Poker Night at the Inventory

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A different kind of poker night.
STRONG BAD: There's no quicker way to turn the hotties off than by being a terrible poker player, man.

Poker Night at the Inventory is a game for Windows and Mac, released on November 22, 2010 by Telltale Games. A spiritual successor to Telltale Texas Hold 'Em, the game pits the player against four disparate video game characters — Strong Bad (as portrayed in Telltale's Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People), Max (from Sam & Max), Tycho (from Penny Arcade), and Heavy Weapons Guy (from Team Fortress 2) — in a game of Texas hold 'em poker. Winslow from Tales of Monkey Island features as the host of titular speakeasy The Inventory, and other characters (such as Pom Pom) make cameo appearances. Poker Night presents the characters as they appeared in their respective games, so Strong Bad retains a cel-shaded look that makes him stand out from many other elements of the game.

Characters each buy in with $10,000 — randomly at the start of the game, a character might bet a prized item instead of putting up the money; for instance, Strong Bad may wager Dangeresque Too's sunglasses. If the character who wagered the item is knocked out of the tournament by the player, these items will then be unlocked for use in Team Fortress 2. The central conceit of the game is that the video game characters are spending their off hours playing poker. To establish this, the game has an extensive dialogue system, allowing characters to comment on how the game is progressing, react to cards, address the player, and hold conversations amongst themselves. Characters have different opinions on each other: Strong Bad antagonizes Tycho, but the Heavy (who thinks Strong Bad is a "tiny Heavy") is kinder to him. Strong Bad additionally breaks the fourth wall and is well aware that he's a licensed character being exploited by Telltale Games, similar to how he was treated in Behind The Bad.

Matt Chapman, in addition to providing the voice of Strong Bad, was heavily involved in the writing of his dialogue, similar to how he worked with Telltale on Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People.[1]

Cast: Strong Bad, Max, Heavy Weapons Guy, Tycho Brahe, Reginald Van Winslow, Pom Pom, Trixie Trotter, Sam, Flint Paper, Girl Stinky, Momma Bosco, Bluster Blaster, Monty Muzzle

Places: The Inventory

Date: Monday, November 22, 2010


The Inventory

Outside the Inventory

The Inventory is a secret club where video game characters relax and play games when they aren't working. Strong Sad and Marzipan were part of a murder play here in Make a Scene with Telltale at PAX 2010. Later, Strong Bad and Pom Pom played Texas Hold 'Em poker here in Poker Night at the Inventory. The building appears to be a warehouse with a metal door and a lit sign displaying the words "The Inventory". This metal door isn't used, as a hidden elevator in the floor goes down into the real club below. The club is shown to have secret rooms, as a bookcase is opened and closed to allow passage to an unknown area. The club was founded in 1919, in response to an early draft of the prohibition amendment, which would also have outlawed games. The club has remained secret ever since, just in case a similar law is ever created in the future.

In the introduction, while going down the elevator, Pom Pom can be seen at the table. Later, when the player is being shown to the table, Pom Pom can be seen getting up and bouncing away, possibly in disgust. At one of the tables at the bar, a Maps and Minions game board from Strong Badia the Free can be briefly seen.


Introduction Scene Transcript

The Inventory's Poker Table

WINSLOW: Oh hello there! Another enthusiast, I presume?

How good it is to see a fresh face here at The Inventory! I imagine you are here for the cardgame with fellows downstairs? Let me lead you down there.

A first timer hmm? I'm a bit more familiar with the...benefactions of the club. The club was founded in 1919 in response to an early draft of the 18th Amendment. Through...back channels it was learned that this vile piece of legislation would not only outlaw libations, but games and amusements that could also "threaten the world-renowned determination and productivity of the American work-force". Ha! Can you IMAGINE? Games OUTLAWED?

Nevertheless, this club has been here in secret ever since, just in case those "in charge", get another bee in their bonnet. So, welcome and enjoy yourself.

Ah, your table! {Turns to the poker table, with Max, Strong Bad, Heavy, and Tycho sitting around it} Ahem, gentlemen. I hope there is room at the table for a fifth.

MAX: Aha! Fresh meat!

(At this point, one of the following scripts is chosen at random.)

WINSLOW: Tonight's stakes will be ten thousand dollars.
STRONG BAD: Oh, just because you're the manager, you get to make the rules?
WINSLOW: Manager? Ha ha, no, I am not under the employ of the Inventory. I just see to it that everybody has a good time. That will be ten thousand. I hope each of you brought your billfolds.

WINSLOW: Perhaps our newcomer would like to set the stakes for tonight's game? ("The Player" tosses a bound stack of money onto the table.) That sounded like ten thousand dollars landing on the table to the note.

WINSLOW: Very well. In concordance with the house rules of the Inventory, set forth by Mr. Kent upon the club's founding, any congregation of five players around a no-limit hold'em table must play for the house stakes of seventy-five dollars.
THE HEAVY: This is not too much.
WINSLOW: Of course, these stakes were set in 1910 and with inflation... hm, let's see... eh, tonight's buy-in will be ten thousand dollars.

{Each of the characters place money on the table}

WINSLOW: The game will be No-Limit Texas Hold'Em. I will periodically raise the blinds. May the best player win! {Winslow leaves the table}


"These cards are like the ladies: they WISH they were getting played by me."

The player is rewarded with an unlockable after each win, a playing table every first and second win and a card deck every third win. The Homestar Runner-related items are:

  • After two wins: Trogdor table. A green design with an intricate Trogdor pattern at the center and singed edges.
  • After six wins: Homestar Runner deck. A deck of cards with pixelated designs. The picture cards are:
    • Ace: Spade has Videlectrix Logo
    • King: Strong Bad with a crown
    • Queen: The Cheat holding a flower
    • Jack: Homestar Runner
    • Back of Cards: Blue with white star in center.
  • After 10 wins: Videlectrix table. A red, orange, and yellow table with the Videlectrix logo in the center and their slogan below. Using this table turns Strong Bad's model into a low-polygon variation.
  • After 13 wins: Strong Badia table. A table with the Strong Badia flag design overlaid on the surface.
  • After 15 wins: Poker Night deck. The hearts are all Homestar Runner-related, with the King, Queen, and Jack being Strong Sad, Strong Bad, and Homestar Runner respectively.
  • After 20 wins: Telltale Shield table. Black table with symbols all the players and Telltale logo in the center. Also causes Strong Bad to turn into his polygon version.
  • After 21 wins: Poker Night alternate deck. The deck has the same royals as the first Poker Night deck, but has a different back (black and white circles with the Inventory logo in the center) and an inverted color scheme (instead of the suits having the color, the entire card is the color and the suits are white).

Fun Facts


  • This is the first official crossover involving the Homestar Runner body of work.
  • Swears are in the game, with the option to bleep them out. This option does not affect Strong Bad's swears, however, which are always bleeped out.
  • Strong Bad's character bio reads:
    Heralding from the oft-overlooked municipality of Strong Badia, Strong Bad enjoys heavy metal music, video games, cold ones, computers, jetpacks, chainsaw arms, fireworks, jumps, babes, and guitar-axes (both guitars with a sharp edge and axes that go "squiddelydoo" when they chop wood). His poker strategy consists of belittling his opponents and hoping they fall prey to his "natural musk fog." Watch the critically acclaimed drama "Strong Bad emails," where Strong Bad checks his email on or be sure to catch his made for TV movie "The Loneliest Rainbow". Check your local listings for showtimes.
  • Strong Bad uses The Poopsmith's shovel to scoop up chips.
  • Pom Pom makes a cameo in the introduction wearing the pre-order bonus Dealer's Visor for Team Fortress 2, attempting to join the game. He leaves when they choose Tycho to play instead.
  • Jazz versions of the Dangeresque theme song and Trogdor can be heard occasionally in the background.
  • Each character has a unique play-style in line with their personalities. In particular, Strong Bad tends to bluff often.
  • Strong Bad is one of two characters who will sometimes bet someone else's possession during item rounds (by buying in with Homestar's Dangeresque Too shutter shades).
    • The other character who does this is Max, who buys in with Sam's Freelance Police badge.
    • Given the amount of times the blue Pac-Man watch has switched hands between Tycho and Gabe, it's unknown if it actually belonged to either.
  • $75 in 1910 would only be roughly $2,000 in 2010 money, per the Inflation Calculator.

Inside References

  • Strong Bad mentions The Cheat, Homestar Runner, Strong Sad, Bubs, Homsar, The King of Town, and Marzipan.
  • One taunt Strong Bad will use is "Looks like you're gonna have to fold!" This is a reference to Dangeresque's catchphrase, "Looks like I'm gonna have to jump!"
  • Strong Bad refers to the Heavy as "Heavym'n"
  • The Heavy misunderstands Strong Bad when he asks if he can take care of The King of Town for him, thinking Strong Bad wants to assassinate him. When Strong Bad learns that The Heavy wants to assassinate the King, he shrugs it off with a simple "oh well".
  • Strong Bad suggests that the Heavy should come live in the House of Strong, implying that the Heavy would displace Strong Sad.
  • Strong Bad says "Flops are stupid, but floppy disks are analog-awesome."
  • Strong Bad says "Flop, flop crap. Crop. Trying to make it rhyme. See what I was doing there?"
  • Strong Bad tells Tycho he will kick him in his groin-face.
  • Strong Bad is upset when Tycho asks him what he'll do if he ever gets a lady, and Strong Bad says he had to cancel five dates with nine supermodels just to be there. When asked how he manages to unhook a bra with his boxing glove hands, Strong Bad says bras fly right off when they enter his "natural musk fog".
  • When The Heavy asks if Strong Bad wrestles, Strong Bad says he's a wrestleman, not a "wrestle...ER".
  • Strong Bad says he can "buy a new Compy with that pot. One with a half-core processor".
  • Sometimes, when Strong Bad has to make a decision to call a large bet, he will state that this decision is harder "than the time both Strong Sad and Homestar asked me for dessert, and I only had one laxative-laced brownie left."
  • If Strong Bad wins two hands in a row, he'll say "You know, I'll just keep winning. Same type deal. Twice times, twice times".
  • Strong Bad mentions "jibblie nightmares".
  • Periodically, Strong Bad will state that he's "totally in this hand. Total, man."
  • Tycho and Strong Bad have a very antagonistic relationship with one another. Examples include Tycho claiming that Strong Badia is nothing but a deflated tire and a piece of dog whatsit. Strong Bad also shows envy toward Tycho's popularity and says that his Penny Arcade Expo is nothing without him.
  • Strong Bad shows gender confusion when he offers to be Team Mother of The Heavy's RED Team.
  • After Tycho's short but disturbing monologue about the wonders of the hedgehog spines, Strong Bad responds, "Oh, nothing. Just puking in my pants." This may be a reference to the email secret recipes.
  • Sometimes when the player wins a hand, Strong Bad will claim that it's not as impressive as "the time he had a full house and a flush in one hand. A flush house."
  • When Strong Bad mentions how the cold ones at the Inventory are supposedly good, Tycho questions Strong Bad's age, saying, "Aren't you like, ten?". Strong Bad responds with "You shut face."
  • The Heavy reveals that his favorite video game is Where's An Egg?.
  • Tycho asks Strong Bad how he can do anything with "hands like those".
  • When Max questions if Strong Bad has a criminal record, Strong Bad references the events of the Behind the Bad videos and stated that the game Videlectrix made with the stolen source codes helped create one of the most successful video games... in Guam.
  • Strong Bad will occasionally advertise to the player and immediately pressure Max to do a joint promotion for the Telltale Games store. This is a possible reference to the fact that these two characters are the primary representatives of Telltale Games in Poker Night (as Heavy is owned by Valve and Tycho's only prior video game appearance was developed by Hothead Games).
  • Among the weapons Strong Bad claims to have, one is a "custom nunchuk gun", the weapon of Dangeresque.
  • Strong Bad describes the Inverse Property of Luck-Have.

Real-World References

  • Strong Bad compares Max to a Pokémon and the Disney character Stitch.
  • Strong Bad compares Tycho's hair to "a greasy hedgehog... unassociated with any video game license", referring to the Sonic the Hedgehog series from Sega.
  • One of the lines Strong Bad can say when raising is "raisin' in the sun", a reference to the play A Raisin in the Sun.
  • Strong Bad says playing poker at The Inventory was "better than poker night at Homestar's. Marzipan is always walking around au-natural trying to get us to play no-loser Candy Land," referring to the board game Candy Land.
  • The Heavy wants Strong Bad to join the RED Team. Team Fortress 2 features the adversarial color-coded RED and BLU teams; RED is typically featured in promotional media, exemplified by the RED Heavy appearing in this game.
  • When Strong Bad busts out, he can be seen in the background playing on a Bluster Blaster video game from Sam & Max.
  • In the intro movie, before reaching the poker table, Monty Muzzle from Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures, and Sam, Stinky, Momma Bosco, and Flint Paper from Sam & Max can be seen. Trixie Trotter, a character from Back to the Future: The Game, can also be seen going into a secret room.
  • Max tells Strong Bad about a story where Flint Paper beat up a poker instructor named Artie Flopshark for allegedly stealing money (also "Artie Flopshark, deceased" is one of the possible ranks in the game). Artie Flopshark was the fictional writer of the tutorial of Telltale's first poker game, Telltale Texas Hold'em.

Fast Forward

  • Despite the fact that Strong Bad (or any other Homestar Runner character) does not physically appear in the game's sequel Poker Night 2, the theme song remains the same, including the pieces of the Dangeresque theme.
  • A picture of Strong Bad, The Heavy, Tycho, and Max playing poker can be seen on the wall at the entrance of The Inventory in Poker Night 2.

See Also

External links


  1. ^  "PAX 2010: Poker Night at the Inventory", GamePro, September 6, 2010 (archived)
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