The System is Down

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Toon Category: Shorts
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This is for the toon The System is Down. For the song, please see The System Is Down (song).
"The system is down, yo."

In January of 2003, suddenly and inexplicably went down. Patient viewers then saw this short toon, cleverly disguised as an error page.

Cast (in order of appearance): Homestar Runner, Strong Bad, Bubs

Places: Error Page

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Running Time: 1:05

Page Title: 404 Doodoo Error

DVD: Everything Else, Volume 1



{A typical Internet Explorer error page appears. The whistling of the wind is heard. Homestar Runner enters from the right.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {walks in and looks at the error message} Ummmm... what's going on here? What happened to my website?

{Strong Bad enters from the left.}

STRONG BAD: The system is down, yo.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Ohh...the system... Right, right.

STRONG BAD: Yeah, I think too many people tried to log on. {scratches his head} Uh.. sorry about that.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: What are you sorry for? It's my website.

STRONG BAD: Um... I don't think they're coming to see you, Homestar.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: What, you think everyone's logging on to watch "tape-leg"? Yeah, that's a good one.

STRONG BAD: Hey, shut up! The tape-leg is cool. {Stretches his hand out and to the right}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Well, when do I get my website back?

STRONG BAD: Oh, anytime now. We've got our top men working on it round-the-clock.

{Bubs enters from the left holding a motherboard.}

BUBS: Well, I found the problem. Looks like somebody tried to cram-a-lam a Swiss Cake Roll into the disk drive.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oh, really? {leaning toward Strong Bad, eyeing him suspiciously}

STRONG BAD: Uh, what are you looking at me for? I did—hut—wut—nany—huit— {runs off quickly}

{The note which looks like an error message appears, taped to the screen. It says, "Everything is fine. Nothing is ruined."}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: So, Bubs... What are you gonna do with that Swiss Cake Roll?

Fun Facts


  • This cartoon came about when the site was still on Yahoo's server. The site's popularity drove the bandwidth well into the terabytes, which Yahoo overlooked for a time only because they were all fans. They finally had to shut it down because of the intense server consumption, hence the origins of the toon. However, the Store is still run by Yahoo!.



  • There are actually two Swiss Cake Rolls "cram-a-lammed" in the computer's innards.
  • The error page is specifically for Internet Explorer 6; which makes it somewhat out of place for those using an alternate browser.
    • In addition, if you have a screen bigger than the toon, then Homestar appears to walk out of nowhere
  • Bubs is actually holding a motherboard, not a disk drive.

Inside References

DVD Version

  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, Matt Chapman)

MIKE: So, this is The System is Down, and we made it when the system really was down.

MATT: It was down for two whole days.

MIKE: In January of 2003.

MATT: That's right.

MIKE: So we made this cartoon, and we were going to put it on a different website, um, and email— uh, send out an email to everyone telling them that the system was down and to watch this cartoon.

MATT: To all fifteen people.

MIKE: To all fifteen people that were watching the site. But by the time we got done with it, the site was back up, so we just put in on there, and it ended up being a nice little, uh, cartoon.

MATT: A humor piece. A humor— A nice humor piece. We call these humor-toons, some of these.

MIKE: Homestar's got a little sass, and also—

MATT: Sass dackery.

MIKE: There's also a period where Homestar's dress/shirt was a slightly more magenta than red.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: Like look at the bill of his hat versus his body.

MATT: I don't like it. I remember we found a— we did a Google image search for "motherboard" or something and that's what, uh...

MIKE: {mumbles}

MATT: Yeah. Not a disk drive at all, is it?

MIKE: {laughs a little}

MATT: It's a motherboard.

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