They’re just funny to hear no matter the context.
Fighting game terms can be very esoteric and also very, very silly. Just like with any slang used in a language, these terms have specific usage and meanings. However, that doesn’t make them any less strange to hear when brought up during a match.
While some require a wider context to fully understand the joke, we’ve picked out five terms that sound silly regardless of your fighting game knowledge.
Used primarily in tag-team fighting games, a Happy Birthday is when you catch both your enemy’s point character and assisting character in the same attack. Happy Birthdays are a massive swing in momentum for the aggressor as it’s an opportunity for them to deal massive damage to their opponent and even eliminate one or two key characters.
The term comes from how your opponent gave you a wonderful gift by allowing you to beat up two of their characters. Fun fact: For tag-team games that have teams of three, catching the whole squad is festively called a Merry Christmas.
One of the more infamous legacies from The King of Fighters series of games. The term comes from how the joystick motion required to do the super moves of some characters literally looks like you’re drawing a pretzel.
The older King of Fighters games were notorious for having a high execution barrier thanks to difficult motions like this. Modern releases have done away with the Pretzel Motion but it’s become a point of pride for some players to be able to consistently execute this complicated maneuver.
Next on the silly food-related fighting game terms list is the Taco Kick. Originating from the King of Fighters character Iori Yagami, the term is used for air attacks that hit behind the character rather than in front of them.
Funnily enough, the Taco Kick’s name has nothing to do with the Mexican food item. It’s based on the Spanish word “tacón,” meaning the heel of the foot.
Last but not least for the food-related terms is one coined by beloved fighting game commentator Michael “Yipes” Mendoza. Pringles refers to someone who has a bad defense, where it’s super easy to keep landing hits on them. It’s a call back to the Pringles ad that goes “Once you pop, you can’t stop.”
Pringles is one of Yipes’ more popular creations, so much so that his weekly online tournament series, called The Can Opener, is a reference to it.
Banner photo from DCStudio on freepik.