Pepega is actually a term for anyone or anything that’s stupid or dumb. Many claim that Pepega is a politically accepted word for saying the offensive word: “Retard”. Here is all you need to know about Pepega. The story gets more darker than what it looks like taking a whirl of highs and lows on the internet.
“Pepega”, pronounced as ” Peh-peh-guh” or “Peh-pay-guh”, as queer as it sounds to you, it is something you have often come across over the internet in the form of memes and emotes. Still thinking of which one?
What is Pepega?
Well, Pepega is the disfigured green frog with a human-like figure who is seen manifesting various, hilarious, facial expressions used as a go-to reaction in Internet culture. You will find him on the comments section or in chats expressing emotions that words cannot explain.
It doesn’t just stop there! It gets more interesting that your everyday favorite meme, emote has its own story to tell. It may sound trivial; however, it doesn’t hurt to keep up with internet slangs of the millineals right?
The word “Pepega” derives from a comic strip character Pepe the Frog of Boy’s Club created by Matt Furie. The comic is about four young roommates, who are quite laid back and are always high on crack.
Why is Pepega associated with something ‘stupid’?
It is associated with the word “stupid” because in the original comic, Pepe is seen to be taking off his pants all the way down to his ankle to make a piss. He describes this to his friend saying, “It feels good, man. ” The last format where he quotes his catchphrase was received as something new, quirky and funny to the world.
It rose to fame in the early 2000s when someone gave it a color to the black and white frog, on 4chan.
This gave Pepe the Frog, a life of his own even outside the comic all the way to websites like 4Chan, MySpace, BTTV Emotes and even to EBay where people sold rare emotes of Pepega for upto almost $100,000. Also, people literally sold their original Pepe memes on Craigslist and people would actually buy it as part of the whole extensive joke.
Yes, that was the extent Pepe took the Internet by storm! While some images had Pepe portraying humorous expressions in an exaggerated way, some had Pepe dressed as famous people and iconic characters like Spongebob or Homer Simpson.
Now, hold your horses! It doesn’t end there. By 2014, Pepe had its own community on social media platform like Tumblr and Instagram. It also had an economy on the internet where a trading phenomenon of trading Pepe’s rare memes or emotes took place. Communities created its own cryptocurrency called the Pepe Cash and trading of these dank Pepe emotes took place in the form of Pepe Cards like Pokémon Cards.
By the end of 2014, celebrities like Nicki Minaj hilariously shared a rendition of Pepe showing off his butt, Katy Perry posted Pepe’s emote being tired and crying which further escalated the fandom like spitfire.
In some renditions of Hollywood, Pepe is seen holding a glass of wine impersonating Leornado D’Caprio celebrating New Year’s from his renowned movie “The Great Gatsby”.
The dark events
The story of what started to only instigate some humor and sarcasm, Pepe’s journey takes a sharp turn and becomes darker because of some unfortunate series of incidents.
It all starts on September 30, 2015, on the R9k Board, an image board on 4chan, where an anonymous user leaves threats_ “I suggest, you enter a classroom and tell people you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get into one corner and then open fire.” with an image of Pepe holding a gun.
While some took it as a joke, all hell was about to break loose as it was the inception of Pepe’s reputation being dragged through the mud.
The next day itself, a harrowing case on October 1, 2015, takes place as the user identified as Chris Harper Mercer entered the Umpqua Community College in Oregon and killed 8 students and an assistant professor leaving 9 injured of a whole class. Then he ended his own life.
Pepe was again politicised when Pepe was seen in a Trump rendition on a Twitter post by Trump himself. It took the form of a political weapon.
Meanwhile, Pepe sort of became like a cult among the users of 4chan familiarizing it with an Egpytion God of Darkness which happened to be a frog out of all the many organisms on planet Earth! Pepe was used as a representation of a new religion called Kek of Kekistan!
Hillary Clinton then denounced Pepe and soon it became a symbol of white supremacy. To add more fuel to the fire, white nationalists groups posted pictures of Pepe making racist comments spearheading the superiority of the white people.
Pepe was added to the Anti-Defamation League as a hate symbol due to its pejorative comments in memes. Pepe even impersonates Adolf Hitler in some of the posts. It was then amongst the lists of many offensive symbols like the Swastika, Celtic Cross, Crossed Grenades, Iron Cross etc.
The situation worsened when, after a few months Pepe’s creator Matt Furie reclaimed his creation and speaks that “Pepe was never about hate…. Pepe is love. ” In the year 2017, unfortunately, Furie killed his creation Pepe, the pothead, in a comic released on National Comic Day. It came as a shock to fans worldwide.
Pepe rises again
In the year 2017, a call to action was made by Pepe’s creator when he started the “SavePepe Campaign” as a Kickstarter to fund a new spin-off of Pepe, the Frog in a more, peaceful light and as a symbol of pure love.
ADL also joined the campaign with the hashtag (#SavePepe) and created awareness in its social media platforms. The campaign was received positively and immediately reached its goal of $10, 000 which was to fund the production of a new comic with Pepe, with a more peaceful life of his own version.
It was indeed a successful campaign to recuperate Pepe and his creator’s wounds from the misuse of posters by alt-right spreading anti-semitic and white supremacist memes.
Pepe rekindled to its past glories associated with humour when in 2018, a user in Twitch used Pepe to mock a Twitch streamer Forsan. It was added to FrankerFacez, a Twitch space for emotes. Pepe is now spammed in chats, even in your daily chats with your friends.
Oh! You stupid Pepega
In Twitch, it is ironically used to perceive as odd or stupid. It became a trending spam for Twitch users and it allowed them to mock their streamers in many ways. Pepega is now used while streamers act stupid and they even have streamers who would actually act stupid just for the entertainment and money!
In 2019-20, Pepe was used by protesters of Hong Kong as a symbol of liberty and resistance. Pepe resonates with a lot of youngsters of this age and stood as a symbol of youth participation. It spread like wildfire over the internet when Pepe was seen with an injured eye in an image after a young female had her eyes hurt by a projectile thrown by the police resulting in another campaign called “An eye for an eye” to which the creator Furie responded, “.. Pepe for the people! “
You would now find a number of Pepe expressions morphed into people’s heads in YouTube videos, especially in gaming videos when somebody is considered a noob or a stupid person who has missed his kills or shots. Pepe now takes on multiple incarnations like the Pepega clap, happy Pepega, Depressed Pepega, smug Pepega etc.
Pepe still feels good, man
The phase of Pepe still lives on in emotes and memes. Pepe has also won the hearts of many exclusive Rare Pepe Collector and Enthusiasts and young people of this generation. Who knew that a mere frog would take the Internet like a ball of fire and even give birth to a new 21st century Internet slang word _ “Pepega”?
What is now a simple word “Pepega”, holds a lot of controversies that the human mind could never have comprehended. Did you ever think the evolution of the word Pepega would have been this dramatic and darker than your usual daily soaps? Pepega has evolved to be today’s most loved emote and meme because of its variations, obviously, feeding some humour to our lives. Now you know your emote and meme, although, being a total Pepega in real life once in a while won’t cost much because surprisingly, “It feels good, man.”