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Spy Crab refers a particular subset of Spy class players in the popular first-person shooter game Team Fortress 2. Due to an unforeseen glitch in the way characters are modeled, anyone playing as a Spy character can take a simple action to walk like a crab during gameplay. Virtually harmless and non-competitive in nature, Spy Crab players are can be usually found around intense battle zones between BLU and RED teams in the game.
Early sightings of Spy Crabs began to surface on YouTube in mid 2008. On July 06, 2008, a witness video of the Spy Crab, recorded on the nom nom nom server was uploaded to YouTube by user kilorat. Having never seen a Spy Crab before, the reactions to the sighting brought on much comedic value and appeal. The title Rare Endangered Spy Crab was given.
How To Become a Spy Crab
1) Join a game of Team Fortress 2 and choose to play as the Spy
2) Ready the Disguise Kit item
3) While holding down the crouch button, look straight up and walk forward
4) You are now a Spy Crab
It is common to see a few Spy players walking in this manner for entire matches as an act of trolling known as griefing. Teams would either laugh at and/or kill these griefers for free points. Because of this behavior, the “Save the Endangered Spy Crabs” campaign was created by the game community to dissuade players who have tendencies to kill Spy Crabs. Game-sprays, wanted posters, and reserve groups were spawned as well. Participants in the campaign will try keep the Spy Crabs alive as long as possible. Due to the popularity of Spy Crabs, Valve, the company that makes the game, has opted to not fix this error in the character models.
Spy Crab Strut
Rare Endangered Spy Crab People
As a part of the trend, Valve programmed an Easter Egg into the game for the Sniper vs. Spy Update patch. When the official update was released, players were able to do a ‘crab’ taunt using the Disguise Kit (roughly 1 in 10 chance of occurring).
In Real Life
Team Fortress 2 characters are very commonly mimicked by cosplayers at anime and gaming conventions and based on the multitude of YouTube videos, they are not shy about doing reenactments.