Powered by The Cheat

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Powered by The Cheat, for The Cheat

"Powered by The Cheat" toons are Flash animations created by The Cheat and his computers, Tangerine Dreams (2002-2004), Monosodium Dreams (2006-2014), and his new iMac (2018-present). Many of them are Flash toons within the Homestar Runner universe. The toons, which are a parody of the many poorly drawn Flash cartoons on the web, are usually packed with bad animation and character depictions, poor imitations of the characters' voices (provided by Mike Chapman), vocalised sound effects, and senseless or nonexistent plots.

It remained a mystery for well over a decade how The Cheat manages to imitate the other characters speaking human language; in all regular toons, The Cheat speaks in his own native "The Cheat" language. In the Georgia Tech appearance, an audience member asked The Brothers Chaps a question concerning this, and Matt Chapman responded in Strong Bad's voice, "The guy's got two throats," and that "he goes into this secret room when he does the voices, so I never see how he does it." In an Easter egg in The Homestar Runner Enters The Spooky Woods, The Cheat finally demonstrates his voicing ability, to Strong Bad's astonishment: he swivels the top of his head to allow his mouth to open wide. He describes it as "just a certain way I do things".

The Cheat often incorporates himself into his cartoons, sometimes in a Hitchcock-style cameo, but usually portraying himself as superior to the other characters or receiving some sort of prize. The Cheat has won five prizes for these cartoons in "real" life, including an iron cup full of Brunswick Stew, a pizza for his "Everybody to the Limit" music video, the fabled "Pizza Trophy", a slice of "chinstrap pizza", and another pizza.

These animations show hints of The Cheat's fantasies and possibly insecure personality. The email mile, which The Cheat guest-authored, is an ideal example of what he most desires yet cannot possibly possess. The Cheat shamelessly elevates his status in the eyes of others through praise given by his boss, Strong Bad, while Marzipan finally gives him the attention and affection he has been craving. However, the two rarely exchange words outside of a fabricated Flash universe, despite having gone on one date together.

The Cheat has provided animation for other Free Country, USA artists. He has also collaborated with the likes of The Skate Party, They Might Be Giants, and more.

It has been referred to by Strong Bad in a Quote of the Week as an outtake from Most In The Graveyard as "The Cheat's regular animating crap".

As of December 31st, 2020, Powered by the Cheat as a separate category has been retired, with PBTC content being shuffled into the shorts category.

[edit] Powered by The Cheat Content

"The Cheat is a millionaire!"

[edit] Partially Powered by The Cheat Content

The credits squeeze from theme song

[edit] Responses

These are the responses of characters, mostly Strong Bad, after watching a toon with The Cheat. While most are discouraging, there is occasional praise.

Toon Transcript
The Cheat Theme Song

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: Um, I dunno, The Cheat, I don't think it was very good... at all. Like, the song was kinda catchy but the visuals were lacking... at best.

HOMESTAR RUNNER: This is the best video game I've ever played.

Main Page 15 (randomized responses)

THE CHEAT: {exclamatory The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: Once again, your visual style just looks thrown together. It looks like you don't care.

STRONG BAD: And what is that terrible voice? Is that supposed to be Homestar?

THE CHEAT: {defensive The Cheat noises}

THE CHEAT: {questioning The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: The animation looks terrible. It's all jerky, ya know, like it was done by a two years old boy.

Everybody to the Limit

STRONG BAD: Now that's what I'm talkin' about! That was amazing! I mean you—... I—... I can't b—... Chiggidaba... He—g... {rubs The Cheat's head} I'm buyin' you a pizza!

Email crazy cartoon

{The cartoon pans out to a Powered by The Cheat-styled cartoon of Strong Bad and The Cheat watching the toon.}

STRONG BAD: The Cheat, this is the greatest cartoon in the whole world! Have a trophy!

{Strong Bad gives The Cheat a trophy.}

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

{Zoom out again to the actual Strong Bad and The Cheat.}

STRONG BAD: Hey, I didn't do that! Did I?

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: I mean, it was good. I liked the way you worked in Eh! Steve!, but I don't think it deserved a trophy. I don't even think it deserved a pizza! Maybe a pizza trophy.

New Boots

STRONG BAD: Purple boxing gloves?! Did you do any fact-checking before you turned this in? What if I did that to you? Oh yeah, The Cheat, he's a...stripèd, green rabbit! With two butts!

THE CHEAT: {angry The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: But you made my underwears showing! Everybody knows I don't wear underwears!

THE CHEAT: {pleading The Cheat noises}

STRONG BAD: Mmm... all right... You get an...iron cup. Full of Brunswick stew. {places cup of stew on table}

THE CHEAT: {excited The Cheat noises; pulls the cup over to his side of the table}

STRONG BAD: But lemme tell ya's. With a little extra effort, it would have been a trophy full of Steak-umms.

THE CHEAT: {sad The Cheat noise (in an "Awww" pattern)}

STRONG BAD: Guy drops a couple of JPEGs in his cartoon and thinks he's like, the guy who draws The Lockhorns or something. Now that guy knows funny!

Rap Song

COACH Z: The Chort, that was amazing! It's gonna rocket straight to the bottom of the BET charts!

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

COACH Z: Oh, your payment. How's about a nice slice of chin strap pizza? {holds up a pizza slice that has a chin strap on it}

{The Cheat sinks out of view turning a little green, making sick-sounding The Cheat noises.}


{The Cheat looks around for viewers and lowers his head, looking disappointed. He then gives himself a pizza trophy and begins applauding.}

Fish Eye Lens

STRONG BAD: The Cheat! That was incredible!

{He begins babbling as if at a loss for words, like in Everybody to the Limit. He keeps babbling in rhythm. The Cheat pulls out his keyboard and drops a beat in time with the babbling. The rave lights come on.}

STRONG BAD: {overlapping himself} I'm buying you a pizzaaaaa!

{The music stops as he says "pizzaaaaa". A pizza falls from the ceiling and covers their heads. The Cheat makes a "da-ta-da!" fanfare noise.}

STRONG BAD: Whoa! Guess I can... conjure ceiling pizzas now.

Trogdor Was A Man

STRONG SAD: {turns toward The Cheat} I don't know, The Cheat. There are a lot of inaccuracies present.

THE CHEAT: {turns toward Strong Sad; The Cheat noises}

STRONG SAD: Well, for starters, Trogdor wasn't even around when the '70s. Strong Bad made him in the early 2000s. {emphasizes the "a" in "thousand"}

THE CHEAT: {lowers his eyebrows and turns back to his computer; The Cheat noises}

STRONG SAD: And what was going on with your depiction of me?

{The Cheat clicks and brings up the picture of Powered by The Cheat Strong Sad.}

STRONG SAD: I have that creepy bony spine...

{The Cheat clicks every time before Powered by The Cheat Strong Sad speaks.}

POWERED BY THE CHEAT STRONG SAD: The Lusitania is my favorite boat.

STRONG SAD: No way! Everybody knows I'm a Mauretania man.

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

{Zoom in to the screen.}

POWERED BY THE CHEAT STRONG SAD: My boat is not your boat!

STRONG SAD: Ugh, stop that!

POWERED BY THE CHEAT STRONG SAD: This is gonna all be about boats now. {smiles with his tongue sticking out}

{Cut back to The Cheat and Strong Sad.}

STRONG SAD: Oh, that's a terrible idea!


STRONG SAD: {interrupts} That's it! I'm going to the chiropractor! {walks away} Got me all self-conscious!

POWERED BY THE CHEAT STRONG SAD: Don't you like boats?

Quickstart Overview (video)


{The Cheat turns to face Strong Mad.}

THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}


THE CHEAT: {waving his arms} {The Cheat noises}

{Strong Mad picks up and squeezes The Cheat.}


THE CHEAT: {crying} {The Cheat noises}

{A mechanical humming sound fills the air for a few seconds.}


THE CHEAT: {The Cheat noises}

{Strong Mad holds The Cheat sideways in one arm. He raises his forearm in a curling motion, using The Cheat as a weight.}

Most Recent Toons
Big Toons

Homestar Runner Goes for the Gold
Dec 24, 2016


Front Facing
Feb 13, 2024


Fan 'Stumes 2023
Nov 22, 2023

Puppet Stuff

Talk-It-Yourself Homestar Runner Puppet Plush
May 21, 2024

Strong Bad Email

Apr 1, 2022

Video Stuff

Disk 4 of 12 - Vampire's Castle
Sep 19, 2022

Teen Girl Squad

Issue 15
May 11, 2009

Marzipan's Answering Machine

Version 17.2
Apr 1, 2016


Dangeresque: The Roomisode Triungulate Launch Trailer
Aug 11, 2023

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