Gather ‘round, children, and listen to an old Homestuck tell the story of The Day Andrew Hussie Broke the Internet.

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Title: Gather ‘round, children, and listen to an old Homestuck tell the story of The Day Andrew Hussie Broke the Internet.
Creator: Loreweaver
Date(s): April 13th, 2019
Medium: online
Fandom: Homestuck
Topic: Cascade
External Links: Gather ‘round, children, and listen to an old Homestuck tell the story of The Day Andrew Hussie Broke the Internet.
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Contents

Gather ‘round, children, and listen to an old Homestuck tell the story of The Day Andrew Hussie Broke the Internet. is an untitled meta post on Tumblr written by Loreweaver about Homestuck. The post describes the events of April 13, 2011, when [S] Cascade was uploaded and fans took down several sites trying to watch it.

The Post

Gather ‘round, children, and listen to an old Homestuck tell the story of The Day Andrew Hussie Broke the Internet.
See, back in 2011, when Homestuck was at its peak popularity, mspaintadventures.com was getting over a million hits a day. It outpaced a couple of the top news sites at the time put together–I think one of them was CNN.com, actually, but it’s been almost a decade, I can’t remember which ones specifically. If you see cosplayers having minor PTSD breakdowns about gray facepaint, it’s because we were everywhere at conventions. Homestuck fans roved in packs, meming incomprehensibly on people and generally making a nuisance of ourselves in the most well-meaning manner possible.
Hussie knew that he was about to drop thirteen minutes of footage on millions of rabid fans, in the form of a flash video that messed with the very structure of the website itself. (No, seriously, it was mind-blowing at the time.)

So he partnered with Newgrounds, getting them to host the flash itself, hoping it would keep his own website from shattering into a million pieces.

Now, at the time, Newgrounds was one of the biggest deals on the internet. It’s where every major Flash artist and video maker went to upload their creations. It was a lawless wasteland, but it was also a creative bastion that got TONS of traffic, one that could weather almost any storm the internet could create. Its owners were confident they could handle the traffic.

Boy howdy were they wrong.
Homestuck updated with half a dozen pages every day, so people were used to a constant flow of content, but by the time [S] Cascade was ready to drop, Hussie hadn’t posted any pages in a month and a half. We were all on edge; the MSPA update desktop apps had been sitting there without pinging that whole time, we all knew something Fucking Massive was about to hit us, but none of us were prepared for what actually happened.
The mind-blowing nature of the flash itself is a story for another post, sadly, because we’re here to talk about everything else that happened that fateful night. The night Hussie broke the internet.
The flash dropped.

Hundreds of thousands of people had their MSPA notification bots pop open, giving quite a few of us heart attacks.

Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people descended upon mspaintadventures.com to view the new flash.

And, within a handful of minutes, Homestuck fans had crashed Newgrounds.

The behemoth. The titan. Newgrounds had fallen before the collective might of a million stir-crazy webcomic fans. Fortunately, however, several people had loaded the whole of Cascade on their computers, and decided to host a livestreaming party so other fans could see it! And promptly took down livestream.com.
Hussie himself uploaded the animation to megaupload.com.

Megaupload was crushed under its weight.
Some of the more enterprising fans decided to record Cascade as a video and upload it to Dropbox. Dropbox shattered under the blow.
I think this cascaded to a couple other websites, but the one most relevant to you, o Tumblr user, is that the Homestuck fanbase had a huge presence on this very website–still does, honestly–and the sheer number of people talking about the Cascade SNAFU crashed Tumblr a couple times.
This was unprecedented. This wasn’t a DDoS attack, this wasn’t a virus, this wasn’t any kind of malicious assault on the hubs of the Internet. This was just one single excited fanbase desperate to consume a piece of media that they’d been building up to for two and a half years of constant drip-feeding. This wasn’t malice, this wasn’t trolling, this wasn’t an attack. This was the day Homestuck broke the internet under the weight of its fandom’s love.
I think that’s kind of beautiful, honestly.