Adaptation Displacement: One of the most successful Web Originals started out as a children's dead-tree picture book, which was only given out to friends. References to that book appear in some animations.
Alternative Character Interpretation: As of "Marzipan's Answering Machine #4", Marzipan knows that Strong Bad has been prank calling her yet he continues to do so anyway. Does Strong Bad still prank her to keep her happy or is it because he has a pipe dream that she'll eventually fall for one?
Archive Binge: Necessary to get all the in-jokes and references. A lot of the cartoons make little to no sense otherwise.
Archive Panic: The site has been operating since 2000, and the official wiki has been unable to confirm certain details of the site before 2003.
Crosses the Line Twice: A lot of Strong Bad's abusive behavior would be horrifying in just about any other context, but it often ends up being so ridiculously over-the-top or childish/ineffective that it becomes hilarious rather than disturbing.
There is also this joke from "Career Day":
Narrator: Kids, have you ever wondered who that mysterious man in the picture your mother hides under her pillow is? [laughing] No, it's not your real father! [Space Captainface walks in and pushes the boy aside] Why, it's SBASAF's First Lieuteneral Space Captainface!
Discredited Meme: Signing your email with any variation of the word "crap" (i.e. crapfully yours, crapfully crap, filled with crap, etc.) will elicit signs of annoyance from Strong Bad, usually ignoring that part all together and saying something entirely different like "Sincerely yours".
Near the end of "Fall Float Parade", a giant Marshie Balloon feebly controlled by The Cheat rams into the platform where Marzipan and Coach Z are reporting. This became less funny when three days after the cartoon was posted, a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon accidentally slammed into a streetlight, injuring two people.
And in a similar vein, Marzipan is very uncomfortable on-air for co-anchor Coach Z's "inapprapriate comments." Cut to 2017, when NBC's Matt Lauer, who co-hosted the Macy's Parade coverage, was fired for sexual harassment.
"Best Caper Ever", which is about Homestar floating on an ice floe through the Arctic as Strong Bad and The Cheat try to remember what happened, came out February 9, 2009, one day after 134 people were rescued from a freeflowing sheet of ice that broke off into Lake Erie. Because of this, the page title of the cartoon was "Total Coincidence! Not Intentional!"
Strong Bad, who got annoyed and blew up the theater near the end of the Strong Bad Email "the movies", was once The Joker in a Halloween cartoon. Shortly after Aurora, James Holmes dyed his hair orange and claimed he was The Joker.
In "winter pool", one scene has Homestar wishing for an oiled-up Bill Cosby. The joke would be much less innocent after the Cosby rape allegations starting in late 2014.
Harsher in Hindsight: In "Sbemailiarized Entertainment," Mike Chapman says he "can't wait to stop working start working. On them." Not long after, the franchise would enter a lengthy hiatus.
In the commentary (published early 2001) for The King of Town, Strong Bad complains about not having his own cartoon. The following August, the first Strong Bad Email was put on the site, and Internet history was made.
Even before that. Completing the Homestar Talker and the Strong Bad talker allows you to access Strong Bad's room where he has a poster of a unicorn.
The fact that they're obsessing over a film called Pony Fights when the alluded-to series got a well-known fangame about just that, as well as its successor broadening the scope to Ungulate Fights.
Let's see: a dude with a wrestling themed outfit, superhuman abilities, is somewhat dimwitted but well-meaning, comes from a planet stuffed to the brim with challenges, and has "-man" as the suffix of his name. Are we talking about Stinkoman, or Kinnikuman? The fact that Strong Bad's anime counterpart has even that many parallels to an actual anime character is a huge coincidence on both Strong Bad's and The Brothers Chaps' parts, especially with both parties' limited knowledge of anime.
Often invoked in Homestar and Strong Bad's interactions, as sometimes he'll talk to Strong Bad with a very loving voice — to the latter's horror.
In the Homestar Talker game, the code phrase for unlocking the Strong Bad talker was eventually changed from "Making! Out! With! Marzipan! Is! Totally! Awesome!" to "Pom Pom! And! Stwong Bad! Awe! Totally! Going! Out!"
In "fan club", Strong Sad's fanfic has Strong Bad giving Homestar a deep-tissue massage. Strong Bad is horrified; Homestar? Not so much.
Homestar: Oh, this gon' be good!
In "do-over", Strong Bad imagines Homestar falling for him while the two are trying to serenade Ali and her sister.
Homestar: Strong Bad, your costume is making me feel (suggestively) loosey-goosey!
Strong Bad: Shut your face pile right now, or I'm gonna start feeling a little punchy-wunchy.
In the 2005 fan costume commentary, Strong Bad is making fun of Halloween costumes when one of a girl dressed up as Homestar Runner appears, which leads to conflicting feelings on the subject ("Hot Homestar?! My brain is splitting in half!"). Then Homestar pops up and starts calling Strong Bad 'sweetie.'
Homestar alleges that the Goblin and the Rocoulm (from the Horrible Painting) got married in "Later that Night...".
In the DVD commentary for "Decemberween in July", Strong Bad gets defensive when Mike teases him about watching Decemberween specials at Homestar's house.
"With Marzipan's radish, we gonna win da comp-a-tee-shun!" explanation A line from "The Reddest Radish"; Strong Bad's bizarre way of pronouncing "competition" is frequently used in reference to the series' crudely-made early days.
"Is this 2002 (2003/.../2006)?"explanation The official YouTube channel started to become more active in the latter half of 2017, with more new videos and higher-quality copies of old Strong Bad Emails coming out, so it isn't uncommon for people to joke that "This is just like 2004" or "WE 2006 BOIIIIIS".
"Coach Z, you JERK!"
Strong Bad's candy being brown is not also a reason because it's chocolate, but possibly because Strong Bad went in it. explanation When the email candy product was new, a Homestar Runner Wiki user repeatedly tried to add this comment to the email's fun facts, believing the Sblounskched Bar to be made not of chocolate, but... well, the substance that the Poopsmith shovels.
Pop Culture Holiday: Thanks to "Happy Trogday" canonizing the celebration, fans make tribute to Trogdor on January 13, the anniversary of his email debut.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The King of Town was formerly regarded as a dull, one-trick pony and as such, was far and away the least popular character on the site. A combination of Flanderization and his own amusingly pitiful attempts to boost his status gradually endeared him to fans.
Crack Stuntman seems to be a mild case of this. Especially from fans who thought he was becoming a Spotlight Steeling Character from the Cheat Commandos shorts.
Shallow Parody: The Stinkoman series, at least at first. The Brothers Chaps aren't really all that up on anime, and it shows; at least in the site's earlier years, most of the parodied tropes were primarily from video games, particularly Mega Man (Classic) and Mega Man X. This can be partially, though not entirely, blamed on Strong Bad in-universe, since he created Stinkoman based on his hazy memory of a single "Japanese cartoon". He's later quoted as saying "Anime? It's called Japanimation! Least it was last time I checked... which was 1987." In later episodes, this has been downplayed and Stinkoman has shifted into being a more accurate parody of the Stock Shōnen Hero.
Spiritual Antithesis: The Yonder Website universe is a more positive version of the Trauncles segments from Two More Eggs, The Brothers Chaps' shorts series. While both have simply-drawn characters and a calm, interactive narrator, the Trauncles narrator is much more sarcastic and can occasionally be sadistic to the cast, while the Yonder Website narrator is laid-back and encourages the Characters.
Ugly Cute: Strong Bad and Strong Mad definitely count because of how simplistic the art style is.
The Poopsmith as well.
Uncanny Valley: The older animations can be this at times, due to using slow tweening.
Coach Z. While most of the main characters besides Bubs and Homestar have difficulty putting up with his awkwardness, some fans find the same hilarious awkwardness endearing.
Strong Sad is considered depressing and annoying by many of the other characters, and is frequently bullied by Strong Bad, but fans consider him an adorable woobie. It helps that, in later years, Strong Sad stared taking on many traits associated with stereotypical internet fandoms (like writing fanfic and attending con).
Also the King of Town.
What an Idiot!: Really, Marzipan? Strong Bad is trying to look younger and relate to the 1824 demographic, and you find a way to spruce up... a backyard?
When Strong Bad tries to regain his edginess he totally trusts Strong Sad that it's edgy and cool to trap yourself in the basement for several days.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: An in-universe example occurs in "The Homestar Runner Enters the Spooky Woods" when Homestar encounters a decomposing raccoon carcass being carried around by pigeons. Narrator Strong Bad seems taken aback by this and emphasizes that the story is for children.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The content is relatively family-friendly and looks kiddy, but the website is clearly aiming for a mid-teen to adult audience with its humor style and pop-cultural references. Plus Strong Bad commonly uses language that would be rated TV-PG (e.g. "crap" is a common word in his vocabulary and is probably his harshest word).
Coach Z spends Decemberween trapping himself in his locker and drinking Listerine. "Doomy Tales of the Macabre" spares only him from any sort of punishment in the story because "being Coach Z" is enough punishment on its own, according to Strong Sad, whose own life is far from enviable. And speaking of...
Strong Sad suffers from severe depression (which gets better over time), lives with two brothers who regularly abuse him, and has at most two (sometimes fewer) people who see him as a friend, all for no apparent reason. The email "depressio" and its well-hidden Easter Egg make this even worse.
Homsar turned out to surprisingly be this in "Marzipan's Answering Machine #17", where we learn that he only speaks in bizarre gibberish because he's literally physically unable to not do so in person, possibly the result of a brain injury caused by Strong Bad. He's rather frustrated by having to spout "garbage" like "You're a pork rind's president!" or "Don't get chipsy with the chalk sauce!" when trying to talk to people in person.