The cultural impact of Homestuck


Denizen, Staff Writer

This infamous 2009 webcomic has fallen into fragile obscurity. Seen as a true relic of a worse time, fated to be left in 2014 with Dashcon. But the impact it has left is nothing to be scoffed at. Because even after the gray face paint has been wiped off the wall and the Faygo bottles and buckets have been picked off the floors, it lives on in comic-con rules, MSPFA fan-comics, Tumblr archives, and, most importantly, in the way fandom culture is today.


To give a very short synopsis of the plot of Homestuck; it’s an 8,123 page long webcomic written in second person by Andrew Hussie, that started April 13, 2009, and ended April 13, 2016.It follows four 13 year old humans (then later four more 15-16 year olds) and 12  trolls. That all separately enter a world-ending game of SBURB (or SGRUB in the trolls case).

(Some) Characters;

Beta Kids- Dave Strider,Rose Lalonde,Jade Harley,John Egbert.

Alpha Kids- Dirk Strider,Roxy Lalonde,Jake English,Jane Crocker.

Beta Trolls- Aradia Megido,Tavros Nitram,Sollux Captor,Karkat Vantas,Nepeta Leijon,Kanaya Maryam,Terezi Pyrope,Vriska Serket,Equius Zahhak,Gamzee Makara,Eridan Ampora,Feferi Peixes.


On John Egbert’s birthday (April 13) The Beta Kids enter their game of SBURB and create a new universe, but lose the game, having to perform the scratch to save their lives. Inadvertently they create the Alpha Kids. Then the Bata kids have to spend three years split between the Meteor (where the trolls are,) and the Prospit Ship, waiting to reunite.


In those three years on the meteor, Kanaya and Rose start dating. And Karkat and Dave have a weird flirtatious relationship. And these ships were some of the most popular queer ships of the 2010s. Along with DaveJohn/PepsiCola, and later DirkJake.


And with Homestuck’s four quadrant shipping system, it became a big mess of ship discourse. You’d not only have people fighting over DaveKat vs PepsiCola, but there was also infighting over whether DaveKat was a Matespritship or a Kismesissitude. And then a whole other group of people actually quadrant dating.


Conventions were packed full of Homestuck cosplayers, cosplaying these ships. So there were some… weird… things happening. And a lot of “con-horror stories” involve homestuck cosplayers not respecting physical boundaries.


-The Sharpie bath (the most infamous), a Homestuck cosplayer who was sharing a hotel room with other cosplayers took a bath in a mixture of alcohol, and black Sharpies. To stain their skin gray for their troll cosplay. Causing thousands of dollars worth of damages from the Sharpie.


-The Tavros cosplayer who crazy glued horns to his head, exactly what it sounds like. A kid’s Tavros horns were too heavy to stay on the headband, so they did the logical thing and crazy glued them to their head.


-The Karkat cosplayer who got a concussion from getting a bucket thrown at his head. Again exactly what it sounds like. Someone threw a metal bucket at the head of a Karkat cosplayer they didn’t know, as a reference to page “[s] [A6I1] Karkat: Mental breakdown” where Karkat gets hit in the head with a bucket. But obviously when they got hit in the head with a metal bucket they got hurt. So they ended up in the hospital with a concussion and left the Homestuck fandom.


Most of the bad PR Homestuck had was because anything that had the label of “cringe” got bashed to hell and back. People don’t realize that one of the contributing factors making these (and many other) fandoms seem so “cringe” is deeper than a few crazy cosplayers at cons. It’s more about how most of the people consuming the media were/are young queer people, and teen girls. The two most mocked  audiences.

It’s the same thing that happens to so many other pieces of media. Even The Beatles were “bad music” back in the day when teen girls were their main audience. But now everyone considers them classics. People just love bashing on the interests of teen girls.


But even though the most memorable parts of the 2010s Homestuck community was absolutely insane and the fandom still doesn’t have a great reputation, the Homestuck fandom truly is an amazing space that brought people together. It was one of the most accepting fandoms out there. And it still has a thriving community full of creativity!

Full of;

-Fan-Songs (Phemiec, Broadway Karkat ext)

-Fan-Comic’s (Vast Error, I’m Good I’m Gone, + all of MSPFA)

-And Fan-Art! (just look at the homestuck tag on any app)


Dashcon- A disastrous unofficial Tumblr meet up, most known for its ballpit.


Faygo- A brand of soda, known for its association with Juggalos.


MSPFA- MS Paint Fan Adventures


Prospit- A yellow planet, One of the two moons of Skaia. Where half of the cast’s dream-selves live. The other moon being the blue and purple planet Derse.


Ships- pairing two (or more) characters together in some sort of a romantic relationship.


DaveJohn/PepsiCola- A ship between Dave Strider and John Egbert.


DirkJake- A ship between Dirk Strider and Jake English.


Quadrant- A relationship defined by the Troll’s romance system, containing 4 separate types of relationships: Matespritship, Kismesissitude, Auspistice, and Moirail. And 2 flushed types of love  Black love (hateful) and Red (Romantic).


Matespritship- A Red concupiscent quadrant. The troll equivalent to traditional human love.


Kismesissitude- A Black concupiscent quadrant. Where the two participants are in a rivalry-type of romance.


Auspistice- A Black conciliatory romance between three people. most commonly two who hate each other, and one to pacify them.


Moirail- A Red conciliatory romance, similar to a human Best Friend but more.


Juggalos- Fans of the band ICP, and a recurring part of Homestuck.


Skaia- The battlefield of the war between Derce and Prospit.


Concupiscent- Lustful

Conciliatory- Placate or pacify