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Website / Scratch

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"Imagine, program, share"
— The site's motto

If you've been at a beginner computer programming course, then you may know what Scratch is.

Scratch is an educational programming site created by Lifelong Kindergarten Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It was intended to be an easy introduction to programming for children, with its own visual programming interface of the same name. However, due to its social media features, such as sharing projects and commenting, it's seen as a (mostly) non-educational site for kids (and teenagers), where people can share projects from games to animation to art. It's still a nice place for basic coding, though. Scratch is also infamous for its strict and overprotective moderating.note 

The development of its own educational programming language started in 2003 and was completed in 2007, with a site launched to go with it.

Creators on Scratch who have their own articles here:

Works on Scratch which have their own articles here:

April Fools Scratch Wiki is the silly version of its wiki, Scratch Wiki.

Scratch and its projects in general contain examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: The mascots of Scratch, besides Scratch Catnote , Gobo, Pico, Tera, Nano, and Giga, all have no confirmed genders, which leaves the users to guess their genders. The most popular theory states that Gobo, Pico, and Nano are male and Tera and Giga are female, while another popular theory states that they are non-binary.
  • Animal Talk: On the April Fools' Day of 2016, people could comment on ScratchCat's and he would "reply" in cat languagenote .
  • April Fools' Day:
  • Art Evolution: In late 2014, redesigns of the Scratch characters appeared. To see it for yourself, just compare this old Pico art with the new Pico art.
  • Artistic License Paleontology: The Dinosaur3 sprite in the Scratch 3.0 sprite library is a pterodactyl, which is not a dinosaur. Someone took this very seriously.
  • Ascended Glitch: The Semicolon Glitchnote , returned for the April Fool pranks of 2014, 2016, and 2017.
  • Ban on Politics: While politics and religion can be discussed in projects and studios, they are prohibited from being discussed in the forums, since they are likely flame baits.
  • Beeping Computers: 2 sound effects in Scratch's sound library sounds exactly like that.
  • Bowdlerise: Since Scratch is supposed to be for all ages, Scratchers have to censor content inappropriate for childrennote  they use in their projects before sharing. This also happens when a project is taken down and a Scratcher has to alter it before resharing it.
  • Cartoon Creature: Gobo and his friends. It is unknown what species they are, although many users consider them to be aliens.
  • The Chew Toy: Countless "Beat up"note  projects where you click buttons just to induce agony in the targeted character. Exaggerated if there are more than 20 buttons. A popular example would be Beat Up Sonic, with a giant remix tree
  • Clip-Art Animation: Animations done by the inexperienced are usually those.
  • Cosplay Fan Art: The Scratch Design Studio, In the Spotlight, allowed people to design the Scratch characters cosplaying as characters of another popular media.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Scratch Cat is a cat.
  • Edible Theme Naming: The Edible Scratch April Fool's prank of 2015. In the joke language, "Edible Scratch", food puns are thrown around. Even Gobo and his friends are turned into food, with their names as food puns on their original names.
  • Emoticon: Comment emoticons of a Scratch Cat head, waffle, Gobo, some foodnote , candycornnote , a confetti hornnote , and travel objectsnote . Cliche yellow-headed faces are used as emoticons on the forums.
    • As part of the 10 year anniversary, more convenient emoticons were added, which used Scratch Cat's face in various emoticons.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Giga and Nano.note 
  • Digital Avatar: A user icon can be uploaded to the site, replacing the default user icon with a white silhouette of Scratch Cat.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Enforced by the Scratch rules, due to one of the "report project" reasons being "Uses realistic weapons", which states depictions of realistic weapons, such as pictures of guns and gunshot sounds, aren't allowed, however "cartoon or fictional items like laser beams are okay".
  • Fan Remake:
    • A lot of these exist on Scratch. Just do a search for a name of a video game and you'll likely get a Scratch recreation of that game. However, a Pac-Man remake resulted in a DMCA complaint from Namco.
    • Surprisingly, Scratch was well-known for hosting recreated Five Nights at Freddy's games online for free, before the Five Nights at Freddy's project restriction was introduced.
    • And Fortnite too.
  • Fingerless Hands: Scratch Cat, Gobo, Tera, and Pico. Giga and Nano have mitten hands.
  • Funny Animal: Scratch Cat is most likely this, despite only being heard meowing by humans.
  • Fun with Autocensors: As April Fool pranks in 2011-2013, various non-profane words were replaced with funny words. For example, on April Fools 2011, every instance of "you" was replaced with "pikachu". More info can be seen on the Scratch Wiki.
  • Game Mod:
    • A user can do this to a random project by remixing.
    • In fact, there are many modifications of the Scratch program, which add cool and useful features which can make creating a project creating a real software. Most of them are mods of Scratch 1.4, although there are few Scratch 2.0 mods. A list of known Scratch modifications can be seen here.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Some projects, which are in a language other than English, reach the front page, usually if a Scratch Team member features them. For the convenience of English-speakers, an English translation is usually created by either the creator or a viewer.
    • In fact, a lot of type of these projects are Japanese, due to Scratch's popularity in Japan.
  • High School AU: Not really a high school, but as part of the April Fools prank of 2017, there was Mascots in Training, a school where mascots go when they get deleted from a project.
  • Mascot: Scratch Cat.
  • Meaningful Name: Scratch is named after DJ term, "scratching", which refers to putting together bits of music into songs, like putting scripts and sprites to form a project. Remix, which is a Scratcher's remake or alteration of another Scratcher's project, is based off the same music term.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Scratch, in short words, is supposed to be for everyone. It attracts kids with a cheery design, cute official characters, and an easy way to create games and animations, while it attracts teenagers and adults with focus on coding and a large community.
  • Network Decay: Major Shifts That Fit example. Like said above, Scratch was intended to be an educational site where young kids would learn the basics of programming and create their simple web projects. Because of the ability to upload and share projects with others and several other social media features, Scratch is now treated as generic work-sharing site, mostly by the older users. In other words, Newgrounds for kids. However, most projects utilize code and Scratch is still a popular software/website for teaching programming languages.
    Harakou (A Scratch Team member): Scratch is a site that encourages creativity in many forms. We'd love it if everyone used the programming aspect, but we're not going to require it.
  • Product Placement: During the Hour of Code in 2015note , Cartoon Network partnered with Scratch and promoted one of their shows, We Bare Bears, on the site, along with a "hide-and-seek game" activity. In 2016, Cartoon Network again promoted The Powerpuff Girls (2016) and Steven Universe.
  • Scunthorpe Problem:
    • Because of how referrals to some sites based on private chatting, such as Discord and Amino, are censored, as one of the ways for Scratch to avoid any risk of blame from a Moral Guardian when a child goes on there and gets sexually preyed upon, it's cumbersome to refer to literal discord or the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic character, or amino acids.
    • LMFAO is censored because it's an acronym for a profane phrase, even if someone needs to credit the creator of "Party Rock Anthem" as enforced for any work someone uses but is not theirs.
    • "R34" is censored for being an acronym of a phrase related to sexuality, which gets in the way of talking about cars.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Some April Fools jokes referenced pop and internet culture.
      • In 2011, whenever "April" and "Friday" is said in the comments, it turns into a link to the music video for Friday by Rebecca Black.
      • In 2012, it was announced that Scratch would be replaced by Neigh and the site was covered with references to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The Text Based Forum Games had an announcement referencing The Hunger Games.
      • In 2014, references to the Lolcat memes covered the whole entire site, including a joke language called "Meow".
      • In 2017, an Illuminati symbol emoticon was temporarily added.
    • Several Scratch Design Studiosnote  celebrated certain parts of pop culture. For example, one celebrated the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Sliding Scale Of Silliness Vs Seriousness: A large amount of projects tend to be silly and light-hearted, meant to cheer up a person's day. There are dramatic and sad projects also.
  • Trope Codifier: Block-based, and otherwise visual, programming languages have predated Scratch, but Scratch remains the best known example of one.
  • The Trickster: Pico is always thought to be this type, thanks to the 2013 April Fools' prank.
  • World Tour: As part of the April Fool prank of 2016, Scratch Cat was supposedly on a vacation somewhere in the world.


Video Example(s):



Hey scratchU8, why don't pigs fly?
I'll go ask this... *LOUD COUGHING*
okay you go do that then

Even scratchU8 doesn't know what he has done.

(Short is licensed under CC-BY-SA-2.0)

How well does it match the trope?

4.69 (26 votes)

Example of:

Main / StylisticSuck

Media sources: