no loafing

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Strong Bad Email #86
watch 2 years mile
"Get back to work!"
This article is about the Strong Bad Email. For the sign, see No Loafing Sign.

Ryan asks Strong Bad about the "No Loafing" sign in Strong Bad's house, and where it went. He puts up inspirational posters to get everybody working.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, Strong Mad, The Cheat, Strong Sad (Easter egg)

Places: Computer Room, Strong Sad's Room (Easter egg)

Computer: Compy 386

Date: Monday, October 6, 2003

Running Time: 1:54

Page Title: Compy 386!!

DVD: strongbad_email.exe Disc Three



STRONG BAD: {singing} Driving down the strip in my cool cool car, checkin' all the emails out!


{Strong Bad reads "CO" as "Co... colo-colorado."}

STRONG BAD: Hey, great question, stupid! Here's an answer. {typing} The year was 1987, not a very good year for productivity. And as a result, productivity was down something-eight percent.

{A pie-chart, circa 1987, falls down displaying the productivity rating}

STRONG BAD: I realized things were gonna spiral out of control unless I gave them a little jumpstart. A sign that said—

{A picture of Strong Bad standing by the sign appears}

STRONG BAD: — "No Loafing" was the answer. {clears screen, continues typing} But that was a long time ago. I suppose ol' Loafy might be losing his edge. Maybe I should put up some of those inspirational posters and stuff to get things back in gear. You know, the kinds that have {stops typing} like {resumes typing} whales or sunsets or windsurfers on em. And they say stuff about determination and giving a care.

{Cut to the garage. Strong Bad walks in on Strong Mad and the Cheat sleeping under the "No Loafing" sign next to a beat-up muffler and a length of pipe. He has a bunch of posters under one arm.}

STRONG BAD: You guys are pathetic.


STRONG BAD: Have you forgotten what got us here?

THE CHEAT: {questioning The Cheat noise}

STRONG BAD: No Loafing got us here!

THE CHEAT: {indifferent The Cheat noise}

STRONG BAD: Take a look at these bad boys and get back to work!


{Strong Bad begins posting the posters. The first one is a picture of a whale's tail sticking out of the clouds and it is captioned "Remember the 'tivities: Creativity; Productivity; Activity; Get Back To Work."}

STRONG BAD: This one's got like some kinda space...

{He puts one up that has a picture of a windsurfer and the caption "Failure is not a four-letter word."}

STRONG BAD: And this one talks about cussing...

STRONG BAD: And this one's incredibly inspirational...

{He puts one up with a picture of a guy jumping out of the water and it's captioned "I HAVE FRIENDS! Keep working, little man"}

STRONG BAD: ...with the bursting waters...

{He puts up a framed picture of a dog captioned "The Cheat, watch your freakin' back, Squeaky."}

STRONG BAD: Here's one a-those hush puppies. They'll make you work for it.

{He places a wood-burning with a horse on it on the wall. It is captioned "The loneliest goat sees the last sunset last..."}

STRONG BAD: And this wood-burny thing's got some kinda old adage on it. About goats.

{Strong Mad instantly leaps up with a yell. The Cheat tosses him the pipe, which he uses to smash the muffler.}

STRONG BAD: Excellent! That-a way, boys! Chins up! Tifle down! And so on...

{Strong Bad walks back to his computer}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Well, whoever, I see I've gotten things back on track. Sounds like I deserve a three-hour lunch. I'ma head over to Bubs' for one of his 30-cent lunch specials.

{Strong Bad puts a sticky note on the screen reading "out to lunch, then appointment, then something else" and leaves. The Paper comes down.}

Easter Eggs

Out to lunch
  • At the very end you can click on "lunch specials" to see Bubs' lunch specials:
    • 2 buffalo wing bones (hot)
    • A cup of ice
    • A half-eaten candy bar
  • Also at the end you can click on the word "appointment" on the Post-It to see exactly what that appointment was.
{Cut to Strong Sad's room. Strong Sad is in bed.}
STRONG BAD: {jumping up and down on Strong Sad} I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.
STRONG SAD: {simultaneously} Ooh! Ooh! Ow! Ooh! Oh!

Fun Facts


Ol' Loafy in the late-'80s.
  • When the picture of Strong Bad pointing to the No Loafing sign in 1987 flashes up, the screen of the Tandy 400 reads:
The wallpaper shown is done in the style of a typical '80s home, complete with pears and two other angiosperm flowers.
  • In an earlier version of this email, this spot contained the same screen seen in little animal right up until Strong Bad calls the Cheat over.
  • The chart reads: Productivity 5%, Loafing 95%. Hence the sign.
  • The YouTube description for this email is "Strong Bad increases productivity something-eight percent with the help of some motivational wall hangings."


  • Strong Bad's arms are too short to reach the tops of the posters as he puts them up.
  • Instead of being in its original place above the computer desk, the no loafing sign is in the top left-hand corner.


"Oh, check me out, it's my featureless head!"
  • This email's loading screen is queued only to load itself, rather than the email as a whole. As a result, it never shows; Depending on the speed of the email loading, the viewer may instead get an image of Strong Bad's head without facial features in front of the Compy's disembodied screen as the other elements are being loaded.
  • When the picture of Strong Bad in front of the Tandy comes up, the green lines on the Tandy are moving, even though it's supposed to be a photo.
  • When Strong Mad takes hold of the pipe and his hand is up, he has five fingers. When his hand is down, he only has four.
  • When Strong Bad puts up the poster with the bursting water, it is not covering the "NO LOAFING" sign; when the view zooms out, the poster seems to be covering the "NO LOAFING" sign.
  • When Strong Bad turns around to leave the scene while Strong Mad is smashing the muffler, his legs disappear for a frame.

Inside References

  • Strong Bad mentions the year 1987 for the second email in a row.
  • Bubs's 30-cent lunch special ad features live-action food.

Real-World References

The Promise Ring
  • The poster on Strong Sad's wall in the "appointment" Easter egg is of the emo band The Promise Ring.

Fast Forward

DVD Version

  • To see Bubs's lunch special Easter egg, select the hidden Strong Bad logo at the bottom left of the screen at the end of the video.
  • To see Strong Bad's other appointment Easter egg, select the hidden Strong Bad logo at the bottom right of the screen at the end of the video. This Easter egg has been extended from the original version, making it more practical for DVD players that take a while to load the clip.
  • The DVD version features hidden creators' commentary. To access it, switch your DVD player's audio language selection while watching.

Commentary Transcript

(Commentary by: Matt Chapman, Mike Chapman)

MATT: So, no loafing, the no loafing sign... yeah, we're trying to figure out when it first...where it came from when we first used it.

MIKE: Yeah, well, where it comes from is an old Batman episode. The uh, Joker, in the Joker's lair, in the background, on the wall, there's this sign that says "no loafing".

MATT: {laughing} Is that it? When The Joker goes to school?

MIKE: Yeah. Yeah. It's, uh, behind the candy store; their secret hideout's behind the candy store, and—

MATT: The "Easy Living" Candy Store.

MIKE: That's right.

MATT: Um, so anyway, the no loafing sign is uh, another reference to Batman.

MIKE: {simultaneously} Ooh, that right there, that chart, I used to have this job where I made graphics just like that all the time, so that's why it was so well shaded. Oh, and I want to make that wallpaper.

MATT: And, tha- that, uh, you'll notice, in that still photograph, the lines are moving on the— on the computer. Still—

MIKE: What lines?

MATT: The lines on the old computer. The green lines! They're moving in the still photograph!

MIKE: {simultaneously} Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! I missed... Oh!

MATT: Yeah. It's one of those "Harry Potter" photographs.

{Mike laughs}

MATT: A Muggle photograph. Er, non...non-Muggle.

MIKE: So this was fun to make. I like— it was fun to make, uh, these posters and stuff.

MATT: Uh, them, that's a reference to the basis movie I made in college {Mike laughs} where these nogoodniks are beating on a muffler with a— a lead pipe. {about the "Remember the 'Tivities" poster} So Mike made that one.

MIKE: That was fun to do. Whales, whales...

MATT: That one's great.

MIKE: And look...

MIKE AND MATT: There's our friend Matt!

MATT: There's our friend Matt!

MIKE: {simultaneously} At the beach!

MATT: He's on later, he has a vu- a voice, uh...

MIKE: Yeah...

MATT: a voice appearance...

MIKE: Appearance, yeah. Hey, What email is that in?

MATT: {Imitating the other Matt} Mom!!

MIKE: He says that.

MATT: Shins up... That guy's really given up the works there.

MIKE: Batbede... That's another song that gets into our heads all the time.

MATT: Yeah.

MIKE AND MATT: {singing} BatbedededeBatbededede {laughing}

MIKE: I like Bubs's, uh... Uhh, do we get free– {cut off}

Fun Facts

  • Matt calls the moving photograph a "Harry Potter" photo. This is referring to the moving pictures in the Harry Potter series of books and movies. He first calls it a "Muggle" photograph and then corrects himself and calls it a "non-Muggle" (i.e. magical) photograph. "Muggle" is a word referring to non-magical people in the Harry Potter universe.
  • When Matt refers to The Brothers Chaps' friend Matt's voice appearance, he is referring to the TV voice in sibbie. He is mistaken in saying that the appearance is "on later" because "sibbie" actually comes before "no loafing".

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