Community fads

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Demopan meme
Gentlemen.
The Spy

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..."[1] 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."[2]

Fads Found In-Game

Crazy Legs

"Hey, look at me, Ma!"

The Crazy Legs phenomenon has existed for at least 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, rotating them randomly with no regard for the direction of the Scouts pelvis or knees. The resulting deformity has also been compared to "two raw bacon strips held up in a wind tunnel." and as a result, Crazy Legs is also referred to as Bacon Legs. The effect is visible in third-person, and is vastly likelier to occur when in reference position.

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. Occasionally, the phenomenon has been seen by players as severe as before it was claimed to be fixed.

Crazy Legs gained enough notoriety to get a back story and recognition on the TF2 Official Blog.[3]

In Scream Fortress 2014, a cosmetic item titled the Crazy Legs was added to the game. This may be a reference to this fad.

A "Bird Scout" with Crazy Legs at the top of Snakewater.


Bird Scout

From the March 28, 2018 Patch until the March 29, 2018 Patch, Crazy Legs made a short lived return as a result of an exploit involving the Mad Milk and Atomizer, in which a Scout could jump a theoretically infinite number of times while in reference position (the phenomenon being dubbed "Bird Scout" and similar variants by the community). Due to the requirement of the player being in reference position, the Crazy Legs effect was vastly more pronounced than any previous appearance.

A large number of players joined in on this brief fad, jumping around and occasionally traveling together in "flocks", "migrating" across the top of maps.



Demopan

Original screenshot
Stout Shako for two refined!
Demopan on hat pricing.

The Demopan fad originates from a Steam User Forums Thread titled "The New Face of TF2". The thread concerned a Deathcam screenshot of a jumping Demoman in a humorous position, equipped with the Frying Pan, Chargin' Targe, Bounty Hat and Dangeresque, Too?, and named "STOUT SHAKO FOR 2 REFINED". As the screenshot spread, wearing the load out and stating his mantra quickly became a fad.

The character's popularity grew even further after a cutout template image of the Demopan was produced, allowing any user with basic photo editing skills to produce images of the Demopan in humorous locations and situations. Additionally, the video Meet the Demopan was produced, a parody of Meet the Demoman featuring crudely cutout images of the Demopan's face and items edited overtop of the original video, with audio being altered to change certain lines of dialogue.

A fake class page was created for the Demopan and featured on this wiki for April Fools Day 2011. It was created by wiki user Benjamoose, and was turned into an official Team Fortress 2 Wiki article for the day. The Demopan's popularity has also led to him appearing as a boss in both VS Saxton Hale Mode and Freak Fortress 2.

The Demopan has a page on Know Your Meme.


Community Phrases

The Community Phrases fad entered popularity around mid 2010 and has persisted ever since. The fad consists of causing characters to say phrases typically regarded as humorous or nonsensical, by performing a voice command which is cancelled part way through by either taunting, taking damage, dying or overwriting it with another voiceline.

Often the simplest method to perform these is to spam the same command repeatedly, as many of the more popular phrases became such due to their ease of use, allowing them to be said multiple times before the command cool down is increased, or an indefinite number if playing on a custom server where the cool down is disabled.

The fad's initial popularity was partially aided by the videos of Youtuber 'Rushnerd', which depicted various animals, commonly birds, dubbed with repeated sounds from the TF2 classes; Some featured phrases entered general popularity shortly after, including most notably "Pootis". Most have fallen out of fashion today, however there are still a number of notable examples.

  • Pootis
Pootis-penser here.
The Heavy
"Pootis" is a phrase derived from the Heavy's "Dispenser Here!" voice command, and has persistently remained the most unanimously popular phrase to this day.
Though its exact origins are mostly unknown, the video attributed with initially popularizing the phrase is Rushnerd's "Bird Fortress 2", as evidenced by Google search trends indicating that the word began to gain traction shortly after September 2010, the month of this videos release. Within the video a bird can be seen collecting sticks, saying the phrase each time one is picked up.
Pootis Bird
Due to a number of community videos, including "Scout Visits The Zoo", which acted as their first appearance, the "Pootis Bird" has also been popularized. Previously, "Pootis Birds" were a 'TF2 Freak' of the Heavy, characterized by their fast repetition of their signature phrase, their bird-like mannerisms and their heavily deformed faces. However, due in part to more recent animations, such as Magus Medic's video "Meet The Pootis Bird", they are now more typically associated with a Heavy wearing the Chicken Kiev, a bird head cosmetic which has earned the community nickname "Pootis Bird" as a result.
Pootis has a page on Know Your Meme.
  • Gottam
Gottam-ove that gear up!
The Engineer
"Gottam" is a phrase derived from the Engi's "Move Up!" voice command, and has maintained some popularity, mostly within non-official servers, although waning in recent years. Its continued popularity is in part due to being related to a command with a single voiceline, meaning when spammed the player will say same line every time. Unfortunately due to the high speed at which the line is said and the length of cool down on voice commands, spamming is not fast enough to produce the phrase outside of custom servers, the number of which is steadily declining.
"Gottam" also had its first major appearance in Rushnerd's "Bird Fortress 2".
  • Painis
Painis-weakness leaving the body!
The Soldier
"Painis" is a phrase derived from one of the Soldier's "Jeers" voice commands. The line itself has always been of great popularity in community media for its phallic resemblance, however due to the high number of voicelines related to the jeers command it cannot be performed repeatedly, reducing its use within game; saying it is still possible however.


Spycrab

The Spycrab pose when taunting with the disguise kit
This article is about the Spy's taunt, not to be confused with the cosmetic item.

One of the most well-known fads within Team Fortress 2 is the Spycrab. The Spycrab is an animation oversight that occurs if the Spy looks straight up while holding the Disguise Kit and crouching, then walks in any direction. Doing this will cause the Spy to move in an amusing fashion that resembles a crab. The first known video of a player doing the Spycrab can be found here. As a result of its popularity, numerous references to the Spycrab have been included in official TF2 media, such as in-game, on the Official TF2 Blog and in TF Comics, with notable appearances listed below:

Spycrab carnival poster as it appears on Carnival of Carnage
  • In the Sniper vs. Spy Update, the Spycrab was included as an alternative taunt for the Disguise Kit, with an estimated 20% chance of playing.
  • In Dapper Rogue, a "Catalogue for the Gentleman Scoundrel" included in day 4 of the Sniper vs. Spy Update, a "Crab-Walking Kit" is listed with the description "It will change your skeleton! Excruciatingly painful but worth it."
  • In August of 2014, the Valve Store began stocking a Spycrab plush. Subsequently, in the August 13, 2014 Patch, a cosmetic of said plush was added, obtainable in Genuine quality by redeeming a code given out with purchase of the plush.
  • In Carnival of Carnage, a poster appears depicting a Spycrab, labelled "Human Crab" - "Alive!".
  • In the Spy's variation of the Mannrobics taunt, one of the moves involves the Spy "pinching" the air, mimicking a crab's claws. Additionally, when performing this move the Spy may occasionally say "Aaaand Spycrab!".
  • In the comic The Naked and the Dead, the Spy remarks that the suits he wears are "Louis Crabbemarché" brand. Crabbemarché, although potentially misspelled slightly for pronunciation, is considered to be a play on the French words for 'crab' and 'walk'.

The Spycrab has also inspired a number of community trends, for example a fan-made game mode, and a form of gambling known as "Spycrabbing". "Spycrabbing" has multiple variations, however the general rule is that the first player to perform the Spycrab taunt a certain number of times will win/lose, with the winner taking all items wagered.

Variations
A similar animation error, unofficially nicknamed by the community as the "Democrab", partially derives its name from its similarity to the Spycrab. It is performed by crouch-walking while holding any of the Demoman's one-handed melee weapons, although it is more pronounced when the player is facing directly upwards. The bug causes the Demoman's left hand to twist awkwardly and to violently jerk in reaction to changes in direction.

Additionally, the Spycrab has a page on Know Your Meme.


Friendlies

An archetypal friendly Heavy, or "Hoovy", ready to share his Sandvich.

"Friendly" is a broad term concerning a group of players and their mannerisms, typically used to describe a subsection of the player base that opt to play the game in an entirely passive or social manner, refusing to fight during matches and attempting to interact peacefully with the enemy team. Friendlies are not exclusively pacifistic however; although some will freely accept being killed or farmed for contracts, many will retaliate in self-defense upon being harmed.

Friendly behavior is characterized by many as continuous performance of actions with the deliberate intent of avoiding traditional gameplay, examples including repeated or continuous taunting, deliberately healing enemy players, Detoothing Sentry Guns or watching combat without participating. Unsurprisingly from the nonsensical nature of friendly gameplay, many in-game community fads either fall under this definition or, in the case of Community Phrases, are used frequently by these players.

Friendly players generally either spend a portion of the game attempting to reach less trafficked areas of maps, so as to avoid violent players, or run headlong into enemy territory while crouching, throwing lunchbox items and equipping Melee to make themselves appear non-threatening. The latter of these is typically done in an attempt to convince likeminded players to halt their fighting and join the Friendly in whimsically messing around.

Due to their association with breaking the flow of gameplay, particularly by convincing others to do the same, Friendlies are a topic of controversy within the TF2 Community. Proponents usually support Friendlies for their alignment with the game's perceived light-hearted, casual, and "cartoony" tone, while opponents argue that Friendlies serve no purpose and frequently contribute to frustrating match outcomes (See Griefing and Idling).

Hoovies
Due to thrown lunchbox items having the property of being collectable by enemy players, Heavy has become commonly associated with the friendly 'playstyle'. While the origins of the name Hoovy are unclear, search trends indicate the term originated in mid 2011, but was popularized in late 2016 by its use in the videos of Youtuber Muselk.
Although no particular cosmetics are required by any means, Hoovy loadouts typically aim to make the Heavy look as foolish as possible. Some of the more common cosmetics used are the Tough Guy's Toque and All-Father, or on Full Moon the Chicken Kiev. Friendlies of other classes may also wear humorous cosmetics, often painted with bright, garish colors.
Many Hoovies are also equipped with the Holiday Punch to induce laughter in enemies.

There also exists a number of community "Friendly Servers" where players spend time "messing around", often on custom maps with infinite timers and no objectives. Killing on these servers is generally either forbidden or very limited, with killing permitted servers sometimes referred to as a "Silly Servers". (See Achievement server or Idle server).


Observers/Watchers

A screenshot of The Observer

The Observer or Watcher is currently the most recent major fad in TF2, starting in early August 2019. Echoing Classic 'TF2 Freaks', the observer is a Spy wearing a set of cosmetics that together attach a comical number of cameras to his head, and furthermore cover all skin on his body, giving the Spy a very robotic appearance.

The Observer originated from a screenshot uploaded to the TF2 channel of popular media sharing site Reddit. The post[4] consisted of a screenshot depicting a Spy named "The Watcher", wearing the Shutterbug, Upgrade and Camera Beard, and holding the Red-Tape Recorder. The caption alleged that this player, along with another named "The Observer", spent the entire match using the Cloak and Dagger to hide and watch players from different areas of the map. Similarly to the Demopan, as the image of the Observer spread so did its wider popularity.

The Observer continued to grow in part due to the initially low price of all involved items, which allowed numerous copy-cats to obtain the loadout for themselves, hoping to join in with the trend. This led the Observer to a cult-like status, even going as far as receiving an article implicating it as such from games journalism site Rock Paper Shotgun.

Several other low effort 'cults' attempted to piggyback off of the popularity of the Observer within the first month of its fame; none of these stuck however.

Community Created Fads

nope.avi

"Nope."
Nope.
The Engineer

nope.avi (or just nope) 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". The fad was alluded to in the Engineer blind box figurine; taking off the Engineer's head reveals the word "nope" written on his neck.

nope.avi has a page on Know Your Meme.

Scout Face

Original "Scout Face" screenshot.
Example of "Scout Face" conversation.

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 flying through the air and regurgitating sandviches 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 has a page on Know Your Meme.

Notable variations

Gentlemen

The original image macro.
Gentlemen.
The Spy

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.

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.

This fad has a page on Know Your Meme.


Vagineer

The Vagineer.
Grrrrrrrr.
The Vagineer

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 "Face Poser" tool to move and distort the Engineer's facial muscles to resemble a human vagina.

The Vagineer is depicted to have the tendency to growl quite frequently and regrowing and firing limbs, as well as spitting acid and reverse speaking. All of his sounds are responses from the Engineer, many of which having been reversed. The Vagineer is now more commonly recognized in the community-made game mode Vs. Saxton Hale.

MeeM

The MeeM.

The MeeM is a wooden Medic target (or practice target), which mostly just says "MeeM" (the "MEEEDIIIC!" voice command, but reversed in the middle).

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 and Slender Fortress.

Christian Brutal Sniper

Christian Brutal Sniper, as he appears in VS Saxton Hale
It's like Christmas morning...
Christian Brutal Sniper as he dismembers the BLU Medic

The Christian Brutal Sniper fad originated from a video made by Kekas on May 28th, 2010, in Garry's Mod, in which a RED Sniper kills a BLU Medic. At the time, the video got enough views to grant it 10 sequels. Christian was seen using a lot of different weapons, including the Eyelander, Tribalman's Shiv, Huntsman, and many others.

Christian Brutal Sniper has also been added to the popular community gamemode Vs. Saxton Hale.

Rappy

Rappy
See.
Rappy's catchphrase

Rappy is a Velociraptor wearing a RED Carouser's Capotain. He first appeared in a Gmod video named "THAT DEMO". The only phrase Rappy ever says is "SEE" (often spelled as "ci") using the Demoman's voice. His constant companion is a Demoman.

References

  1. Wikipedia article on fads
  2. Wikipedia article on memes
  3. TF2 Blog Post: Better Late Than Never
  4. "This guy and his friend named "the observer" stayed as cloak and dagger spies the whole game just watching people in corners"