What is haHAA? How a Celebrity’s Face Became Twitch’s Symbol of Cringe


When it comes to esports, we’ve learned to expect that sometimes things can get a bit awkward. “For the thousands of attendants and millions watching around the world are you ready?” “Well thanks a lot Krimz, I appreciate you coming out here, it is a pleasure…” [D1 singing] With Twitch
there are emotes for basically everything and since we’re talking about
a medium where anyone with a PC internet connection and webcam can participate
things, sometimes get a little out of hand “IBoy, how is it that you’re able to play with so much confidence on the World stage?” When that happens, when something is so
uncomfortable that it’s funny, we call it cringe humor and the solitary icon has
emerged to become quite literally the face of that humorous discomfort. The haHAA emote was added to Better Twitch TV, a browser extension that enables
additional emos on Twitch in 2015. That means that while anyone can type haHAA
you only see the emote if you have BTTV installed. With haHAA you’re not laughing
with someone you’re laughing at someone. “For about three months I thought it was
an actual laughing emote and I’m like ‘Wow they’re putting it again I’m gonna
keep telling these jokes.’ That felt Pretty bad it’s like you know whenever you’re like barely started middle school and like you think all the cool kids are your friends
but they’re actually secretly making fun of you? I was the fat kid that day okay.” But who is this uncomfortable looking guy in the image? It’s actually actor and
comedian Andy Samberg playing a character called Shy Ronnie. The haHAA
image originates from the second of two skits he did as the character, both of
which featured Rihanna. The gag is that Ronnie is so shy around Rihanna that he’s just hella awkward, unable to complete a rap verse or really do
anything besides mumble. [Ronnie mumbles] “Speak up.” Or laugh awkwardly. “Ha HAA!” “Ha HAA!” “Ha HAA!” “Oh boy.” Also, for some reason a lot of people oddly think that the picture is
of League of Legends Pro Bjergsen. [Laughter.] A bizarre theory that can perhaps be
traced back to this copypasta. So the basic theory behind cringe humor is that
the discomfort caused by the subject and often their lack of awareness of it is
funny. “Michael?” “Ah.” “Are you Michael Scott?” “…Michael what?” “I’m sorry I’m, I’m supposed to be meeting
someone named Michael.” “Oh that’s not, yeah.” “Michael? Michael. Large hot chocolate with caramel and a shot of peppermint.” Over the past two decades this brand of humor has really taken off with popular shows like The
Office, Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation embracing it to varying
degrees. During the same period the Internet has become inundated with some
of the cringiest content mankind has ever produced. “Hi baby girl.” “I just wanted to wish you happy
seven-month anniversary babe.” “The Nutella challenge. That’s right. Okay guys. Are you ready? “There was my little pony.” “My little pony.” “My little pony. Woah.” “Why? I don’t know maybe it’s the church
talk to the Pope he knows everything. I had it I’m gonna die how can you die
when you’re dead?” “Just look out for that blazing inferno in the hallway.” Whoa hold on. Our 1g video wasn’t that cringe, was it? Anyway haHAA is not without controversy. Some Twitch channels began to ban the emote
arguing that it was used to describe everything a streamer did, even when it
wasn’t cringy. “You guys stop cringing at everything. Please. I mean a lot of
people are just gonna have to stop watching the stream because they gotta spam cringe face somewhere. Disable cringe face? Yes. No. Everybody vote. Oh the
votes are coming in and it looks like disabled cringe face is winning? Oh
everyone’s trying to spam haHAA and getting timed out. Oh my god so many
people are getting time out. Jesus Christ.” In other words they felt the emote was
just being spammed to insult and disrespect the streamer. One high profile
case of this was on the stream for Awesome Games Done Quick in 2016. After
the channel banned the use of the word cringe viewers instead used haHAA to
criticize the speedrunners taking part in the event. The emote was eventually
banned from the Games Done Quick channel in 2017 with the justification
being that the emote was really only being used negatively. Of course this just
meant the viewers came up with their own variations. Some community members have
even petitioned to have the emote removed from Better Twitch TV. What’s
definitely true is that if everything is cringe then nothing is. Cringe can be
funny, cringe can be painful, or cringe can be both at the same time.
But it’s defined by its deviation from what we consider normal. “Because I’m going to go back to the Ministry and allow them to perceive me as I am. A
f***-up. Goodbye.” And if cringe is the new normal then
haHAA doesn’t mean that much. What I’m trying to say is… [haHAA sound] I think I ad-libbed a sh*tton of that. Miles: That’s fine though, because you hit all the points. I didn’t say basically. We say basically everything a lot in this script. I need to stop using the word basically.
I don’t think it’s your fault. I want to blame you… Miles: I cut out a couple basicallys… ..but I left a couple too. You have to pick your basically battles, basically. [laughter] Oh my god… The emote was eventually banned from the Games Done Quick channel in 2017 with
the justification that it was basically only being used negatively, basically. [laughter] I said basically, then I’m like f***… Oh, there was a basically! THERE WAS A BASICALLY! I thought I added the basically…

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100 thoughts on “What is haHAA? How a Celebrity’s Face Became Twitch’s Symbol of Cringe

  1. THAT 1G FIRE SKIT YOU GUYS DID WAS HIGH TIER CRINGE. Learn from it and move forward. It's not that bad that we'd hold it against you aggressively.

    That Hahaa face you made the end was cringe for a milisecond but then started to scare me for the rest of it's screentime. It burned into mind for 3 seconds after for which I just sat there silently staring at the screen listening to you talking about how you adlibbed most of the video.

  2. just ban everything… why do even have any interaction… leave only: good morning, goodbye, please and thanks. Any other word is offensive to someone.

  3. Lets be honest here, everything on twitch is cringe and so are peopke in twitch chat which kinda makes it irrelevant since everything or nothing is cribge

  4. C'mon guys. Curb Your Enthusiam has been employing this brand of comedy for almost 2 decades. Larry David is the king of cringe and he doesn't even get an honorable mention? -1 cool points.

  5. lol the 1g video wasn't that cringe indeed, it was way worse if you include the awkward moment talking to desi later on xD (summit talked about it openly on stream one day telling bout that one xD)

  6. Please PLEASE get rid of cringe humor. I hate it. It is not funny to me AT ALL. And I will never watch any of the shows he mentioned. It is too much cringe, and not funny at all.

  7. Essentially, as it stands, in the simplest terms, when you get right down to it, at the heart of the matter, the TL;DR is, and for the dumb-dumbs that means…

    There you go; replacements for your next seven basicallys. After that, you're on your own.

  8. So true the word basically just doesn't sound right. I've always noticed it in your videos and it bothered me I just never knew why it bothered me

  9. This emote shouldn’t be banned, if you think it should be banned, then you are a sensitive prick that hates fun

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