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By Jean Armour Polly, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Clever, quirky cartoon series for teens.

Homestarrunner Poster Image

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Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 8+

Homestar Runner is great, but beware of comedic violence

As an educator and father of one, I am confident that Homestar Runner is appropriate for children 8 and older who understand the Y7-FV rating system. This rating must have been done by Common Sense Media in Uncommon Nonsensical Media mode (laughs). Aside from having easy-to-use menus which are generated randomly (which can be entertaining), the games feature 8-bit graphics. (This is a joke in which Videlectrix (a fictional company that "develops" the games) employees claim the graphics are the best in the industry.). A fictional Nintendo 64-level console by them, for instance, was canceled because "the graphics were too trashy". There is some blood in the cartoons, but it is mainly ketchup. The character "Strong Bad" isn't much of an antagonist, but a comedic antihero who sometimes uses replacements in place of actual swear words, such as "crap" for "shit" and "frick/freak" for "fuck." "Strong Mad" doesn't speak a lot (mostly screaming), which is part of his personality, and "Strong Sad" is highly depressed ("Each day we die a little more"), which kids should understand. The "Strong Bad Emails" have comedic violence sometimes, and the "Teen Girl Squad" comics Strong Bad makes have acts of comedic violence happen with 4 teenage girls. In episode 10, dark green is described as an "ugly nursing home color", but that shouldn't be a problem. One episode is a parody of "Goofus and Gallant" and I'm not sure if that fits in "educational value". I have been informed that Homestar Runner has a dating game hidden in one of the cartoons. The game does not have an online feature, and all you can do is make the characters say "duh," "buh," and "fuh". Thank you for listening.
age 7+

the all-time greatest online cartoon series

as a kid, i loved homestar runner. i bought the DVDs and figures from the website, as well as one of the shirts. (it had trogdor on it, of course) back then it was an early internet phenomenon: everybody watched it, one time i overheard one of the kids in middle school rapping the fhqhwgads song, and i learned to play the trogdor song on the guitar. and then, when my little siblings were 8 or so, i let them borrow my DVD set. they had hours of fun watching strong bad emails and the other 'toons. the humor was still just as good as it was back then, but something else stood out to me: at the time it never occured to me, but looking back on it in hindsight, homestar runner was completely devoid of the brand of dark, nihilistic humor and shocking subject matter of other mid-2000s web original animation. this results in not only it having aged better than, say, foamy the squirrel or salad fingers (god, those were both so edgy it's like they were designed by a committee of random hot topic customers), but it's also a great watch with kids. it's full of loveable characters, witty parody of everything from r-rated movies to merchandise-driven kids shows to fishing hobbyists, and whimsical cartoon goofs you'd expect from the likes of a 90s nicktoon. gross-out, slapstick, wordplay, lots and lots of in-jokes; all the 90s cartoon staples are represented in this 00's online opus. now, for the "objectionable content:" there is one single instance of a spoken swear word on the entire site. in episode 1 of teen girl squad, cheerleader calls something "hella cool." you could even argue that isn't a cuss at all, considering the sheer lack of impact and frequent usage that word has among many young teenagers. there's some language here that goes a bit beyond your darns and hecks, but the frequent "crap"s, "freakin"s and "suck"s are all pretty quaint and wouldn't be jarring even on a Cartoon Network show. there's pretty frequent references to alcohol and tobacco (though nobody is ever seen smoking and drinking isn't seen much either to my recollection), there's scenes of somewhat graphic slapstick violence, especially in Teen Girl Squad where the cart are regularly Arrow'd, Lathe'd, and Caber Toss'd with humorously violent results drawn in a very amateurish pen-and-paper style. (the Teen Girl Squad series is an in-universe comic drawn by Strong Bad, one of the main characters) in a Strong Bad email, i remember a scene where homestar runner gets broken glass embedded in his face. there's blood but it's played for laughs, he sings a cute song about it. a bit over the norm, but not even close to Happy Tree Friends level of comedic carnage. there's also a decent amount of firearms both shown and mentioned throughout the cartoon, one of the most iconic examples is a fictional charity called Pistols For Pandas, whos mission statement is to arm pandas with firearms so they can fight off deforestation. while some of this might be a little eyebrow raising, none of it is uncharted waters, you'll find more objectionable content in a show like Rocko's Modern Life or even various Disney films than you will here. especially notably, H*R tends to be free of a lot of the subtle sexual innuendo that's more commonly used to sneak more mature humor into kids shows, like the afformentioned Rocko's, Ren and Stimpy, and even sometimes Spongebob, depending on who wrote the episode. all of that sort of leads me to why homestar runner connected so well with me as a kid and my little siblings too: it doesn't think kids are stupid. every kid know they have blood under their skin, that people drink and that guns exist, and frankly some of the other greats of children's TV also feature such things. looney toons, batman the animated series, gargoyles, i could go on but you don't want me to. not to say it's meant FOR kids, it's clearly a series written with a broad audience in mind, mixing sharp satire and 80s pop culture jokes with absurdism and toilet humor. but it never EXCLUDES children by going for shock value or profanity like other web animation of the time or South Park. in that way it reminds me a lot of early Simpsons, though it's even tamer than that, but it just works on multiple levels, sort of a "family show" which i feel like is something that doesn't really exist much anymore. homestar runner has basically concluded, only releasing a handful of episodes since the early 2010s, and i doubt anybody is actually reading this in 2020, but if you are, don't just let your kids watch this, watch it WITH them. you will learn to love the goofy characters, oddball universe and really great social commentary and writing together. one of the only series to ever touch the brilliance of early simpsons and seasons 1 and 2 of spongebob, and it's all free online! go check it out check it out check it out check it out (once you watch it you'll get this joke, i promise)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (39 ):

Homestar Runner has achieved cult status on the Internet, with thousands of fans tuning in for new installments every week to see how absurd things can get. Only at will you hear about hamburger shampoo, the parsnip shortage, and how to appeal to the ladies by sanding off your nipples. Told you it wasn't for kids -- but teens and college students are addicted.

Website Details

  • Genre: Fan Sites
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: November 15, 2019

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