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Strong Bad Email #176
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"What is John missing that Gene has?"

Strong Bad helps John with his hygiene video problem with some help from Embarrassing Educational Films.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Homestar Runner, Strong Mad, Coach Z, Bubs, Pom Pom, The Sad Kids, Strong Badman (Easter Egg), Moth Mouth (Easter Egg)

Places: Computer Room, The Classroom (Easter egg)

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: Monday, August 27, 2007

Running Time: 4:06

Page Title: Lappy 486



STRONG BAD: {singing} Step 1: You check an email down! Step 2: You tell some kid he's a dork!

{Strong Bad pronounces "Katulla" as "Katulalalalala"}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Fifth grade boys?!?!! Man, what happened to the hot college girls that used to email me? You ladies stop your be-pantied pillowfighting and drop me a line!

{clears screen}

STRONG BAD: Yeah, I suppose I could make a cruddy hygiene movie for you, John. But wouldn't it be so much satisfying to make a cruddy hygiene movie about you?

{Cut through static to a blue background. Disco music plays. Yellow letters saying "Embarrassing Educational Films" fly into frame. Afterwards the "E", "E", and "F" in the title light up and the word "presents" appears below them. Then we cut to another blue background with yellow letters that say "LESSON 1: SAY 'HI' TO HYGIENE"}

STRONG BAD: Meet John...

{The Text "john" appears and Homestar Runner as John pops up looking very dirty and unkempt}

STRONG BAD: John is a cruddy 5th grader. Hi, John.

{The Text "hi" appears over the text "john"}

HOMESTAR RUNNER AS JOHN: I'm a latchkey champion!

STRONG BAD: Meet Gene...

{The text "gene" appears. Strong Bad as Gene slides in. He has stylish blonde hair and a pink shirt.}

STRONG BAD: Gene is a beacon of light—

{Shows Gene in a lighthouse with the lighthouse shining. The lighthouse grows smaller and enters a stink cloud made by John}

STRONG BAD: —shining through the stink cloud generated by John. Hi, Gene.

{The Text "hi" appears over the text "gene"}

STRONG BAD AS GENE: TGIG y'all. Thank God I'm Gene.

{Cuts to Gene standing or floating next to Strong Mad, Coach Z, Bubs, and Pom Pom, all having the same hair as Gene}

STRONG BAD: Gene is popular and doesn't get good grades.

{Shows a Fridgin'-A brand refrigerator with a piece paper reading "G-, but sooo charming". Cuts to a closeup of John}

STRONG BAD: John has no friends—

{Shows John sitting in a desk surrounded by two empty desks}

STRONG BAD: —and sits in the front row.

{Cuts to John in a light brown box and Gene in a light blue box}

STRONG BAD: What is John missing that Gene has? Besides rich parents...

{Three bags of money drop in front of Gene}

STRONG BAD: That's right, hygiene!

{"HYGIENE" appears. Cuts to a closeup of Gene}

GENE: Hi, gals.

STRONG BAD: Hygiene—

{A dictionary pops up. A note is taped over the definition of hygiene}

STRONG BAD: —is defined as how close people are willing to stand next to you.

{Cuts to a closeup of John's chest, with his star bent}

STRONG BAD: John wears shabby clothes that smell like chocolate milk—

{A chocolate milk carton with a thermometer in its mouth and squinted eyes pops up}

STRONG BAD: —with a stomach virus.

{John blows his nose on his star. He puts it back on. It has boogers on it and slides downwards. Cuts to Gene in front of the "Big Ol' Mall". Two bags fall in next to him, reading "styles upon styles"}

STRONG BAD: Gene's mom buys all of his clothes, but she is young and hot enough for that to be okay.

{An exaggerated feminine hand with a ring emerges from the left. The hand is holding some keys.}

GENE'S MOM: {voice} Mommy's got a grown-up headache, Gene. Why don't you take the boat out for a while?

{Gene eagerly reaches for the keys. Cuts to a bathroom and John walks in. He briefly holds up a washcloth and a bar of soap before dropping them.}

STRONG BAD: Every morning, John wakes up and forgets to wash his stupid—

{Cuts to more of a closeup of John's face. It gets closer and closer and closer}

STRONG BAD: —dumb, stinking, {yelling} fat, smelly, stupid, du—

{Stactic} {Cuts to a closeup of Gene's face, radiating energy}

STRONG BAD: Every morning, the radiant energy from Gene's face—

{Gene attaches two electricity generating wires to his cheeks, connecting them to a red light bulb on a pad}

STRONG BAD: —powers a small light bulb.

{The light bulb makes a buzzer noise and lights up. Cuts to a closeup of John's face}

STRONG BAD: John's mouth is an ecological trainwreck.

{John opens his mouth, which has a spider web in it. Stink lines come out of it. Black liquid drips from his mouth}

STRONG BAD: And has a nest of rare South American moths living inside it.

{John burps and a moth flies out of it}

JOHN: Now you be back before din-din, Chauncey.

{Cuts to Gene's face. His mouth is shining}

STRONG BAD: Gene's mouth is a national park...

{A sign pops up showing a smile, two trees, two mountains and the words "Gene's Clean Mouth National Park". It also has the same hair as Gene's on top.}

STRONG BAD: And his saliva is sold—

{Gene spits and it forms into a bottle that says "El Gene's Spit" over South America}

STRONG BAD: —in South America as a wonder drug.

{Cuts to John's room. John is sitting on his bed. There are milkshakes, french fries and bowls of cereal scattered all around the room}

STRONG BAD: John leaves food out all over his room.

{Scrolls around the room. Cuts back to the middle}

STRONG BAD: And a family of squatters have taken up residence in a nearby laundry cave.

{Shows The Sad Kids standing in front a pile of laundry carved into a cave. Cuts to Gene's room with a pennant saying "A sport!" and a wardrobe}

STRONG BAD: Gene's Room has a sixteen car pile-up of race car beds.

{Shows sixteen race car beds stacked on each other. 5 special effects artists with "THX" on their chests and 5 maids appear above the pile of race car beds}

STRONG BAD: And a family of 10 maids and special effect artists keep it realistically smoldering and burning.

{The pile of race car beds catches fire}

STRONG BAD: Oh, they also live in a nearby cave.

{Shows the five maids and five special effects artists standing in front of a cave waving. Cuts to a tube and two jars of cream, powder, and paste}

STRONG BAD: What can John do to change his hygiene?

{Cuts to John dropping the tube and two jars}

STRONG BAD: Nothing at this point. {John looks shocked} By fifth grade the damage is already done.

{Shows a pie chart with the Heading "What 5th Graders Remember You For". "Your Stink" is the biggest section, "Your Stonk" after that, followed by "Hot Mom", "Video Games", and "Cool Headband"}

STRONG BAD: And everyone will remember him as a smelly loser no matter what he does.

{Cuts back to John. Two pennants appear reading "Out of State U!" and "Go Non-Residents!"}

STRONG BAD: He'll probably have to wait and go to an out of state college, where he can reinvent himself.

{John transforms into a more typical-looking Homestar, with a small beard and a college shirt reading "OoSU Non-Residents"}

JOHN: Hooray.

{Cuts to Gene}

STRONG BAD: Gene, on the other hand, better keep up the status quo. {a hand starts poking him} If he slips up the slightest bit, and gets lice {shows his hair with lice jumping up and down}, or has an accident at school, {Gene covers his pants with his hands. Cut to Strong Mad, Coach Z, Bubs, and Pom Pom, all with menacing eyebrows and bright blonde hair. The camera slowly zooms in as the background turns red and the music becomes menacing.} those fifth graders will just descend on him like a ravenous {Cuts to Gene, looking nervous} pack of hygiene wolves. And tear him to shreds.

GENE: Hurray...? {Gulps}

{Cut to Gene standing next to the words "bye gene".}

STRONG BAD: Bye, Gene!

{Cuts back to the blue background. Disco music plays again. Yellow letters saying "Embarrassing Educational Films" fly into frame. Afterwards and the "E", "E", and "F" in the title light up and the word "presents" appears below them. Then we cut to another blue background with yellow letters that say "LESSON 2: PANTS PROBLEMS". Cuts through static back to the Lappy}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Okay John, all done. I hope your classmates like my video. And don't worry, in 8 or 9 years you can just hide behind your new identity as a raver, a greaser, or a whatever ancient Egyptian teenagers called themselves. Now get outta here! None of the college hotties'll show up if you're hanging around, Mothmouth.

{New Paper comes down, showing alternating colors below the words "Calibration test". "Click here to email Strong Bad" is nowhere to be seen.}

STRONG BAD: You know, New Paper, you keep sucking just enough to stay interesting.

Easter Eggs

  • At the end, click on "whatever" to see what Coach Z thinks of Strong Bad's video.
{Coach Z and Strong Bad are in the classroom. Strong Bad stands beside a TV stand. The television reads "Embarrassing Educational Films". Coach Z is sitting on a chair in front of the TV.}
COACH Z: I love it! Where can I get me some of this hygiene?
STRONG BAD: You know, for a guy that lives about ten feet from a bunch of showers, you'd think you'd be a little more familiar.
COACH Z: What showers?
STRONG BAD: Uh, that big tiled room with all the shower heads coming out of the wall?
COACH Z: I thought thems were my drippy broken speakers! I got mad four-inch tweeters, B!
  • At the end, click on "ancient" to see a tribute to Matt and Jackie's recently deceased cat, Mabel.
  • At the end, click on "Mothmouth" to see a Strong Badman comic cover about Moth Mouth.

Fun Facts


  • A calibration test is a test performed on many color printers to help the user adjust the colors it produces, and aid alignment of the heads of ink or toner cartridges.
  • Tweeters are speakers designed to produce high-pitched frequencies.
  • A raver is a person who goes to raves, all night parties which often feature illegal drugs. These parties and the music associated with it peaked primarily in Europe in the early 1990s.
  • Greasers were a subculture that originated in the 1950s and saw a revival in the 1970s. Their distinguishing characteristics were jeans, leather jackets and slicked back hair.
  • Gene was popping his collar, a popular trend among the preppy social classes in the mid-1980s and early 2000s.
  • John's line "I'm a latchkey champion" refers to latchkey kids, a term applied to children that are often left alone in the house.
  • TGIG, or "Thank God I'm Gene", comes from the acronym TGIF, or "Thank God It's Friday".
  • When Gene's mom mentions a "grown-up headache", she is most likely referring to a hangover.


  • The printed definition of hygiene obscured beneath the handwritten one is: "Conditions and practices that serve to promote or preserve health", which is the second definition listed in the American Heritage Dictionary.
  • Most of the time during the hygiene video, Strong Bad as Gene is seen smiling.
  • The summary for the Podstar Runner RSS feed reads, "Strong Bad and Embarrassing Educational Films present a movie on hygiene for some 5th grader."


  • At the end, the New Paper prints out a calibration test resembling that from older HP DeskJet printers. However, you can still click on the lines to email Strong Bad.
  • Coach Z has been seen taking a shower before in the second deleted scene of In Search of the Yello Dello, making reference to "showering up" in the email flashback (which may or may not have actually happened), and having the world record for "longest time without shower" (implying that he has showered before).
    • Coach Z also claimed to be "lookin' out for all yer hygienes" in senior prom when adding Listerine to the punch, so he is familiar with hygiene.
  • The floppy disk Strong Bad put in the New Paper in the previous email is no longer there.
  • When John blows his nose on his star, his tongue is visible.
  • During the week of this email's release, there was both a "new strong bad email" Main Page Message for this email and a "strong bad email" Message for the one that preceeded it.
  • In the Easter Egg concerning Mabel, Mabel's claws are blue and green.


  • When John's hat is backward, part of the bottom of the bill is cut off.
  • When John looks in the mirror, his reflection blinks a split second after his counterpart.

Inside References

Real-World References

  • THX is a set of high-end criteria for audio reproduction - predominantly used in movies. It is a trademark of Lucasfilm.
  • The video parodies a style of educational film known as Goofus & Gallant, where two characters are used to contrast good and bad social behavior accompanied by heavy handed narration. This style of film was most commonly used in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The Strong Badman Easter egg is an homage to the cover of Uncanny X-Men #28.
  • The Styles Upon Styles bags are based on the department store Bloomingdale's shopping bags, which they call "brown bags".

Fast Forward

  • In bike thief and pizza joint, Strong Bad receives emails from college girls and makes an ecstatic reply to the latter email.

External Links

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