambit. The real challenge turns out to be Strong Bad directing the Of Town's coup against him.
- Batman Gambit: In this episode, the King of Town levies an intentionally unfair email tax and then places Strong Bad under house arrest for not paying it. Strong Bad is infuriated, decides to rebel, and stages a coup to overthrow the KOT's authority. Turns out that this was exactly what the KOT was anticipating- he was tired of being the King of Town and set up the whole scheme just so he'd be dethroned. Strong Bad turns the tables by using the King of Town's own scheme against him, levying an intentionally unfair tax on Creamy Ding Snack Cakes in order to provoke the KOT into staging a coup and taking his old job back. Then he throws in some Briar Patching to make the King repeal the e-mail tax.
- Big "WHY?!": After Strong Bad defeats the two-headed tarantula controlled by Strong Mad, the latter wails in his usual guttural half-shout, "WHY, STRONG BAD, WHY?!?"
- Break Them by Talking: Strong Sad uses this at the end, depressing anyone he encounters into retreating. This doesn't work on Homsar due to his randomness. In Homsar's case, it ends in a draw, with neither him or Strong Sad able to move- much to the player's advantage, of course.Strong Sad: Doesn't it depress you to know you're doomed to failure?
Homsar: No thanks, officer, I've got a big round one.
Strong Sad: What does that even mean?
Homsar: I'm the long way back from naptime!
Strong Sad: I don't understand you!
- Continuity Nod: Tons, but a plot-relevent one would be to the e-mails "Armies" and "More Armies," where the armed forces as portrayed play major factors. The Municipality (the King of Town's faction) are the bad guys, the Home Starmy is instrumental in his takedown (while the Battle of Strong Badia plays an important role in the Draft), and Strong Badia's lack of an army proves a major hindrance to Strong Bad's plans.
- Egopolis: In addition to Strong Badia, an existing location from the web series, this episode features all the other characters, and some inanimate objects, forming their own countries, most of them named after themselves (such as the Homsar Reservation (Homsar), Pompomerania (Pom Pom), Coachnya (Coach Z), and Marzistar/Homezipan (Marzipan and Homestar)). Surprisingly given the abundance of this trope, Bubs' is named "Concessionstantinople" after his stand, Strong Mad's is named "Country," Strong Sad's is "Bleak House," and the Of Town's is named "The Municipality."
- Edutainment Game: In-universe, the Fun Machine game Math Kickers claims to be educational. It bears much more resemblance to Double Dragon than anything even remotely educational, aside from random algebra equations being scattered all over the game.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the extended play, Strong Bad is disturbed by Coach Z's stalker behavior towards Marzipan.Strong Bad: Congratulations, Coach! I just spent the last few hours carrying my brother's internal organs in a jar and you still managed to top that on the creepy scale!
- Explosive Leash: Strong Bad gets fitted with one at the start. Fortunately, all this does is blast him back into the living room and cover his face with ash.
- Foreigner for a Day: Everyone runs off to form their own countries after Strong Bad declares his independence from the Municipality, and Strong Bad has to convince (or force) the other nations to join his side. Highlights include Bubs' neutral city-state of Concessionstantinople, the Homsar Reservation, and Strong Mad's country of... Country.
- Induced Hypochondria: Part of the solution to a puzzle is tricking Strong Sad into thinking he has "acute aphasic pretendicitis".
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": This is parodied as the news reporter comments on Strong Bad conquering Country, describing Strong Bad a "Red Menace", which is pronounced it "men-ah-chay", before the reporter quickly corrects himself."Sorry, thought that was an Italian word."
- Know When to Fold 'Em: The second fight between Homestar and Coach Z in the Maps & Minions game consists solely of the latter saying "Fair enough. I'll go," and walking away.
- Lighter and Softer: In-Universe, Strong Bad emails when they're taken over by King of Town near the end, who avoids all the usual conventions of making fun of the sender and simply politely writes back. Strong Bad is horrified at this and vows immediately to get his life back.
- Newsreel: A variation: as Strong Bad conquers each new land, the screen turns slightly sepia-toned like a newsreel, and a newsreel announcer is heard providing commentary on the conquest, while an old-timey fanfare is heard in the background.
- Sanity Slippage: When Strong Bad starts talking like Homsar, Strong Sad thinks he's gone insane.
- The Three Trials: Spoofed: Homsar asks Strong Bad to perform "three ancient tasks of great boredom", then reveals he was just joking. Other episodes have legitimate three-pronged objectives, like the three things you need to do to fix Homestar's reputation in "Homestar Ruiner".
- This Means War!: Strong Bad is mad enough about being placed under house arrest for failing to pay the King of Town's "email tax", he has Strong Badia secede from Free Country, USA and plots to overthrow the King of Town.
- Title Drop: Lampshaded after Strong Bad escapes house arrest.Strong Bad: Onward to Strong Badia! Strong Badia the Free!
Homestar: Hey, that's the name of this—
Strong Bad: Shut up.
- Today, X. Tomorrow, the World!: After conquering Strong Sad's Bleak House, Strong Bad says, "Today, Blecch House! Tomorrow, the world!" However, he doesn't quite finish saying the line when Strong Sad interrupts, asking if he can at least be Strong Bad's cultural adviser.
- Translator Microbes: In the form of a Mysterious Pylon on the Homsar Reservation.
- Worthless Currency: Subverted. When Strong Bad finds that The Cheat had drawn all over fake money from a board game, he takes it, calls it Strongbadian currency "Qesos", and trades 100 in to Bubs for a Broken Strong Bad figure listed at half off. Despite it being board game money, Bubs considers the amount that Strong Bad is paying to be more than a million "Poopies".
- All Abusers Are Male: Averted. If you have Strong Bad tell Marzipan to make an autograph out to Homestar, she'll instantly assume (from something Strong Bad said no less) that Homestar was too lazy to actually see her himself, and so she writes something that we don't see extremely angrily on the band photo. Whatever it was she wrote, Strong Bad is so horrified by it that he wonders if there's such a thing as "Written Domestic Abuse".
- Bait-and-Switch: One of the puzzles looks like you have to get Homestar, who is trying to improvise lyrics for Pom Pom's song "Food-Related Love", to rhyme with one food item when the actual solution is another. You have to use the bottle of wine (which is "Bouncy Boy Merlot"), and not the escargot ("Plate of snails? That... doesn't rhyme!")
- The Chew Toy: One of the things necessary for 100% completion of this episode is finding all the ways Strong Bad can get hurt.
- Complexity Addiction: How the whole game gets started. Strong Bad needs money to get his console fixed. Bubs offers him a (crappy) job to raise it. "No, there has to be a way that's a lot more convoluted..."
- He does it again when the funds for the Battle of the Bands won't make up the price of repairing the Fun Machine. Bubs again offers him a job, but Strong Bad decides to instead create his own band and win the battle!
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: As it happens, the Funmachine wasn't broken. Strong Bad just failed to notice his Limozeen game cartridge had a wad of spray cheese jammed in it.
- Creator Cameo: Mark Darin appears as a sender of one of sbemails.
- Dissimile: Talking to Homestar in the extended play leads to this exchange.Homestar: It's not over 'til some fat lady sings, Strong Bad! Oh, smooth charaaade...
Strong Bad: The fat lady sang over a month ago... only, it was a guy, and he wasn't singing so much as he was eating bats...
- The Dog Bites Back: Strong Sad completely abuses his power of security guard on Strong Bad.Strong Sad: I prefer to keep the peace through rational discourse... backed up by ten thousand volts! (tazes Strong Bad)
- Foreshadowing: If you pay attention at the start of the episode, you can see the lump of aerosol cheese that turns out to have caused the Funmachine to malfunction all along.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: The first part of the final act lets you name Strong Bad's band, DÖI (or rather, pick from choices provided by SB, the King of Town, and Homsar... which all spell out DÖI anyway and hence don't matter in the end).
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Because Strong Bad's band is so terrible, he has to sabotage the other acts in the Battle Royalte of the Bands to have any change of winning. Which unfortunately means the audience for his big performance is mostly composed of people who aren't inclined to like his act.Strong Bad: Hmm, tough crowd... of people in bands I just sabotaged.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: the King of Town, when first seen as one of the only options left for Strong Bad's Band, is eating a Wiimote. While in character for the King to eat anything not nailed down and/or on fire (except peas), and sometimes even then, the Nintendo Wii was the system that the game debuted on.
- Metal Scream: Used on occasion.
- Photoshop Filter of Evil: Parodied when Strong Bad sees "that inverted negative photo thing" in a depressing rockumentary and notes that it means "somebody's going to rehab".
- Picked Last: After setting up the competition, Strong Bad learns that the proceeds from the event will not be enough to fund the Funmachine repairs; he'll need the prize money as well. Forced to set up his own band at the last minute, he immediately recruits the only people left: King of Town and Homsar.
- Playing Cyrano: Strong Bad does this for Homestar during his singing audition. Later Pom Pom continues to do so via a radio headset when they perform as Pom Star. Inverted when Strong Bad gets the Drive Thru Whale to send Homestar terrible lyrics, ruining their concert.
- Reusable Lighter Toss: Tossed on a car that remains on fire for the rest of the episode.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Played for laughs at the end. Strong Bad gets his Funmachine back from Bubs and discovers that it still won't work. Upon further inspection, he discovers that the machine's failure to run properly is being caused by a glob of cheese inside the cartridge - which could have been removed at any time, making the entire ordeal unnecessary.
- Stalker with a Crush: Coach Z toward Marzipan. He has one in the web series as well, but here, it's cranked Up to Eleven.
- Stealing from the Till: Bubs openly admits to "skimming off the top" with regard to the proceeds from Strong Bad's band contest. Strong Bad either doesn't notice this, or accepts it as a standard part of doing business with Bubs.
- Take That!: In-story example: after Strong Bad turns Marzipan against Limozeen with some staged evidence, she composes a song called "Limozeen is Not Very Nice".
- Undisclosed Funds: Repairing Strong Bad's Funmachine will cost him "one big sack of cash". This is apparently a valid unit of measurement for money, since setting up the Battle will give them funds for "Half a big sack of cash," necessitating Strong Bad form his own band.
- Aerith and Bob: Uzi Bazooka and Craig. Admit it, Strong Bad could have thought of a better name for The Cheat's villain than that.
- Aluminum Christmas Trees: Dangeresque comments that "Homestar" sounds like the kind of guy whose butt he'd kick on an evil secret underwar aircraft carrier. While this sounds like a lot of the stuff that Dangeresque makes up to make himself sound cool, Underwater Aircraft Carriers were actually a thing that saw use during the second World War.
- Art Shift: The "trailer" for Dangeresque 3 at the beginning of the episode of the same name features more realistic graphics than the series normally has. If Dangeresque takes a nap in his office chair, he wakes up in this version of his office.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Homestar's villain in "Dangeresque 3" is named Uzi Bazooka. Strong Bad breaks script a few times to admit that that's a really cool name.
- Bad "Bad Acting": During the tutorial, and a few times in "Dangeresque 3" (chiefly from Coach Z as Renaldo).
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Perducci and Uzi Bazooka in the "movie". However, this appears to be vague at best- there's no interacting between the two, and the only idea that they might be working together is their actions in the first half of the episode. The true Big Bad Duumvirate is Uzi Bazooka and Craig.
- California Doubling: In-Universe example. The Stone Bridge acts as Ireland, Tokyo, Egypt, Venice, and Paris.
- Character Filibuster: Parodied, when Strong Bad fast-forwards through Marzipan's lecture on the environment.
- Chewing the Scenery: Strong Bad when mourning the death of his father, Dadgeresque.
- Colon: Cancer: Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People: Episode 4: Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective.
- Development Hell: In-universe: Dangeresque 3 was released four and a half years after it was supposed to be.Strong Bad: Yes, I finally finished Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective, so you can all eat it.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Dangeresque considers Baron Diamonocle forcing him to eat stale ranch-flavored potato chips a heinous enough act to frame him for endangered puppy trafficking and murdering several presidents.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: In "Dangeresque 3", the mastermind behind Uzi Bazooka turns out to be "Craig" (The Cheat).
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In-universe, Renaldo dies offscreen when the stace spation is destroyed, much to Coach Z's dismay.
- DVD Bonus Content: The Extended Play for "Dangeresque 3" is done in the style of a "behind the scenes" featurette.
- Esoteric Happy Ending: Everyone complains about Strong Bad's ending for Dangeresque 3.
- Evil Twin: Arguably Sultry Buttons to Cutesy Buttons in "Dangeresque 3". Not to mention Uzi Bazooka for Dangeresque Too.
- Exact Words: Dangeresque 3 is in 3D, in that it's rendered in 3D graphics.
- Femme Fatale: Sultry Buttons.
- Fixing the Game: Perducci does this during his card game. Unlike most examples, he gets away with it and doesn't lose at all, and the only reason he loses the plans was due to a mistake on Killingyouguy's behalf.
- Fourth Wall Greeting: This episode's "Extended Play" is treated as Strong Bad going around filming material for the DVD's behind-the-scenes documentary sections.
- Framing Device: Dangeresque 3 is presented as the gang sitting down to watch the premiere of the titular movie, with the player controlling the actions of Dangeresque during the course of the film. Extended Play is framed as the DVD extras, with each map location playing the role of a different feature (bloopers, deleted scenes, etc.).
- Green Aesop: Defied in-universe. At one point in the movie, Cutesy Buttons gives an eight-minute Green Aesop to Dangeresque, in which she has given away the formula to the scientific community at large to care for the environment. It was filmed, but it was largely skipped over at the premiere. Marzipan was not amused.
- Left It In: The movie includes some very obvious errors that should have been edited out but weren't, likely because of laziness or incompetence on the part of The Cheat, who was in charge of editing and post-production. On top of it all, some of these errors can be collected for 100% Completion.Strong Bad: The Cheat, what happened? You told me this was gonna look like some kind of giant T. rex with tentacle arms and laser beam eyes.
The Cheat: (The Cheat noises)
Strong Bad: "Fix it in post"?! This is post!
- The Man Behind the Man: The Big Bad of the "movie" turns out to be The Cheat, AKA Craig.
- Mexican Standoff: One occurs after Dadgeresque's death scene. Your objective is to get Cutesy Buttons to the launch codes without Killingyouguy, Craig, or Uzi Bazooka bumping into her and forcing her to return to her starting point.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, Uzi Bazooka's "murder" of Dadgeresque. However, the moment is kinda ruined when Senor Cardgage just walks offscreen.
- Narm: In-universe, with Senor Cardgage walking out of the set during Dadgeresque's death scene.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: At one point, Strong Bad as Dangeresque and Coach Z as Renaldo, while traversing the treacherous jungles of Strong Borneo, have an encounter with "a Western Lowland Grizzlysharkasaurusbot — and it's holding a shark!"
- One Steve Limit: Dangeresque's partner, Dangeresque Too.
- Phrase Catcher: People keep telling Dangeresque "But you're not gonna like it" in this episode.Strong Bad as Dangeresque: Why do people keep telling me that?
- Press X to Not Die: The gameplay of the Fun Machine game Space Circus Catastrophe.
- Product Placement: Parodied. Bubs goes off-script to launch into a sales pitch for a sports drink being sold at the concession stand. Strong Bad warns him, "No product placement!"
- Retirony: Lampshaded to hell and back with Renaldo.
- Right-Hand Cat: The Cheat is used as such, being stroked by a hairbrush, which is only used because that Uzi Bazooka, who is doing the stroking has no arms.
- Later subverted- the Cheat reveals he's the real villain, named Craig.
- Robotic Reveal: Uzi Bazooka.
- Running Gag: Several characters tell Strong Bad, "But you're not gonna like it!"
- Lampshaded when Strong Bad, after hearing this phrase spoken to him, says, "Why does everybody keep telling me that?"
- Also, "It looks like I'm going to have to juuuump!"
- Say My Name: "PERDUCCCCCIII!" and "BAAAAZOOOOOKAAAAA!!!", both from Dangeresque.
- Show Within a Show / Stylistic Suck: "Dangeresque 3".
- Special Effects Failure: In-universe. A monster in the catacombs is played by Strong Sad covered in motion capture balls; The Cheat forgot to add the CGI.
- Throw It In!: In-universe. Marzipan insists on having her potted plant Credenza onscreen in "Dangeresque 3", over Strong Bad's objections. He does end up finding a use for it later, though.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: This is the fate of The Man Behind the Man during the final scene of the movie, which takes place on a space station. Due to the movie's terrible production values, the villain is just shoved into a dryer covered in aluminum foil.
- You Killed My Father:
- Homestar as Uzi Bazooka kills Senor Cardgage as Dadgeresque. When that happens, an anguished Strong Bad as Dangeresque confronts Homestar/Uzi, brandishing his nunchuck gun, and says...
- Dangeresque doesn't actually shoot him, mind you- it's a Mexican Standoff scene.
- All Just a Dream: After defeating Trodgor, Strong Bad wakes up to find out it was apparently just a dream... except even though Free Country USA is back to normal, Trogdor is still on the rampage.
- And You Were There: Strong Bad says this at the end.
- Anticlimax Boss: Used In-universe. At the end of the episode, when Strong Bad confronts Trogdor and simply slashes the dragon's body, killing him right then and there. Strong Bad then lampshades this by saying with disappointment, "Well, that was a little anti-climatic." Turns out to be a Bait-and-Switch Boss when a much more powerful low-res polygon version of Trogdor appears. Then Strong Bad turns into a low-res polygon cyborg, based on concept art he submitted for himself in a promo video for SBCG4AP. And then, the REAL battle with Trogdor begins.
- Badass Boast: When Strong Bad gets his gloves on the Trogsword, he shouts out an epic one (also, see Shout-Out below):Strong Bad: A-HA! By the power of EGA! Extended memory management! Raster interrupt 6! Hold and modify! And the mighty Mode 8! The power of the Trogsword is MINE!
- Big Bad: Trogdor.
- Big Boo's Haunt: After the real world and the video game world merge, Strong Bad's house becomes haunted by American Revolution-themed ghosts from a game called "Spirits of '76". It's up to Strong Bad to rid his house of the ghosts.
- Big "NO!": Spoken by Strong Bad after he catches Trogdor burninating Strong Badia.Strong Bad: Trogdor?! NOOOOO!!! Bad Trogdor! Heel!
- Bring My Brown Pants: If you try to go outside without talking to Strong Sad first, he'll say "Where are you going? You can't take on Trogdor without calling product support first! You'll void your warranty! And maybe your bladder!"
- Call-Back: the Concession Stand is closed due to damages sustained during the filming of the previous episode.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: The arcade cabinet key.
- Copy Protection: Parodied. To get into Peasant's Quest, Strong Bad needs to solve a copy protection puzzle. However, he doesnt have the actual copy protection feely, so youll have to find a way to improvise.
- Distressed Dude: Strong Bad has to rescue Bubs from Marzipan (who's been possessed by Lady Crate Ape), and trick Rather Dashing into rescuing Strong Sad from the King of Town (who's become a scorpion monster named Munchox). Strong Bad also ends up having to save Homestar from Trogdor's lair.
- Enemy Roll Call: Parodied. All the characters are named during the credits, even the ones with little importance.
- Exposition Fairy: Homestar gets turned into one of these. Naturally, he's not very helpful.
- Fetch Quest: "Princess" Strong Sad keeps sending you on quests to find items like "The Sigil of Dark Dampening" and "The Shimmering Trinket of Endless Bargain-Hunting." The reward for each quest is another quest to fetch the same item (with a different name) that keeps respawning. This will go on forever, if you let it. And you don't actually have to do any of them. All you need to do to make the story progress is get him to assign you the first quest; there's no need to actually complete it.
- Game Gourmet: One of the many video game tropes skewered. At one point, Homestar's eating tons of food items because they're just lying all over the place.
- Genre Savvy: This episode has its fair share of this.Strong Bad: Say it with me, The Cheat: Licensed video games are never good.
- Homeless Pigeon Person: Senor Cardgage is mentioned to be one of these after Trogdor goes on a rampage.Strong Bad: You can usually find Senor Cardgage reading to the pigeons behind here, but now there's just all these burnt chicken bones. I guess Trogdor must've scared them— Ohhh...
- Hypocritical Humor: Clicking on the TV in Strong Bad's basement will get him to comment on the premise of a Captain N: The Game Master-type show.Strong Bad: This is the one where some real world kids get sucked into a video game. Ridiculous!
- Immediate Sequel: The previous episode ends with Strong Bad jumping off his couch to escape being surrounded by the other characters, who were not happy with the changes he made to the movie compared to what he promised them. This episode opens with Strong Bad landing from that very jump, crashing into and damaging the Trogdor arcade machine in the process.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Lampshaded. "Must've been a load-bearing dragon!"
- No Inner Fourth Wall: This episode features Strong Bad hopping in and out of several in-universe video games, as well as characters from other in-universe games showing up in Free Country USA.
- One-Winged Angel: Ultimate Trogdor.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: A rather ironic In-Universe example occurs in this episode with "Gel-arshie's Pro Fruit-Boarder". Doubles as Hypocritical Humor, since Strong Bad being able to play a licensed game ("Limozeen's Hot Babelien Odyssey") in Baddest of the Bands is the entire reason he puts himself through everything that happens in that game. Not to mention that this is a licensed video game.Strong Bad: Say it with me, The Cheat: Licensed video games are never good.
- Pun: Strong Sad remarks that the Trogdor machine sounds like it needs its cooling fan serviced.Strong Bad: Where am I supposed to get Fanservice around here?
- Randomly Generated Quests: Parodied. Strong Sad has been warped into the world of a video game that exists within the series and when you find him, he has taken up the mantle of quest-giver. He'll ask for a randomly named item, which is always just the same cube, or "pixel" as characters within the game refer to it. After delivering the cube to him, he "rewards" you by giving you another quest, which is just to find the same cube, in the same place you found the first one, under a different name. This can be done infinitely many times, and nothing will ever be accomplished by doing so. The real solution is to deliver a cube of scorpion bait, which causes the King of Town who has been merged with a scorpion monster from the game world to attack him, letting you get him out of the way of the path he was blocking.
- Reality Bleed: Strong Bad's malfunctioning Trogdor cabinet leads to Free Country USA being combined with the worlds of assorted Fictional Video Games.
- Save the Princess: Parodied. Rather Dashing tells Strong Bad that he's gotten out of the dragon slaying business and switched to rescuing princesses. However, work is very slow because there simply aren't many princesses around who need saving. He eventually has to settle for rescuing Strong Sad from the King of Town.
- Took a Level in Badass: Strong Bad does (literally) near the end. And just in time, too, because Trogdor just transformed into Ultimate Trogdor.
- Trapped in TV Land: Strong Bad enters the world of Videlectrix games.
- You Can't Get Ye Flask: As a Continuity Nod to Thy Dungeonman, there is a ye flask on a shelf in the Peasantry level of 8 Bit Is Enough. No matter how hard he tries, Strong Bad cannot get ye flask.
- Since this game does have graphics, though, we can see the reason is because his arms are too short.
- Q: Why did you decide to release SBCG4AP for the Wii?
Strong Bad: Because you promised me 50 Rupees. And a pet Skulltula.