In June 2012, Twitch streamer TriHex attended the Akon-23 anime convention in Dallas, Texas. There, he took a photograph with a woman while holding up a Dragon Ball wall scroll and making an excited face.
In a 2017 interview with Kotaku] TriHex described the origins of the name “TriHard” from a Yoshi’s Island speedrun in 2014. He says:
“I saw that sweet, totally eye-fetching wrench symbol next to their name, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s staff here!’ I stop my run of Yoshi’s Island and go to the hardest level with the most swag in it, and start pounding my controller at full capacity. While doing that I put on Beauty and the Beast’s ‘Be Our Guest’ at full volume. And the staff was like ‘Hey, why is this guy trying so hard?’ And that was it. [The emote was] TriGard. The staff member came up with the name for it.”
After the image was created in 2012, fans of TriHex littered the face in forums in which Twitch staff were polling for new emotes.
The origin of TriHard was discussed and documented in the YouTube video “How did TriHard, the twitch emote, happen?” The video (shown below) was posted on February 24th, 2014 by TriHex. In four years, the video has received more than 106,000 views.
Two years later on, September 11th, 2016, the original photograph was posted on the /r/Ice_Poseidon subreddit. The post received more than 120 points (95% upvoted) and 20 comments.
On November 6th, 2016, Wikimedia user Ayylmaomp4 uploaded it to the site.
On September 15th, 2017, YouTuber theScore esports posted a video entitled “What is TriHard?: The Story Behind Twitch’s Most Controversial Emote [A Trip Down Meme-ory Lane].” The post (shown below) received more than 290,000 views in four months.
A variation of the TriHard emote features the number “7,” which is used to represent a salute. On January 8th, 2018, Redditor Wahido11 submitted a photoshopped version of the original Trihard emote wearimg a helmet and the number 7 to the /r/loltyler1 subreddit in a post titled “Salute to all my European brothers who gonna stay awake” (shown below, right).
On March 9th, 2018, Twitter user @blakinola tweeted that the “Trihard 7” emote was spammed “every time a black dude is on stream” (shown below).
That day, Twitch streamer xQcOW discussed a controversy about being suspended for using the Trihard 7 meme in Twitch chat while reporter Malik Forte was speaking (shown below). On March 10th, the e-sports news site DLBTap published an article reporting that Overwatch League moderators were permabanning anyone who type “Trihard 7.”
[embedded content]Watch TALKING ONLY. DRAMA CLEARING UP from xQcOW on www.twitch.tv