If you’ve ever watched a stream before you’ve probably heard a streamer say “Can I get some Fs in chat?” Or maybe you’ve seen a barrage of the letter “F” in the chat at a certain point in a game you’re watching.
If you’re a newer Twitch or Mixer user, you probably have been wondering what those Fs are all about, and you definitely aren’t the only one to be confused. Everyone who has gotten into watching gaming streams online has at some point asked the question: what exactly does “Fs in chat” mean? Where did it start?
It all began in 2014 when Activision released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In the single player campaign, you play as the character Private Jack Mitchell as you fight against North Korean invaders and other terrorist organizations. At the end of the campaign’s first mission, Mitchell loses his arm in an explosion that also kills his best friend. At this point, the game throws you into a cutscene of Mitchell’s friend’s funeral and the now infamous moment takes place. PC players are prompted to “Press F to pay respects,” while players on console were given the same interactive command but using their “X” button.
Call of Duty and Activision were immediately and widely panned by gamers across the internet, sparking Reddit threads, funny memes, webcomics, and videos. Afterall, during an emotional funeral scene, is a button press to pay respect to your character’s best friend really necessary? It received so much criticism that there were even articles published in defense of the required action.
From that point forward it spun out into a meme that will never die, and has grown into what we see today across all streams and gaming content. Sometimes it’s used more seriously, when a squadmate or partner dies in a game, but it’s also often used sarcastically or cynically, like when a hilarious epic fail happens on stream or someone’s favorite character gets nerfed in an update.
The full funeral scene from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare can be seen in the video below:
If you’re curious about how even more certain aspects of Twitch culture came about, check out the origins of every Twitch emote.