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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

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Six, Sbemails' 50 Greatest Hits DVD



STRONG BAD: {rapping} 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 more 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, leaving colorful after-images behind them. Afterwards, the "E", "E", and "F" in the title light up and the word "Presents" appears below them. Cut to another blue background with the yellow text "LESSON 1: SAY 'HI' TO HYGIENE". Cut to a yellow background/}

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: {voice breaking} 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—

{The camera zooms out to show Gene in a lighthouse with the lighthouse shining. The lighthouse grows smaller and appears in 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!

{Cut to Gene standing next to Strong Mad, Coach Z, Bubs, and Pom Pom, who all have the same hairstyle as him.}

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—

{Zoom out to show John sitting in a desk surrounded by two empty desks.}

STRONG BAD: —and sits in the front row.

{Cut to John and Gene standing on opposite sides of the screen. The side John stands on is light brown box, while the one Gene stands in is light blue.}

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!

{The word "HYGIENE" appears. Cut to a closeup of Gene.}

GENE: Hi, gals!

STRONG BAD: Hygiene—

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

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

{Cut 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 fades in.}

STRONG BAD: —with a stomach virus.

{John blows his nose on his star, and puts it back on. It has mucus on it, and slides downwards somewhat. Cut 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, {zoom in on John's face with each word} dumb, stinking, {yelling} fat, smelly, {John looks surprised} stupid, du—

{The screen displays static, then cuts to a closeup of Gene's face, radiating energy.}

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

{Gene attaches two electric cables his cheeks, connecting them to a red lightbulb on a pad.}

STRONG BAD: —powers a small lightbulb.

{The lightbulb makes a buzzer noise and lights up. Cut 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. A green stink cloud emerges fromit, and black liquid drips from his upper lip.}

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

{John burps, and a moth flies out.}

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

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

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

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

STRONG BAD: —and his saliva is sold—

{Gene spits onto an outline of South America; the saliva transforms into a bottle that read "El Gene's Spit".}

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

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

STRONG BAD: John leaves food out all over his room, and a family of squatters have taken up residence in a nearby laundry cave.

{Pan to The Sad Kids standing in front a pile of laundry in the shape of a cave. Cut to Gene's room; a pennant reading "A sport!" and a wardrobe are visible.}

STRONG BAD: Gene's room has a sixteen car pile-up of racecar beds—

{Zoom out to show sixteen racecar beds stacked on top of each other. 5 special effects artists with "THX" on their chests and 5 maids appear above the pile over the next line.}

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

{The pile of race car beds appears to be set on fire.}

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

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

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

{Cuts to John holding the tube and two jars; he drops them.}

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

{a pie chart with the heading "What 5th Graders Remember You For" appears. "Your Stink" is the biggest section, "Your Stonk" second biggest, and "Hot Mom", "Video Games", and "Cool Headband" follow.}

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 fades 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 giant hand appears and starts poking him} If he slips up the slightest bit, and gets lice—

{Zoom in on Gene's hair; lice are jumping up and down on it.}

STRONG BAD: —or has an accident at school—

{Gene covers his pants with his hands. Cut back to the teenaged Strong Mad, Coach Z, Bubs, and Pom Pom, all with angry eyebrows. The camera slowly zooms in as the background turns red and the music becomes menacing.}

STRONG BAD: —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: Hooray...? {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, leaving colorful after-images behind them. Afterwards, the "E", "E", and "F" in the title light up and the word "Presents" appears below them. Cut to another blue background with the yellow text "LESSON 2: PANTS PROBLEMS". Cut 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 them 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, as well as 5th grade Strong Mad.
  • 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), is later seen taking a shower in Jibblies 2, 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.


  • 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.
  • When the camera zooms in on Gene when all the fifth graders descend upon him, Gene's hairdo sinks behind his head slightly.

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 pizza joint, Strong Bad makes an ecstatic reply when he receives an email from "a typical college girl".

DVD Version

  • All the Easter eggs are missing from the end.
  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

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