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Web Animation / Cheat Commandos

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Cheat Commandos... Rock, rock on!

Cheat Commandos, maybe fighting for freedom
And each is sold separately
Cheat Commandos, they're probably battling evil
Buy all our playsets and toys!

What started out as a spin-off of Strong Bad telling The Cheat that "Firebert is not a good Commando name" evolved over time into a sub-series (of sorts) on Homestar Runner.

Cheat Commandos follows the misadventures of a group of mercenaries as they try to protect the world from the evil Blue Laser, though they also sometimes hang out with its leader. The series is a spoof of Merchandise-Driven shows from the 1980s, with G.I. Joe being the most obvious inspiration.


This series contains examples of:

  • Adjacent to This Complete Breakfast: Parodied in the "Cheat Commandos...Os" commercial, where the titular sugar cereal is shown to be "part of this complete delicious breakfast," which consists of a slice of chocolate cake, a mug of marshmallows, a cup of caramel cubes, and a footnote saying "Gallon of Ice Cream not pictured." The narrator suggests you should take some vitamins too. The whole scene is labeled as a "Delicious Nutritious Breakfast" with "nutritious" crossed out.
  • Angry Fist-Shake / Skyward Scream: Gunhaver does both at the end of "Shopping For Danger".
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  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: The crew play with a new bulletproof vest they got by shooting each other with Gunhaver's gun. Later Admiral Flashfight is killed because everyone thought he was wearing the vest.
  • Bad Boss: Blue Laser Commander. Aside from generally being abrasive and shouty, he once stuck a fork in a minion's eye just so he could tell them apart.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": In "Comamndos In the Classroom", one of the "pro-positive life tools" Gunhaver gives to Reynold is to "envision [his] inapprorpriate-ors as giant slices of pizza". In an Easter egg at the end, Blue Laser Commander says this to some Blue Laser foot soldiers who are dressed up like pizza slices:
    One foot soldier: Um, I'm not entirely sure this is what they were talking about, sir.
    Blue Laser Commander: SHUT IT! Pizza can't talk!
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Very common, as they continuously reinforce that they are Merchandise-Driven.
    • Common examples include reffering to locations as playsets and talking about how certain characters are limited edition.
    • As seen in a commentary on fan costumes, in which one man is dressed as the "voice" of Gunhaver, Crack Stuntman, Strong Bad describes him as "the voice of this cartoon man in this cartoon show" and who does "the voice of this other cartoon man inside the cartoon man show".
  • Buffy Speak: In "Shopping for Danger", when the Cheat Commandos don't let him come with them on their mission, Reynold gripes, "I never get to go on any missions. I would be a good mission... guy."
  • Canon Immigrant: Agent Chimendez claims to be an Expanded Universe character. "Novelizations, read-along story books... Things like that."
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Blue Laser.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Agent Chimendez, who overthrew Gunhaver at the end of "The Next Epi-Snowed". Come the Easter Egg in "Pistols for Pandas" and Gunhaver is leader again, with Agent Chimendez never mentioned again after that.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: The leader of Blue Laser speaks in incredibly shrill, high-pitched screeches.
  • Crossover: Firebert teams up with Dangeresque in "Dangeresque: Puppet Squad: The Hot Jones Hijack", being played by the puppet version of The Cheat. The rest appear played by Kick-The-Cheat plushies in costume at the end party.
    • There was also a crossover between this and Teen Girl Squad: "TGS Issue 7", which features the girls as babies taken care of by Mrs. Commanderson, has an Easter egg showing Mrs. Commanderson with Gunhaver and Fightgar, both drawn in the TGS style.
      Singers: (singing to the Cheat Commandos theme) Mrs. Commanderson, she's some kind of bird-reptile, and she teaches Pre-K!
  • Dating Catwoman: In "The Next Epi-Snowed!", Gunhaver is suddenly dating New Bad Guy Girl Character—voiced by Crack Stuntman's actual girlfriend.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the second part of "2-Part Episode", the Blue Laser Commander takes advantage of Reynold's dissatisfaction with the Cheat Commandos to recruit him as a new Blue Laser agent, named "Scrawnjob". In this role, Reynold is given credit for Blue Laser's diabolical plot to drive up the price of skee-ball prizes as a way to make kids become part of criminal groups.
  • Fighting Clown: Fudgeclank of the Topplegangers is a literal example.
  • Foreshadowing: The portion of the cartoon shown in "An Important Rap Song" gives us a taste of how Crack Stuntman acts during the show's production, which is further explored in "The Next Epi-Snowed!".
    Gunhaver: Cheat Commandos... riggidy-roll!
    (the other Commandos become confused)
    Silent Rip: Uh... that's not what we usually say-
  • Friendly Enemy: Blue Laser is on pretty good terms with the Cheat Commandos despite being mortal enemies, and had been known to hang out with them for fun.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Blue Laser is more than happy to invite the Commandos over for Thanksgiving.
  • Harmless Villain: A close inspection of Blue Laser's actual plans shows that after whatever went down in "Operation Ocean Blow" ("WE'LL BLOW UP THE OCEAN!!", incidentally inspired by the actual G.I. Joe episode "There's No Place Like Springfield"), their plans are 1. mostly aimed at the Cheat Commandos personally, not anybody else, and 2. moreover, mostly are barely even trying.
  • Lost in Character: "The Next Epi-Snowed!" goes Off the Rails as Crack Stuntman loses all sense of separation between his real self and the character Gunhaver. Though instead of Method Acting, he keeps insisting that details from his real life should also apply to his character. To end the madness, the director traps Stuntman in a cardboard box... by writing himself into the show and asking Gunhaver to climb into a cardboard box.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: In "Let Us Give TANKS", Blue Laser Commander jabs a fork in one minion's eye. The minion is remarkably calm about it. When everyone shares what they're thankful for, the minion says, "I'm... thankful for this fork in my eye."
  • Merchandise-Driven: "Buy All Our Playsets and Toys!"
  • Nominal Hero: The only heroic thing the Cheat Commandoes ever do is try to stop Blue Laser, and conversely, basically the only villainous thing Blue Laser does is try to stop the Cheat Commandoes. At one point, Flashfight takes over the team and starts sending them out on actually useful and heroic missions (rescuing hostages, airdropping supplies, building orphanages), to which Gunhaver reacts with confused disgust.
  • Non-Action Guy: Reynold. They never let him forget it either.
  • Parody: Of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Several of Blue Laser's plots were actual G.I. Joe episodes. Blue Laser Commander has a high, raspy voice like Cobra Commander.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: As an evil league of violence, Blue Laser naturally has several plans for world domination. However, the toons seen never actually show them carrying out such plans.
  • Poke the Poodle: Blue Laser and Scrawnjob once flooded all the amusement parks with counterfeit Skee-Ball tickets, making their prizes more expensive. Everyone reacts with horror, except Flashfight.
  • Poor Communication Kills: When the Cheat Commandos get invited to Blue Laser's Thanksgiving meal, they hide it from Gunhaver, reasoning that he'll overreact if he finds out. Gunhaver finds out anyway and overreacts even worse because he thinks the Commandos have been taken captive.
  • Product-Promotion Parade: Cranked up to 11, as any new character or vehicle will prompt the episode to pause and remind viewers that you can buy it from Cheap As Free Toys. Even when appearing on "Dangeresque Puppet Squad", Dangeresque makes sure to promote Firebert's playsets and toys as Decemberween presents.
  • Put on a Bus: In "The Next Epi-Snowed!", Crack Stuntman starts making bizarre, disruptive demands of the show. The director A. Chimendez retaliates by writing his character, Gunhaver, out of the show temporarily, and even passive-aggressively threatens to hire a new VA.
    Reynold: It's too bad Gunhaver's on a secret mission to the moon for an undisclosed period of time, and that when he gets back his voice might have changed.
  • Red Shirt: The Green Helmets. When they radio HQ to beg for help in the middle of a battle, Gunhaver cuts the call short and does nothing, reasoning that they don't need to save the Green Helmets because "we got, like, fifty of them."
  • Rhymes on a Dime / Verbal Ticked: Crackotage's main shtick. Granted, he's a parody of this kind of character and as such, he's not very good at it, if "Commandos in the Classroom" is any indication.
    Crackotage: Movie night is my favorite night. I think it is my favorite night. Hee-hee-hoo-hoo!
    Silent Rip: Are you even trying anymore?
    • In an Easter egg for the same toon, this happens again:
      Silent Rip: Aw, you can do it. Try another one.
      Crackotage: I think my rhymes are truly broke. Broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke, broke! Hoo-hoo, hweh-hweh!
    • After being fired from the team in "2 Part Episode" he promptly stops rhyming, only resuming in an Easter Egg at the end of part two:
      Crackotage: And now that I'm back as part of the team, I can get into my old rhyme scheme. Laughity laugh laugh!
  • Show Within a Show: To Homestar Runner. The Cheat plays the role of Firebert and Gunhaver's voice actor, Crack Stuntman became a reoccurring character.
  • Signature Team Transport: The Action Figure Storage Vehicle, further parodying the show's Merchandise-Driven nature.
  • Sissy Villain: The Blue Laser Commander, and hammy to boot.
  • Smurfette Principle: Parodied with Fox Face whose packaging notes being female as her unique feature. Oddly she's never had a speaking role.
  • Squick: In-Universe in "Let us give TANKS!", the very same episode where Blue Laser Commander solved the problem of telling apart two indistinguishable mooks by stabbing one with a fork, an Easter Egg reveals that his standards stretch so far:
    Blue Laser Commander: I need you... to take this plate of food... make a milkshake out of it... and spread it on Nana's gums for her!
    Blue Laser Minion: (usual monotone) I'm going to go ahead and disobey a direct order, sir.
    Blue Laser Commander: UNDERSTANDABLE!
  • Sue Donym: In "The Next Epi-Snowed!", director A. Chimendez writes himself into the episode and makes up his commando name on the spot: "Uh, my name is Chimendez."
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In "Shopping For Danger", Reynold tries on Reinforcements' Justice Rocket Backpack Rocket Rocket, only to fall over and accidentally set it to fire. Pinned by the pack's weight, Reynold mutters "My land, I can't see this ending well..."
  • Toilet Humour: "How should I know? You're the one called Silent Rip."
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-universe, A. Chimendez seems to take his role as writer of the cartoon quite seriously, and regards Gunhaver as "a great military leader."
  • Toyetic: The show's tagline is literally "Buy all our playsets and toys."
  • [Trope Name]: In "The Next Epi-Snowed!", Crack Stuntman degenerates into this when he forgets his line.
    Gunhaver: Um... words... say. Talk?
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: When Flashfight shows up in "2-Part Episode", he is treated this way despite actually making the Cheat Commandos perform meaningful missions after arresting Blue Laser Commander... though he does fire Silent Rip just for correcting him.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Literally in "Shopping for Danger." Blue Laser is out grocery shopping on Double Coupon Day, and it's up to the Commandos to stop them from saving money that could go into buying new superweapons.
    Gunhaver: They could use all their savings to make a button that will make it snow at the beach!
    Silent Rip: But sir, what about beach volleyball?
    Gunhaver: There won't be any more beach volleyball!
  • Wag the Director: Happens In-Universe in "The Next Epi-Snowed!" Crack Stuntman lets his star power go to his head and makes ridiculous demands, such as writing his girlfriend into the show as a new character, and having Gunhaver fight from a massage chair (so Stuntman himself can record all his lines in one). When he gets too disruptive, A. Chimendez traps Stuntman in a cardboard box and puts Gunhaver on the fastest bus he can find.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Reynold in the second half of "2-Part Episode".


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