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.
Archive Binge: Necessary to get all the in-jokes and references. A lot of the cartoons make little to no sense otherwise.
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.
Discredited Meme: Signing your email with any variation of the word "crap" (i.e. crapfully yours, crapfully crap, filled with crap, etc.) will illicit signs of annoyance from Strong Bad, usually ignoring that part all together and saying something entirely different like "Sincerely yours".
Ear Worm: Quite a few, including "The System is Down!", "An Important Rap Song", and "One, Two, One, Two..."
Ensemble Dark Horse: Stinkoman, Senor Cardgage, Trogdor, Homsar, the Teen Girl Squad and several others were initially just one-off jokes in the Strong Bad Emails. That last one has their own page now.
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.
"Attention Holiday Shoppers! Bubs Friday starts Thursday!" The last item in a "not Football TV" montage back on Thanksgiving 2007. Four yearslater...
In the 2008 Halloween cartoon "Most In The Graveyard", Coach Z dresses up as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba!. Matt Chapman has since become a writer for said show.
"A Jorb Well Done" became this after South Park's "Goobacks" had its own mispronunciations of "job".
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...".
"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.
"And frankly, I'm worried."explanation An Orphaned Punchline from the Strong Bad Email "fingers", where Homestar is seen using this phrase at the tail end of a soapbox speech with crude prosthetic arms strapped to his body.
Teen Girl Squad brought us the various permutations of "[Something]'d!", used to describe things that come out of nowhere to kill or injure the girls (such as "ARROWED!", "MSG'D!", and "MANIAC IN A SPEEDO'D!")
"How do you type with boxing gloves on?"explanation A Running Gag from "Strong Bad Email" is Strong Bad getting this question and refusing to answer it.
"DELETED!" and variants, like "BALEETED!"explanation Strong Bad has a tendency to shout this went deleting an unwanted email. When Homestar tried to delete an email in "50 emails", he couldn't remember the line and kept saying things like "baleeted" and "delteated".
"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".
Homestar is also very Moe, especially with the voice he had in the older cartoons.
MST3K Mantra: The Brothers Chaps provide their own take on this in the 'FAQ' section of the site.
Q: I noticed a mistake or inconsistency in one of your cartoons!! AHHH!
A: It was either done on purpose or it's just a cartoon and you probably shouldn't worry about it.
Never Live It Down: Strong Bad saying "Holy crap" or just "crap" in the earliest cartoons, to the point where fans sent him emails signed "Crapfully yours" or a variant. He has received so many of such emails, in fact, that, by the time of the "3 Wishes" email, where he receives yet another email with a "crap"-themed closing, he chides the viewers for it at the end...
"It's not required that you sign your email 'Crapfully yours' or 'With a bunch of crap' or 'Crap in the times', 'Crap is so great', 'Everything is crap', 'My middle name is Crapperson'. You know, you can just put 'Sincerely', or 'Yours truly' is another good one. Come on, guys, I'll still read 'em."
Since then, he has taken to express contempt for such email closings, either groaning/sighing or, more likely, substituting his own closing for them. For example, when he receives an email signed "Crapfully yours", he instead says, "Totally not getting old".
More recently, he received an email signed "Crudfully", but he is not fooled: he objects to the censorship, but remarks that he still would have ridiculed the email sender even if it was signed "crapfully" anyway.
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 20X6 series. The Brothers Chaps aren't really all that up on anime, and it shows.
Stylistic Suck: Some (not all) of the Shallow Parody factor can be blamed on Strong Bad in-universe, who wrote the premise of Stinkoman based on one episode of one anime that he watched several months prior.
Unpopular Popular Character: 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.
Also the King of Town.
We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Played with and mostly inverted. Instead of trying to keep up with modern technology and trends, even back in the 2000s when Homestar Runner was at it's peak, nearly all of the characters (but Strong Bad especially) were extremely out of touch, constantly using obsolete technology such as DOS computers, floppy disks and the SNES, which is constantly played for laughs with Strong Bad claiming all of this technology is state of the art and cutting edge while shunning more modern technology such as his new ink based printer. In more recent cartoons the joke has expanded to the fact that the very concept of a 4:3 flash-based website is obsolete, so the series and website itself have essentially become the kind of outdated tech that it's always poking fun at. Marzipan's Answering Machine #17 also plays with this, by having Homestar getting hyped for short lived fads and tech products such as planking, the Ouya and Google Glass, claiming that they're going down in history and will be around forever.
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 Not for Kids?: The content is relatively family-friendly, but many of the pop cultural references will go straight over younger viewers' heads. Plus Strong Bad commonly uses language that would be rated TV-PG (e.g. he doesn't say "ass", but "crap" is a common word in his vocabulary).
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.