A Pokemon marathon on Twitch brought out the best of the platform's controversial chat feature this week in response to a heart-warming moment.
The entire series of Pokemon played on Twitch recently, but fans were engaged in a virtual flash mob before the first season was even halfway over. In a clip posted to Reddit by u/Sethfire, the Twitch chat can be seen scrolling by at a break-neck pace while Ash says goodbye to his beloved Butterfree.
[Clip][Spoilers] Twitch Chat reacting to one of the saddest scenes in the series [Pokémon Marathon] from r/anime
The dramatic moment came from episode 21 of the series, titled "Bye Bye Butterfree." In it, Ash's Butterfree falls in love with a while Butterfree, and he releases it into the wild so that they can be together. As they say goodbye, the music swells, and a melodramatic montage traces their friendship back to the moment they met. Butterfree was the first wild Pokemon that ash ever caught. He evolved it twice and even traded it once, only to change his mind and trade back.
The emotional moment had the Twitch chat in tears — literally. Users spammed the column of text with a Twitch emote called BibleThump. It consists of a round, pink face with massive black eyes openly weeping. Taken from the game The Binding of Isaac, the symbol is often used to denote an emotionally powerful moment, contrived or otherwise.
The emote was notably used in a viral flash animation site called ICryEverytime.com, where BibleThump emotes rained down the screen and sad violin music played on a loop. The meme has been used for genuine sadness as well as sarcastic displays of emotion.
It was likely a mix of both that had BibleThump emotes rushing through the Pokemon stream this week. The symbols were occasionally interspersed with all-caps messages like "IT'S COMING," and "DON'T GO BUTTERFREEEEE." However, for the most part the people of Twitch seemed to unite in a moment of BibleThump-solidarity.
"People give Twitch chat a bad rep and they fully deserve it," one person noted on Reddit, "but now and then these Marathon viewings bring forth new tiers of wholesome s—posting in a full-on anime redemption arc."
The Pokemon marathon began on Twitch on Monday. Between now and Oct. 22, it is expected to play 9 full seasons of the beloved anime.
Pokemon: Adventures in the Orange Islands begins on Sept. 3. After that, Pokemon: The Johto Journeys starts on Sept. 10, and Pokeomon: Johnto League Champions on Sept. 17. The following week, Pokemon: Master Quest starts, and then on Oct. 1 Pokemon Advanced. Each of the following weeks introduces another season -- Pokemon: Advanced Challenge, Pokemon: Advanced Battle and Pokemon: Battle Frontier. Check out Twitch for the exact schedule.