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Tangerine Dreams running Flash software.

Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe Flash Professional and Macromedia Flash), colloquially referred to as Flash, is the software used by the Brothers Chaps to create cartoons and games of Homestar Runner. Flash has also made multiple appearances within the body of work, most notably used by The Cheat to create his Powered by The Cheat cartoons.

"Flash" may also refer to Adobe Flash, the multimedia platform that was used to produce and display the site's content. This platform was also formerly known as "Macromedia Flash" prior to Macromedia's acquisition by Adobe.

Flash Player

Prior to December 31, 2020, the site was made up of embedded Flash files which could be played using the browser plugin Adobe Flash Player, which was included with most desktop web browsers at the time. Most of the content on the site required version 6.0 of Flash Player to play, but some required version 7 (such as Stinkoman 20X6) and would recommend 8. The FAQ would recommend that you get the latest version of Flash Player, version 32 at the time of its discontinuation.

Post-Flash Transition

See also Post-Flash Site Update

In 2015, major browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox stated that they would be dropping native Flash Player support on their browsers in favor of the more modern and secure HTML5, and Adobe later announced that Flash Player would be discontinued at the end of 2020. Flash is Dead! humorously acknowledged this, remarking "We gotta figure something out, fast!" and suggesting HTML5 may be the way forward for the website.

In late 2017, on the Lost in the Stacks interview (entitled "Homestar Runner, Gone in a Flash"), the Brothers Chaps discussed how they might update their website, such as exporting the toons to a different format, reprogramming the games, or running the website through a Flash emulator. At a PAX East panel in 2018, Matt explained that HTML5 files were larger than Flash files, so converting the website to HTML5 would cause a bandwidth issue.

On January 13, 2018 (Trogday), an HTML version of the TROGDOR! game was released, and HTML text was added below the Index Page discussing alternatives to Flash, such as YouTube. Some toons, such as Marzipan's Answering Machine Version 17.2, Decemberween Dangeresque, Mr. Poofers Must Die, and Fan Costumes 2020, were posted to the website in the form of embedded YouTube videos instead of Flash files. On July 17, 2018, an unfinished HTML redesign of the website was released via The Deleteheads Download. However, this redesign was limited in that it could only play embedded YouTube uploads, and ended up being scrapped in favor of the Flash Player emulator Ruffle. In September 2019, the @StrongBadActual Twitter account began replying to Tweets regarding the development of Ruffle.

On December 31, 2020 (the last day of Flash support), the entire website was updated to use embedded Ruffle players instead of Flash, and the old website with all the Flash files was moved to the subdomain old.homestarrunner.com. As of January 12, 2021, Flash content is blocked from running in Flash Player; prior to this, viewers with Flash Player still installed could access it.

Use by The Brothers Chaps

The Brothers Chaps primarily used Macromedia Flash 5, which was initially released in 2000; the trend of rendering cartoons at 12 frames per second comes from the default setting from that early version of Flash. At a 2007 appearance at Georgia Tech, they mentioned that although they still used Flash 5 for creating the cartoons, Flash 8 (the most recent release at the time) was used to publish the files as that made file sizes more manageable. The brothers continued using Flash 5 until 2014 or 2015; their appearance on Screenland later that year showed them using Flash Professional CC.

The brothers had previously used a PC to run Flash. Mike stated in the Late Night JengaJam Interview in 2007 that he would rather animate on a Mac, but had issues with the stability of the Flash platform on MacOS; Matt had considered running a Windows emulator under Mac OS X to alleviate this issue. By the time of the 2017 Screenland appearance, the brothers had switched to using Macintosh computers for Flash creation. This preference for Mac computers is shared by The Cheat.


  • Email crazy cartoon — The "Timeline" area of Macromedia Flash is briefly seen on The Cheat's computer before he plays his cartoon.
  • Labor Dabor — The Cheat is once again seen animating in Flash.
  • Email virus — The "Mixer" toolbox appears when the Sketchbook button is clicked.
  • Main Page 22Tangerine Dreams can be seen running Flash.
  • Flash's 10th Birthday — The toon is set entirely in the program itself, and was made to celebrate its tenth birthday. Ironically, this toon could not be viewed as a Flash file until shortly after the site update, as it was originally a DVD exclusive.
  • Flash is Dead! — Following the announcement of Flash Player's deprecation, the Homestar Runner universe begins to fall apart.

See Also

External Links

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