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Website / Scratch

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

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.

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

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Notable users on Scratch that have their own articles here are WazzoTV and scratchU8.


Scratch and its projects in general contain examples of:

  • Ambiguous Gender: The mascots of Scratch, besides Scratch Cat: 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 have No Genders.
  • Animal Talk: On the April Fools' Day of 2016, people could comment on ScratchCat's and he would "reply" in cat languagenote .
  • Animesque: A lot of anime artwork on the site are done by Western Scratchers. Even Scratch Team member, ceebee, is into this too.
  • April Fools' Day: The website pulls off several pranks every April Fools' Day, involving replacing commonly-used words with funny words, announcing fake news, adding new emoticons, and using shout outs to various things in the media.
  • Advertisement:
  • 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 Dinosaur 3 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 , which was deemed a Good Bad Bug by the community, returned for the April Fool pranks of 2014, 2016, and 2017.
  • Author Avatar: This is used a lot by the Scratchers. Most of them are humans, either realistic, cartoon, or stick figure. On the other hand, some of them are animals, either because they are in the Furry Fandom, like a media franchise that involves animals, or Furries Are Easier to Draw.
  • 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 NSFW/NSFSnote  contentnote  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.
  • Cats Are Superior: Besides the fact that Scratch's mascot is an orange cat named "Scratch Cat", cats are very popular on this site, often reaching the front page as Animesque animations and CCsnote . This may due to either the popularity of Warrior Cats or the fact that The Internet Is for Cats.
  • The Chew Toy: Countless "Beat up"note  projects where you click buttons just to induce agony in the targeted character. Taken Up to Eleven if there are more than 20 buttons. A popular example would be Beat Up Sonic, with a giant remix tree
  • Children Are Innocent: Any project that contains content inappropriate for "all ages" will get either restricted or taken down, even if the violence can be found in an E-rated video game or a PG-rated kids' movie. This unsurprisingly frustrates Scratchers.
  • Clip-Art Animation: Animations done by the inexperienced are usually those.
  • Content Warnings: Projects with NFEnote  content will usually have a warning, either in the Notes and Credits or in the beginning of the project. This is also used for projects with intimate behavior, such as kissing. Scratchers will also sometimes do this on their own accord.
  • 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.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: Yes, many projects contain flashing lights, usually a rainbow of colors moving quickly. No wonder a seizure warning is given.
  • 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. User icons don't always represent the user, or the user in Real Life. They can range from funny images found on the Internet to a very cool design.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: You can get an alert for even mentioning Discord, or any unmoderated chat site.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: There are some projects on Scratch which have some intense violence and cartoon blood, such as this Warriors fan animation. Thankfully, most of them are Not for Everyonenote .
  • Fan-Art: This is expected since Scratch can be used to share art. For example, these fanart of various cat OCs.
  • Fan Fic: This also exists. For example, SilverAndKaylee15's Sonic the Hedgehog Fics.
  • 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 DCMA 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.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Used sometimes in projects. Here's an example.note 
  • 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.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Some inappropriate projects slip by the moderators' eyes, but are usually taken down later, thanks to reports by the users.
  • GIS Syndrome: A large amount of projects contain a background using an image found with Google Images, because the creators are either too lazy to draw something or want to equip a Photographic Background.
  • 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.
  • High School A.U.: 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.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: If a user disobeys an alert they previously received, even if the offense was minor or the user disobeys unintentionally, they'll get banned on the spot and will have to write an appeal message. This can be frustrating, as sometimes a user will have to wait longer than usual to get unbanned.
    • A project removed for any level of inappropriate content will be locked from sharing.
  • 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.
  • Mistakenly Banned: Downplayed. Even though the Scratch Team claims that no ban is issued unfairly, some Scratchers assume that their ban was a mistake and often go on ranting about it on other sites, fueling Scratch's negative reception. After all, the Scratch Team is just stricter than average website moderators.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Scratch, in short words, is supposed to 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.
  • No Gender: Scratch Cat is confirmed to be this. Some people still make him male, however.
  • Obvious Beta: When Scratch 3.0 was officially released in January 2019, the Bugs and Glitches forum filled with many major bugs 3.0 carries, such as projects and their descriptions not saving, laggy editor, the program screwing up with large projects, and 2.0 graphics being blurry in 3.0, compared to the smooth launch of 2.0 back in May 2013. Some even wondered if the Scratch Team listened to them during the beta testing. Even to this date, there are still frustrating bugs people are willing to report.
  • Post Count: On the forums, Scratchers can show off how many posts they created, from 1 to 1000+note  A variant exists in the number of projects created, some have over 1,000 projects created. No wonder that post/project count can cause drama.
  • 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.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: ATersnote 
  • The Scream/Screaming at Squick: Used as a Comedy Trope in many comedic animations.
  • Scream Discretion Shot/Vomit Discretion Shot: Commonly used in comedic animations. The Vomit Discretion Shot will usually involve a censor screen.
  • Scunthorpe Problem: The "bad word detector" can cause false alarms, even though a whitelist is used.
  • Sensory Overload: Some projects will have insanely loud sounds used, often to give a good effect to the viewer. They do use warnings, especially for headphone users.
  • 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.
  • Stick Figure Animation: A lot of these appear on the website. Scratchers famous for these are Astro947, WazzoTV, and many more.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Used excessively on the site, mainly to enact Amusing Injuries.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Since this site has a large amount of kids and amateurs, poorly-made and simple projects are common. However, they may bring up laughter to even those who have disgust for poor works.
  • Stylistic Suck: Many projects are bad intentionally, usually for laughs. This is a good example.Another good example.
  • 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.


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