A meme that has likely felt apt the past few days if you’re in New York, the “This is Fine” meme has long been a symbol of catharsis for those of us hopelessly accepting crushing realities beyond our control. And now, after paying 1,000 V-Bucks and reaching level 26 in the battle pass, it can be yours to express yourself with in the hit battle royale game, Fortnite.
Fortnite just launched into the third season of its fourth chapter, expanding its map to include a new, jungle-themed area, bringing back some lovely rideable dinos, and introducing everyone’s favorite Autobot leader. Mixing up wildly different tones and properties is nothing new to Fortnite, which has previously featured everyone from Geralt of Rivia, to the Master Chief, to that dude from Queens who got bit by a spider. But this tendency to be a pop culture vortex extends beyond the game’s skins, as many of Fortnite’s emotes” most of which are basically dance moves, also have their roots in various facets of pop culture. The latest of these comes from a ubiquitous KC Green comic featuring a very cute dog having a coffee while the world burns down. Relatable.
Appropriately named “This Is Fine,” the Fortnite emote has you drinkin’ a nice cup of coffee while surrounded by flames. It’s immediately recognizable to anyone who’s spent time on the internet in the past several yearsArtist KC Green created the original image while struggling with depression and antidepressants as an expression of the back-and-forth feelings of uncertainty and acceptance that many experience when going on medication for mental health.
As KC Green said on Twitter and told Kotaku, this emote was the result of a licensing deal with Epic Games.
Artists and pop culture figures whose creations end up as Fortnite emotes haven’t always been so lucky. Back in its early years as a colossally successful battle royale, Fortnite had a history of packaging and selling cultural signifiers without compensating those who’d created them, and it got developer Epic Games into a bit of trouble at the time (though nothing the company didn’t walk away from). Back in 2018, Rapper 2 Milly took legal action against Epic for using his dance moves in an emote. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro did the same when a Fortnite emote featuring his famous dance move from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air hit the Item Shop. Neither of these lawsuits were successful.
Curiously, when Epic Games launched the Unreal Editor for Fortnite, it did so with very clear, strict rules about what creators could or could not borrow from other works of pop culture. And it has been swift in taking action against those who’ve violated that rule.
Now what the hell do I have to do to get a Ziltoid and War Princess outfit?