The Origin of Teabagging in Video Games

Dear Brian,
Where did teabagging originate in video games?

Ahhh teabagging…

For those unaware (like Conan’s sidekick Andy Richter), teabagging is the name of an oral sex act in which the man would dip his nutsack into the mouth of his partner.

It’s called teabagging because of the visual of dunking a teabag into hot water. In real practice, it’s not necessary to keep dipping the bag up and down repeatedly. It’s been thoroughly tested in controlled settings and found a cup of tea is the same whether you let the bag sit or continuously move it.

In 1998, the movie Pecker by John Waters featured the first reference to teabagging in pop culture. In the below clip, a man is standing on the bar of The Fudge Palace and slapping his balls against a man’s head before being stopped by the bartender who tells him there’s no teabagging at The Fudge Palace.

The sexual act of teabagging is once again mentioned in the sixth season of Sex and the City in 2003, when Samantha mistakes Charlotte’s “teabag” situation with a problem sucking on his balls.

The reason it was revived by Sex and the City is to introduce women television fans to an act Xbox and PC gamers were already widely familiar with because of Halo: Combat Evolved, which was released in 2001.

This next video is actually from Halo 3, but it’s a great representation of the various teabagging techniques utilized in the Halo series:

The reason we started teabagging was because Halo was unique in that for a few seconds after your death, you could still see the screen.

In the original Halo, online multiplayer didn’t exist and LAN matches were the only way to hold multiplayer beyond your single Xbox, but in 2004, Halo 2 was released, bringing the series online for the first time.

The Xbox Live headsets worked in a way where only your team could hear you under most circumstance, but you could trash talk an opponent if you within proximity. With a one-hit-kill sword available for melee deaths, teabagging became an instant favorite taunt among Halo players, who have since spread out to play a wide variety of FPS games.

A favorite kill type among l33t Halo 2 veterans was the blue screen death, which was accomplished by hitting an opponent in the face with a plasma grenade so that their entire screen turned blue. Once their screen cleared, they found themselves dead and being teabagged.

My personal favorite method of deploying the blue screen/teabag combo was to get someone to chase me, then run around a corner while tossing a grenade at a wall/ceiling so that by the time my pursuer turned the corner, they were hit in the face with a plasma. It required a deep familiarity of the game’s physics, which were changed and ruined by Halo 3.

Teabagging is possible in any first-person shooter really, but it’s only worth doing in games where your opponent is stuck watching their corpse while waiting to respawn. I still find myself occasionally teabagging in games for no reason other than the personal vindication this storm trooper felt teabagging Luke Skywalker.

Who’s your father now, Luke?

***Update 11/4/16 – Turns out my examples were decades late. Today, Brandon Stroud at Uproxx found three great examples of teabagging I should have remembered from the early days of professional wrestling. Arn Anderson, Ron Garvin, and The Barbarian teabag their defeated opponents in a 1985 episode of NWA World Championship wrestling. Click the image to read the article, and let me know if you find any earlier instances of teabagging.

Brian Penny Beard Versability Harley Quinn Arkham KnightBrian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work appears in High Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Lifehack, The Street, and Hardcore Droid.

 

Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

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