Ironmouse and Connor ‘CDawgVA’ Colquhoun are Twitch’s most wholesome streaming duo. There is no one pairing that gets more praise and love from the community. Though never before have they sat down, in the same interview, to share what it truly means to them.
At this point, you’d be excused for thinking Ironmouse and Connor have known each other their whole lives.
As far as streaming power duos go, they’re one of the biggest. Metrics alone show they have more than two million Twitch followers combined, four million subscribers on YouTube, and many millions more across all other social media platforms.
They are two of the largest personalities in streaming, both in stature and in character. Mouse has long flown the chaotic gremlin flag in the VTubing community, known for her loud nature and hilarious antics — cut through with an operatic singing voice. Connor is at times more mellow and reserved, but the ‘monke’ does come out in front of the camera.
But it’s the chemistry they have together, both on and off-screen, that truly unites them. And since their communities crossed paths three years ago (asking them how it came to be will give you differing answers), they’ve become the one duo everyone champions for that reason.
Interviewing them in isolation gives you one result as to what their special bond means. When speaking to Ironmouse last year for a different feature, you could feel the blush through the microphone when his name was mentioned. Connor, on the other hand, has always sung her praises as a creator and friend.
Locking them in a room together is an entirely different experience though. You truly get a sense for their energies, and how well they bounce off each other. Everything you see on stream, it’s exactly like that behind closed doors. The mannerisms, the jokes, the light jabs, and even the sentimental moments.
And you truly begin to understand the gravity of what they both mean to each other.
YouTube: Best of IronmouseIronmouse and Connor have quickly taken over Twitch with one of the platform’s most beloved relationships.
The beginning of Twitch’s most wholesome friendship
It’s a story both have told on stream many times. Just breaking the ice with this question elicits a chuckle out of both of them, before Mouse pesters Connor to open the account.
“I was informed about VTubers from my co-host of the Trash Taste podcast, Garnt,” he explained to Dexerto, “but honestly, I thought a lot of it was kind of lame.
“I didn’t really think much of [VTubing], but I saw it [keep growing] around the same time after they told me about it. You know I wanted to try and learn more about it, cause I felt that my viewpoint was based on nothing other than just gut feeling and gut reaction.
“I saw Mouse streaming on Twitch and she was pretty big, and so I was like, ‘Oh, I’ll check this person out.’ And Mouse is really funny.
“Shortly after that, we had Mori Calliope on our podcast and it was cool getting to talk to her. Afterwards, I mentioned on the podcast that I watched Ironmouse a few times and that I thought she was funny, and then I guess Mouse reacted to that.”
There was a bit of bickering over what was actually said: “I remember when he talked about me on his podcast,” Mouse chimed in. “So many people came into my chat like ‘Oh my god, Mouse, you’re not gonna believe this. Connor was talking about you.’
“I’m like, ‘who?’” she cackles. “And then they’re like, ‘Connor from Trash Taste.’ And I’m like…”
There’s also some to-and-fro about the actual timeline. Connor had been lurking in Mouse’s streams in late 2020 — Ironmouse also returned the favor by begrudgingly sitting through the Welshman’s Apex Legends addiction with a vibe of “someone save this man” — then they did their first proper bit of content when he invited her to voice act in a video of his.
Behind the scenes, they had been chatting about playing games, and Ironmouse extended an invite to Connor to join her on Lewdcast with Projekt Melody.
There was a tentative air like most relationships in the streaming world. But once the snowball started rolling, the two really found a genuine connection.
“Mouse is really chaotic, and I’m pretty good at being like the straight man in a lot of situations,” Connor explained. “I find that I’m pretty comfortable bouncing off people who are more energetic than me. We got on call, and it was just really fun. Mouse is really very fun to bounce off.
“When I did the dub thing for you, and we started talking, I noticed that we had a lot of things in common, and we vibed off of each other really well,” Mouse continued. “I felt like I’ve known him for a long time, even though we just really started talking.
“It’s very hard to find people that can keep up with my pace, so it was very refreshing to meet somebody that’s able to push my buttons and really challenge me, and just be a very cool friend.”
Twitch’s transactional nature, and how Ironmouse and Connor broke it
Content creation is an isolating place. Being a streamer means a lot of the relationships you build, even if they’re friendly, are almost always transactional. The best way to hang out with your acquaintances, or even friends, is to hop on each other’s streams and provide content.
That’s something Connor and Mouse both noted when it comes to many collabs they’ve previously had individually. But after a while, when you’re at the top of the content game, you throw that mentality to the wayside and hope you find a like-minded creator.
That played out perfectly for them.
“You just start to value good connections more than any kind of mutual benefit to growth, or whatever any other metric,” Connor said. “After a set amount of time, you just stop caring about what makes the most sense, I just wanna hang out with people I like hanging out with.
“People just valued the real connection [between us]. In an age where I think a lot of people online don’t have them, or try to manufacture them. And I think that it’s just worked out for us.”
“I know a lot of people,” Mouse continued, “they do collabs and stuff because they’re like ‘Oh this is a good collab, it’ll be good for my streaming career.’ But I’ve just always been the type of person where it’s like, if I don’t vibe with the person I really can’t hang out with them a lot.
“Being genuine is good. People like that it just happened. And I’m really glad it happened, cause I think you’re cool, Connor.”
It didn’t take long for them to click. Connor hummed and hawed on his own answer, but Mouse was quick to chime in.
“Our first stream, I knew,” she asserted. “I knew because when we had our first collab, I was sad when it was over.”
“I’ll just go with that then,” he then followed on.
Mouse didn’t really take that as an answer. “No you can’t just copy my answer! You should have an answer! Sit down and really look into yourself and think ‘Oh when did I think Mouse is so cool we should totally be best friends?’”
The two devolved into laughter yet again — only about 10 minutes into the interview at this point, this was about the fifth or sixth time they’d done just that.
Connor didn’t find a new response for himself though: “It was kind of like, you do those collabs and you’re like ‘Oh that was really fun.’ Mouse just had her brand of intensity that was very apparent. And I was like ‘Okay, that’s a lot,’ but that was fun.
“Wait a minute. What is that supposed to mean?” Mouse asked.
“Back then, Mouse was known as the craziest VTuber around,” he replied, really emphasizing the crazy. “So I was like ‘what? Be normal?’ Everyone just knew Mouse as intense and crazy.”
“What are you trying to say? That I’m boring now?” she exclaimed.
It’s this dynamic that really fostered a fandom around them unlike any other on Twitch. Their two audiences, while previously not overlapping so much, are basically unified. Even those who are on the periphery know about their camaraderie.
For them, this is both a blessing and a curse at times. The intensity of the fandom is both quite endearing and intimidating.
“People start picking apart everything. And you’re like ‘It’s cool that people care’ but sometimes you’re like ‘Oh my god, they care a little too much,’” Connor laughed.
“I was really worried at first, because you know how it is in VTubing,” Mouse continued. “‘Mousey shouldn’t talk to men,’ blah blah blah, ‘especially a fleshtuber.’ I was a little wary.
“But thankfully, my audience was very receptive, and they were already fans of Trash Taste, anyway. So it worked out in the end. We have something really cool and something unique going on. And I like it.”
Making memories on stream
Really, since their first interaction three years ago, not a lot has changed for Ironmouse and Connor. They still banter with each other the same way — probably even more so in reality. They bounce ideas off each other, and come together to make for one of streaming’s more unique duo experiences.
But there are some specific memories that stand out in their minds.
The first, and most obvious, is the IRL streams. Connor first took Ironmouse for a walk around Tokyo in January 2022. There were plenty of cute moments, laughter, and tears as the Welshman showed her the sights of Japan, with a healthy dose of crane games in between.
“That kind of really, in my mind, utilized, I guess the unique position that we’re in to its fullest and showing off,” Connor explained. “Given Mouse’s condition, Mouse can’t exactly just stroll outside.
“I think that the fact we’re both Twitch streamers… it was like 15 Venn diagrams, and it all worked out perfectly in the middle of that. It was like, ‘Oh, this is the best of every single unique aspect of this situation that we’re in.’”
It was so popular that even the notorious LivestreamFail community on Reddit couldn’t say a bad word.
“I remember when they told me ‘Oh my God, Mouse, your clip is on LSF,’ and I’m like, ‘dear God, no,’” she laughed. “And then I went to go look, and I was like ‘what the hell? People are nice?’
Since then, there’s been plenty more IRL streams. If Connor is on tour with Trash Taste (he’s currently in Europe at the time of writing), he turns on an IRL stream and Ironmouse is usually there with him reacting along.
If there’s an experience Mouse wants to try, like going to Sanrio Puroland or the Sailor Moon Museum, Connor will go out of his way to share it. As he sees it, it’s no water off his back, but it’s plenty meaningful to the house-bound satan of Twitch.
“I think it’s really nice. I think you’re already a very open guy,” she confessed. “You’re always willing to try new things, but it’s so cool to see you try things that are just so far from your own bubble, because you are doing this for me, and it means a lot to me.
“I think if anything, if my channel is anything to go off of, I’m open for trying anything and reserving judgment until I’ve tried it,” he answered.
“It was cool getting to do some of the stuff that I normally wouldn’t do as well. And that I would only do it because I’m showing Mouse around or Mouse has an interest in it.”
One of the more special moments in recent memory was the visit to Disneyland following Anime Expo 2023. The duo had done a panel at the convention — which was a sellout with queues whirling around the venue from as early as 8AM — and as a celebration, they went to The Happiest Place on Earth.
While Ironmouse didn’t play favorites to any particular experience, seeing the fireworks break over the castle brought her to tears.
“I cried during that time,” she screamed. “I felt like I was there, and it was so beautiful. I just never thought I’d be able to see Disneyland. So this is really nice. Thank you for taking me.
Connor tried to deflect some of the praise to VShojo — who helped him with the tech as well as CEO Justin ‘theGunrun’ Ignacio and other staffers like Panini joining Connor on the day — but Mouse didn’t really let that one slide.
“Listen. I love VShojo. VShojo does a lot for me, but you also made it happen because you were there. They wouldn’t have gone if you weren’t there. It was a team effort, because we’re a team! Are we not?”
That teamwork now works its way into all their content. Whether it be Mouse reacting in a basket attached to Connor’s bike during his mega cyclethons, or playing games together, they find a way to include each other.
Sure, they’re still independent creators, but where’s the fun in going solo? Especially after being stuck in the isolated world of content?
“I love the fact that he played my favorite Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy 8, even though he freaking hates those types of games,” Mouse continued. “He always talks sh*t about those types of games. But he sat down and he played it, and he liked it.
“What an open individual, truly a standout guy.”
There was a third wheel that had to be thrown into the equation though. When Bubi, the straight-speaking archdemon that shares a lot of similarities with the Welsh streamer, was brought into the conversation, the two broke out into hysterics.
“He kind of does his thing, you know,” Mouse laughed. “He’s kind of really busy right now, so he’s off doing his own thing, taking care of his own stuff.
“I think he told me he’s gonna do another [song] with me. Isn’t that cool Connor?”
“Terrifying,” he replied.
“What,” Mouse quipped back. “I’m going to tell him you said that.”
YouTube: IronmouseBubi checks in on Ironmouse every now and again. Wonder why?
Doing good together
Connor isn’t just there taking Ironmouse on experiences she otherwise wouldn’t discover. The two are pushing forward a huge cause — awareness of primary immunodeficiencies.
Mousey is probably the face of common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). It was a condition she once did her best to hide on stream, even to the point of masking the noises of oxygen cylinders.
Her solo work before Connor came along helped to spread the word. But it really kicked off when he started taking on more and more charity work with his cyclethons and his charity auction. Combined he’s raised more than $1 million for the Immune Deficiency Foundation.
Their platform reaches hundreds of thousands, if not millions, and has shined a spotlight on a once-obscure condition.
“It’s such a hard thing to diagnose, and it’s such an impossible task to kind of figure out that you have it in the first place until a lot of damage has been done, unfortunately,” Connor stated.
“When you have a personal connection and there is a personal story that goes along with a charity and charitable events, I think it makes it a lot more compelling to people watching and getting people involved.
“I think that it’s very helpful that we both have this giant audience on Twitch combined that allows us to tap into a huge number of people. Twitch is just a giant gateway into letting these huge charity events happen.”
Connor, however, doesn’t have to live with it daily. He is perfectly able and fit. Which makes his involvement in the cause that bit more meaningful for Ironmouse, who was used to traveling this path alone before VTubing.
“It’s really nice to be able to see so many people tweet at me every time I donate plasma, which is something I never saw before,” she explained. “I was afraid to talk about my disease before, when I first started streaming. I just didn’t feel comfortable.
“It’s just really nice to see the reception that everyone has given me, and the fact that people wanna know more about it, and people wanna donate plasma, and people wanna help out because it’s a rare disease, and not a lot of people know about it.
“It touches my heart a lot that out of anything that he could have supported, he decided to help me and help people like me, and that just really means a lot to me. I never expected any of this.”
It’s yet another layer on the complex and deep relationship between the duo.
“It’s just kind of like the perfect Venn diagram of 15 things again where it all kind of works out perfectly that these causes, in this time right now, on this platform with the audience,” he stated. “It just really makes sense to really tap into that.
“Me and Mouse have always done a lot of charity work, and so it also just works out really nicely.”
The singular ‘monke’ and ‘gremlin’ braincell
It’s those shared moments like those that highlight how the two have picked up parts of each other’s personality too.
Connor noted how Mouse has taught him compassion and consideration in spades: “With Mouse’s conditions, there’s some accommodations you’ve gotta make when we’re gaming or something,” Connor said.
“It’s made me have to be a lot more considerate about that kind of stuff that I’ve never [been before]. I’m perfectly able and it’s just not something that I ever had to think about and it’s definitely made me a more compassionate person than that aspect.”
And on Mousey’s side, there’s been plenty of growth in that department too. She has basically blown up on Twitch alongside the Welshman. And they were by each other’s side for that journey.
Through that path and that grind, Connor was Ironmouse’s voice of support and reason.
“I think through his help, I’m going to be honest, he’s given me the confidence to be more open about myself on stream,” she said. “And I’m kinda slowly coming around to be more accepting and open, and just sharing more about myself, which I used to keep private all the time.
“And it’s because of you, so thank you.”
It’s not just on the personality front but on the content front too. Yes, Connor has dove into many topics that align with Mouse’s interests, but even she’s picked up a few pointers from the voice actor extraordinaire.
“He’s given me content brain,” Mouse explained. “I never used to think about making content. I was just like, ‘Yeah, I’m just going to stream for fun and just hang out and talk to friends.’
“That sounds like I have ulterior motives for streaming,” Connor chimed in.
“No but you are a content brain,” she continued, “and you’re so open about it too. Don’t act like this is a secret. You say it all the time. You just help me tap into my more creative side. And like you’ve helped me believe in myself, and encourage me to do different things.”
As the conversation winds down, it dawns just how big an influence they’ve had on each other. But also just how the time has flown by over these three years, and what the future holds for them.
The content really won’t stop between the two. The IRL streams, the charity events, and the random Discord calls at all times of day will continue for as long as time permits. And there’s no set path, just going with the flow.
But there is one big goal on the list: “And maybe one day we can have a beer,” Mouse quips.
“That would be nice,” Connor replied. “That’s my goal.”
“Is it really your goal,” Mouse follows up, with a heavy dose of want in her voice.
The two nodded their confirmations. But they had one more thing to do before heading their separate ways, for now. I asked them to say something genuine to one another at the end. Just a nice salutation to sign off on.
Connor kept it very simple: “Thank you Mouse, for always being my friend, always supporting me, and being a great friend on this journey.”
Mouse broke out into laughter before faintly whispering “Oh my god, Jesus, you really mean that?”
She had the final word though: “Well, I just wanna say thank you Connor for being my friend on this journey, and for never letting me push you away,” before both scoffed a little bit at that last remark.
“Sometimes it’s like… I don’t know. I’m just really grateful that we’re friends. And it’s just really nice to have somebody that gets it and gets you. And I really appreciate you, Connor.”
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