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"Owww! My the fact that I was alive a second ago!"—The Ugly One, Issue 12
Teen Girl Squad is a spinoff sub-series of Homestar Runner, in which (canonically) Strong Bad draws, in comically bad style, a stick-figure cartoon depicting the misadventures of four "teenage girls between the ages of thirteen and nineteen". The main characters include Cheerleader (the de facto leader of the group, an Alpha Bitch wannabe whose popularity is all in her head), So and So (an overachieving brainiac who lacks common sense), What's Her Face (the cynic of the group, as well as the token poor person, and by far the least popular of the four girls), and The Ugly One (who seems to possess suspect hygiene and a strained relationship with reality among other things, but is more popular than What's Her Face).
There are fifteen toons in the main series, and a number of other appearances elsewhere (most notably, the first three episodes of Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People each feature an exclusive TGS toon, the first two of which are interactive).
Generally speaking, the characters go on various bizarre misadventures, which usually lead to them dying or otherwise being affected in very strange ways (usually announced loudly) in every episode, which include such things as...
- being "lathe'd" by a miniature samurai with a naginata;
- being run over by a race car that makes the sound "TIIIIIIINES" driven by a fork;
- being "arrowed" by a giant man who shoots arrows from his mouth;
The series is best known for spawning several minor memes, including "ow! my [something unusual]!", and being pwned by something with the caption "[said something]'D!", "It's over!", and others. It also makes fun of various stereotypical high-school/teen/young-adult activities, such as prom, sweet sixteen birthday parties, and
Valentine's vamlumtimes day, with a gradually increasing ratio of directed, ridiculing humor to simple absurd humor.
A (so far oneshot) spinoff of this spinoff was created based on the several characters named "Greg" in the series. 4 Gregs is a misadventure of four such characters who each embody some sort of nerdy/geeky/dorky stereotype.
- Abhorrent Admirer: All of the girls, but Cheerleader especially.
- Adorkable: What's Her Face. "Uh...hi. I like music, and um, cloth."
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Issue 12 gives us the two hipster kids who decide "She Likes Cloth" would make a good band name. Also, when the girls are forming a band, So And So suggests "Smartly Pretty", but is shot down in favour of "Kissyboots".
- Against My Religion: "Thank groodness. Sweating is against several of my religions!" -Cheerleader in Issue 14
- All Cheering All the Time: Cheerleader Brian
- All Girls Like Ponies: In the Decemberween Special, the text on Cheerleader's intro card is "wants a pony".
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: So and So has shown an attraction to Tompkins, considering him a "renegade", though he's more or less your typical high school slacker.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Subverted. Amongst the group, Cheerleader actually gets the least amount of attention from boys over the course of the series.
- Alpha Bitch: Cheerleader.
- All Women Are Lustful
"What time is it?"
"What time is it?"
"What we gonna get?"
"How we gonna get 'em?"
"Erm. Um. Uh..."
- Amusing Injuries: Every three seconds.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: In Issue 9, Cheerleader dies, and the rest of them celebrate... shortly before dying.
- Animation Bump: Two issues are in color: Issue 10 and Baddest of the Bands' Teen Girl Squad Meets Limozeen!
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
Sci-Fi Greg: Tonight, new Earthlings... tonight, we go... TO A VARSITY FOOTBALL GAME!
(everyone else gasps)
D n'D Greg: Into the dragon's lair?
Japanese Culture Greg: Into the robotic dragon's lair?
Open Source Greg: Into the Apple store?
- Beautiful All Along: The Ugly One in Issue 10.
Strong Bad: Whoa! Did I draw that new hotness?
- Big Game:
- Homestar Ruiner's Teen Girl Squad (basketball).
- 4 Gregs (football).
- Blatant Lies: In issue 15, when Manolios Ugly One tells Dn'D Greg to not lay a finger on his daughter (if he does so he'll gut him like a sheep), a random gutted sheep says that it isn't so bad... when it turns out to be bad. Also, in the same issue, Arrow'd Guy claims that What's-Her-Face will come into her own in college... and then immediately afterward shoots her down with a flock of sparrows. "A new twist on an old classic!"
- Bottomless Pit: Their school has one (named after its sports team, of course)
- Boy of the Week/TemporaryLoveInterest - Most of the Girls' boyfriends, though Sci-Fi Greg and What's Her Face seem to have a more off-and-on relationship.
- Camp Straight: Cheerleader Brian
- Canon Immigrant: Peacey P managed to enter the normal Homestar Runner universe after debuting in this series.
- Catch Phrase - "SO GOOD!"
- Celebrity Star: Baddest of the Bands' Teen Girl Squad Meets Limozeen!
- The Chew Toy: All of them. It's drawn by Strong Bad, what do you expect?
- Chirping Crickets: Used briefly in 4 Gregs after D n'D Greg's explanation of football.
- Choose Your Own Adventure:
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Ugly One
- Continuity Nod: In a rare example, Issue #13 references So And So's incarceration in Issue #11.
- Cool Loser: What's Her Face was once the page image for that trope.
- Cute Little Fangs: On occasion, one of the girls will be randomly drawn with them, usually So and So.
- Dada Comics: This "comic" is Strong Bad's outlet for creativity. Dada humor is to be expected.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Obviously the whole series, especially issue 7
- Deadpan Snarker: What's Her Face. She was voted Least Likely To Care in high school.
- Death by Flashback: The Ugly One dies in her own flashback she's recalling in Issue #12.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Drummers Play A Drum"
- Diabolus Ex Machina: Arguably the whole point of the comic. It's drawn by Strong Bad--'nuff said.
- Digital Avatar: In issue #15, Open-Source Greg sends his to the prom "in his stead". Don't even try to wrap your head around that.
- Ditzy Genius: So and So
- Do Wrong Right
Tompkins: "Aw, come on, Prinicpal [sic] Strong Bad! I only stole one Sega tape!"
Prinicpal [sic] Strong Bad: "That's just it, Tompkins. You could have stolen upwards of one Sega tape!"
- Everybody Lives: Only issues 2,3, and the Decemberween special.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: Issue 10. "Corn is no place for a mighty warrior!"
- Everything's Even Worse with Sharks: "My bass feels seaworthy." And then the shark proceeds to eat most of her and take her place in the Kissyboots band.
- Extracurricular Enthusiast: So-and-So explains that the "Priggity Prizom" is the name of this year's prom, and adds, with a deranged look, "I was on every committee ever." This fits well with the preppy overachiever stereotype she personifies.
- Eyes Always Shut: Japanese Culture Greg. His eyes briefly pop open in issue #15 when he calls his prom date "CHIZUKO!".
- Face of the Band: Invoked in Issue 8.
Cheerleader: I'm Kissyboots, and she plays bass.
- Family-Unfriendly Violence: Several deaths are shown as graphic as you can get in poorly drawn stick figures.
- Like an old guy's remains being exposed as he is eaten by vultures, or the 10thiversary where What's Her Face gets lathed.
- Four-Girl Ensemble
- The Friend Nobody Likes: What's-Her-Face is explicitly called the "pity friend" and is the one the other three are most likely to ditch or relegate to least-desired roles.
- Girlish Pigtails: Cheerleader.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: A Scotsman caber-tosses Cheerleader in Issue 10 and is disgusted that his throw only goes 23 meters. Success in the caber toss is measured by straightness, not distance. The creators point out their mistake in the DVD commentary.
- Her Codename Was Mary Sue: Creator Strong Bad inserts himself into several of the comics, often as the love interest of one of the girls.
- Hollywood Nerd: So and So. The 4 Gregs definitely qualify.
- I Fell for Hours: "When you fall in a bottomless pit, you die of starvation."
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The Gregs' reaction to seeing What's Her Face date the Wireless Wizard.
- Jumping the Shark: Invoked in the "tenthennial extravaganza":
Cheerleader: "It's our tenth issue-versary! Let's do a clip show!"
So And So: "Let's have a wedding!"
The Ugly One: "Let's have a baby!"
What's Her Face: "Let's kill someone off!"
Narrator Strong Bad: (beat) "Okay!" *All four die*
- Kill'Em All: Usually. On rare occasions, one or two will survive. On even rarer occasions (issues 2, 3, and 6), none of them die.
- Lighter and Softer: The other three girls attempt to take the group in this direction following Cheerleader's death in Issue 9. It doesn't work.
- Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: Pretty much the whole series.
- Mind Screw: The ending of "4 Gregs." So basically, Strong Bad was drawing the Teen Girl Squad drawing the four Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs!
- And it's a SUPER Mind Screw if you count the Brothers Chapman, so that means the Chaps are drawing Strong Bad drawing the Teen Girl Squad drawing the four Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs drawing the girls drawing the Gregs!
- Negative Continuity
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Issue 13 introduces a rapper named Peacey P, a parody of Snoop Dogg (with visual cues from Ludacris).
- No Inner Fourth Wall
- "No Respect" Guy: What's Her Face
- Occidental Otaku: Japanese Culture Greg
- Oh Crap: The ending of episode 8, verbatim. "Everybody died 'cept me!" *CHOMP* "Aw, crap!"
- One Million BC: Strong Badia the Free's Cave Girl Squad.
- Only Sane Girl: What's Her Face is probably the only one with any common sense. For example, she is the only one who refuses to jump into a lion's mouth for the secret Santa.
- Or So I Heard: In episode 8:
The Ugly One: Worldwide starlets get much boys!
Cheerleader: Or so I have read.
- Out-of-Character Moment: While So-and-So and The Ugly One stayed relatively as they always were when Cheerleader died in episode 9, What's Her Face took advantage of not having to be the sensible one anymore and ate a heaping bowl of "Staple Sauce". This, understandably, killed her.
- Overprotective Dad: Manolios Ugly One. "You lay one finger on my daughter, I gut you like sheep."
- Ow, My Body Part: A frequent running gag. Examples include "Ow! My skin!", "Ow! My hopes of reaching first base!" and "Ow! My entire life!"
- Variants are used, too, such as, "My blood hurts."
- Perky Goth: So and So adopts this persona when the girls form a band in Issue 8. "I'm going with that gloomy keyboardist look I keep hearing about!"
- The Pig Pen: One Spinoff Babies episode of Teen Girl Squad has What's Her Face as a direct parody of the original Pig Pen, as lampshaded in the commentary.
- The Ugly One is sometimes suggested to embody this trope in the main series.
- Police Are Useless: "Uh, yes, ma'am. We got a report of us wanting to watch the Ola Toya fight. You mind if we investigate?"
- Rapid-Fire Comedy
- Repetitive Name: Brett Bretterson, So-and-So's imaginary boyfriend.
- Rescue Romance: Quarterman saves The Ugly One from an upperclassman's prank and then asks her to accompany him to the end credits.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: The Wireless Wizard, of course.
Man, sometimes wizards are so awesome, it hurts.
- Running Gag
- Serious Business: Valentime's Day (issue 12). Apparently, Cheerleader risks losing her "Mindy cred" if she doesn't get enough Valentine's cards from enough boys.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: The Ugly One: "Whoa! Did I draw that new hotness?"
- And Dn'D Greg looks awful good in a tux.
- Shown Their Work: All of Dn'D Greg's references to Dungeons and Dragons are accurate and well-researched.
- Averted with the 12-sided die that looks nothing like a dodecahedron. This is likely because of Strong Bad not doing the research.
- Show Within a Show
- Spear Counterpart: The four Gregs.
- Spinoff Babies: Issue 7 has Teen Girl Squad as toddlers--"Teeny Tiny Girl Squad".
- Stylistic Suck: The girls are stick figures on a looseleaf backdrop. Strong Bad provides all the voices himself, so they all speak in falsetto.
- Summer Campy: Camp Firstbassawassa in Issue 11.
- Sure Why Not: What's Her Face suggests killing someone off in the tenth episode. Strong Bad complies (as if he needed What's Her Face's suggestion as an excuse).
- Talking to Himself: Matt Chapman aside, Strong Bad voices all of the comics' characters.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Some number of the Teen Girl Squad almost always die by the end of almost every episode, the exceptions being episodes 2 and 3 and the Decemberween special.
- Title Drop: Done straight by Strong Bad at the start of every toon. Played with in issue 9:
So And So: "You guys, I think this might be the start of a kinder, gentler squad of teen girls."
- Uncanny Valley: Invoked In-Universe. One of the Gregs ends up getting killed by his robot girl due to this (don't try to think too hard on how this works).
- Unfortunate Names: Since her father's name is Manolios Ugly One, The Ugly One's first name seems to be The. (Granted, this is so common in the Homestar Runner universe that it has its own name amongst the fandom.)
- Unpopular Popular Character: Amongst fans and the creators of the show, What's Her Face may be the most popular character. In universe, the opposite is true.
- Maybe it's because she wears baggy pants?
- Unsound Effect
- Vague Age: The Teen Girl Squad are described as "teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 19", with What's Her Face being fifteen at the youngest, since she's had her license for a year (in some states, mostly Midwestern ones, you can get your license at fourteen).
- The Ugly One's birthday is her "Sweet Someteenth".
- "We're in eighth grade!"
- You Killed My Father: An astronaut punches out So-and-So's overbearing manager at Shirt Folding Store because she killed his dog. And then he flies away.