HOMESTAR RUNNER: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE
The year is 2003. It is a kinder time, a simpler time.
Every single one of your classmates knows how to draw Trogdor the Burninator – first, you draw an S, then you draw a more different S.
“Everybody to the Limit” is a staple at middle school dances.
Your best friend’s little brother owns a plush The Cheat, and you can kick it, and it makes noise.
The year is 2003, the golden age of Homestar Runner.
Basically, every online content creator, every webcomic artist, every YouTube entertainer, owes Homestar Runner a shitload.
Once upon a time, Homestar Runner was the definitive Flash site, an online destination for kids and immature grown-ups alike, fielding millions of hits and thousands of e-mails a day.
Homestar Runner, the earnest athlete with a pure heart and a love for mankind, and his arch-nemesis, Strong Bad, a wrestler with a penchant for issuing snarky responses to fanmail, defined a generation through weird, surrealist Flash cartoons tinged with outdated pop cultural references.
Ten years later, there’s a new generation of Internetters who have never experienced the pure, unadulterated joy of H-Star-R, and that breaks my heart.
So, here, I’ve compiled this beginner’s guide to Homestar Runner. Every cartoon on this list is shorter than five minutes. Get into it. Do yourself a favour.
STEP ONE: STRONG BAD E-MAILS
- japanese cartoon
- stunt double
- kids’ book
- different town
- for kids
- bedtime story
STEP TWO: TEEN GIRL SQUAD
Episodes #1-15 are available here. Watch them all.
STEP THREE: SHORTS
- An Important Rap Song
- Where My Hat Is At?
- Best Caper Ever
- Play Date
- The Homestar Runner Gets Something Stuck In His Craw
- One Two, One Two
- Fluffy Puff Commercial
STEP FOUR: TOONS
I owe a lot to Homestar Runner. I remember sharing these with coworkers at Booklist in 2003. We couldn’t believe how good it was.
There hasn’t been any new Homestar content since 2010, sadly. I don’t know much about why, but I do know they funded the whole series through merch sales, which—let me tell you—is a tough way to go.
Not to beat a dead horse, but I wish sustainable funding models existed* for stuff like Homestar Runner, because while the shows those guys are now making for Disney will no doubt be brilliant, I miss Strong Bad and friends.
* And perhaps a new one will soon, he said portentously.