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Ranking All 205 Strong Bad Emails

With news that Homestar Runner would be seeing more frequent updates later this year, we went back and rewatched every single Strong Bad Email, the series that really put the weirdo Flash animation site on the map. Some good news: All of the emails you remember — the ones that you can still quote — mostly hold up. Some less good news: The ones that you don’t remember, or maybe have never even seen? Those haven’t fared so well. But that's okay: A lot of these are more than a decade old, and this was bound to happen. So without further ado, here is a definitive ranking of all 205 Strong Bad Emails.

1. Japanese Cartoon: The GOAT. Japanese Cartoon is the best style parody that the Brothers Chaps ever made, and one of — if not the — earliest, as well. “Then you just put me in space and let me fly around in cool poses” is both a good distillation of anime and a quintessential Strong Bad line.

2. Crying: There’s just something very funny about seeing Homestar and the Cheat on the ground, reduced to tears by being shown a cartoon dog with only one leg. “That little guy. He's got the heart of a champion! You're gonna make it, Li'l Brudder! You just keep scrapin' along!”

3. English Paper: As someone who experienced the Strong Bad email heyday in middle school, there were few things more relatable than tips on how to write school papers. And, even better, as an Easter egg, you could download the fake paper featured in the cartoon. It meant that a few of my papers actually included cartoon diagrams about eating batteries.

4. Techno: For a larger-than-you’d-expect group, the phrase “The system is down” triggers vivid memories of this proto-EDM masterpiece.

5. Monster Truck: I’ve never been to a monster-truck rally, but if they’re like anything Strong Bad imagines them to be, I’d be there in a heartbeat. Tire jumping, smashed guitars, and the King of Town eating a cardboard box covered in syrup. Plus, we hear our very first Limozeen lyric: “I’ve got the heart of a lion / And the wings of a bat / Because it’s midnight!”

6. Mascot: In another nice bit of world-building, we meet the CGNU mascot, the Dumple, which is some sort of dumpling thing in a tri-corner hat. He cheers on the team at golf-club games, where players smash piles of electronics with a golf club. That’s a good sport. That should be a real sport.

7. Caper: Strong Bad and the Cheat have a falling out after bungling a plot to steal the Jumble from Homestar’s newspaper. Strong Bad then sings a rousing anthem about how happy he is that the Cheat is not dead. Try explaining any of this to your parents.

8. Band Names: I don’t think anyone would argue that Limozeen, Taranchula, and Bigg Nife are not stellar names for '80s hair bands. And they’re probably still up for grabs.

9. Dragon : The debut of Trogdor the Burninator, a global sensation. This email also contains Strong Sad’s beautiful chiaroscuro-shaded dragon sketch as well as Strong Mad’s sketch, which is just the word “DAGRON” carved into the table with a knife.

10. Kids' Book: “Everyone is different. No two people are the same not on fire.”

11. Comic: The debut of the Teen Girl Squad, which oddly resonated with teen girls, and with the boys like me who were trying to figure them out.

12. Flag Day: Here’s something I learned this week: I still know pretty much all of the words to the Strong Badia National Anthem. I am a legal adult.

13. Website: Strong Bad was ahead of his time in 2002. Here’s some of his advice: “Okay, next on the checklist: lots of animated GIFs!” That still holds up.

14. Stunt Double: Another excuse for Strong Bad to do a style parody, this email saw the introduction of the “sweded” Dangeresque franchise. Somehow, with chintzy Flash animations, it manages to mimic action-film tropes and the process of making home movies with a camcorder.

15. Montage: This is probably the best example of the Brothers Chaps’ gonzo sense of humor and their songwriting versatility. It features various montages involving a wagon full of pancakes, and at one point, there is a shot of Strong Bad and the pancake wagon listening to a vinyl record. The pancake is wearing headphones. Strong Bad falls in love with the wagon.

16. CGNU: Just a good parody of college TV ads. Solid jokes and good goofs.

17. New Hands: Strong Bad imagines having his hands replaced with, among other things, a bucket. You could just, you know, sit right down on the bucket when you’re feeling tired.

18. Dangeresque 3: (See “Stunt Double" above.)

19. Caffeine: Strong Sad is usually a fun vacuum, sucking up all the fun from any room he enters. That’s why it’s nice to see him get too amped up on caffeine and go nuts. Strong Sad trying to talk to the Cheat in his native tongue is quite possibly the single funniest line reading in any of the emails.

20. Crazy Cartoon: I’m still waiting for someone to option Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes, either for Saturday morning cartoons or for the Adult Swim crowd.

21. Island: In a rare break from style or genre parody, this email simply contains some surprisingly good character work with Strong Bad and Homestar marooned on a desert island.

“Hey, Stinkoman.”

“Um, did you just called me Stinkoman?”

“Yes, sir, I did.”

“Jeez. You don't happen to have a gun on your side of the island, do you?”

22. Helium: “Welcome to the High Voice Crew / I hope you have a high voice, too / When you’ve got a high voice / You don’t have a choice / Your voice is high all the time.”

23. Sisters: Strong Bad accidentally deletes an email from Ali and Ali’s sister — a mistake that will haunt him for the rest of the series.

24. Invisibility: Strong Bad imagines what he would do if he were invisible. The answer is that he’d do all of the same stuff, which mainly means punching people. Believing that he has been punched by a floating box of Swiss Rolls, Homestar observes, “Ow! Those things are bad for you.”

25. Different Town: Many of the emails that ranked highly on this list feature music, and Different Town is one of those. Strong Bad imagines how he would change his world, with ideas like flamethrowers shooting chocolate hundred-dollar bills. The most disturbing visual: Homsar would be a  "modestly hot girl ..."

And here are the next 180. (You can find them all here.)

26. Video Games
27. The Basics
28. Trevor the Vampire*
29. For Kids
30. 50 Emails
31. Old Comics
32. Kind of Cool
33. Local News
34. 2 Emails
35. Haircut
36. Radio
37. Sibbie
38. Action Figure
39. Other Days
40. Fingers
41. Virus
42. Colonization
43. Your Friends
44. Couch Patch
45. 1 step ahead
46. Morning Routine
47. Personal Favorites
48. Date
49. Privileges
50. Rock Opera
51. I Love You
52. 3 Wishes
53. The Bird
54. Impression
55. 12:00
56. Rampage
57. Sugarbob ("So as you can see, they're all really nice, and hot and very web savvy.")
58. Suntan
59. Lures & Jigs
60. Ghosts
61. Pizzaz
62. Best Thing
63. The Show
64. Time Capsule
65. Dullard
66. Marzipan
67. Record Book
68. Do Over
69. Theme Park
70. Guitar
71. Studying ("You've got the potential to get to first, second, and quite possibly even third base.")
72. Origins
73. Lunch Special
74. Web Comics
75. Army
76. Animal
77. The Bet
78. Part-Time Job
79. Little Questions
80. Mile
81. Bottom 10
82. Duck Pond
83. Stupid Stuff
84. Secret Recipes
85. Car
86. Property of Ones
87. Trading Cards
88. No Loafing
89. Long Pants
90. Huttah!
91. Gimmicks
92. Spring Cleaning ("DELETED!")
93. Super Powers
94. Dreamail
95. Little Animal
96. Big White Face
97. hremail3184
98. Credit Card
99. Flashback
100. Email Thunder
101. Superhero Name
102. Underlings
103. Autobiography
104. 2 years
105. The Movies
106. Cheat Talk
107. The Paper
108. Cartoon
109. ISP
110. Independent
111. Monument
112. Halloweener
113. Technology
114. Extra Plugs
115. Unused Emails
116. Cheatday
117. SB_Email 22
118. The Chair
119. Redesign
120. Narrator
121. Lackey
122. Weird Dream
123. Buried
124. Interview
125. Stand-Up
126. Business Trip
127. I She Be
128. Theme Party
129. Butt IQ
130. Hiding
131. Your Funeral
132. Theme Song
133. Your Edge
134. Alternate Universe
135. Garage Sale
136. Bike Thief
137. Tape-Leg
138. Licensed
139. Highschool
140. Modeling
141. Slumber Party
142. Replacement
143. The Facts
144. Retirement
145. Original
146. Keep Cool
147. Portrait
148. Videography
149. 4 Branches
150. Specially Marked
151. Mini-Golf
152. Myths & Legends
153. Love Poems
154. More Armies
155. Coloring
156. Labor Day
157. Depressio
158. Lady Fan
159. Some Kinda Robot ("Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you, I mean, answer them.")
160. Pet Show
161. I Rule
162. Dictionary
163. Cliffhangers
164. Funny
165. Rated
166. Making Out
167. Winter Pool
168. Candy Product
169. Being Mean
170. Bedtime Story
171. Current Status
172. Imaginary
173. Concert
174. Strong Badathlon
175. Environment
176. The Process
177. Death Metal
178. From Work
179. Road Trip
180. Looking Old
181. Space Program
182. Pop-Up
183. Shapeshifter
184. Secret Identity
185. Pizza Joint
186. Yes, Wrestling
187. What I Want
188. Geddup Noise
189. Nightlife
190. Vacation
191. Anything
192. Hygiene
193. Fan Club
194. Pom Pom
195. Unnatural
197. Magic Trick
198. Brianrietta
199. Senior Prom
200. Disconnected
201. Homsar
202. Diorama
203. Boring
204. Homestar Hair
205. Rough Copy

*This post has been updated to include "Trevor the Vampire," which we originally forgot, because 205 is a lot.