Community fads are fads that circulate or originate throughout the Team Fortress 2 community. A fad is, by definition, "any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period..." Some of the most frequently used mediums to create Team Fortress 2 fads include not only Team Fortress 2 itself, but also Garry's Mod and Source Filmmaker.
Some of the more well-known fads have gone on to become internet memes, which are defined as, "ideas or concepts that attain online popularity."
Fads Found In-Game
The Crazy Legs phenomenon has existed for as long as Team Fortress 2 has been public. Crazy Legs exists as a bug that affects the Scout's legs when crouching and double jumping in unison, turning the legs into something that has been described as "two raw bacon strips held up in a wind tunnel." As a result, Crazy Legs is also called Bacon Legs. The effect is visible in third-person, and is likely to happen when in third-person as the Civilian.
Officially, the bug is fixed, and has been since the January 13, 2010 Patch. However, the bug is still present in some form, with the effects being significantly less obvious than they were before the fix.
The Demopan fad originates from a Steam User Forums thread titled "The New Face of TF2". The thread contained a Deathcam shot featuring the Demoman (as seen to the right). It quickly became a fad as the screenshot spread across the Team Fortress 2 community. The Demopan, with the name "STOUT SHAKO FOR 2 REFINED", is the BLU Demoman equipped with the Frying Pan, Chargin' Targe, Bounty Hat and Dangeresque, Too?. Several other images were made with the cutout of the Demopan to continue the fad, such as the Demopan with an explosion and a cutout of the Demopan in the Deathcam. A user on YouTube with the account name SpawnThemAll has created a video that spoofs Meet the Demoman, featuring crudely cutout images of the Demopan's face and items over top of the Demoman and his weapons whilst using audio mashup content to change certain lines of dialogue.
Footage of Meet the Demopan can be found here.
- Demopan is a recognized and confirmed meme.
One of the most well-known fads within Team Fortress 2 is the Spycrab. The Spycrab is an animation oversight caused by the Spy looking straight up while holding the Disguise Kit, crouching, then walking in any direction. This causes the Spy to move around in an amusing fashion that resembles a crab. Dapper Rogue, a "Catalogue for the Gentleman Scoundrel", referenced this by including a "Crab-Walking Kit" with the description "It will change your skeleton! Excruciatingly painful but worth it."
Footage of a player doing the Spycrab can be found here.
- The Spycrab is a recognized and confirmed meme.
- A fan-made game mode was made in honor of this fad.
- A type of gambling was created in honor of this fad, known as "Spycrabbing." "Spycrabbing" has many variations, with one of the most common being two players putting items they want to gamble into a pot, facing each other and continuing to taunt with the Disguise Kit out. Under usual rules, the first person to do three Spycrab taunts loses, and the winner gets the items in the pot.
- A cosmetic item called the Spycrab was made in honor of the Spycrab meme.
Community Created Fads
nope.avi is a fad video created by YouTube user Jimbomcb using Source Filmmaker. The video shows the BLU Engineer on Gravel Pit approaching the screen. As he stops, his hard hat floats up and he utters the phrase "Nope", followed by his neck elongating. He then promptly leaves the scene.
The video is frequently used in conversations as a "humorous" negative response. Instead of replying "No", a person may post a link to the video or type "nope.avi".
- nope.avi is a recognized and confirmed meme.
The Scout Face (also known as Derp Scout) is a fad and meme created of a screenshot from a Garry’s Mod video featuring the Scout. The video, called "Heavy and Scout think they are birds" was created by YouTube user Rubberfruit, and shows the RED Heavy fly through the air and regurgitate sandwiches into the RED Scout’s mouth. Within three years, the video accumulated over 1.8 million views and 8,900 comments. However, chain commenting with YouTube profile avatar pictures, a common usage of the Scout Face image, didn’t begin until sometime in July 2011 when YouTube launched a new feature that allows user profile pictures to be displayed in the comment section.
On August 1st, 2010, a screenshot of the Scout’s face was uploaded to DeviantArt by user Jonix04, which received more than 2,100 views and 980 downloads within the next two years.
What made this a known fad and meme was the amount of YouTube profile pictures made using it. Photoshopped variations of Scout’s face have notably been used as profile avatars, particularly when chain replying in the comments section of a video page. These variations have also become Steam profile pictures for some players. These users occasionally will refer themselves as the "Scout Army".
- Scout Face is a recognized and confirmed meme.
The Gentlemen fad stems from one of the Spy's most ubiquitous catchphrases. His calm, suave, calculating persona is encapsulated in his utterance of this simple address, followed by the careful placement of a cigarette.
The fad itself is a widely recognized image macro, originally spawned by a Garry's Mod screenshot of the Spy with his mouth jammed full of cigarettes, followed by the caption "GENTLEMEN.". It was soon remade into a cartoon caricature of the same picture. The concept quickly exploded and expanded to feature a version for every Team Fortress character. The basic formula for the macro is straightforward; it is a caricatured drawing of the character with their mouth jammed full of objects that usually pertain to aspects of that character. For example, a Gentlemen variation for the Heavy may involve a caricature of the Heavy with his custom bullets crammed into his mouth and the text "BULLETS." underneath. Other characters have been integrated into this meme as well, such as a Gordon Freeman of Half-Life with a mouth full of crowbars, his signature weapon.
The word "Gentlemen" is also often deliberately misspelled as "Mentlegen" and accompanied by altered versions of the original Gentlemen image macro. A bot can be randomly named Mentlegen as a tribute to this.
- Gentlemen is a recognized and confirmed meme.
The Vagineer fad originates from YouTube user J16fox. He uploaded a video on December 31st, 2008, but unfortunately, the original video cannot be found. The Vagineer was created in Garry's Mod when he abused the "Faceposer" tool to move and distort the Engineer's facial muscles to resemble a human vagina.
The Vagineer has the tendency to growl quite frequently and can regrow and fire limbs, spit acid and reverse speak. All of his sounds are responses from the Engineer, many of which having been modified. The Vagineer is now more commonly recognized in the community-made game mode Vs. Saxton Hale.
- The Vagineer has been submitted for assessment as a meme here.
The MeeM was created in Garry's mod by the user OluapPlayer in the video "Gentlemanly Demo's Greatest Duel" where it is relaxing with Demoman, Engineer, and other classes; BLU Demoman then enters and challenges RED Demoman. In the first of a series of challenges moderated by Engineer, they are to capture the Medic target. During the chase, the target repeatedly says, "MeeM".
- The MeeM became recognized by players and has made many appearances and even became a boss in Freak Fortress 2.
- The MeeM has been submitted for assessment as a meme here.