Part of a series on Spy (Team Fortress 2). [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 11, 2021 at 01:39PM EDT by Jel.

Added Mar 26, 2010 at 10:21PM EDT by Mellow.

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Spycrab or Spy Crab is an animation oversight in 2007 video game Team Fortress 2 which occurs when the character Spy looks straight up while holding the Disguise Kit, crouching and walking in any direction, with the resulting animation resembling a crab. In mid-2008, Spycrab became a fad within Team Fortress 2 player base, with players performing the animation during preparation times and matches. The long-running meme was recognized by "Team Fortress 2 developer Valve, with a Spycrab taunt, cosmetic and voice line added into the game.


The Spycrab trend gained initial popularity in mid-2008. The earliest video recordings of Team Fortress 2 players performing the animation trick were posted on YouTube in early July 2008. On July 5th, 2008, YouTube[1] user Zealot uploaded a video titled "Spy Crabs" that received over 340,000 views in 13 years (shown below, left). On July 6th, 2008, YouTube[2] user Kilorat posted a video that gained over 766,000 views in the same period (shown below, right).

In Kilorat's video, the Spy player's name is "RARE ENDANGERED CRAB SPY." This phrase became associated with the meme.


Following the viral spread of the initial videos, mentions of Spycrab on gaming forums and players doing the animation on servers, Spycrab achieved significant popularity within Team Fortress 2 community. Spycrab became associated with both griefing and "friendlies," [3] with some players ignoring and others shooting down the Spycrab players.

On July 8th, 2008, Gamebanana[4] user Wossname uploaded a propaganda poster "Save the Endangered Spy Crab!" The poster was downloaded over 10,400 in 13 years.

On January 14th, 2009, YouTube[5] channel savethespycrab posted a video titled "Save the Spycrab" that advocated against shooting Spycrab players (shown below).

On January 15th, 2009, Steam[6] group "Spycrab Community" was created, posting its motto "save the spycrab."

Spycrab has also been a joke among Team Fortress 2 cosplayers, with Spy cosplayers imitating the animation.

Valve Recognition

Spycrab has been officially recognized by Team Fortress 2 developer Valve. On May 21st, 2009, an alternative crab taunt for Spy was added.[7] In August 2014, Valve added Spycrab as a cosmetic Spy item and sold Spycrab plush in its online store (shown below, left and right).

Notable Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] YouTube – Spy Crabs

[2] YouTube – TF2 Crab Spy

[3] TF2 Friendlies Wiki – The Spycrab

[4] Gamebanana – Save the Endangered Spy Crab!

[5] YouTube – Save the Spycrab

[6] Steam – Spycrab Community

[7] TF2 Wiki – Community Fads

Recent Videos 7 total

Recent Images 62 total

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