Lack of Visible Arms

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From a 2003 interview with

PURPLE PENGUIN: Okay: Frankly, I don't care how Strong Bad can type with gloves on, but how can Homestar type with no hands?
MIKE CHAPMAN: I don't really have an answer. Even I don't know that.

One of the ultimate mysteries in the Homestar Runner body of work is that Homestar Runner, Marzipan, The King of Town, Homsar, and many other characters all lack visible arms and hands. In spite of this, they have the ability to pick up, carry, and manipulate objects at will. The most common explanations for this phenomenon are that they either have invisible arms or can manipulate objects with some kind of psychokinesis. Some suggest the latter over the former, as these characters' articles of clothing rarely have sleeves where arms would normally be. Some claim the opposite, since there are few instances in which a character manipulates any object from afar. Others believe that there is a combination of both factors in use. Usually, none of the other characters seem to pay any attention to this curiosity, possibly because they have become accustomed to it, although sometimes their lack of arms is referenced.


[edit] References

The no-handed deckeman!
  • Armless Invaders — Homestar is the titular "armless invader".
  • Email vacationStrong Bad imagines, in a hypothetical email from Monkey D, "How does Homestar pick stuff up if he's not wearing any Marzi-pants?"
  • Email action figure — Homestar's action figure box reads "No arms! Like real life!"
  • The Interview — Strong Bad refers to Homestar as a "no-armed whitey".
  • Email fingers — Homestar makes himself a pair of fake arms.
  • Email pizzaz (Easter egg) — The Dogfood Gangsta has boxing gloves, but no visible arms.
  • Stinkomanual — Level 5's intro reads, "1-Up takes matters into his own, um, torso!"
  • Strong Bad is a Bad GuyStrong Mad starts to tell Homestar that he doesn't have arms, but is cut off by the end of the cartoon.
  • No Hands On Deck! — Homestar's lack of hands, which comes with his lack of arms, is referred to in the title and in a newspaper headline within the toon.
  • Sketchbook (15 Feb 2007) — Homestar is seen doing a push-up, captioned "no handed-style!".
  • DNA Evidence — Upon being told that the DNA analysis will cost "an arm and a leg", Marzipan replies "Not a problem." (see also below)
  • Email more armies — Homestar remarks that by joining the Homestarmy, one can have a career in the "no-armed forces".
  • Ever and More — Strong Bad and The Cheat (who have perfectly visible arms) practice Homestar's and the King of Town's secret "handshake" (see below) by putting their hands on their hips and bobbing up and down.
  • Email love poems — Homestar claims that he has "no-arms-on experience with the lady-makes".
  • Email magic trick — Homestar is in a box and wearing fake arms, and Strong Bad says to Homestar, "You look like a man of many arms," and Homestar replies, "Yeah, I'm like an octopus."
  • Homestar Ruiner
    • If Strong Bad examines Marzipan's vandalized Homestar-shaped float, he remarks that Homestar's head now matches his arms.
    • The announcer on Strong Bad's Telebision says that Homestar "may be armed and dangerous. Okay. Maybe not armed."
    • When Marzipan asks Strong Bad to leave because her mood ring is a deep brown, Strong Bad asks himself, "Should I tell her she doesn't have fingers?"
    • Hint dialogue has Strong Bad say he has to get Homestar back into Marzipan's arms, noting it's very much a figure of speech with those two.
  • Strong Badia the Free
    • Strong Bad makes a "call to arms" against the King of Town, and asks who in the crowd outside his window supports him. Strong Mad and Coach Z both raise their hands, then the camera pans to Homestar, who squirms for a moment before saying, "I suppose you think you're really funny!"
    • When Homestar declares that even though he appears to be the brains of his outfit, his lady friend (Marzipan) has a good head on her shoulders. Strong Bad replies that nothing about that is true.
  • Baddest of the Bands — After Homestar says he's preparing to audition as a singer for Pom Pom, Strong Bad tells Homestar, "Break an arm."
  • Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective
    • Dangeresque tells Perducci that he wants to see his hands when he shuffles a deck of cards. Perducci (played by the King of Town) responds by saying "That's... gonna be a bit of a problem."
    • Later, after going on Professor Experimento's ruby powered rocket, Dangeresque tells Uzi Bazooka he's going to "crash into the chip on [his] invisible shoulder".
  • Email email thunder (DVD commentary) — Matt Chapman makes a dual reference to both Homestar's lack of visible arms and Strong Bad's ability to type with his boxing gloves on when he asks, "How does Homestar type with no gloves of any kind on?"
  • Kick-a-BallThe Umpire cancels a game of One Potato Two Potato between Homestar and Strong Bad after realizing he can't tell who's winning.
  • Email sbemail 206 — After seeing the fake "nerd culture" Trogdor backpack (which includes a "beefy arm" jutting out from it), Homestar replies "Imagine me with three arms!", and later asks his "long-lost twin brother Chauncey" for a three-armed hug.
  • Fan Costumes 2016 — Strong Bad refers to one of the people as "armed and Marzipan'd".
  • @StrongBadActual Tweet (8 Oct 2018) — Strong Bad posted a drawing of Homestar demonstrating advanced telekinetic abilities, with the remark that "If Homestar's possibly latent telekinetic abilities ever fully manifest... we're all hosed." He added, "Um, guys got no arms. Still can eat spaghetti. Telekinetic. See'msayin?" but also said, "I'm not makin any proclamations here. That's why I said 'possibly latent.' I dunno how he does it."
  • Action Cool News-oween Report — Strong Bad says that residents are up in no arms.
  • 2022 Costume Pack Now Available — Homestar's updated costume is the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complete with blood spewing arm stumps.

[edit] Oddities

Sketch with arms
Proof that Homestar has invisible arms?
"Do you want to watch me bench-press a lot... of weights?"
  • In Search of the Yello Dello — Marzipan slaps Homestar across the face, leaving a visible handprint.
  • The Reddest Radish — Marzipan knocks on the door of Homestar's house with her head, despite the fact she could have used her invisible arms/telekinetic powers instead.
    • Likewise, in 3 Times Halloween Funjob, Homestar knocks on Marzipan's door with his head, although this could be due to his silliness, or possibly because he's holding his bagful of candy with both "hands".
  • A Jumping Jack ContestThe Announcer proclaims that Homestar has jumped jacks for the longest continuous time despite the fact it would be hard to tell if he ever stopped clapping his "hands".
  • Strong Bad Sings — One of Strong Bad's songs is titled "This One Time I Saw Homestar Punching a Kitten in the Throat".
  • Email halloweener — Homestar wears boxing gloves on his feet and an oven mitt on his head.
  • Emails credit card, 50 emails, anything, and email thunder; Arcade Game — Homestar can type on a keyboard. Also, in anything, as well as retirement, he is able to lift and pour a bottle of soda on Strong Bad's computer.
  • Pumpkin Carve-nival — The goblin easily manipulates both of Strong Bad's arms when he is in costume (and also removing it).
    • Also, Strong Bad is able to perfectly manipulate his Homestar costume without using any arms.
  • Email the bird — Strong Bad flips Homestar off, and after Homestar replies "Right back atcha," Strong Bad exclaims, "He just gave me the bird!"
  • Email your friends — When Strong Bad asks Marzipan to hold out her hands, she just says she doesn't want to. Of course, she may be aware that Strong Bad is preparing to hand her a saw blade.
  • Email marzipan — Strong Bad remarks that "Marzipan can't keep her hands offa" him, although this could be just a figure of speech.
  • Email the show and Main Page 19 — Homestar holds a microphone and sorts through a stack of index cards at the same time. This action could require more than two hands.
  • Ballad of the SneakThe Homestar Runner is seen with crutches after The Sneak "dropped him from his flying machine".
  • Strong Bad's Character Video — Homestar stands in line to receive a high five from Strong Bad.
  • Email time capsule — Homestar is able to manipulate the box, box lid, and wig all at the same time.
  • Email extra plug — Homestar is tied with an extension cord around his torso in a position normally used to secure someone's arms.
  • Homestar vs. Little Girl 2 — When Puppet Homestar plays tag with Little Girl, he touches her with his head.
  • Secret Song (video) — Puppet Homestar plays the piano with both his invisible hands and the side of his head.
  • Biz Cas Fri 1 — When Homestar "helps" Strong Bad with his spreadsheet, Homestar types with his head, even though he could type with his "hands" in 50 emails, anything, and Arcade Game.
  • Email record book — Marzipan holds the world record for the pole vault, an activity which would normally require both arms and legs. In lieu of a picture, the record book shows a message reading "Surprisingly, No Photo Available".
  • Puppet Jam: Everybody Knows It — Puppet Homestar gives high fives to They Might Be Giants.
  • Puppet Jam: Apple Juice Blues — Homestar says, "my arm really really hurts," though it is probably Matt Chapman speaking about his own arm.
  • Email space program — Homestar owns a sweater with sleeves. The sleeves could explain why he has difficulty putting on the sweater in the email.
    • In the DVD commentary for this email, Mike asks Homestar why his sweater has sleeves. His reply is simply "Shut up! Shut up, and I'm out." Following this, Homestar "leaves" the commentary booth and is replaced by Strong Bad.
  • Email high schoolTeenage Homestar sings "Shaking hands with my man" in Strong Bad's doodle memory/hazardous guess.
  • Strongest Man in the World — Homestar gives Pom Pom a high five.
  • Lappynapped! — The King of Town refers to himself as "Furious Fingers".
  • Decemberween Short Shorts — Homestar wears a towel around his neck as though he has shoulders.
  • Email strong badathlon — Homestar, the champion of the Greco-Roman Homestar Crud-Out-of-Beating event, takes swings at himself. Visible air disturbances appear where his extremities are presumably traveling.
  • Email your funeral — As Homestar enters Marzipan's house, he hangs up a coat with sleeves.
  • Date Nite — When Marzipan and The Cheat go out for their date, he offers her his arm to escort her, and she apparently holds it as they walk.
  • DNA Evidence — When Homestar, while wearing a trench coat, lifts the glass of DNA evidence to drink it, the right arm of the trench coat raises as though he has an arm, but he seems to lack shoulders. (see also above)
  • Ever and More — Homestar and the King of Town can be heard slapping hands as they demonstrate their "secret handshake".
  • Main Page 24 — Homestar asks, "How many fingers am I holding up?"
  • Quality Time with Cardboard Homestar — Both Homestar and Marzipan are able to manipulate the cardboard versions of each other from several feet away. Marzipan is also able to both play guitar and manipulate Cardboard Homestar at the same time.
  • Email slumber party — Homestar claims that his father only lets him play Clapping Party.
  • Homestar Ruiner — In a bit of hint dialogue, Strong Bad comments that Homestar Runner doesn't have the B.O. expected of an athlete, and wonders if it's thanks to him not having arm pits.
  • 8-Bit is Enough — While chained in the dungeon, Homestar appears to be floating between the two manacles.
  • A Death Defying Decemberween — When Homestar plays the piano, its keys can be seen being depressed. Later, he is displeased at being given a brown sweater with sleeves, although a good deal of his displeasure at this present is likely due to its being a brown sweater.
  • Hremail 62 — Homestar manipulates three separate pieces of paper and his brellow crayon at the same time, which, given the position in which he's holding them, would normally require four arms.
    • Similarly, in Hremail 2000, Homestar holds up two socks and two shoes individually.
  • Xeriouxly ForxeH. Star gains robotic arms, M.Z. Pan gains tentacles, and Xing Town gains clawed wings, leaving Homsar as the only normally armless character to still lack them (because he doesn't change at all). However, Ch8t has no limbs at all.
  • April Fools' 2014 — During the last song, Homestar wears a shirt with arm-holes but no sleeves.
  • Fish Eye Lens — Homestar's old-timey Dixieland jazz band outfit includes a vest with visible arm-holes and no sleeves.
  • I Killed Pom Pom — Homestar (in a reference to a running gag related to his costume) leaves blue handprints around Marzipan's house.
  • Marzipan's Answering Machine Version 17.2 — Coach Z tells Marzipan to spray Right-Guard over her hand before dealing with a pile of jock straps.
  • Homestar Runner Goes for the Gold — Homestar declares, "I wash my hands of this whole affair!"
  • Halloween Hijinks — Teenage Marzipan is able to play a trumpet while holding a tambourine.
  • Email parenting — Homestar is able to operate a touchscreen smartphone.
  • Decemberweenvent Calendar — The King of Town's and Homsar's variations have arms.
    • On Day 24, Homestar again plays the piano, including using his foot to play additional keys.
  • Dangeresque Roomisode X: Inspection Certificate on File in Building Office — Dangeresque Too's invisible touch is somehow able to be felt when he tries to lift a quarter off an assassin's shoe.

[edit] Characters With No Visible Arms

These characters have no visible arms, yet have been observed manipulating objects:

[edit] Debatable Characters

These characters lack visible arms, but (generally due to infrequent appearances) have never been seen manipulating objects:

[edit] See also

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