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Strong Bad Email #181
watch slumber party business trip
"That stuff is totally messed up, The Cheat. That gunk is ill."

Gunkiller and his friends ask Strong Bad for suggestions on making a web comic.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Strong Sad, The Cheat, Stinkoman

Places: Computer Room, The Cheat's Computer Room

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: Monday, October 8, 2007

Running Time: 3:34

Page Title: Lappy 486

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Six



STRONG BAD: Strong Bad Email goes down smooth and clean, like gasoline.

{Strong Bad mutters "for not using punctuation" after "Thanks a lot" and pronounces "Gunkiller" as "Gunk-iller".}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Who are you? Gunhaver's evil twin brother? Well I won't be needing your services today; all my gunk is plenty ill already. {clears screen} Web comics are easy, Gunky. They're all about video games, gamernerds, webgeeks, dorknerds, gamewads, nerdgames, webwebs, and elves. So just pick one of those and start tableting! Like the one where the slickly drawn college roommates make nothing but video game inside jokes!

{during the preceding, the scene changes to a shot of a comic with two characters, one of whom loosely resembles Strong Bad with black hair and a yellow T-shirt; the other loosely resembles Strong Sad with short blond hair and holding a hand-held video game}

STRONG BAD-LIKE CHARACTER: {in Strong Bad's voice, the text appears in speech bubbles above him} Uh, did you try to case mod that meatloaf you're makin'?

STRONG SAD-LIKE CHARACTER: {in Strong Sad's voice, the text appears in speech bubbles above him} No, why?

{pans to the next panel of the comic; both characters are looking at a burnt brick in a baking pan that the Strong Bad-like character is holding}


{pans to the next panel of the comic; both characters are staring wide-eyed, computer sounds start playing}

STRONG SAD-LIKE CHARACTER: 3.2ghz cell processor with 3 dual-threaded cores, 1.8 TFLOPS, 256mb XDR...

STRONG BAD-LIKE CHARACTER: {beginning a short way through the previous line, and continuing simultaneously with it} Light bloom, floating point frame buffers, volumetric effects, high dynamic range rendering...

{the scene fades}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Oh, I wish I knew what that means.

{Cut back to Strong Bad at the Lappy}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Another approach is to just ask for input from your viewers and rip that off for content. {zoom out a bit, Strong Bad turns around to face the camera} Pfff. What a cop-out.

{New Paper comes down extremely quickly. Cut to The Cheat at Monosodium Dreams.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} The Cheat has one of those. He gets people to send him the weird senders' names from spam emails, {The Cheat clicks the menu for "Email" and brings up a list of names with a list of subjects} and then he makes interpretive drawings based on them! {The Cheat double clicks the name "Colliding R. Reallying"} Classics like—

{The scene changes to an undersea image in which two sharks are colliding. Swimming below them is a creature consisting of a glass dome and a propeller. Under this is the text "Colliding R. Reallying" in yellow.}

STRONG BAD: —Colliding R. Reallying!

{Cut back to The Cheat}

STRONG BAD: And— {The Cheat double clicks the name "Knowingest J. Drawbridges}"

{The scene changes to an image of a man in athletic clothing standing outside a mostly-raised drawbridge over a moat. The man has a mane and horns, and his left arm is extended down into the moat and back up to knock on the drawbridge, which has eyes, a tongue and teeth. The text "Knowingest J. Drawbridges" appears in white at the top.}

STRONG BAD: —Knowingest J. Drawbridges!

{Cut back to The Cheat, still looking at the Knowingest J. Drawbridges picture on Monosodium Dreams. Strong Bad is now with him.}

STRONG BAD: That stuff is totally messed up, The Cheat. That gunk is ill.

{cut back to Strong Bad at the Lappy}

STRONG BAD: But if cartoony or Cheaty drawings aren't your thing, break out your cracked serial numbers for 'Burn & Dodge: The Fantasy Photoshop Gradient Comic!'

{Cut to an image of a character whose head resembles Strong Bad's mask with a beard. He also has a muscular torso and is holding a buckler and sword. A creature resembling The Cheat with a pointy tail and horns is on his shoulder.}

BORGORROTH OF COOLSWORDORROTH: {appears above him in a speech bubble} Hold! Borgorroth of Coolswordorroth shimmies for no man!


{Cut to wider view; The Cheat-like creature is now behind Borgorroth of Coolswordorroth, who is holding his sword defensively in front of him. A figure in a black cloak is opposite them and holding his right hand at them}

CLOAKED FIGURE: {in Strong Bad's voice} LENS FLARE! {a lens flare appears on his hand}

BORGORROTH OF COOLSWORDORROTH: Uh, PLASTIC WRAP! {the scene becomes covered in plastic wrap Photoshop effect}

{Cut back to Strong Bad at the Lappy}

STRONG BAD: Or if you can't draw, never fear, just steal some graphics from your favorite video game. And add yet another unlicensed pixel comic to the overcrowded, overstunk landfill of web comics.

{Cut to a panel showing Stinkoman in his sprite form from Stinkoman 20X6 on green land, while the theme music from the first level plays.}

STINKOMAN: {appears in a speech bubble} Sometimes I wish I could challenge my own self.

{Pan to the next panel, in which the scene is dark and the text "ZAP!" appears in red near the top. The scene returns to normal as a second Stinkoman appears facing the first, and jumps.}

SECOND STINKOMAN: {in 1-Up's voice} I'm Stinkoman.


STRONG BAD: {voiceover} And when your pixel comic's not funny—

{Cut to the next panel, which is the same as the previous but with two red eyes with green irises added, along with various shapes and colors.}

STRONG BAD: —MS Paint your way to a non-punchline!

{The scene fades out. Cut back to Strong Bad at the Lappy.}

STRONG BAD: As terrible as this is, I suppose web comics are a better fate for video games than Saturday morning cartoons were.

{Cut to a cartoon scene with a red cube with legs, arms, eyes and a green cap; a blond boy with a shirt that says "Kid" and a surfboard; and a dog wearing sunglasses.}

KID: Ah, come on, Secret Collect! Let's go surfing inside the evil castle!

{Cut to a closeup of the dog}

DOG: Uh, dudeical!

{Cut to a closeup of Secret Collect; the scene continuously zooms in on him}

SECRET COLLECT: {exaggeratedly shuddering} Ohh, I don't know about this! Collect, collect, collect!

{Cut to a scene of a wizard with green eyes, a brown tunic, a beard, and three jewels set in his forehead looking at the previous scene in a crystal ball in a castle.}

WIZARD: Once I collect the final secret, the sweepstakes will be mine!

{Scene changes to a picture of a clay Nebulon in a kitchen; he has a speech bubble that says, "Secret Collect. will be right back...", above the speech bubble is a small picture of Secret Collect. On the bottom right of the screen is a bubble with the text "Saturday Mornideo Games".}

ANNOUNCER: Secret Collect will be right back.

{scene changes to show a smiling animated Thy Dungeonman and the text "The Animated Adventures of Thy Dungeonman".}

ANNOUNCER: And stay tuned for The Animated Adventures of Thy Dungeonman!

{Cut to a background of poorly-drawn houses, in front of which stand two characters: the text "Go North" and "Get Dagger", both in green letters and with eyes and legs.}

GET DAGGER: My cousin's coming to visit!

{Pan to the right and zoom out to show a text character Take Dagger next to Get Dagger.}

TAKE DAGGER: Hiya, guys!

{Two more green characters are seen running behind them. Cut to a scene of the text character "Dennis" chasing the text character "Ye Flask".}

DENNIS: You get back heeeeeere!

{Cut back to Strong Bad at the Lappy}

STRONG BAD: {typing} So to answer your question, Gunky, DON'T MAKE A WEB COMIC! Why can't you just make a...comic. Everyone knows that putting 'web' in front of words automatically makes them crappier. Just look what happened to 'pages,' and 'cams,' and 'logs.' And who could forget the fall of the mighty 'isode.' Ohh, so tragic.

{New Paper comes down}

Easter Eggs

He be illin'!
  • Click on "Gunkiller" after Strong Bad says his name to see a Cheat Commandos action figure named after him (spelled Gunk Iller).
  • Click on "COMIC!" at the end of the email to bring up a window where you can make your own Stinkoman comic using sprites from Stinkoman 20X6.
  • Click on "'web' in front" at the end of the email to see a drawing of a blimp in flight above a stadium, with the words "GO LOAF!" over it. (See Real-World References for the explanation.)
  • Click on "crappier" at the end of the email to see what happened to Borgorroth of Coolswordorroth.
    CLOAKED FIGURE: OCEAN RIPPLE! {another effect is applied}
    BORGORROTH OF COOLSWORDORROTH: FIND EDGES! {another effect is applied, changing much of the color}
    CLOAKED FIGURE: SHARPEN MORE! {another effect is applied. The image is mostly incomprehensible now.}
    BORGORROTH OF COOLSWORDORROTH: Er... NUDGE! {the scene shifts a little to the left}

Fun Facts


  • When Strong Bad says "start tableting", he is referring to a graphics tablet, which is a tool used to make digital drawings.
  • "Bricked" is slang for causing an electronic piece of equipment to no longer function.
  • "Case modding" is the act of modifying a video game console or computer chassis.
  • The highly technical terms spoken in the last panel of the college roommate comic all refer to technical specifications of the Sony PlayStation 3 video game console.
  • "Lens Flare", "Plastic Wrap", "Ocean Ripple", "Find Edges," and "Sharpen More" are all filters that one can use in Adobe Photoshop. "Nudge" is the term used to describe the act of moving an object on the image canvas.
  • Strong Bad mentioning cracked serial numbers is a reference to how many people illegally obtain Photoshop by downloading a cracked serial number online.


"That's funny. I gave it negative 2."
"Knowingest J. Drawbridges."
  • The email preview features a different GamerJox comic than featured in the email.
    STRONG BAD LIKE CHARACTER: EGM2 gave the new Peasant's Quest game 4 out of 10!!
    STRONG SAD LIKE CHARACTER: That's funny. I gave it negative 2.
    STRONG BAD LIKE CHARACTER: Don't you think that's a bit harsh?
    STRONG SAD LIKE CHARACTER: I think EGM2 is a bit nonexistent for 10 years.
  • The clay Nebulon is in the paper Reynold's Apartment playset.
  • The Cheat's email list reads:
Sender Subj.
Knowingest J. Drawbridges **SPAM**
Colliding R. Reallying **SPAM**
Hooray4dolphins PhramC7acy
Public D. Themackinest **SPAM**
Lowpoint K. Festivals ****SPAAAM****
Tanktop H. Gravity **SPAM**
Pressured Q. Kibbles **SPAM**
Lamppost L. Smith Hey Bro...
Lem Sportsinterviews $$$PAM!!!
Brash R. HiMom **SPAM**
Freshfruit P. Cacophony **SPAM**
  • Since New Paper came down in a separate room from Strong Bad in the two previous emails, pizza joint and slumber party, this email would mark the first time Strong Bad does not take the opportunity to insult it.
  • The summary on the Podstar Runner RSS feed reads, "Strong Bad gives suggestions for making a web comic."


  • In video games, Secret Collect is supposed to star Strong Bad as the red pixel. In the Saturday morning cartoon, the character is entirely different from Strong Bad.


  • During the computer scene when Strong Bad mentions the fantasy Photoshop gradient comic, clicking outside the Lappy's screen results in the same ripple effect.

Inside References

Real-World References

  • The email preview refers to EGM2, a United States-based video game magazine that was published by Sendai Publishing (later bought by Ziff-Davis) from July 1994 to July 1998. It was then renamed Expert Gamer in August 1998 & continued with that name until October 2001, when it was renamed GameNow. GameNow continued publication until January 2004.
  • The description of the action figure, "He be illin'!" is a reference to the song by Run-D.M.C. called "You Be Illin'" from their 1986 album, Raising Hell.
  • "PhramC7acy", which appears as an email sent by hooray4dolphins, is a subject line from an actual spam that was circulating in heavy volume around the time this email was produced. It advertised discount prescription drugs offered by many southeast Asia-based "pharmacies," and the subject had two random letters inserted where the C and 7 appear here to avoid detection by spam filters.
  • The college roommate webcomic is a reference to the many webcomics that discuss video games and related culture, such as Penny Arcade.
  • The unlicensed pixel webcomic refers to a genre known as sprite comics, which use sprite-based graphics from video games are implemented to create the comic, such as in 8-bit Theater.
  • The Cheat's web comic, based on spam mailers' names, is a reference to Spamusement!.
  • The Secret Collect Saturday morning cartoon is a reference to various cartoons produced in the 1980s that were based on early video games, such as Pac-Man, and "Saturday Mornideo Games" is a reference to cartoons series based on sets of video games, such as Saturday Supercade and Captain N: The Game Master. Because most early games had no inherent plot or established universe, many of these cartoons introduced new characters and plot lines to keep the material interesting to viewers.
  • The clickable Easter egg text "Web in Front" is the title of a song by North Carolina-based indie rock band Archers of Loaf.
  • The dog in the Secret Collect cartoon gives the Shaka sign, a Hawaiian gesture often associated with surfing culture.

DVD Version

  • Whereas the Podstar Runner version of this toon had the text of the first New Paper altered in such a way as to deprive it of any relevance to Strong Bad's criticism of comics that use fan-submitted material, the first New Paper's appearance on the DVD returns to the original message of emailing Strong Bad.
  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

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