Integral Article

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"Count us off, The Ugly One."

The world of Homestar Runner contains several names of characters, places, sound effects, etc., where an article (A, An, or The) is treated as integral to the name. With varying consistency, these names will include the article, even when it makes the construction of the sentence extremely odd ("And out poured a lifetime supply of fishsticks. And a The Cheat!!!!"). The Cheat is the most renowned and recognizable example. Even for The Cheat, however, this rule is occasionally overlooked or suspended. For instance, in replacement, Strong Bad's epitaph reads, "...and kicking Cheats in the hereafter." Although this is plural and may be that "The" is not used in describing more than one The Cheat.

It's interesting that the very first appearance of The Cheat, in the Original Book, did not follow this practice. Although he was referred to as "that CHEAT" and "the cheat", it wasn't really treated as his name—note the lack of capitalization. He was simply being used by Strong Bad as a cheat to win the competition. However, by the time he appeared in A Jumping Jack Contest, The Brothers Chaps had presumably decided to adopt "The Cheat" as his official name; several characters address him as such. Thus the unusual inclusion of the article may have started as an inside joke: the Brothers poking fun at themselves for choosing a passing phrase from the book as a major character's name.

On a side note, Wizard's character page on the Mellow Mushroom site has a page title that reads: "Not THE Wizard, Just Wizard."

Names with an Integral Article
Name Sample Usage Comments

The Cheat
The title of 500 The Cheats Only rarely has The Cheat been named without the article. This practice even extends to his language ("Learn to speak... The Cheat" in cheat talk) and species ("My very own The Cheat!" in flashback). Strangely, however, Cheat Commandos ignore this completely. The integral article appears to be overlooked in the title of the email cheat talk and every instance of the phrase cheatday. Also, in replacement, Strong Bad says he'll be "kickin' Cheats 'til the day I die." In secret recipes, Homestar calls Strong Bad and The Cheat 'Cheat and The Strong Bad', although this is obviously not a mistake on the part of The Brothers Chaps.

The Poopsmith
King of Town Email: "Anybody? The Poopsmith? That little chef guy? I need some help here!" This is a rare instance where The Poopsmith was clearly named with an integral article. There are many occasions when he has been referred to as "a Poopsmith", "my Poopsmith", or simply "Poopsmith", although Strong Bad did capitalize the The when typing in secret identity.

The Paper
for kids: "THE PAPER, PLEASE TAKE US HOME." The Paper is never named without the article.

The Stick
labor day: "High five, The Stick." The Stick is never named without the article, but only a few times has it been unambiguously integral.
The Geddup Noise
geddup noise: "THIS IS NOT A THE GEDDUP NOISE T-SHIRT" The Geddup Noise generally only includes the article when grammar allows. Strong Sad's T-shirts, for some reason, are the exception to this.

The Teach
geddup noise: "Isn't that right, The Teach?" The Teach's name only appears twice. The other appearance was on Monkey D's T-shirt in an Easter egg, where it was unclear whether the article was integral.

The Homestar Runner
That A Ghost: "The Homestar Runner, I'm suh-suh-suh-suh-scared!" The Homestar Runner is never named without the article, but this is the only instance where it was clearly integral. Of course it's notable that the article distinguishes him from his latter-day counterpart, Homestar Runner.

The Sneak
2 emails: "How was that phraseology, The Sneak?" The Sneak is never named without the article.

The Moon
Mr. Shmallow: "That's right, The Moon." "The Moon" was only used as a proper name once in this toon. Other references to the moon (including in the same toon) are constructed as one would normally expect.

The Ugly One
Teen Girl Squad Issue 8: "Count us off, The Ugly One." The Ugly One is never named without the article, but only in a few cases was it clearly integral. Note that her father's name is Manolios Ugly One, suggesting that "The" is actually her first name.

The Liekand
Stinkomanual: "'Fashion first, ask sections later.' -The Liekand" The name of this Stinkoman 20X6 boss appears only briefly in the Stinkomanual. Even so, the article seems to be treated as part of its name.

An Ice Machine
Stinkomanual: "'LOOK! I'M TRYING! OKAY?!' -An Ice Machine" This boss's name is featured similarly to The Liekand's. It is the only example to date of an integral article other than "the".

The Denzel
bedtime story: "A grodalated old sponge covered in Band-Aids which he affectionately refers to as 'The Denzel.'" The Denzel has never actually been shown in an ungrammatical construction, but it's somewhat implied that the article is part of the name.
The Flamingo
Marzipan's_Answering_Machine_Version_11.2: "I've lost uhmm-my napkin! It's the one I always use when I eat buffalo wings, and I can't find it anywhere. Now, it answers to the name 'The Flamingo'." This is the only reference to The Flamingo, but it is clearly an integral article.
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