If the names The Cheat, Marzipan, and Pom Pom mean nothing to you then I am sorry to say you missed out on one of the great internet sites of all-time. In fact, you should plan on spending a few hundred hours of your life watching everything they ever did, because those are characters from HomestarRunner.com, an absurd and hilarious flash-animation cartoon that primarily ran from 2000 until 2009.
However, for those of us that waited every week for a new Strong Bad email, October will always remind of us of the site, because it meant we got a new Halloween episode, and that meant awesome new costumes. So to celebrate both Nerdoween and one of the most creative websites ever, I have put together a highly scientific list of the best costumes from every Homestar Halloween episode. Using an advanced analytical rubric, measuring which ones I love the most and which ones I think other people also love, I was able to unquestionably determine the best from each year.
(No matter how much I loved any specific costume personally, if it wasn’t really the objective best I didn’t pick it. I know I’m going to get yelled at anyway, but I did try to pick what I thought would be the consensus best. Don’t like it? Take it up with Strong Mad.)
2000: Homestarloween Party
Strong Sad: Mikhail Gorbachev
This might be my favorite costume from these cartoons, period. It just kills me. Strong Sad, even as a puffy, pale flash cartoon, looks like the real Gorbachev. One of the biggest reasons Homestar Runner had so many great ones was that they normally let the characters’ body-shapes influence their costumes. For being the first Halloween episode this is one of the best, with one of the best collections of costumes.
Honorable Mention: Homestar (Kurt Cobain), The Cheat (Garfield), Pom Pom (Stay Puft Marshmallow Man), King of Town (Cap’n Crunch)
Homestar Runner: The Greatest American Hero
This wouldn’t even be a top five Homestar costume, but 2001 was one of those years with a lot of good costumes with no real standouts. I probably picked four or five costumes as the best at one time or another, but ultimately settled on Homestar’s because it’s the silliest. Any of the honorable mentions could easily take this spot, but we’ll go with Homestar because it would win best costume at most parties.
Honorable Mention: King of Town (Hagar The Horrible), Marzipan (Joey Ramone), Strong Mad (Refrigerator Perry), Strong Sad (Andy Warhol)
2002: Pumpkin Carve-nival
Pom Pom: The Kool-Aid Man
For the second straight year we have a lot of really good costumes, but no real winner. I was very tempted to go with the Poopsmith’s Sleestak, but ultimately decided Pom Pom’s would probably have broader appeal and thus be the bigger hit. I mean, some people would just see a cool lizard costume (this would anger me and impact my enjoyment), but everyone else would yell “Oh yeah!” after a few glasses of Witch’s Brew.
Honorable Mention: Poopsmith (Sleestak), Homestar and Strong Bad (Angus Young), Marzipan (Left Eye Lopes), Bubs (Captain Lou Albano)
King of Town: The Hamburglar
This is the perfect combination of character and costume, since King of Town spends most of his time stealing food. If I have any bias it’s because I love hamburgers and have wanted to do this costume for years, but there’s no chance I’d do it as well. A couple of honorable mentions would have easily won the two previous years, but it’s the always hungry King who gets this crown.
Honorable Mention: Homestar (John McEnroe), Strong Mad (Magnum P.I.), Poopsmith (M. Bison), The Cheat (Izzy the Olympic Mascot)
2004: Halloween Fairstival
King of Town: Mayor of Halloweentown
“The perfect combination of character and costume.” Yeah, um, I just wrote that about King of Town’s costume from last year, but it’s just as true here. Becoming our first back-to-back winner, the King puts together a costume so perfect it has to win in what was a great year. Here we have the cartoon King of Town in a Halloween costume as the Mayor of Halloweentown from a stop-motion animated film. You should reread this paragraph with the “BRAHMS” from the Inception trailer playing. I mean, look at the commitment!
Honorable Mention: Strong Bad (60s TV The Joker), Homestar (Carl Spackler), Pom Pom (The Big Boy), Strong Mad (Ben Wallace), The Poopsmith (Lion-O), Strong Sad (David Bowie), Coach Z (Tupac)
2005: Halloween Potion-ma-jig
Strong Bad: Jambi
This is mekka lekka awesome. Just another stellar year for costumes. You can make a great case for lots of them (I came so close to giving this to Marzipan for her amazing Beaker costume), but Strong Bad might be the character most responsible for the site’s success, and he deserves a win for his most impressive costume. If someone shows up to your Halloween party as Jambi that’s going to be one pretty fun playhouse.
Honorable Mention: Marzipan (Beaker), Homestar (Moocher), Bubs (Apollo Creed), The Cheat (Toad), Pom Pom (Walter Sobchak), King of Town (Col. Sanders)
2006: Happy Hallow-Day
Strong Sad: Tony Clifton
Beh, listen jerk, if you don’t like this Tony Clifton costume why don’t you stuff a sock in it! You bunch of losers! He’s Tony Clifton! Strong Sad wins out over The Cheat’s perfect Gizmo costume because you wouldn’t have to worry about Strong Sad eating after midnight at the party. Also, this is another year where Homestar can’t believe he didn’t win, but going as the alter ego of one of the greatest performers of all-time is too brilliant to ignore.
Honorable Mention: The Cheat (Gizmo), Homestar (Teen Wolf), Strong Bad (Father Guido Sarducci), Pom Pom (Mario Batali), Homsar (Ed Grimley)
2007: Jibblies 2
Strong Bad: Beetlejuice
Oh man, this one was tough. Strong Bad and the Poopsmith both go as beloved, iconic, easily recognizable movie characters, and both deserve it. After a lot of debate I’m giving Strong Bad extra credit for the level of difficulty in his Beetlejuice costume over the Poopsmith’s Doc Brown. I desperately want to give this to Homestar for being Artie…the Strongest Man…In the World! because The Adventures of Pete and Pete was my favorite show growing up, but Beetlejuice would be more universally recognized and loved, so he wins. Great year for costumes though.
Honorable Mention: Homestar (Artie…the Strongest Man…In the World!), Strong Sad (Far Side Kid), Poopsmith (Doc Brown), Strong Mad (Nikolai Volkoff), Marzipan (Prince)
2008: Most in the Graveyard
Poopsmith: Dr. Zoidberg
One classic cartoon paying homage to another classic cartoon, and the costume is amazing. No brainer here, even though this had some other fantastic costumes. Zoidberg is funny just to look at, so a Zoidberg costume would be the best thing all Halloween. God, someone make me this costume. No, not Zoidberg, the Poopsmith as Zoidberg.
Honorable Mention: Strong Bad (The planet from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy cover), Strong Mad (a Thwomp), Bubs (Junkyard Dog), Strong Sad (Sam Kinison)
The Cheat: The Lorax
This is our worst winner because this is the worst year of costumes. Was this the reason the site stopped updating regularly after 09? Were they just burnt out? Maybe I could have given this to Bubs for his Jules costume, or Coach Z for MC Skat Kat, but The Cheat just looks like The Lorax, even though his costume is technically pretty easy/lazy. I don’t know, we’re picking from a tough crowd, so let’s just give the little guy a win in a bad year. Homestar’s would probably be your personal favorite if you got it, but I’m not confident enough people would.
Honorable Mention: Coach Z (MC Skat Kat), Bubs (Jules), Strong Mad (Sal from the Dire Straits video “Money For Nothing”), Homestar (Crispin Glover as Rubin Ferr)
2010: Which Ween Costumes?
Strong Sad: Ralphie
So this is the weirdest year, because this one went up in December and combined their Ween toons. Everyone is wearing a Christmas related costume of some kind, and none of them are really great. Strong Sad ultimately gets another win because of the commitment needed to wear that all night. Homestar is beside himself that he didn’t win, but he’ll just have to take solace in being the site’s best, funniest character (yes better than Strong Bad).
Honorable Mention: Homestar (The Alien Super-Being), Strong Bad (Leg Lamp), King of Town (Heat Miser)
2014: I Killed Pom Pom
Marzipan: Tom Servo
After a long hiatus the Chapman brothers come back with one of the best groups of costumes ever. I want to name 5 winners here, but ultimately it’s Marzipan for a perfect Tom Servo. After the disappointments of 2009 and 2010, this is quite the comeback story. I don’t know if we’re getting a new Halloween toon this month, but if we do it’ll be hard to live up to this one.
Honorable Mention: Homestar (Tobias Funke), Strong Mad (Goro), Bubs (Adam Yauch as MCA as Nathan Wind as Cochese), Pom Pom (King Size Homer)
So there you have it, a perfectly scientific analysis of the best costumes from every year that no one could possibly disagree with. I will not apologize for the amount of time you are going to spend going back down the Homestar Runner rabbit hole, because it just as funny now as it ever was.
Sewiously you guys.
Which ones did Mikey get right? Which ones did he get wrong? Tell us your winners in the comments section below.
Homestar Runner Images: Homestarrunner.com/Mike and Matt Chapman