A cardboard Burger King crown, a wide-eyed surprised expression and a kiss. This is known as the most viral Super Smash Bros. moment to spread on the internet.
The photo has become the default "nerdy gamer guy" reaction for many forums and websites. Even today, seven years after the photo was taken, it regularly resurfaces on Reddit and Facebook. Having been edited with various different captions riffing on nerd and gaming culture, the picture has entered annals of the internet. Most people who have no prior knowledge of the Smash scene may just assume it's just a photo of a person in shock after being kissed. But there's more to the story.
Jason "Mew2King" Zimmerman, one of the most well-known competitors in Super Smash Bros., is the boy with the shocked expression.
Amber Scheurer is the girl kissing him. Nowadays, she works as an electrical engineer in digital light processing at Texas Instruments. But back in 2009, she was just a 20-year-old college student following her boyfriend John "Rx-" Vastola around to Smash tournaments. At the time, she didn't know she'd become a permanent internet fixture in the Smash Bros. community.
The story begins at Tipped Off 5, a regional tournament in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where Mew2King came in second to Juan "Hungrybox" Debiedma. Scheurer remembers he was sulking after the loss. "The crowd that was standing around was like 'oh, you should give him a kiss on the cheek to cheer him up,' so I did," she told ESPN.com.
"I was the one who made it happen," claims Hendrick "DJ Nintendo" William Pilar, a professional Melee competitor who also attended the event. "I told [Scheurer] to kiss M2K and she did it without hesitation."
While many fans online have speculated that it was a staged interaction, Scheurer contests that. She says, "It was definitely very candid and I don't think it was like 'Amber's going to give you a kiss and you should make a weird face.'"
But considering Mew2King's style of humor, maybe it wasn't as candid as Scheurer thinks it was.
Mew2King admitted to ESPN.com that he wanted the picture to be funny prior to taking it. He says he wanted that "anime-esque surprised" expression: Over-exaggerated wide eyes and cartoony features. In the end, it might've been a combination of spontaneity and Mew2King's crafty sense of humor. Regardless, it made for one of the most memorable memes in Smash history.