So … Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes. I can see exactly why this never took off as a major spinoff of the website – it seems like it would get old pretty quickly. The “one character chases another” plot has been very successful in some classic cartoons like Wile E Coyote & Road Runner, Tom & Jerry, Sylvester & Tweety, and probably a billion others, but I’m not too sure about Sherlock (yes, that is the cowcopter’s name, according to DVD commentary) vs. The Worm and Eh! Steve! vs. The Wheelchair. I think it’s mainly because the typical Homestar brand of humor is primarily dialogue-based, not really slapstick. So yeah, I’m kind of glad it only shows up a couple times.
Personally, I find The Cheat’s cartoon to be the best part of this email, but I can see people thinking differently, since both parts are pretty solid. But you can’t go wrong with “I can do it. I will do it nine times”. I’m not sure why that line is so quotable, it just is. And then you’ve got the trophy obsession, randomly magenta Coach Z, and funky fake-out ending. It’s one of the many things on the websites that is legitimately funny, but doesn’t lend itself to intelligent discussion. One thing I will point out about it is the fact that, much like the original Teen Girl Squad episode, this cartoon got a de-SBEmailiarized version released. It was mainly to fill out the Powered by The Cheat section of the Toons page (which I still don’t see the purpose of, but whatever).
One last thing before I move on – despite me saying that Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes doesn’t make much of a comeback beyond this email, it did actually get a Main Page dedicated to it a few weeks later. It’s pretty standard fare for Main Pages, with some kinda interesting things like the HTML behind the background, but the main thing I want to point out is something I actually just learned about when I looked at the wiki page – after a site-wide April Fools gag, this page got a little glitchy in a few places for some reason. If you’re interested at all, I’d look at the wiki page, which links to a mirror of the old version. I don’t see the point in pointing out all the differences here, since they’re pretty minor and only super hardcore fans would care about it. So instead, let’s move on to the site’s best source of random, “crazy” humor – Teen Girl Squad (Issue #3).
So for my attempt to analyze the un-analyze-able, I do have to question What’s Her Face’s exclusion from the rest of the group in this issue. It’s something that’ll happen a lot in future issues also. Having never been part of a squad of teen girls myself, I can’t claim to understand the mentality that goes into those kinds of things, but I just figured that if you’re going to be superficial and obsessed with looking SO GOOD, the character named “The Ugly One” is probably the one you’d exclude. I’d say it’s because she’s the smart one, but that’s actually So and So, at least if you’re talking about book smarts. What’s Her Face is just the logical one. I dunno, maybe she just doesn’t have enough money to hang out with the rest of them. I think that’s probably the best I’m going to get out of this. So maybe the next email will be slightly more intelligent. Spoilers – it’s not really. So here’s mascot.
So anyways, here we have The Cheat breaking a bunch of electronics, including an NES (I hope it was broken to begin with, otherwise that’s a complete waste of a quality piece of equipment). And Coach Z continues to confuse everyone by referring to both “The Chort” and “The Cheat” in the same sentence. Some people seem to think that he was referring to two different people, but I think it’s just Coach Z being his usual confusing self. It’s been hinted to in a few toons (not any that we’ve watched yet, from what I can remember) that his accent is pretty much bogus and done just for attention, so I see this as being one of those cases. It’s like slowbeef saying “Mare-io” specifically because it annoys viewers.
This email is somewhat noteworthy for the bit at the end that shows the notes for the CGNU fight song. I’m sure that influenced some high school bands to play the song while messing around. I say this because I know I certainly did that, and taught the song to a few other people too. And there’s a Quote of the Week from a few years later of a band playing it, so yeah, clearly I wasn’t the only one to make any use of it. And in the next email, we get to see The Cheat make use of some privileges.
Well, I’ve got to ask eventually – what did The Cheat do to Strong Sad’s face and hands? Apparently nothing permanently damaging, since he’s fine the next time we see him, but still, that sounded like a drill or something, and all I can think of is a certain scene from the origins email. We haven’t gotten to that one yet, but some of you probably know what I’m referring to. But I don’t want to dwell on that too much, so instead, I’ll just ask what the “Strong Mad Bath” and “Strong Bad Math” privileges entail, and why The Cheat would want to take advantage of either of those. Or “braces”, for that matter. But alas, some things were not meant to be. So let’s see, will the next email be another sort of “reserved” one, or will it be more craziness? Well, it’s called funny, and you can see the screenshot of it right below this paragraph, so I think you can probably figure it out.
First, the intro. It’s random, yes, but hey, I’m really not one to hate on random stuff, it’s just hard to write about. But I like little unexpected things like that, they’re usually pretty funny. And as far as the actual “funny” stuff goes, I did at least get a laugh out of the scene with Strong Bad dancing around like a complete spaz (well, that’s half of the email, but I’m specifically referring to the part with Strong Sad). And the whole bit with the ketchup bomb was kinda funny too. So overall, it’s not a terrible email, but it’s never been a favorite of mine either. Whenever I think of it, all I can think of is “Aunt Ruthie! Aunt Ruthie! There’s ketchup on the computer!”, which I always found to be painfully unfunny. And because I’d prefer to not end on a subpar email, let’s check out a couple more, starting with sibbie.
I’ve said a few times now that it’s very unclear how Strong Bad’s “email show” is actually being broadcast and viewed by people in-universe, but I can generally ignore this before it’s just a cartoon and doesn’t always have to make sense. But here, the song about Sibbie was recorded, remixed, put on the internet, downloaded by Strong Sad, and became a top-rated song on the radio within a matter of minutes. And then it happened again to “I Freakin’ Hate Sibbie” in about three seconds, with no recording equipment anywhere nearby. So it’s kind of hard to ignore here, but at the same time, that’s the entire point of the joke. So what’s there to say? I can’t complain about something making no sense if it’s not supposed to.
I’d also make some sort of a comment here about Strong Sad’s iPod, but I’ve never owned one, nor do I really know anything about them, so there’s not much to say. Forum posts in regards to this email were the first time I’ve ever heard of them, though, so I’m guessing they had just recently become popular. From what I can tell, they were first released in October 2001, and this email was from June 2003, so make of that what you will. Wouldn’t be the first time I hadn’t heard of something until years after it became relevant. Anyway though, one more email for today, and I don’t have any clever way of introducing it, so here’s suntan.
My favorite part about this one is some of the little touches. Marzipan’s drink umbrella is an interesting design choice, and I like the Easter egg at the end that reveals that the Ab-Abber 2000 doesn’t actually include the marker. So apparently it’s just a box with instructions in it. Then there’s the matter of the cloitsterizer, which is a wooden piece of cheese on a string that the Chapmans actually saw a kid dragging around in a store once. I would really love to know the story behind that. Instead, the only stories we get out of the DVD commentary are regarding The King of Town’s sunglasses and Gooblies the stuffed lobster. But everyone knows that the best name for a lobster is actually “Hippo”.
This email also introduced the phrase “all up ons”, which is used many times in the future for a number of things, joining the ranks of stuff like “LLC,,.” and “b/w”. Except those two aren’t ever spoken aloud, so maybe they’re bad examples. But I just now realized that I haven’t really said anything about the main subject of the email. Do I really have to? Strong Bad draws fake abs on himself. That is such a Strong Bad thing to do that it doesn’t even really need to be talked about. So … yeah, I think I’m pretty much done with this one. And therefore, done with this post.