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Homestar Runner

Homestar Runner is both the name of an animated cartoon character and the name of the website on which he appears, [1]. The Homestar Runner universe has an absurdist sense of humor similar to that found in H.R. Pufnstuf. Although ostensibly for children, the site is perhaps most popular with young adults, with its short movies, games, charmingly naďve music, and plentiful opportunities for interaction.

HSR (or H*R) is an abbreviation for Homestar Runner in the sense of the entire website, rather than just the character.

Table of contents
1 Creators
2 Characters
3 Interactivity
4 Fhqwhgads
5 Other Places and Ideas


The website is the product of Matt and Mike Chapman, who typically call themselves "The Brothers Chaps". Most of the voices are done by Matt Chapman and Missy Palmer.

Because "The Brothers Chaps" run their website, they have a creative freedom that they would not have doing a regular TV show. Although you can buy Homestar merchandise, their website has no commercials (other than the fake ones for products like "Fluffy Puff Marshmallows.") The Internet has allowed them to reach a large audience that they wouldn't have access to otherwise. Originally, they developed Homestar Runner as a labor of love, and for their own amusement. It has grown large enough that merchandise sales pay for all of the costs of running the website. An article in the Chicago Tribune on July 24, 2003 says "The Brothers Chaps"' retired parents are spending a lot of time dealing with the business aspects of the website.


Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers

There are about a dozen main characters in Homestar Runner's world.

Homestar Runner

Homestar Runner himself, usually just called "Homestar," combines the intelligence and lovability of Ted Baxter with the good luck of James Bond and the physical beauty of Don Rickles. He is amiable and tries to be friends with everyone, although he is usually unable to grasp the silliness of his actions, like pouring soda onto a computer keyboard. His lack of visible hands and arms in no way handicaps him. Although he is often the target of pranks by Strong Bad, Homestar believes that he is friends with Strong Bad, and tries to win his favor, often with bad results which Homestar completely misunderstands. He has a girlfriend named Marzipan, but his best friend remains Pom-Pom. He has some speech impediments, for instance, he pronounces his own name roughly as "Homestah Wunnor".

Strong Bad

Although the site's various cartoons are usually centered around Homestar Runner, Strong Bad is a very important character and quite probably the most popular. Nominally a Mexican wrestler, Strong Bad is always shirtless, is short relative to Homestar and most of the other characters, and has boxing gloves for hands and a Mexican wrestling mask for a face (a common misconception is that Strong Bad is wearing gloves and a mask; they are literally his hands and face, and he chastises someone for suggesting otherwise in the first Strong Bad E-mail.) He was inspired by the "Strong Bads" in the Nintendo Entertainment System game, Tag Team Wrestling. Oddly enough, Strong Bad has wrestled in only one cartoon.

Along with his big brother Strong Mad and their buddy The Cheat, Strong Bad claims to represent the "criminal element" in the cartoon, and many shorts concern the various pranks, scams, and underhanded schemes that they perpetrate on the other characters. Although these "crimes" are usually of an only slightly malignant nature, like stealing Homestar's "Jumble" puzzles or tricking him into buying everyone free drinks, Strong Bad still acts as if he is a villainous mastermind. While Strong Bad makes a show of being tough and manly, he secretly enjoys baking, and has been known to sing, draw, or paint from time to time. His singing is usually limited to quiet ditties while he's strolling, or as an introduction to checking his e-mail, but he is also featured recording a dance hit called "Everybody to the Limit." Strong Bad is highly prone to exaggerating his alluring qualities, and claims to have dozens of girlfriends, none of whom, naturally, have ever been seen.

Each week or two, Strong Bad uses his vintage computer, the "Compy 386", to answer a viewer's question sent in by e-mail; the Strong Bad E-mail shorts are the most regularly updated portion of the site.


Homestar Runner's best pal is Pom-Pom, who looks much like a big orange-and-yellow Mandelbrot set. Pom-Pom is the best Pom and possibly the smartest character of the bunch, with the possible exception of Strong Sad, but only his friends can understand Pom-Pom's bubbly voice. He likes to hang out with Homestar Runner and Strong Bad, although not necessarily both at the same time. On more than one occasion, Pom-Pom foils Strong Bad's plan to cheat Homestar. Pom-Pom comes from a land called the Isle of Pom, where he has 27 girlfriends and a dog named Trivia Time.


Marzipan, the only female character in the cartoon, is Homestar Runner's girlfriend. Although she's got the same lack of intelligence (and lack of arms) as Homestar, neither of them seem to mind. She is a folk singer, pacifist, and vegetarian -- and resembles a mop wearing a skirt, or a bell. Strong Bad likens her to "a dirty hippie - without the dirt". Homestar's relationship with Marzipan seems to be more like the "puppy love" between schoolchildren, rather than the mature love between adults and certainly not the passionate love between teenagers. Homestar doesn't seem to really understand any of it and as a result, Marzipan is occasionally upset by what she perceives as Homestar's ineptitude.

Marzipan has an answering machine, on which the other characters leave awkward or amusing messages. Often they involve Strong Bad posing as someone else as a prank, Homestar apologizing for his most recent blunder, and messages from the other characters.

Strong Sad

Not to be confused with his two Strong brothers, Strong Sad is the Eeyore of the group. A large white-and-grey lump with elephant feet, he listens to gothic music and speaks in a thoroughly gloomy tone. He is both represented as intellectual and creative (his drawing of a dragon in a Strong Bad e-mail is very artistic), but his genius is usually overwhelmed by his depression. Strong Mad, The Cheat and especially Strong Bad like to pick on him for any reason they can think of (and probably a few non-reasons as well), and are constantly finding new ways to injure or humiliate him, a frequent source of gags in Strong Bad E-mails. He has never really overcome his youth as the picked-on little brother, and accepts his torment at the hands of his brothers without complaint.

The Cheat

The Cheat (whose name is "The Cheat", with the grammatical article) is Strong Bad's partner in crime. He's a little furry yellow creature who, true to his name, is always looking for a way to cheat, or to help someone else on a scheme. His appearance has been described as a cross between a Pikachu and a wedge of cheese. The Cheat speaks entirely in a language of high-pitched squeaks and growls, which Strong Bad can understand. The Cheat is most often seen hanging around Strong Mad, who, it is claimed, helps protect him from large predators.

The Cheat uses his computer to makes music videos and sketches for the other characters. The Cheat's animation is drawn in its own distinctively crude style. Some sources say it is the animation style used by The Brothers Chaps before they settled on the current design.

Coach Z

Coach Z is the coach of the athletic team Homestar and his friends are on. It is not clear what kind of sport this is - while played on a football field, it also involves basketball hoops and a baseball being kicked around. Coach Z's primary gag is his thick and incomprehensible accent, in which, for example, the word "job" comes across as "jaerrrrrrrrrrrb". He lives in a locker room, and claims to have been a hip-hop star in his home country and is a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan.

Strong Mad

The biggest and strongest of the Brothers Strong, Strong Mad has the size, strength, and oratory skills of an ogre. He is The Cheat's best friend and has very fond feelings for him, and very few feelings (besides anger) for anyone and anything else.

The King of Town

The overweight and mustachioed "K. of T." lives in a castle; however, Strong Bad remarks, possibly even truthfully, that the King really lives in a two-bedroom house next door to his castle. The King, despite his title, appears to be ruler of nothing he surveys: he's the kind of guy who would simply proclaim himself the King, and everybody humors him. The King's most notable attribute is that he will eat just about everything he can get his hands on (although, like Homestar Runner and Marzipan, he doesn't seem to actually have hands or arms). He also employs the Poopsmith to shovel poop at the castle for "reasons [the King doesn't] care to disclose". The King of Town has his own website, which nobody visits, and his own answering machine, although nobody ever calls him. Bubs sold him Strong Bad's old Tandy 400 computer, which refuses to work, and therefore the King cannot check the e-mail that he never gets. Despite -- or because of -- his overwhelming unpopularity within the cartoons themselves, he does have a fan following.


Bubs runs the concession stand on the side of the field. Bubs loves muscle cars and Spike Lee movies. Bubs also is a handyman. He once made a Strong Bad robot out of a Speak-and-Spell toy and a box of Grape Nuts cereal, and once built a working hot rod out of a pumpkin. He enjoys dance music and goes to night school at Disco Tech. He helps Strong Bad solve a common problem with VCRs where the time flashes 12:00 to indicate it is not set. Bubs and Coach Z show up in sketches where a large number of characters are required, usually at a party. Bubs and Coach Z appear to hang out together when they aren't working, but this is implied rather than explicitly shown.

The Poopsmith

The Poopsmith is employed by the King of Town for reasons the King prefers not to discuss: he shovels poop all day long. As a result, he smells terrible, which Strong Bad would regard as an understatement. Strong Bad refuses to play any pranks on the Poopsmith, because he feels his job renders The Poopsmith immune to any other discomfort. The Poopsmith never speaks, as he has taken a vow of silence. He was created as a joke character, appearing right after the Blacksmith (who has never reappeared) in an early cartoon. He remains as the cartoon's embodiment of toilet humor, which is very uncommon elsewhere on the site.


Homsar is a doofy, verbally challenged fellow who resembles a more squat Homestar. He was created when a fan asked Strong Bad to kill 'Homsar', an obvious misspelling of Homestar. However, Homsar does survive to thank Marzipan for sending him flowers while he was in the hospital, and to make future appearances. He's well known for his nonsensical, non-sequitur quotes. For example, "I was raised by a cup of coffee" and "I'm a song from the sixties." Strong Sad, his only friend, humors him by attending "concerts" he organizes, which consist entirely of hugging trees. Some cartoons have an encounter with Homsar as an easter egg, such as the Strong Bad E-Mail titled "Dragon" and the cartoon "A Pumpkin Carve-Nival."


Because the website heavily uses Macromedia Flash animation, the Brothers Chaps have been able to put a number of easter eggs into many of the activities, if a certain area on the page is mouse-clicked at the right time. For example, in Strong Bad's e-mail "Studying", when Strong Bad mentions a book, the clever user can view a hidden web page about the book.

Catch Phrases and Other Frequent References


The made-up word fhqwhgads is a stock phrase stemming from three short Homestar Runner cartoons.

The first involves the character Strong Bad receiving email from a person going by the name of "fhqwhgadshgnsdhjsdbkhsdabkfabkveybvf" which Strong Bad shortened to "fhqwhgads".

The second, ostensibly a music video produced by The Cheat for Strong Bad's song "Everybody to the Limit", also features this name for humorous effect.

The third involves Strong Bad receiving a request by "Sibbie" to write a song about her, as he did about fhqwhgads. Strong Bad remarks about how "fhqwhgads" is properly spelled and mocks frequent misspellings of the word. A secret segment at the end of the short features Homestar Runner, Coach Z, and Strong Mad similarly butchering the pronunciation of fhqwhgads (which is fuh-HUUG-wuh-gahdz).

Much like "all your base are belong to us", this random word has become more than a little bit of an in-joke in fan circles.

Other Places and Ideas

Free Country USA

The Homestar Runner cartoons are set in a fictitious land called Free Country USA. The King of Town rules all or part of this region. Tourist attactions in Free Country USA include the Great Mound, Pantsburg, The Clock, and Over There. Neighboring countries include Dortugal, Prance, and the Dortugal Congo.

Strong Badia

Strong Badia exists as a field behind a dumpster, with a permanent population of a single tire. In an early Strong Bad email, Strong Bad claimed he has ruled the field since diaper school. In one of the Strong Bad emails, the ghost of Strong Bad's obsolete and broken Tandy computer haunted the kingdom.

Crazy Go Nuts University (CGNU)

A fictional corrsepondence school run by Strong Bad. It has mascot called "The Dumple" (initially Strong Bad's misspelling of "dumpling"), and a "Golf Club Team", which participates in a strange sport that consists of The Cheat whacking things with a golf club. The motto for the University is "The future is you....probably."

Their fight song:
Fighting, and sometimes striving
Wondering what the Dumple is
Excellence, and what is valor?
And The Cheat will hit stuff with a golf club!


A fictional holiday that occurs in December, fifty-five days after Halloween. It's sort of like Christmas, but nondenominational. The site does not explicitly mention that Decemberween coincides with Christmas. Marzipan disapproves of Decemberween, on the grounds that it somehow kills bunnies, and that the holiday is too commercialized.

Marshie, The Marshmallow

Homestar had a job in a marshmallow commercial. Homestar could not remember his lines, and lost his job to a talking marshmallow named Marshie. This has resulted in some resentment from Homestar, although he seems to dislike the character on its own merits as well.

The Yello Dello

A yellow bird with the legs of a human woman. It's the most rare and exotic bird in the entire website. One cartoon features Homestar, Strong Sad and Pom Pom looking for the Yello Dello as a gift for Marzipan.

The Stick

A few sketches, most notably the cartoon Where's the Cheat?, feature characters meeting at a mundane-looking stick in the ground.

Trogdor the Burninator

Trogdor the Burninator is a vicious dragon that Strong Bad created when a fan email requested a display of his "skills of an artist." Trogdor does not interact with the rest of the gang, but is featured in an animated short at the end of the "Dragon" e-mail, and he has his own 1980s-era arcade game. Some fans prefer to write his name TROGDOR the BURNiNATOR, as this is the way Strong Bad originally wrote the name on a piece of paper, complete with the uncapitalized "i".

Trogdor's nefarious deeds consist of "burninating" [sic] peasants, the countryside and thatched-roof cottages.

Trogdor and his characteristic "burnination" has entered popular culture - in the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this character was referred to in a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Teen Girl Squad

A comic strip drawn and narrated by Strong Bad. The first issue of Teen Girl Squad originated from a request in a Strong Bad email. The comic strip features four ditzy teenage girls (named Cheerleader, So-And-So, What's-Her-Face, and The Ugly One) who Strong Bad often subjects to gruesome and unusual deaths.

Sweet Cuppin' Cakes

Like Teen Girl Squad, Sweet Cuppin' Cakes is a cartoon created by Strong Bad in response to an email. The cartoon, designed to be as "kah-razy" as possible, takes place on a surreal multi-colored plane resembling a disco dance floor. The central character, "a cross between a cow and a helicopter" who communicates through a series of weird noises, is said to spend each episode trying to catch a worm that crawls in and out of the ground. Other characters include "Eh! Steve", an anthropomorphic rectangle that appears once an episode to deliver his self-referential catch phrase, and the Wheelchair (voiced by Bubs), whose sole goal in life is to catch Eh! Steve and "blast him to tomorrow noon". Strong Bad also placed himself in the cartoon, although his head is an old Casio VL-Tone keyboard; when he is angry, it plays the demo tune.

Stinkoman: 20X6

Stinkoman is Strong Bad drawn as Japanese Animation (anime). It is set in the future year of 20X6 (Twenty Exty-Six), and some of the other characters also have 20X6 counterparts, including Homestar Runner and PanPan (Pom Pom).

The voice of Stinkoman sounds simalar to that of kaneda (Cam Clarke) from the anime film akira when it was originally dubbed into english. Stinkoman says the same line Kaneda does in akira "maybe when you're older".

Old Tyme Homestar, 1936

Homestar, drawn in the style of a 1936 cartoon. In these cartoons, he is referred to as "The Homestar Runner", as was his name in the original children's books. Many other characters appear in 1936 style, although some names are altered. The other characters include Sir Strong Bad (Strong Bad), Strong Man (Strong Mad), Sickly Sam (Strong Sad), Marzipan (Marzipan), 'Fat Dudley' (Pom-Pom), The Sneak (The Cheat), Mr. Shmallow (Marshie), the Devil (Poopsmith), and the Kaiser (King of Town). An old-tyme Coach Z and Bubs also appear, but their names are not given.

The music for the 1936 cartoon "Ballad of the Sneak" -- Who's the jaunty jackanapes with moxie and pizazz? -- was provided by Virginia-based a capella group Da Vinci's Notebook.

The Cheat's Animation

Some sketches are drawn by The Cheat, who has his own distinctive animation style. It has appeared in many forms, such as in Strong Bad e-mails, cartoons, even its own welcome page. It is rumored that the Brothers Chaps tried this animation before settling on the current type.


Think of any and every 1980\'s hair-metal band you know, and you have Limozeen, one of Free Country USA's hottest musical acts. Strong Bad is a huge fan of Limozeen and may have come up with their name while answering an e-mail asking for good band names. Limozeen reportedly plays live shows at events in Strong Badia, and the band contributed two tracks to the recent CD _Strong Bad Sings (and other type hits)_: "NITE MAMAS" and their megahit "Because, It's Midnight."

Atari 2600 Game

Homestar is going to be featured in a new Atari 2600 game, to be released in 2004.

Lem Sportsinterviews

A fictional author who writes various books and magazines. He wrote "This Book is Better Than First, Second, and Quite Possibly Even Third Base", and he owns the credit card that appears on the ATM card in the "Downloads" section. The author of the book "Everyone is Different", a children's book featured in a Strong Bad email, is Leonard Sportsinterviews.

External links