Parties to protests: The maddest things you’ve forgotten happened on Club Penguin

I’m still not over Operation: Blackout tbh

When Club Penguin was shut down in 2017, the internet lost a true masterpiece. It had it all – an igloo you could customise, fun mini-games, and ICONIC monthly parties.

It really was the best online game the late 2000s and early 2010s had to offer, and I don’t think that’s just my nostalgia speaking. Looking back, the attention to detail in Club Penguin’s world building was actually insane, something which made the island’s in-game features and events so fun.

Looking back over its 12-year life span, so much happened on this beloved virtual island. So from parties to protests, here are the maddest things that happened on Club Penguin that you probably forgot about:

We all went on pizza parlour ‘dates’

Back before the days of Tinder and Hinge, there was Club Penguin. Nothing beat the feeling of waddling around the Plaza and being asked the island’s go-to pick up line: “are you a boy or a girl”. Getting to know them with a backdrop of the Pizza Parlour’s romantic atmosphere, it was truly something.

I remember it used to get so dramatic, penguins would interject and ‘steal’ dates from each other, jealously, stand-offs, heartbreak, it was like Disney’s unintentional answer to Love Island. Often surrounding all this were penguins fighting over who was the Pizza Parlour’s manager. That place was actually chaos.

The Penguin Band released an actual EP and it slapped

Back in 2013 Club Penguins in-game rock band, creatively named The Penguin Band, released an EP collaboration with island-DJ Candence that was available to download on iTunes. I know that because when I was eight this was genuinely one of the first albums I ever downloaded.

The album contains five songs, including iconic tunes such as Anchors Aweigh and Ghosts Just Wanna Dance, as well as the Dubstep Puffle song. The album is available to stream on Spotify.

Sabrina Carpenter performed in-game

If you’re like me, your TikTok has been completely taken over recently by Sabrina Carpenter’s Emails I Can’t Send Tour. The recent news that she will be opening for THE Taylor Swift on the international leg of her Era’s Tour suggests that she is not going away any time soon.

Before all of this, Sabrina was a Disney Channel girl, starring in the show Girl Meets World in 2014 just as she released her first single and EP Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying (a banger btw). Since Disney owned Club Penguin, crossovers between the game and the Disney Channel were far from uncommon, leading Sabrina to perform in game during the 2014 Music Jam Party.

A popcorn bomb completely shut down the secret service

Image via YouTube

One of the best features of Club Penguin was the Penguin Secret Agency (PSA), which let users join the agency as a spy and complete a series of interconnected missions. In the 11th and final PSA mission, Club Penguin’s antagonist Herbert (a polar bear who wants to turn the island into a tropical paradise for some reason) hacks the agency and attempts to expose them to the island.

At the end of the mission, Herbert teleported the player back to PSA HQ, along with a popcorn bomb, which then exploded, destroying the HQ and shutting down the PSA for good. Literally, the PSA never bounced back from that. It was, however replaced by the Elite Penguin Force (EPF), which was just the PSA with nicer branding.

Operation: Blackout

Speaking of the EPF, in 2012 they were the centrepiece of one of the BEST Club Penguin party events the game ever saw, and I mean that. Operation: Blackout was revolutionary. As a big fan of the spy missions, I have fond memories of taking part in this as a kid, but looking back now has given me a new respect for the game developers.

If you weren’t there, you have to understand that this was huge. On November 14th 2012, the island went dark, and my primary school mind exploded. Herbert had used a laser to block out the sun and had taken over the island, establishing the “Club Herbert” dictatorship. All island music was replaced with an eerie rock versions, all of the game’s dialogue options were changed to be polar bear related, he took over the news paper, the theatre, and more. A new website was even set up in the run up to Blackout,, which updated every time the bear kidnapped a member of the EPF.

Throughout the party, users could engage in this interactive story line until Herbert was defeated in December. In the plot twist of the century, the EPF’s mysterious leader, the Director, was then revealed to be the island’s newspaper editor, Aunt Arctic, who’d been a friendly character in the game since it started. To say this was a groundbreaking discovery is an understatement, this was genuinely monumental.

Disney just forgot to renew the domain name and the website crashed

So despite the website generating $40 million in annual revenue for them at the time, the Walt Disney Company fully forgot to renew the domain name – nice one. Because of this, users trying to log on found the website wasn’t there, spreading rumours that it had been hacked or was being shut down.

There was an anti-Trump Protest

2016 was a wild year, of course Club Penguin became a platform for political activism. Just after Trump’s election, penguins waddled together, shouting (typing?) protests of “not my president” and “I’m with her”. Apparently pro-Trump penguins also got involved.

Santa is canonically a Walrus

His name is The Merry Walrus and unlike Santa, he doesn’t care if you were naughty or nice. What a guy.

Club Penguin had a multiverse

During the 2009 April Fools’ Party, users were introduced to the Box Dimension, an alternate dimension made of cardboard boxes which also served as a the gateway to other dimensions through its many box portals in 2011 and 2012. There were at least 11 dimensions in the game, including a silly dimension (which took you to a previous April Fools’ Party), a 2D doodle dimension, and the orange puffle dimension.

What I remembered as a fun little April Fools’ feature is apparently a bigger deal than that, as this Twitter thread I found explains. The creator of Club Penguin, Rocket Snail, has said the Box Realm serves as the glue that holds a multiverse together.

Right stay with me. The box dimension exists across multiple Rocket Snail games, including Club Penguin, implying all the games exist in one multiverse. In Club Penguin this dimension is purple, but in another game, Box Critters, its blue. The existence of box portals in more colours hints that the Box dimension exists in as an “endless rainbow subspace”.

Why boxes? Well in Club Penguin’s successor game, Club Penguin Island, an inter-dimensional shipping business called Crate Co was referenced, and this company is run by an alien named Zed. Who might be a giant galactic snail. Because why not at this point.

The Iceberg finally tipped, then the site shut down forever

Anyone who played Club Penguin at its peak will know about the Iceberg rumours. Many users believed that if enough penguins were on the Iceberg, it would tip over, leading to countless attempts to realise this dream throughout the games entire existence.

The rumour had apparently been around as long as the game itself, and it became generally believed that you had to be wearing a hard hat and drilling, or dancing, in order to have any impact on whether the thing would flip. The internet was flooded with theories not only of how to achieve this feat, but also about what reward might be awaiting the lucky users who managed to achieve it.

Until the game shut down, I didn’t know this was just a rumour, I just thought I was never on the right server at the right time and that was soul crushing for me. But it wasn’t true, and no one ever actually flipped the Iceberg until Club Penguin’s closing down party, the Waddle On Party, in 2017.

And so, after 12 years, the Iceberg finally flipped, revealing a large dance floor on the other side. Players involved could then collect free blue-versions of their hard hats, and read a secret plaque inscription that read: “Together, we can build an island, create a community, and even tip an iceberg. Waddle on.” And on that emotional note, Club Penguin was no more.

Feature image via YouTube

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