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"Don't you die on me, Bennedetto!"

Strong Bad Email #93

Hank Toler asks about Strongbadia's army.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Homestar Runner, The Cheat/Firebert, Strong Sad, Homsar, Frank Bennedetto, Strong Mad, Mrs. Bennedetto (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, The Stick, Strongbadia, Marzipan's House (Easter egg)

Date: January 5, 2004

Running Time: 4:00



{The Compy appears to be dusty with a little cobweb on the top left corner}

STRONG BAD: {runs in and sits} Whoa. Guess it's been a while. Sorry about that, Compy. Need to get some... {starts typing "strongbad_email.exe} Endust.

{Strong Bad reads}

Dear Strong Bad,
I was curious as to whether or not
Strong Badia had an official army.
Your Homeboy,
Hank Toler

STRONG BAD: {typing} Does Strongbadia have an army? Strongbadia needs no army, Hankatola. Me and that one big guy and that one little guy... we're a one man army. Er, a three man one-y. Three-to-one-marny? What I mean to say is, what do we need an army for when the three of us pretty much do as we please? I mean, it's not like there's anyone around to oppose us.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: {suddenly appears wearing a bowl on his head and carrying a large spoon} All right, maggot! Fall it out. Colonel {he pronounces it phonetically, i.e. "col-o-nel"} Homestar Runner is recruiting the most elite team of crack commandos to invade Strongbadia. Do you has what it takes to join the Homestarmy? Will you bring a sack lunch and some orange slices for me and serve your country? Will you, stupid?!

STRONG BAD: Um... no. I don't really have any interest in invading my own—

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Ten-hut! Draft dodger, eh? We'll see if those trees you're always hugging save you when Gordon Lightfoot's creeping round your back stair. Company... Halt! Backwards... March!

{Homestar marches backwards off screen}

STRONG BAD: What in the—

{Homestar sticks his head back in}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oh, and if you change your mind, and you wanna trade in that skirt you're wearing for a nice pair of camos, we're having a pep rally up at the stick in oh-fifteen minutes.

STRONG BAD: Wow. I thought I knew what ridiculous was, until this day. This definitely merits some further reconnaissance. The Cheat!

THE CHEAT: Emeh! {sounds like "I'm here"}

STRONG BAD: The Cheat, I need you to find out—

THE CHEAT: {sounding a little upset} Omee mah meh. {sounds like "I'm not listening.."}

STRONG BAD: Ohhh. Don't make me call you that. It's not a good commando name.

THE CHEAT: {forcefully} Memamo meh! {sounds like "Commando name!"}

STRONG BAD: Ugh, all riiight. {reluctantly} Firebert. I need you to find out what the crap Homestar Runner is up to at the stick in 0–15 minutes.

THE CHEAT: Meh, meer! {sounds like "Yes, Sir!"}

{scene changes to The Stick}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Are you sick and tired of playing second-fiddle to a two bit wrestle man and his yellow dog?


{faint rewind noise}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Are you ready to fight alongside your Colonel {again pronounced phonetically} and give your five bucks to the Homestarmy if it comes to that?


HOMESTAR RUNNER: Do you wanna paint that fence some other cool color and put a fake beard on that tire?


{Switches to view of Homestar's audience, showing it consists of the Painting of a guy with a big knife, Strong Sad holding a tapedeck, Homsar, and a popcorn popper.}

STRONG SAD: Oh, sorry. Forgot to rewind.

{Strong Sad rewinds tape deck and presses play}


HOMSAR: DaAaAaAa! You gotta get yours. I gotta get mine.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: All right then, maggots! Lets get out there and invade us some serious Strongbadia! Company... GO!

{The Homestarmy marches off and The Cheat appears from behind The Stick. The view now shifts to Strongbadia where Strong Bad and Strong Mad are wondering about badminton}

STRONG BAD: Yeah, I don't know. Maybe there is a goodminton.

{The Homestarmy marches up. Homsar forgets to stop marching and walks right off the other side of the screen.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Strong Bad, so I see you decided to join the other side, eh?

STRONG BAD: What joining?? I am the other side!

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Ten-Hut! Prepare to feel the fluoride sting of the Homestarmy! Strongbadia... will be ours!

STRONG BAD: No it won't. We're about to play some badminton. So.. no invasion.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Oh. So I see. {pause} Retreat!! Fall back men! We're in over our heads!

STRONG SAD: Hold the line! Hold the liiiine!

STRONG BAD: And take this stupid thing with you.

{Strong Bad kicks the popcorn popper. A crash is heard off screen.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Bennedetto! Don't you die on me Bennedetto! Not on my watch! Don't you give up! {Tearing up} You never gave me the five bucks...

{Cut back to Strong Bad's computer}

STRONG BAD: {Typing} And that, my dear Hankerin', is why Strongbadia will never need an army, though we are in dire need of a copy of the official rules of badminton. No idea what we're doing. None.

{The Paper comes down.}

STRONG BAD: {mumbling} Firebert. Terrible!

Easter Eggs

  • Near the beginning, click "Three-to-one Marny" to see a handbook containing the rules to playing 3-person marny, as written by the guy who wrote the book (Lem Sportsinterviews) in the Strong Bad Email studying. Click the rulebook to read it.
Homestar walks up to a microwave.
HOMESTAR RUNNER: Mrs. Bennedetto, my name is Colonel {still pronounced phonetically} Homestar Runner. I served with Frank in the Homestarmy at the battle of Strongbadia. I hate to give you this news... Frank was one of the finest frigging soldiers I ever met! And he still kinda owes me five bucks. So, if you could just... fork it over...

Fun Facts


  • When Strong Bad says it's been a while he was referring to the fact that this was the first update in a few weeks.



  • It looks like Strong Bad has finished the Painting of a guy with a big knife. (In i love you he didn't paint the bottom few inches.)
  • Except for the popcorn popper (Frank Bennedetto), everyone in the Homestarmy is wearing a cereal bowl as a helmet.
  • The painting walks into Strongbadia by itself. Homsar carries Bennedetto.


  • Although Strong Sad says that he forgot to rewind after the second "crowd cheer" at the pep rally, the rewind sound does play after the second cheer.
  • When Homestar leaves Strong Bad at the computer, the contrast of the computer screen is automatically brighter. Then at the end when we cut to Strong Bad again, it is darker.

Inside References

  • The box Homestar is standing on at the stick says "Twelve Of Them". This is a reference to fingers, in which Homestar stands on a box which bears the words "Eleven Soaps".

Real-World References

  • Homestar says that the enemy is Gordon Lightfoot, a Canadian singer. He says "...the trees you're always huggin' comes to save you when Gordon Lightfoot starts creepin' around your back stair". This is a lyric from one his most famous songs, the Billboard #1 from June '74, "Sundown". It goes like this:
"Sundown, you'd better take care, when I find you've been creepin' 'round my back stair"
  • Homsar's phrase, "You gotta get yours, I gotta get mine" may be a reference to a lyric from the popular Snoop Dogg song, "Gin and Juice."
  • Bennedetto is most likely a West Bend Hot Air Popcorn Popper 01568 Popcorn Maker.
  • When Homestar says "Don't you die on me, Bennedetto!" it may be in reference to Gunsmoke when Tate says "Don't you die on me son, don't you think of it!" over Dale's unconscious and paralyzed body. Of course, "don't die on me" is a very generic clause used by countless characters in all types of stories.
  • Bennedetto's name may be derrived from a character in Alexander Dumas' classic work "The Count of Monte Cristo" where the adopted son of a servant's name is "Benedetto" of which a prolonged explanation of his life's history is told in that book.
  • Goodminton is an actual sport that is similar to badminton and until the early 90's was reserved only for women.

Fast Forward

  • Frank Bennedetto may have been the only casualty of the Battle of Strongbadia, but he may not have died. Homestar led Mrs. Benedetto to believe that he was dead, but the appropriate term is more 'missing in action'. You see him behind the fence in the Strong Bad Is In Jail Cartoon, and actually back in the army in the Labor Dabor puppet thing.
  • Firebert later becomes a character in the Cheat Commandos. Additionally, the fact that Firebert is not a good commando name is referenced again in the toon "Shopping for Danger", when Firebert is ordered to "stay here and think of a better commando name".

DVD Version

  • The Three-to-One-Marny Easter egg is viewable using the angle button on your DVD remote.
  • The DVD version features hidden creator's commentary. To acccess it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.
    • This commentary also extends into the Mrs. Bennedetto Easter egg.

Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Mike Chapman, Matt Chapman)

MIKE: Oooh, it's been a while. How long had it been since we had done an email?

MATT: Maybe a month.

MIKE: 'Cause there's dust and cobwebs.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE: It had been— What had we done? Didn't we do some other stuff?

MATT: I don't know. It was after the holidays?

MIKE: No, it was before that—

MATT: {simultaneously, overlapping} I think it was—

MIKE: What number is it?

MATT: Ninety... three?

MIKE: Well... maybe... Anyway, for whatever reason we had, uh, not done emails for a while, so that's what the

MIKE & MATT: dust

MIKE: and

MIKE & MATT: cobweb

MIKE: is about. Um... So this is one we've talked about before. I mean, we'd come up- you had come up with the term "Homestarmy"—

MATT: Yeah, a long time ago

MIKE: for a long— yeah, like a year or so ago

MATT: {overlapping} We were going to make a full cartoon, I think

MIKE: yeah

MATT: originally, and then we decided, since we don't make those anymore, we'd just {laughs} make Strong Bad emails. There's, uh, Seicross there.

MIKE: That was a good game.

MATT: Over ten million.

MIKE: {goofy voice} sol— sold tsill— zill-millions. {laughs} Till-millions.

MATT: in his stack— {mumbles}

MIKE: I like the carpet, the carpet underneath his, uh—

MATT: Yeah, that's the new and improved

MIKE: Yeah

MATT: shag carpeting.

MIKE: People sometimes catch onto the fact that the s— that the— when Strong Bad gets up it makes a sound against a wood floor

MATT: Yeah

MIKE: which is what it was; when we lived in the apartment, it had hardwood floors and we just, you know, pushed a stool across it to get that sound. And that was before we ever showed what Strong Bad

MATT: Right

MIKE: was— But then, it's carpet, and so people

MATT: But I—

MIKE: got a kick out of pointing that out to us.

MATT: Yeah, I think it's great. I think we're gonna leave it that way forever and ever.

MIKE: {agreeing} Mmm-hmm.

MATT: I think we should make it a point of, like, one time he's on a pillow, he's got the stool {Mike snickers} on a pillow and it's still like—

MIKE: There's one time when Matt—

MATT: {imitates "get up noise"}

MIKE: Yeah, that's, that— Which one is it, the one where you...?

MATT: It's the vacation one, I think.

MIKE: Yeah, where Matt just makes that sound—

MATT: {overlapping} I just made Strong Bad go {"get up noise"}


MIKE: Um...

MATT: So, this is, uh, where Cheat Commandos comes from.

MIKE: Yep. That's right. Where'd you—

MATT: {overlapping} So I was trying to come up with what his commando name was, so I just started writing a ton of words down, among them Fightgar, Crackotage, all what eventually became all of the, uh—

MIKE: Yeah, so we just had this list, so we made this, and then like, a couple weeks later, we saw that list of all those names, and we were like, "Well, we should just make

MATT: Yeah, just

MIKE: all of them."

MATT: make the whole thing. Uh, "Little Albert" was one we didn't use, we thought it was too much like Reynold.

MIKE: Yeah.

MATT: There was "Gun"— uh, "Runfire". {Mike laughs} There's another one that I think we nixed.

MIKE: Wasn't the, uh... the last time, that box said "Eleven of them"?

MATT: Maybe, I think it was. Yeah.

MIKE: I forget which one it is— So I wasn't thi—

MATT: {overlapping} So it— {resumes} It already rewound actually there, so that's a mistake; he had already rewound it

MIKE: Ohhh.

MATT: so you hear it rewind, and then... But, so— Anyways, Mike just got one of those, uh—

MIKE: Popcorn poppers.

MATT: big old popcorn poppers from Miss Cordell's class. {Mike snickers} Popcorn Party Friday.

MIKE: So yeah, maybe the pup— uh, puppet is gonna, maybe— Puppet Bennedetto, which is just a Presto air popper {Matt laughs}, will maybe make an appearance sometime.

MATT: Yeah.


MATT: {chuckles} I love how Homsar deposits the— just kinda poops out the Bennedetto there.

MIKE: And just keeps on going.


MIKE: So, he's got this orange Tupperware bowl we had growing up on his head.

MATT: Oh, is that why it's orange? What Tupperware bowl?

MIKE: You don't remember the orange Tupperware stuff we had?

MATT: {conceding} Yeah... I remember the, like— There was the, the cas—

MIKE: {overlapping} Well the lid has ridges on it.

MATT: Yeah yeah yeah, and like... stars... sorta.

MIKE: {overlapping} I mean, it's kinda that one.

MATT: Yeah. Okay.


MATT: I don't know what "Hold the line" is originally from. It just seems like a staple {Mike snickers} of army movies. Old war movies.

MIKE: It's dusk now.

MATT: Now it's suddenly dusk. {Mike snickers}

MIKE: 'Cause it seems to make this more dramatic.

MATT: Makes it sadder if it's dusk.

MIKE: {snickers} I like how he taps everything with that—

MATT: {laughs} Yeah.

MIKE: Really needs to have that all the time. I think if Homestar had arms, visible arms, it would— it would be a lot funnier all the time. Like, 'cause he could be... poking people—

MATT: {overlapping} ... doing something with them a lot. {pause} Is that it?

MIKE: {noncommittal noise}

MATT: No, just that.

MIKE: Now it's done.

Easter Egg Commentary

MATT: So there's, um... There's little Trivia Time over there.

MIKE: Yeah, on the far right.

MATT: {agreeing} Mmm-hmm.

MIKE: The cookie jar. So is this, um, Bennedetto's wife or mom?

MATT: I've always said it was his mom.

MIKE: Yeah, me too.

MATT: That's what I figured.

MIKE: Right.

MATT: Yeah. People always thought he swore there, I remember, 'cause he says, "best frigging soldier"...?

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