If you were online at all last week and following the Fortnite/Dragon Ball crossover event, the odds are pretty good you may have come across someone losing it at an apparent zoomer mispronouncing Goku’s iconic attack. “So we all know the Kameyamama is overpowered,” creator Dagwummy said in his August 18 video. It spread like wildfire. Pretty soon everyone from Ninja to Goku’s real life voice actor had weighed in. Most then quickly moved on. If they hadn’t, they’d have realized they’d been trolled.
“I had noticed that a bunch of other Fortnite creators had been mispronouncing the name,” Dagwummy told Kotaku in a phone interview. “And so the night before I made that video, I was just thinking, if everyone else is saying it wrong, it would be funny to sort of add on to that both because I knew some people would actually kind of take the bait and there would be some funny comments.” He was right.
The video ended up nailing that social media sweet spot of making people angry about someone being wrong in an extremely specific and nerdy kind of way. Dagwummy also confessed to never having ever watched any of the original anime.
He said he went with a “Yo Mama” pun because it was one he’d used occasionally in the past, and despite recording several different takes with different ways of mispronouncing the phrase, ended up sticking with that version. It apparently took him 20-30 minutes to nail the perfectly dry and straight-faced intonation.
If anything, the fact that the pun was so corny and made no sense helped make it that much more believable as a genuine mistake. Anyone familiar with his channel would have heard him pronounce Kamehameha correctly just the previous day, but in the context-destroying world of the internet, it became perfect bait. Especially since there’s already a cultural subtext that young people playing Fortnite have no idea where the branded crossover characters they play as originally came from.
Dagwummy, who has 630K subscribers on YouTube, and close to a million followers on Tiktok, has been making videos for years now, focusing on informational shorts that let people know what’s going on in Fortnite. According to him, the video started blowing up on YouTube shorts and TikTok before reaching a whole new audience on Twitter. “I’m crying why he say kamehameha like that,” the anime account JohnnySpitten wrote later that day in a tweet that garnered over a hundred thousand likes.
While some Dragon Ball fans raged in TikTok duets, others simply tried to add their own dunks. “The cum hey ha mama,” wrote Ninja. “Smh,” responded KSI. Even the English dub voice of Goku, Sean Schemmel, reacted, tweeting, “The ‘Kamiamama’ is Kami’s mama?”
On August 20, Dagwummy released another video explaining how he had successfully trolled millions of people. That video ended up getting even more views than the original. He also kept up the schtick, calling Goku “Gaku” at the very end of the video. “I’m crying this some Aizen level stuff right here mf played tf outta me 😭😭,” responded the JohnnySpitten account.
Others in Dagwummy’s comments claim to remain unconvinced. For his part, he says he never expected it to get so much attention in the first place. “It wasn’t really, you know, meant to be an engagement forum,” he said. Of course, that didn’t stop him from trolling people again with one more mispronunciation earlier this week.