The Rise of the Emotional Damage Meme: Exploring its Origins and Popularity

by Tara Price

2nd August, 2023

The Rise of the Emotional Damage Meme: Exploring its Origins and Popularity

The internet has a knack for transforming even the most mundane moments into viral sensations. One such phenomenon that has swept the online world is the “Emotional Damage” meme. This meme, which has been circulating on popular platforms like TikTok, captivates users with its relatable and humorous take on emotional situations. In this article, we delve into the origins of the meme, its rise to popularity, and the person behind it all.

The Man Behind the Meme: Steven He

At the heart of the “Emotional Damage” meme is Irish-Chinese YouTuber and comedian Steven He. Known for his comedic sketches and characters, Steven He has gained a substantial following on various social media platforms, including YouTube, where he has amassed over 2.4 million subscribers. One of his most well-known characters is “Asian Dad,” a portrayal of common Asian dad traits and reactions.

The Emotional Damage clip that sparked the meme frenzy was taken from one of Steven He’s YouTube videos, which was uploaded in September 2021. In the video titled “When ‘Asian’ is a Difficulty Mode“, Steven’s Asian Dad character plays a video game with different difficulty levels, including an additional level called “Asian.” The comedic twist occurs when the character gets insulted by a boss named ‘Aunty,’ resulting in his in-game avatar dying from “emotional damage.” It is in this moment that Steven He passionately exclaims the now-famous phrase, emotional damage.

The Spread of the Meme on TikTok

After Steven He’s video gained popularity on YouTube, the Emotional Damage clip found its way to TikTok. A TikTok account named Emotional Damage played a significant role in popularising the meme on the platform. This account, which uploads various meme videos using the YouTube snippet, quickly garnered over 874,000 followers and accumulated millions of likes.

The meme’s format on TikTok typically involves incorporating the Emotional Damage clip into videos that poke fun at emotionally challenging situations. These situations range from being roasted by friends to getting rejected by a crush. Users on TikTok have embraced the relatability and humour of the meme, resulting in its widespread adoption and further propagation across the platform.

The Appeal of the Emotional Damage Meme

The Emotional Damage meme has struck a chord with internet users due to its ability to turn emotionally uncomfortable moments into comedic relief. The meme serves as a way to cope with and laugh at situations that may be emotionally distressing in real life. By adding the Emotional Damage clip to videos that depict these situations, creators and viewers alike can find solace in the shared experience and find humour in the face of adversity.

Furthermore, the meme’s simplicity and versatility contribute to its appeal. Anyone can create their own version of the meme by incorporating the clip into their videos and adding their unique twist. This flexibility has allowed the meme to evolve and adapt to various contexts and trends, ensuring its continued relevance and popularity.

The Impact of the Emotional Damage Meme

The Emotional Damage meme has not only entertained millions of people but has also provided a platform for Steven He to showcase his talent and gain recognition. Beyond his online persona, Steven He has appeared in Awkwafina’s Comedy Central show, ‘Nora from Queens’, and has been involved in numerous film and stage productions in the UK and China. The meme’s success has undoubtedly contributed to Steven He’s growing influence and opportunities within the entertainment industry.

Additionally, the meme’s widespread popularity has sparked conversations about the power of humour to navigate difficult emotions. By turning emotional damage into a punchline, the meme encourages a lighthearted approach to challenging situations, reminding individuals that laughter can be a powerful coping mechanism.

The Future of the Emotional Damage Meme

As with any viral trend, it’s difficult to predict the future trajectory of the Emotional Damage meme. However, its current success and the enthusiastic response from online communities suggest that it will continue to thrive for the foreseeable future. Steven He’s embrace of the meme and his efforts to create a sequel to his original video indicate his commitment to nurturing its growth.

Whether the Emotional Damage meme will evolve into new variations or pave the way for other similar memes remains to be seen. What is certain is that its impact on internet culture has been significant, offering a shared experience that brings people together through humour and relatability.


The Emotional Damage meme, born from a clip in one of Steven He’s YouTube videos, has taken the internet by storm. Its relatability and humour have captivated TikTok users, resulting in its widespread adoption and countless variations. The meme’s appeal lies in its ability to turn emotionally challenging situations into comedic relief, providing a lighthearted approach to shared experiences. With Steven He at the helm, the meme’s future looks promising, and its impact on internet culture will continue to be felt. So, the next time you encounter emotional damage, remember to find humour in the face of adversity and join in on the laughter that the Emotional Damage meme has brought to millions around the world.

Previous post

Be the first and never miss an update!

2024 © All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram