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The Unexpected Reason Overwatch's New Mercy Skin Became A Meme

Overwatch has a confusing plotline, so it makes perfect sense for the game to dive back into the past with its "Archives" event, which began April 6. While events are the bread and butter of online multiplayer games, incentivizing microtransactions via exclusive skins and loot, Archives took things one step further by offering a new exclusive skin each week during the event. Week three of the event saw the debut of an exclusive Mercy skin called "Camouflage," which featured Mercy with a short black bob, lantern, and dark monochromatic outfit. However, fans responded to the skin in a surprising way, comparing it to the numerous "Karen" memes floating around the internet — and then the mayhem began.


The comparisons fans made about Mercy and "Karens" isn't just about assigning Mercy a "normal" name. Players referred specifically to an insulting meme where the name "Karen" has turned into "a pejorative catchall label for a wide range of behaviors thought to have connections to white privilege." The trend of using names to insult and stereotype is not new, but the term "Karen" is. While Mercy will likely keep her complaints to herself as she heals people in her new skin, fans felt that her new look did all the talking.

The meme response to Mercy's new skin was overwhelming. Fans began creating their own Mercy "Karen" memes and expressing their shock online, talking about how Blizzard "did [Mercy] so dirty." Some fans complimented the outfit itself, while noting that it was Mercy's haircut that specifically made her look like the popular meme. One artist attempted to revise Mercy's new look by adding a hood to her outfit and changing her hair slightly, but no amount of fan art could change what Blizzard already inadvertently put into motion.


Of course, there were "Can I speak to your manager?" jokes, including one where Mercy is a Karen who needs to speak to "your main tank." Mostly, however, players just expressed their disappointment with Mercy's new skin design. Though some players liked the "iconic" new hairstyle, others felt less than satisfied. One player bemoaned the fact that Pink Mercy hasn't reappeared yet, and that Blizzard instead gave fans "Karen" Mercy. Another simply said that the new skins are "not great."

Fans continue to wait for Overwatch 2, which doesn't have a set release date and might take longer than some initially expected. In the meantime, skins and special loot keep Overwatch alive, even though many fans may disagree on the quality of the new content.