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Strong Bad Email #194
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"Watch out for cereals with anything grown in Iowa in the name!"

Strong Bad educates us on the free toys found in cereal boxes.

Cast (in order of appearance): Strong Bad, The Cheat, Homestar Runner

Places: Computer Room, Strong Badia (Riverquest Safariventure), Marzipan's House

Computer: Lappy 486

Date: Monday, April 21, 2008

Running Time: 3:08

Page Title: Lappy 486

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

Contents

Transcript

STRONG BAD: {singing} If everybody in the world checked their email, the Internet would probably break.

{Strong Bad reads 'Hey ho, Strongbad' as 'Hey! Ho! Strongbad!' (as if it was from "Blitzkrieg Bop", see below) and 'cerial' as 'keh-ree-al'.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Ooh, I'm glad you asked Problem Brian. I've been wanting to give specially marked boxes of cereal a specially marked piece of my mind for some time now.

{A dotted-line circle appears near the top of Strong Bad's head. Two lines appear, going from the circle to a new circle, this time larger and in front of Strong Bad's head. In the bigger circle, there is a picture of Strong Bad's brain.}

STRONG BAD: I choose...this piece.

{An arrow points to a spot on the left side of Strong Bad's brain. He clears the screen, and the circles disappear.}

STRONG BAD: {typing} Well before you get the toys inside, you first have to navigate the treacherous, jaggedy rock filled class 5 rapids of specially marked cereal box fake outs! Luckily, I'm a lame sandal wearing hippie with a ponytail that's been down these rapids with groups of tourists many times!

{Cuts to Strong Badia, where Strong Bad and The Cheat, wearing a ponytail and a helmet, respectively, are in the 'Riverquest Safariventure' box, with a hose running in front of it.}

STRONG BAD: Okay guys, I'm gonna need everybody to lean hard to the right! {Strong Bad pulls out some sort of microphone and makes a clicking noise}

{Cut to Marzipan's kitchen. Strong Bad walks in from the right.}

STRONG BAD: The first hazard you have to watch out for is cereals with anything grown in Iowa in the name. You know...

{Music starts to play in the background.}

{As Strong Bad says the items, boxes of Corn Krunch, Wheat Chaff, Oh T'meel, Cripsy Hog Crunchities, and Fundament-o's appear, in that order.}

STRONG BAD: ...corn, wheat, oats, hogs, fundamentally-sound college basketball players. Please, to stay away from these. Those cereals only ever put fitness-related crap in specially marked boxes.

{A picture of a step counter appears against a blue background. In flashing letters on the bottom, it says "One Free TakesteppaTM Step Take Monitor!"}

STRONG BAD: {Sarcastic voiceover} Oh, great! I can count how many steps I took today!

{A picture of a defibrillator appears on-screen. At the top of the screen, it reads "Clear?! One FreeTM Defib Kit Inside!"}

STRONG BAD: {Sarcastic voiceover} Fantastic! I can restart my heart if it stops!

{Cut back to Marzipan's kitchen, where Strong Bad's face is on a box of 'Hypothetic-O's'.}

STRONG BAD: {on the box} What you do want to look for are cereals with sound effects in the name.

{The box flies off-screen. When Strong Bad names the sound effects, boxes of Fruit Smax, Chocolate Breakfast Candy Bar Pops, Soundy Puffs, Blue Laser Blasts, and Sugar Rittled Gunshots in a Crowded Mall appear in order.}

STRONG BAD: {voiceover} Smacks, pops, puffs, blasts, and, um, gunshots in a crowded mall.

{Cut to Strong Bad standing in the kitchen. X, explosion, boxing glove, square, shoe, and Marshie shaped marshmallows appear around him.}

STRONG BAD: You know, the kind with the squarish, sugared pieces of styrofoam they claim are marshmallows. These are guaranteed to have a nice, big—

{Cut to a dirty Strong Bad hand reaching in the box of Cheat Commandos...O's}

STRONG BAD: —reach-your-nasty-unwashed-hand-straight-to-the-bottom-of-the-box toy in it.

{Strong Bad pulls out a Ser-g-geant Marshie figure in its blister pack}

{Cut to Strong Bad standing in the kitchen with a box of Fruit Smax on the table.}

STRONG BAD: Next up are the three most useless letters in the specially marked alphabet.

{Zoom to Strong Bad's mouth}

STRONG BAD: U...P...C.

{Cut back to Strong Bad standing.}

STRONG BAD: If you spot these wastes of serif on a cereal box,

{Cut to a bar code}

STRONG BAD: turn and run as fast as you can.

{Cut back to Strong Bad standing.}

STRONG BAD: This means not only are they gonna make you buy {six more boxes of Fruit Smax appear} several more boxes that you have to cut the bar codes off of, but you're also gonna—

{Cut to a close shot of a Cereal Flakes box. Above, the red text reads "FREE PLUSH CEREAL BOX" and the black text reads "WITH 25 PROOFS OF PURCHASE AND $15 SHIPPING AND HANDLING"}

STRONG BAD: —have to involve your mom to write a check for the shipping and handling if she's back from Vegas!

{Record scratch. Cut back to Strong Bad standing, talking angrily}

STRONG BAD: The nerve of those cereals! You leave my mom {slams fist on the table} out of this!

{Screen changes, there is now a box of Cheat Commandos...O's on the desk.}

STRONG BAD: Some cereals can't even be bothered with a toy at all.

{Cut to the box}

STRONG BAD: They try and pass off the back of the box—

{Box flips, revealing a cutout of Crack Stuntman's head, with holes at the sides so that it can be made into a mask. On the top left are scissors indicating that it can be cut out and the words "snip snip".}

STRONG BAD: —as some kind of prize. {Zoom in on the mask} That dotted line you expect me to cut along is like a toyless slap in my face! Masks,

{The image of Crack's face becomes a maze. Gunhaver appears in the bottom left at the maze's entrance, with a caption reading "Help! I'm lost!"}

STRONG BAD: mazes,

{The top part of the maze becomes a word search, most of which consists of uncommon letters, like "Q", while the words "BUY MORE CEREAL" appear in bold. Reynold is seen on the upper right, with a caption reading "Find 3 words!"}

STRONG BAD: word searches, PAH!

{Throws box, cut back to Strong Bad standing}

STRONG BAD: I know the kind of kids that enjoyed these funtivities on the backs of cereal boxes, and let me tell you, they were real easy to beat up.

{Homestar Runner walks in wearing a Crack Stuntman mask.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Blah, Strong Bad, blah! I'm a crappy Stuntman!

STRONG BAD: You know what kind of toys I'd put in specially marked boxes?

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Yes.

{Zoom in on Strong Bad}

STRONG BAD: Anything {Reaches into a cereal box} heavy and pointy enough {Zoom in on box} to do lasting damage to the face.

{Zooms out as Strong Bad takes out a chainsaw-car and throws it at Homestar, knocking him backwards onto the floor.}

HOMESTAR RUNNER: Wahhhh! Strong Bad, while I'm down here, can you help me finish this word search? I can't find 'dextrose-flavornoids'.

{New Paper comes down}

Easter Eggs

Fun Facts

Explanations

  • Class 5 rapids have rocks, waves and possibly a steep drop, requiring advanced rafting experience. It is the second highest of the six whitewater classifications.
  • The UPC, or Universal Product Code, is a type of barcode that is used to track the movement of store products.
  • Chaff is material consisting of seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds.
  • Dextrose is a simple sugar (specifically, the metabolizable form of glucose). It is the primary means of energy for living things.
  • "Flavornoid" may be a portmanteau of flavor and flavonoid, a member of a group of substances found in many plants and plant-based foods with anti-oxidant properties.
  • A defibrillator is a device used to restart someone's heart to a regular heartbeat when it goes into cardiac arrest (a common cause of death where the heart fails to beat correctly). They are standard medical equipment in most hospitals and ambulances, but not in cereal boxes.

Trivia

  • The pedometer reads "EVERY STEP U TAKE: 12 STEPS".
  • The Cheat Commandos O's box now has Fightgar saying "Those still aren't O's!", similar to Fightgar's comment "Those aren't O's!" on the box in Cheat Commandos...O's.
  • The UPC text reads "UPC FUNZONE | Collect them all!", and the UPC number is "566353 0453080", which represents a generic, $0.30 coupon.
  • The summary of the Podstar Runner RSS feed reads, "Strong Bad gives specially marked boxes of cereal a piece of his mind."
  • Factoring in Easter eggs, this is the shortest email of the Lappy era that is hosted on the site.

Remarks

  • The box where Strong Bad takes out the Marshie action figure is the same box that was too lazy to put any toy inside.
  • When Strong Bad reaches into the box to get the toy Marshie, his arm is longer than usual.
  • The week of the Podcast's release, attempting to update the Podcast on iTunes would only bring up the message, "'Strong Bad Email' does not seem to be a valid podcast URL." The feed was not repaired until September 10, 2008.
  • Strong Bad says the defibrillator is used to "restart my heart if it stops". It's actually a myth that defibrillators are used to start hearts that have stopped. As mentioned above, they are actually used to restart a heart when it has irregular heartbeats, in an attempt to get a regular pattern started again.
  • Strong Bad says that the UPCs are "wastes of serif"; however, the UPC shown on the cereal box does not contain serifs.

Goofs

  • The "Problem Brian" Easter egg is still clickable when hidden by the closeup of Strong Bad's brain.
  • Strong Bad's hair doesn't move in sync with his head in the Riverquest Safariventure scene.
  • There is a layering problem with the milk on the Cheat Commandos...O's box that makes it look as though the milk is behind the back of the bowl. See Cheat Commandos...O's for the way it should be.
  • The Email Strong Bad and Back buttons at the end of the email are still clickable when hidden by the Crack Stuntman mask's background in the Easter egg.

Inside References

  • The chainsaw car is from what I want.
  • Strong Bad's ponytail was first seen in bike thief as part of his college student persona.
  • The walking man on the step counter is from 50K Racewalker.
  • Corn Krunch was previously seen in death metal, where it contained a full-size alto saxophone (contradicting Strong Bad's claims in this email).
  • Strong Bad pulls a Ser-g-geant Marshie toy out of the box of Cheat Commandos...O's.
    • Also, one of the "squarish, sugary pieces of styrofoam" marshmallows is shaped like Marshie himself.
  • This toon prominently features cereal.
  • Strong Bad says to "leave [his] mom out of this."
  • The UPC says "OBOE SHOES" and EGGS upside down.
  • "Iowa Groan", "Oh! T'Meel" and "New Tritious" are all homophones.
  • One of Strong Bad's lines is a variation of Please to be.

Real-World References

Strong Bad's brain
  • The opening of the email, "Hey, ho, Strong Bad," is said in a way reminiscent of "Blitzkrieg Bop" by the Ramones. The song's chant was previously parodied in The House That Gave Sucky Treats, in which Marzipan dressed up as Joey Ramone.
  • Strong Bad's brain is based on the second form of the final boss in the Super Nintendo game Contra III: The Alien Wars.
  • The Fundament-O's box resembles cereal brands like Wheaties, in which they put a popular athlete on the front of every box.
  • The 'One Free Takesteppa Step Take Monitor!' is a reference to the free pedometers which have actually come free in boxes of certain healthy cereals.
  • "Every step U take" is a line from the song "Every Breath You Take" by The Police.
  • "Pops" and "Smacks" are specifically referring to two Kellogg's cereals. Corn Pops were introduced in 1951, and Honey Smacks were introduced in 1953. Coincidentally, Kellogg's dropped "Corn" and "Honey" from their brand names at various points and simply referred to them as Pops and Smacks.

DVD Version

  • 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: I don't eat enough cereal anymore, Mike.

MIKE: I've made a conscious effort to try to eat more, Golden Grahams being my main...

MATT: Yeah?

MIKE: Yeah. {pause} There was one day where they had, uh, Golden Grahams on sale...

MATT: Yeah?

MIKE: And so I bought four boxes...

MATT: Yeah?

MIKE: And I realized... I was wearing my Golden Grahams shirt. {both laugh} So I walked up to the checkout counter with four boxes of Golden Grahams, wearing a Golden Grahams shirt, and I was a pretty cool guy.

MATT: Nice!

MIKE: I used to have a Blimpie shirt that I would accidentally wear when I would go to Blimpie {muffled by Matt laughing} in college, and always feel like a dork.

MATT: Good job! {pause} Uh, I like Strong Bad's end boss brain he had there.

MIKE: I didn't see it! What...

MATT: Piece of his mind, I think he says.

MIKE: {simultaneously} Oh, yeah, that's right. Yeah.

MATT: And he has a gross eyeball and some horns...

MIKE: {laughs}

{Mike and Matt talk over each other, pause}

MATT: {in response to Riverquest Safariventure} Ohhh.

MIKE: Do you remember... My two favorite cereals growing up were Halfsies...

MATT: Uh-huh.

MIKE: ...which don't exist anymore...

MATT: No.

MIKE: ...and, uh, Bigg Mixx, which doesn't exist anymore.

MATT: Bigg Mixx, that had the, what was it called? Chicken... wolf...

MIKE: {simultaneously} Chicken-wolf Moose-pig.

MATT: Yeah. Did he have a name, or was he just called the Chicken-wolf Moose-pig?

MIKE: I think he was just called the Chicken-wolf Moose-pig.

MATT: I remember one of the things you got in specially marked boxes of Bigg Mixx was this-- Ooh! Look at that Videlectrix...

MIKE: {laughing} Pedometer?

MATT: Yeah. Um... Sorry. But it came with, like, tape, like, police tape, that said, uh, Chicken-wolf Moose-pig Crossing on it, or something.

MIKE: {talking over Matt} Really? Wow. I have to see if I can find some of that.

MATT: I like that little Gunshot, uh...

MIKE: Sheriff?

MATT: Sheriff. He's a thing of puffed wheat or shredded wheat, maybe.

MIKE: {laughing} Looks like Strong Bad's arm is a little longer than usual, reaching down into that box.

MATT: It's alright, man. {pause} Mike?

MIKE: Yeah?

MATT: There you go. {long pause} C'mon. Talk.

MIKE: Uh... Ssss.... Uh...

MATT: Flakes! Awful good cereal flakes, Miss McDunnough!

MIKE: {simultaneously} I would like to have... {laughs, lets Matt finish} I would like to have a little, um, plush of that cereal... piece of cereal.

MATT: Oh, yeah! It...

MIKE: We should make one of those.

MATT: Yeah. Little flake?

MIKE: {chuckling} Uh-huh.

MATT: {as Crack Stuntman} BLAAAH! {as himself} Huh? I do that voice.

MIKE: {reading box} Snip Snip!

MATT: {laughs} Uh, I need, uh, my hair... My hair needs a clippin'. Snip snip. That was maybe the easiest word find I've ever seen, Mike. Where every other...

MIKE: Word finds...

MATT: ...every other letter was Q... {Mike laughs} ...except for the one...

MIKE: Do you ever see people at the airport doin' a word find? A book of word searches?

MATT: Yeah! My wife does them on the plane. So stop makin' fun.

MIKE: {laughs} Where is... Where is the fun in a word search?

MATT: {indignantly} It's fun. {both laugh} Wait, what is that one called? I forget what that last kind of cereal is called.

MIKE: {laughing} Sweet Deals?

MATT: {laughing} Sweet Deals? And it just has an alien hand holding a spoon...

MIKE: {laughing} Yeah, I spent four seconds on that... that box of cereal.

MATT: You made, like, twelve different cereals! {continues unintelligibly}

MIKE: I had to give up at some point. {Matt laughs}

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