Meta Stack OverflowThe Many Memes of Meta
[+356] [51] TheTXI
[2009-09-01 19:43:20]
[ support faq fun memes ]

Catchphrases and concepts that spread from person to person are known as memes [1], which, courtesy the Internet, can now explode across the Earth like a highly contagious virus (hence "going viral"). As with their real-life counterparts, some infectious diseases are global (pandemic), while others are endemic to specific regions.

Stack Overflow, and now even more predominantly Meta Stack Overflow, have seen more than their fair share of these pathological social constructs spread through the user base. They are now ingrained units of our collective culture as SOpedians (a term which I hate, by the way).

Just as travelers' immune systems can be assaulted by new diseases in new places, new users are increasingly likely to be miffed by an ingrained meme and left sitting scratching their heads. I therefore propose that this space be used to document the memes endemic to Stack Exchange's culture.

Each meme should be listed separately and I hope that we as a community will be able to provide greater context to each one.

Please actually explain each meme in a way understandable to those not already in the know.

Return to FAQ index [2]

On other Stack Exchange sites

(22) Wasn't sure whether to add Joda Time (as the default answer for any Java date/time question). I don't think it really counts as a meme though... - Jon Skeet
(63) faq? I'd call this just an aq - John the Seagull
(19) Meh. People ask this stuff? It's merely a q. - Shog9
(8) You hate "SOpedians"??? I'm going to kill a pony in revenge. - Stu Thompson
(7) @Shog9: The a in aq stands for "answered", not "asked" :-) - John the Seagull
(2) Does, the "jump the shark" qualify? What is it all about? - OscarRyz
(24) @Oscar Reyes - "Jump the shark" is a phrase inspired by a popular TV show (Happy Days) when it's main character (Fonzie) was skiing towards a fishy death, only to evade it at the last minute via upwards aerial propulsion. It is used to describe a deus ex machina in a story that seems unrealistic, as if the writer had written him- or herself into a corner and couldn't come up with any feasible way to save the hero. It means the show is out of good ideas and is past its prime, and must use gimmicks (like aquatic carnivore leaping) to draw in audiences. The principle can easily be generalized. - Super Long Names are Hilarious
@Chris - excellent explanation! I've been meaning to find this out but never got around to it. - Alex Angas
(15) Please note: "Jump the shark" has specific meaning in the Jeff/Joel context: see here: - Benjol
(6) What (TF) is "Cultural Height"? 6 ft 2 inches??? - user135186
@shog9 has the second comment on @Ben's link. Funny - jmfsg
@all: I think we should definitely vote up and down these answers, so that everything is in alphabetical order. It's horrible to find something. - Marcel Korpel
(33) This question belongs on Meta-Meta - JoelFan
@Stu Thompson: Kill another one for me, too. - user unknown
(3) This whole page has me laughing out loud. - Maxpm
There is always the risk that doing so will make all of them non-memes forever. The next time I call a meme a meme, someone will spring up 'Gah! Thats's been documented!' - Kris
(2) Meme? a meme is a funny joke with stick figures and funny faces..... curse you wikipedia. - Gabe
(1) I don't understand mulching. Can someone please define it? - Andy Thomas
(31) You should totally drop those memes and try jQuery. - Alex Coplan
needs more jquery +1 - ledino
I have used up nearly all of my upvotes on this thread today. - Kevin
What about tl;dr? - user215114
Where is your code? - kleinfreund
Well, very nice indeed :) - user251963
[+327] [2009-09-01 20:26:36] TheTXI

Meme: Jon Skeet

Originator: Jon Skeet [1]

Cultural Height: Every Day. Ever.

Background: Jon Skeet is an avid user of Stack Overflow, whose many answers (primarily in [2] and [3]) have earned him hundreds of thousands of reputation points [4]. This makes him the top-ranked SO user.

Related: Jon Skeet Facts [5].


(116) He even gets the most upvotes as a meme!! - akf
(31) 6 to 8 weeks surpassed Jon Skeet, it only took 6 to 8 weeks. - Ólafur Waage
(26) Jon Skeet is now above 6 to 8 weeks, and it did not take 6 to 8 weeks. Only Jon Skeet can bypass this rule! - Ólafur Waage
(37) I thought Mum Skeet was the originator of Jon?... - Locutus
(6) @Locutus: Jon Skeet coded himself in lisp so that he could go on to invent assembly language. - intuited
(6) John Skeet is a computer programmer program (which programs computer programmer programs). - muntoo
(2) Jon Skeet is the new Chuck Norris meme? Amazing sure, but why the caveman idolatry? Skeet skeet. - one.beat.consumer
(7) Once, I told my friend about Jon and he was so impressed, he googled it. But he made one major fatal mistake he never expected...He typed "Jon" as "John". To no surprise, our entire district was blacklisted by Google. - Hele
[+281] [2009-09-01 21:17:05] Robert Cartaino

Meme: 6 to 8 Weeks

Originator: Jeff Atwood [1]

First Heard: May 13th, 2008

Cultural Height: In about 6 to 8 weeks

Definition: The time estimate given "off the top of my head" when the Stack Overflow team has only a vague idea of how long a task will take because they have little-to-no formal scheduling or even a list of tasks.


Taken from the transcript of Podcast 005 [2], from 03 min 18 secs

Atwood: Some people have been asking about scheduling, and I want to clarify, I've been telling people six to eight weeks until we get to what we call our private beta of Stack Overflow. [dialog deleted] ...And I've also been getting some very very nice emails from people that want to help in some way and contribute, and I've been inviting those people into our private beta... uh... later on. So

Spolsky: Wait how do you invite what? Through what mechanism do you invite them into our private beta?

Atwood: Basically they email me directly and then, I add them to the list. And then six weeks from now...

Spolsky: Oh. And you have like a notepad file type thing.

Atwood: Pretty much, it's just a basic text file. But yeah, it's hard to manage having a bunch of people contributing at this point, cause we're still in very much the formative of stages. But certainly once we get into private beta, I want tons of people to look at it and provide feedback at that point. So if you can postpone your desire for about six weeks, uh, we'll get you.

Spolsky: So how do you get this 6 to 8 weeks? What's this based on? Did you like make some tasks that you want to complete?

Atwood: uh no, I er.. That's just sort of... err... off the top of my head

Spolsky: [laughs] Well okay, you're doomed Jeff. There's some controversy. You, sir, are doomed, because you don't know what things you have to do.

Atwood: Yes. I know, I know.

Reference: Podcast 005 [3]

Website: How long is it going to take? [4]


(134) There's a WEBSITE for that?!? LMFAO! - chakrit
(14) Some people have waaay too much money. - Henri Watson
(1) OMG this is hilar! - xanadont
(33) Reticulating Splines is from Sim City. - Brad Gilbert
(15) The Sim City 2000 random map generator to be exact. It has since appeared as a joke in other (mostly Maxis/now EA) software. - David
@David: In Sim Copter, it might not have been a joke (though most of the other messages shown during loading certainly are). - SamB
It's like Thomas Friedman's 6 months ( - user140539
(2) I just watched Madagascar 2 in German - and the penguins said when asked how long it will take to fix the plane after the crash: "Oh, we should be ready in about 6 to 8 months..." Coincidence? ;) - Spontifixus
(29) The site is down :( It probably won't be up for another six to eight weeks... - gsingh2011
Wow, Jeff Atwood takes more fake hypothetical time to implement things than Jick (of KoL). Kingdom of Loathing has exactly the same meme, except in Jicktime, it's "2 weeks". - neminem
+1 actually my man :) - user251963
[+274] [2009-09-01 20:11:29] TheTXI

Meme: jQuery

Originator: Unknown (possibly Ólafur Waage [1])

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: A Stack Overflow-centric meme, jQuery began its career early on as the answer to beat for any question that even remotely referenced JavaScript. Its popularity became so great that eventually jQuery became the default answer to any potential question on Stack Overflow no matter how ridiculous [2].

Usage: "Hey, I see you are trying to connect to that Oracle database using C++. You should totally drop that and try jQuery."

See Also: Greasemonkey [3] (Meta Stack Overflow equivalent)


(285) I see you're trying to blame me for a meme. You should totally drop that and try jQuery. - Ólafur Waage
(5) I'd like to point out that since 1.4 dropped the answer to every jQuery question has been to use the new $.live() functionality. - Hogan
(107) have you guys seen this? ( - Jeff Atwood
(5) @jeff - You've got me lol'ing - Oh wow, that's good. - Adam Davis
(24) omg that screenshot is priceless :D - wildpeaks
That picture is why I no longer participate actively on Stack Overflow... - Mahnax
(6) -1 not enough jQuery in this answer ;D - Ephraim
(3) It's deleted :( - Joe the Person
(5) I think jQuery is the way to bring this question back. - Victor Hugo
The vote count is fat! We hate that. - Ian Carroll
+1 from me after this question. - Niels Keurentjes
(2) I bet the screenshot by @JeffAtwood was made using jQuery, perhaps with some Greasemonkey included. - Simon André Forsberg
Screenshot's "Related" section... epic! XD - Luigi Siri
The screenshot is slightly nsfw. Can we post a sfw version? - Kevin
[+219] [2009-09-02 18:41:53] TheTXI

Meme: Freehand Circles

Originator: TheTXI [1]

Cultural Height: TBD

Some info.  And a freehand circle.

See Also: Here [2], Here [3], ...and Here as answer to this post [4]


(11) I find the circle tool accomplishes the task faster than using the freehand tool. ... We're not designers! - chakrit
(179) @chakrit: You have no soul. - TheTXI
(11) Memo to self: Use the pen instead of the mouse to draw circles, that way they have a soul and can look great at the same time. - Joey
(24) Ultimate combination: freehand circle and arrow, with drop shadow, on a picture with faded torn edge borders (themselves with drop shadow!). See… - VonC
(6) I like scary monks much better! - Arjan
(14) ...I couldn't help myself. This post needed more freehand circles. - GnomeSlice
Made me think of Steve Lord's famous SirJester quote- Auditor "are you trying to run rings round me?"; SirJester "Of course not, these are COBIT compliant control ellipses" - Rory Alsop
Here's the link to the now deleted revision of the link most recently removed in the example list: - Adam Davis
I think we should have a built in tool to allow us to draw freehand circles. This post proposes the feature request, but never received an answer (confirm or decline tag) - Ephraim
@Joey: I've got a Wacom graphics tablet for that :) - DragonLord the Fiery
Is it frowned upon to use colors other than red? - Yawus
Feature request for image editors: Freehand-Looking circle tool. - Gaelan
[+128] [2009-09-01 19:44:29] TheTXI

Meme: Unicorns (née Ponies)

Origin: TheTXI [1]

Cultural Height: April 1st, 2009

Background: The pony meme began without fanfare early in TheTXI's time as a member of Stack Overflow. Its first recorded usages can be traced back to long-running comment threads and arguments on both Stack Overflow and User Voice. The comment "I like ponies" would be interjected into threads, seemingly at random, which inevitably led to those threads getting completely derailed.

Before long, it became evident that TheTXI was not the only SOpedian who found ponies to be the most wonderfullest things ever. Ponies' popularity grew to the point where Jeff Atwood and the Stack Overflow development team implemented the Cornify button on all questions and answers on April Fools' Day 2009. From there, the popularity of ponies — and their magical weaponized form, unicorns — grew exponentially.

For April Fools' Day 2010, all avatar requests were sent to Unicornify [2] instead of Gravatar, resulting in every user having a personal unicorn for the day.

For April Fools' Day 2011, voting on questions triggered unicorn animations [3].

For April Fools' Day 2014 unicoins where added to stack allowing users mine coins which could then be used to purchase different powers for use on stack sites. What are Stack Overflow unicoins? [4]


Historical notes: In 2006, for April Fools' Day, Slashdot switched to a pink ponies theme [5]. This subsequently led to an "OMG Ponies" [6] Slashdot meme.


@TheTXI: Friend of yours? - user27414
Jon B - That is a unicorn, not a pony. They are very different. - Thomas Owens
Unicorns are magical ponies. - user27414
(120) Unicorns are the magically weaponized form of a pony. - TheTXI
(5) Sunshine and sparkles are their weapons. - user27414
(18) +1 for the word "wonderfullest" - Graeme Perrow
(1) obligatory link to - Sam Hasler
(13) Unicorns are not magical ponies. They are a cross between a horse, a goat, a lion, and a narwhale (or something with a horn). A true unicorn has a goat's beard and a lion's tail. The equine part is horse, not pony. Unicorns aren't cute, they are dangerous. - thursdaysgeek
(2) There is an answer on SO with 1600 plus upvotes. Could this be mainly because it mentions ponies, in a beautifully subliminal way?… - MarkJ
(3) @MarkJ: No, it's because it was featured on digg & codinghorror, and was actually modeled after the madmen often featured in HP Lovecraft's writings. However, in its sublime madness, it brought in many (MANY) SO in-jokes, and that probably did contribute to the orgy of upvote love. - John Rudy
Back in the days still had a soul, one of the todo features was a free pony. - Boris Callens
SO has lost it's soul. No hidden ponies! - abel
@boris callens - my ISP has a free pony as it's number 2 most popular idea on the todo list (and a moon on a stick at #5). - Richard Gadsden
-1 Ponies like Vampires bore me now. - Mark Rogers
I can't believe that was the 2009 April Fool's day thing...curse you time! - davidsleeps
"Sunshine and sparkles are their weapons" - Looks like they're in league with the Pyros - Nate Koppenhaver
Added an edit to Wikipedia: - YatharthROCK
It's not "I like ponies." It's "I like trains." - Cole Johnson
[+114] [2009-09-02 19:44:21] John Rasch

Meme: plzsendtehcodez

Originator: TheDailyWTF [1], as documented here [2].

First Use of Tag: Documented Here [3].

Cultural Height: Unknown

Background: The [4] tag was predominantly used on SO to label questions with some variant of the phrase "please send the codes" present in the language of the question, or more generally any homework question directly copied from an assignment without any attempt made by the original poster to solve it himself.

It is now considered bad practice to apply the tag [5] to a question and users with retagging privileges should remove it as necessary.


(4) Periodically a new variant will pop up, perhaps in a misguided attempt to eventually gain the Taxonomist badge. - Ether
(26) I did it once as a misguided attempt at humor... :( - Mechko
[+102] [2009-09-01 22:14:58] Robert Cartaino

Meme: Fastest Gun in the West (FGITW)

Originator: Omer van Kloeten [1]

First Heard: September 11th, 2008

Definition: A problem identified as a side-effect of sorting votes by descending score where first-posted answers are quickly up-voted, trumping vote opportunities for people who sit down and answer a question in a long, thorough way.

Background: This problem was originally identified on and reposted to here: Fastest Gun in the West Problem [2]. Whether the FGITW problem is actually a problem has been a source of controversy. Many considered it a feature — get fast answers, by design. Various solutions were suggested including this one ( Randomly reorder all answers posted within 10 minutes of each other [3]), which was eventually implemented, inciting another protest labeled " The Slowest Cheater in the East (SCITE) problem [4]".


(3) This is not a meme, this is just an acronym. - GEOCHET
(25) A meme is a catchphrase or concept. "Fastest Gun in the West" qualifies on both accounts (which just happens to have a convenient acronym). - Robert Cartaino
(7) Or is it an initialism? - Christopher Galpin
(2) @Christopher Galpin: Agreed. FGITW is an initialism (is not pronounced as a word, cf. MVC, PHP), SCITE is an acronym (can be pronounced as a word, cf. NATO, laser). - alastairs
(4) I beg to differ. Fuh-Get-Wuh. (Actually, the last syllable would probably be better represented with a schwa.) C'mon, we're computer guys, we pronounce every initialism! (Hello, WSDL?) - John Rudy
"Fuh-Get-Wuh" I like it :D the new martial art combined with western guns-n'-shoting :D - diosney
[+100] [2011-03-17 21:05:42] jcolebrand

Meme: Eeeek!

Originator: Marti [1]

First Seen: 4 Mar. 2011 ~ Eeeek what happened to my envelope? [2] (sorry guys, 10k only. Screenshot for <10K users [3])

Cultural Height: Probably still to be reached, given the increase of developers working for Stack Exchange. Although see comments here [4] for first signs of possible decline (2 weeks after first appearance).

Definition: Stack Overflow developers like to change things, just for the heck of it. This can be shocking for users, who find their site suddenly different in some way. Cherished envelopes go missing, then cherished posts complaining about cherished envelopes going missing go missing, then posts complaining about the missing posts go missing (sometimes before they're even given time to be cherished!).

The inevitable response to this shock is a high-pitched squeal, aptly captured in the title prefix, "Eeek!" (See FAQ section for proper spelling.)

Origin: Once upon a time Stack Exchange 2.0 supported a site-specific notification system to find all the things that had happened to your account since the last time you logged in to that one site. It [5] was [6] supposedly [7] horrid [8] and [9] lots [10] of [11] people [12] hated [13] it [14]. The SEI staff removed it so they could implement a new feature. People FREAKED OUT. I'm pretty sure that when Vesuvius [15] blew [16] that the people took it less hard than the users on Stack Exchange 2.0 sites freaked out over this new change.

Since then, several other [17] topics have [18] been raised [19] with similar titles and topics [20].



(21) All the people who hated the envelope with a passion hated its appearance only. The page it linked to was (and until it's deleted, still is) probably the most useful part of the UI. - Marti
@Marti then I presume you have not looked at the new replacement features? - jcolebrand
(2) Sure I have. In all umpteen of the different places I have to look. - Marti
(5) So to anyone reading this who hasn't read the edit revision log, you should. And the point of this thread in general is comedy. This post is not intended to be a dig at anyone, and is satire. Also, the regulars here know they can find me in chat most of the time. TTYL. - jcolebrand
@drachenstern: there, is that better? :D - Marti
@Marti ~ I don't know, I kinda liked the crowdsourced improvements. And I collided with you so I reverted to your revert. How odd that we hit within seconds ... serendipity? - jcolebrand
@drachenstern: that's one word for it, I guess. And I got shiny new Cleanup badge out of it. Tee hee. - Marti
How long until this gets burnified? - Wikis
@Wikis three more days? - jcolebrand
(4) or should I have said 6 - 8 weeks? - jcolebrand
(20) @drachenstern You mean 6-8 weeeeeks? Ba-dum ching. - NickC
lol @Renesis +1 my good sir. - jcolebrand
Too much Eeeeking in Stack Eeekxchange! - hims056
[+91] [2010-10-06 20:31:20] dmckee

Meme: Stack Exchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™

Originator: badp [1], made popular by rchern [2] in a comment on this question [3]

First Seen: 27 Sept. 2010 [4]

Cultural Height: margin-top: 6px;

Definition: alt text


  • Stack Exchange™ GlobalTag MegaBlender™ ( 1 [5], 2 [6])
  • Stack Exchange™ ChronoWarping ChatCombinator™ ( 1 [7])
  • Stack Exchange™ PeopleEmpowering Diamond-O-Matic™ ( 1 [8] - deleted)


  • Stack Exchange™ SuperCollider MicroDashboard™ ( 1 [9] - deleted)
  • Stack Exchange™ SuperCollider Freehand Circle™ Editor ( 1 [10])

(29) Please move quickly to the StackExchange, as the effects of prolonged exposure to the SuperDropdown are not part of this test. - Josh Lee
(1) I keep telling you... exposure to the MultiColider SuperDropdown is not a part of this test. >:| - Powerlord
(40) +1 for Cultural Height in CSS! - Jonathan Day
(1) @Jonathan: The cultural height line was balpha's edit. And I like it, too. - dmckee
(1) This comment is intended to make @TheTXI happier by making TheTXI click the StackExchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™. - muntoo
(5) +1 for freehand circles! - Anish Gupta
(1) Should be updated... - Double AA
[+83] [2009-09-08 15:13:36] DisgruntledGoat

Meme: Two problems.

Originator: Unknown (the quote itself is by Jamie Zawinski)

Cultural Height: Neverending

Background: A quotation by Jamie Zawinski goes like this:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.

There are many questions on Stack Overflow relating to regular expressions, and many answers that suggest regular expressions. In a lot of cases, a regular expression is simply not necessary or even useful. Hence the phrase, "Now you have two problems," usually posted as a comment.

Examples: Here [1], here [2], here [3], here [4].

A regular expression question also caused the breakdown [5] of an Stack Overflow member.


(20) meh, I don't really consider this a meme of SO or meta - Nathan Koop
(3) Aw, why all the downvotes? This is far more prolific than most of the other answers posted. - DisgruntledGoat
(5) +1 for the bobnice link. I had tears in my eyes, laughing. - DMin
(1) Why only 5 ups? This is one of the funniest memes here. - HuBeZa
@Nathan That answer has 4351 upvotes. (It would probably have more, but it's been locked.) - muntoo
Random picture. - muntoo
(1) - Hobbit Hole
[+75] [2009-09-01 21:42:49] Robert Cartaino

Meme: Rep Whore

Originator: ?

First Heard: September 19, 2008

Definition: Stack Overflow users who post questions or answers for the sole benefit of accumulating as many reputation points as possible, without regard to the technical merit or the contribution to the system.

Background: The term "whore" has been applied to many features of Stack Overflow — badge whores, question whores, karma whores — but the most pervasive term has been the title of "rep whore." The earliest use of this term I could find was in the comments of this answer [1], but its usage predates this example.



(20) The term "karma whore" has been used on slashdot for at least a decade for essentially the same thing – cynically making posts that align with the groupthink in order to gain karma. - John Fouhy
Note: The term may have been first heard in Sept. of 2008, but the practice of Rep Whoring is older. - Bill the Lizard
So do we consider "rep whore" a SO-originated meme or should I delete? - Robert Cartaino
(17) @rcartaino Leave it - it's important people understand why TheTXI is the way he is. And why he has so much rep. - Jared Harley
(2) @rcartaino: It's fine to leave it. I was just pointing out that we've been rep whoring longer than we've been talking about it. - Bill the Lizard
In the August SO data dump, the term 'rep whore' (and variations) appear in 31 comments and 2 answers. (No MSO data.) - Stu Thompson
(3) rep farming is a WoW term. - Paul Nathan
(4) Rep whoring is as old as politics. Reputation or Representative, take your pick. - Kelly S. French
(1) This meme is hateful. We (mainly men) are bashing some people (mainly women) who already have a dreadful life plagued by psychopaths, misogyny and sex-slave-trafficking (for real, heavy shit, under our noses, children included). Rep-begging or whatever, if we won't help with some app-anti-psychomafia-algorithm, let's leave the whores alone and put this meme in the dustbin. - brasofilo
I guess "who post questions or answers" should include "who post questions, answers or comments, or makes edits". No difference for me. - sancho.s
[+67] [2009-09-01 19:52:10] John Rudy

Meme: Boat Programming

Origin: Santiago

Cultural Height: Discussed on both the podcast [1] and the blog [2].

Background: See here [3].

Related: Capture of a capture of the original question [4], Boat Programming Pics on Meta [5]


Thanks @Shog9! - John Rudy
(9) See also: (explicit lyrics). - Bill the Lizard
(6) I really enjoyed that question...and I was sad to see it go. - ajm
(2) Link to original question is dead, any other link? - Andreas Bonini
(2) @Koper: Matt McDole's capture is the only existing version that I know of (so if that's gone, it's gone). The original question was hard-deleted; not even 10k+ users can see it. It actually contained information that is against SO's privacy policy to release. - mmyers
@MMyers: Like what? - Arlen Beiler
@Arlen: Jeff posted the user's IP address to prove that it was a fake question. - mmyers
(3) @mmyers♦: Quoth the server: 404. (410 Gone would have been more dramatic, but OTOH it doesn't scan) - Piskvor
I'm still confused as to why they specifically chose the term boat programming... - Ephraim
(1) last obtainable archive capture:… - Tobias Kienzler
@mmyers why not hard delete just Jeff's answer? - Cole Johnson
@ColeJohnson: A little late for that now, don't you think? - mmyers
(1) @mmyers yes, but I'm asking why we just didn't hard delete Jeff's answer? Why'd we have to hard delete the entire question? - Cole Johnson
(1) @ColeJohnson: "We" had nothing to do with it. When this happened, the only moderators were the four employees of Stack Overflow Internet Services, Inc.: Jeff, Joel, Jarrod, and Geoff. Jeff was the only one engaged in active moderation. (And for the record, I wasn't a moderator in May 2010.) - mmyers
(1) @mmyers that's still doesn't answer why the entire question had to be deleted. - Cole Johnson
[+65] [2010-09-07 21:26:28] Diago

Meme: Pluralization Bug

Originator: Jeff Atwood [1]

Cultural Height: Ongoing

First Seen: Here [2]

Background: Originally seen on Twitter here [3], Jeff made his feelings clear about users posting pluralization bugs by saying

Dear Next Person Who Opens a Pluralization 'Bug', I will personally come to your house and bludgeon you to death with a giant S

It has since been used as a response to numerous posts about pluralization and is the default accepted answer.

See Also: Here [4], Here [5], Here [6], Here [7] and Here [8] or the tag [9]

[9] /questions/tagged/plurals

(41) I think you mean "numerous posts". - Justin Morgan
(1) I think you mean "...and are the default accepted answer." - Super Long Names are Hilarious
(3) Apparently Jeff's giant S has divers duties above and beyond this - it may have been sighted while burninating here:… Note that its appearance seems to be quite suitable for bludgeoning. - Piskvor
(1) @SuperLongNamesareHilarious: No, the it in the sentence refers to the (singular) post. "It has...and is ..." - T.J. Crowder
@T.J.Crowder - If I could have typed sarcasm on the internet, I would have. Sorry to confuse you. ;) - Super Long Names are Hilarious
@SuperLongNamesareHilarious: Yeah. And the other one has bells on. ;-) - T.J. Crowder
(1) Now, the good thing is that Jeff Atwood no longer works at Stack Exchange, so that means that he won't be around to answer questions related to such pluralization "bugs". - user215114
[+59] [2009-09-01 19:44:30] GEOCHET

Meme: Waffles.

Originator: Eric [1]

Cultural Height: Late August and Early September, 2009

Background: Eric just really likes waffles, and apparently so does everyone else who has even a shred of decent humanity. Those who do not like waffles may also be Vampires and haters of all things pony related.
It is also likely a reference to Oolong [2], a well known Internet phenomenon: "Oolong (rabbit) - A bunny trained to balance objects on its head. Famous for balancing pancakes and waffles, it has become a meme similar to Lolcats."

Further Background: In an ensuing discussion regarding the delicious food, users were put in the penalty box for a day. There are conflicting reports that allege moderator abuse — perhaps an anti-waffle agenda — and others who believe it was due to over-zealousness on the part of the suspended. Tragically, because much of the commenting was deleted, a proper historical account is difficult to build.

See also: What is up with the waffle fetish? [3] Meta SO 404 page [4] The official Stack Overflow bunny [5]


(62) ........... I Love - waffles
So do ...… - Rosinante
Another waffle reference Jun 12, 2012. - GUI Junkie
i thought oolong was a genre for a Tea. - Dolor Sit Amet
[+58] [2009-12-14 13:55:21] random

Meme: Spam haiku

Jeff Atwood likes fun
Played a trick on all of us
Now he must explain.

First Heard:
From ennuikiller [1]
First to find it; asks us all
Jeff all so silent. [2]

Cultural Height:
haiku always vogue
And some also like to spam
Now bot must protect.

Others hit haiku
Questions begin to pile up
Only talk: haiku. [3]

Detection bot sees
Speaks in riddles of haiku
Makes us think again.

Little slab of meat
In a wash of clear jelly
Now I heat the pan

Cube of cold pinkness [4]
Yellow specks of porcine fat
Give me a spork please

many seek answers
many more post meta-kus
no more is knowing.


(2) I think "ennuikiller" is 4 syllables: on-wee-kill-er - gnostradamus
(17) @gnostradamus Everybody's a critic. - alex
[+54] [2009-09-10 17:01:25] Shog9

Meme: Everything is a meme

Originator: TheTXI [1]

Cultural Height: 2009-09-10 16:41:20Z [2]

Background: This meme began with TheTXI's obsession over memes in general, starting memes on Stack Overflow, and claiming memes for himself. In an effort to garner wide-spread adoption of his various bad habits and nervous ticks, he began this project to catalog the prevailing memes on Meta Stack Overflow, making most of them up as he went along based on things that someone wrote, somewhere, a few times. It caught on. Sort of.


(17) This meme entry is a meme. Divide by Zero. Oh shiiiii! - Ólafur Waage
(5) Why are TheTXI's ticks nervous? And why would I want to adopt one of them? Don't they already have homes? Or is that why they're nervous? - mmyers
(12) TheTXI has been known to crush pets. The ticks are justifiably nervous! - Shog9
(2) This video I think explains it all... - Question-Failed
(4) I think you mean 'tics'. - GnomeSlice
[+52] [2009-09-01 20:31:02] Jonathan Sampson

Meme: Move the turtle in LOGO

Originator: Joel Spolsky

Cultural Height: June 16, 2009.

Background: During Podcast 58 [1], Joel Spolsky experimented with the SO-Community by seeing how the community would respond to the question " How do I move the turtle in LOGO? [2]"

Further Background: LOGO itself has now been used as a quasi-popular choice for users who assign a random programming language to a question that is asking how to do something but not providing enough background material (such as what language they are attempting to use).


"How do I iterate over a recordset" [in VB?] was another early $QUESTION. If I recall correctly we'll know Stackoverflow has arrived when S.O. becomes the first Google hit on this question. Probably not worthy of "meme", though. - gbarry
(1) @gbarry: Rigth now, appears consistently fourth in different querys for that question. - perbert
(2) Now it's first. - SLaks
Any mirrors, caches or screens for this? I'd love to see this thread, but it's removed right now! :( - Cawas
(1) @Cawas I was able to find it on the Wayback:… - Jonathan Sampson
Thanks @Jonathan! Unfortunately we can't participate on that one, but it's better than nothing. Here I just made yet another backup, as an image. - Cawas
[+50] [2009-09-01 22:33:01] Gavin Miller

Meme: Community Wiki Police

Aliases: Watchful, Community-minded Users

Originator: Lance Roberts [1]

Cultural Height: 10th October, 2010 - the day Community Wiki questions went the way of the dodos [2]

Definition: To demand [3], via downvoting [4] or commenting [5], t [6] h [7] a [8] t [9] a [10] q [11] u [12] e [13] s [14] t [15] i [16] o [17] n [18] be made community wiki [19].


that is a question are now all separate links - waffles
(52) 17 links in 1 line of text. That has to be some sort of record. - Robert Cartaino
(1) @rcartaino - And I'm sure they're the tip of the iceberg - Gavin Miller
(2) @rcartaino: Ha, I've got that beat. Behold my 19 links:… - Hilarious Comedy Pesto
(2) Its interesting that some of my comments, particularly related to downvoting, was lumped in with the community wiki police when I've been posting pretty consistently for the last 9 months that CW is a bad feature. See this post (…) for context: one user voted to close a "fun" thread unless wiki'd, which I feel amounts to bullying. So I singled out one his own non-wiki'd "fun" threads as a demonstration that CW policing is inconsistent in a "taste of your own medicine" kind of way. - Juliet
@Juliet: Your trolling has been duly noted and reported. - GEOCHET
@kev: Right. We have been over this. I can point to your blog comments if you would like to cast stones. Try and get over your crush on me please, for the community's sake. - GEOCHET
(2) This CW police should no longer be possible under the new rules - maybe Cultural Height can be determined now. - Jean Hominal
I like the 'fade select' effect on 'that a question'. Oh wait... - muntoo
@RobertCartaino It is a record no longer. has beaten the record with 74 links in 1 line of text. - American Luke
[+50] [2009-09-11 18:09:43] TheTXI

Meme: Friday Afternoon

Origin: Olafur Waage [1]

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Friday Afternoon is generally recognized as the period of the week when programmers like to slack off (more than usual) and begin an early unwinding from the past week's worth of not doing anything of great importance or productiveness. This time period has often resulted in users posting "laid back" or "fun" questions on Stack Overflow, meeting both great acclaim and massive community outrage.

The Friday Afternoon theme has now gained more traction on Meta Stack Overflow more than any other site in the League of Justice. It is not uncommon to see multiple "Friday Afternoon" questions posted throughout the day. This resulted in the creation of the tag [2], which used to be quite popular until one sad day it got marked as a synonym of [3].

There is no set time frame which Friday Afternoon falls, because as once said in a song, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere". Because of this, you are just as likely to see a question posted early on Friday morning (depending on your time zone) as you are to see one posted in the afternoon.

[2] /questions/tagged/always-friday-in-iceland
[3] /questions/tagged/fun

(7) It's always Friday in Iceland apparently. - Earlz
friday-afternoon tag seems gone - systempuntoout
[+41] [2010-06-29 22:54:16] Gelatin

Meme: Hyphen site

Originator: ??

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Jeff Atwood created a blog-post defining Stack Overflow as the anti-Experts-Exchange. [1] was originally just The change (to avoid the domain being mistaken for occurred years prior to Jeff's blog, but the legacy of the site lent to this nickname on Meta Stack Overflow.

Often seen as "you know, that other question-and-answer site. With the hyphen in the name... you know what I'm talking about" or something to that effect.


@Cole, I rolled back your edit. Not sure why you want one occurrence of Experts Exchange taken out. Also, the thing you changed into a quote is not a quote, or needs to be linked as such? - Arjan
@Arjan if it's not a quote, then why does it have a " in it? - Cole Johnson
@Cole, Often seen as "[...]" or something to that effect is not quoting someone, and certainly not related to Jeff's blog post which was the only given reference? And why did you feel one occurrence of Experts Exchange should be taken out? - Arjan
[+40] [2009-09-01 19:45:21] GEOCHET


Originator: TheTXI [1]

Cultural Height: Early July 2009

Background: HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED is Rich B [2]. The oldest surviving reference is here [3], earlier references having been on questions since deleted. There are urban [4] legends [5] surrounding him, all of which are probably true.

Alias: The Great Edit Nazi

Another Alias: Geoffrey Chetwood, now GEOCHET [6]


(14) Here is a pertinent web comic by Mr. Randall Monroe over at xkcd that sums it up quite succinctly: - snicker
(4) Thanks for the comment upvote Rich B! - snicker
(12) I wouldn't upvote any comment containing a lame XKCD reference. Don't flatter yourself. - GEOCHET
(42) Thanks for your uncanny grasp of sarcasm Rich B! - snicker
(1) I do not think 'Mr. Great Edit Nazi' is all that bad. (But then, I am a Grammar Nazi too, so...) I wasn't here two years ago, so I wouldn't know exactly what happened. Other than this edit war, which @GEOCHET should have admitted defeat to. Possibly, there are other examples... I don't know, @GEOCHET = Good + Bad? - muntoo
[+38] [2009-10-19 23:28:39] Brad Gilbert

Meme: Changing your display name on a whim.
Originator: Welbog [1]
Cultural Height: TBD
Official Response: Limited to one change every 30 days [2].
Background: User Welbog [3] likes to change his profile whenever it will make a post of his seem funnier. Other times it seems to just be on a whim. He will also edit his "About Me" text, to fit in with his current display name.

Also independently started by voyager [19] in response to a post asking what constituted spam [20], trying to convey that some users are spam, comedic effect enhanced by answering in a post complaining about the Amazon Monty Python ads [21] appearing when first introduced. After that, it just degenerated into a neverending competition with welbog to out do the wackiness of the other user's changes.

Other changes of management


Even Pesto has started doing it (Uwe Boll's Pesto) Most relevant link I can find:… - Brad Gilbert
the also spawned from the question about where to post a link to your blog/website/etc. - Troggy
(7) This is no meme and voyager did it before Welbog. - Ladybug Killer
(7) This is the first I've seen of this answer. You're missing "Colonel Cockpounder", "Colonel C", "Chicago Ted", "Susan Papadismouslauaslagwhatever" (what was the exact spelling of that?) and "I'm really awesome. Really.". You're not very good at stalking me, meta. - XMLbog
(6) Oh yeah, I was "Ouèlbogue" for a little while, too. You missed that. - XMLbog
@voyager: What happened to "Arthur voyager King"? Or was that just my imagination? - mmyers
Down it goes! Down Down Down - Ólafur Waage
(1) @mmyers: no, it wasn't your imagination, it was the drugs talking. I'm not sure if mine or yours. - perbert
Colonel Cockpounder When was THAT!? Did I miss the memo? - perbert
I cannot consider myself management. I'm a junior janitor!… - John Rudy
Are you really going to try and keep up with all the name changes? - random
@random, I was actually considering deleting it, with the 5 down-votes, and all. If you want to keep it up to date, go ahead. - Brad Gilbert
(3) It should stay open and attract all the downvotes that it can. - random
(1) I actually like this post. Upon reflection, I decided to upvote it. But maybe that's because I'm flattered to be on this list, where I really don't belong. :) - John Rudy
(11) I'm starting to hate this meme. - Ólafur Waage
I'll start the over/under on when Jeff Atwood limits name changes at a week. And I'll take the under. - mmyers
This now falls under as a prime example of - random
(5) +1 because, while this isn't a popular meme, it is a meme. - Super Long Names are Hilarious
Also, he appears to be Hellbog now. - Super Long Names are Hilarious
(6) Are you seriously going to try to keep this post up-to-date? It's a losing battle. - mmyers
I wonder when we'll get a new meme entry for the epic Cthulhu regex post. (I also wonder when I'll get added to this list.) - Super Long Names are Hilarious
Also, he's firtjer now. - Super Long Names are Hilarious
Ether is also missing from the list, but I refuse to become part of the problem. - mmyers
(5) The inaccuracies of this answer are almost compelling enough for me to go in and fix them. I had to stop myself twice in the last minute from editing it. It's very hard. Also, who has been upvoting this? I liked it better when it was at the bottom of the thread where I could find it easily to see how wrong you guys always are. - XMLbog
(1) I fixed Welbog's inaccuracy just to spite Welbog, but I refuse to add myself. - Super Long Names are Hilarious
(1) No, there's much, much more wrong and missing in there. In my stuff alone. Who cares about the other stuff? - XMLbog
(1) This post is going to disappear just like Geocities. I will delete it by the end of the year. So if you want any information, get it before then. You can go ahead and re-post it after that if you want, I don't care. - Brad Gilbert
(3) Why are you deleting it? Think of the children! - Super Long Names are Hilarious
(4) Seriously though, why would anyone want to delete this great track in history? - random
(2) Wow I had no idea that this was being tracked in such detail.. I should have picked a better post to be chronicled here than my drunken rant :) - Ether
@Æther - Finding a better post would be impossible. - Super Long Names are Hilarious
We don't need to track every single name change, and I'm a little tired of seeing this bumped again and again, so I'm locking this answer. - Kyle Cronin
Given the new restrictions on how often the display name can be changed, I think that it's safe to open this back up. - Kyle Cronin
(1) Was this unlocked? It was it was unlocked! - perbert
...wait, why is my name change on here? It's not like I'm that well known. - Powerlord
(1) +1 for Colonel Cockpounder. - Pëkka
What about all the April Fools' 2011 changes? I didn't see Pekka's Trolling Account or rchern_sockpuppet_419 before that. I know I haven't always been known as Justin Unicorn Ponyride Morgan. - Justin Morgan
(1) @Justin Unicorn Ponyride Morgan, I think this post has already grown beyond being a reasonable length. ( There were some points where I wished I had never posted this, or least been less specific ) - Brad Gilbert
Quite a lot of voyager's names are missing. No, I'm not going to correct it. - mmyers
(1) +1 I love this meme. Haters, hate, etc. - Won't
(1) @TheP.G.RepMiningCo. this may be your best name yet, although "Questions" and "Rejoice rejoice kbd is back" were pretty damn hysterical too! :-) - The Unhandled Exception
(1) @TheU, even more its description! - Arjan
(4) @The thanks! :) We at P.G. Rep Mining Co. are committed to top-notch, optimized rep extraction in a changing world - with our environment in mind. We were voted the world's top sustainable rep extractor in 2010. - Pëkka
@DiscountGucciHandbags ahh the post has been unlocked!!! - amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A
Happy 웃 now, @Pëkka? ;-) - Arjan
@Arjan oh, thank you! - Pëkka
I was not referring to the edit, @Pëkka, but to the results of that little 웃 fellow in your name ;-) - Arjan
@Arjan loooool hadn't seen that. - Pëkka
Hmmm, @Pëkka, "U+C6C3 is not a valid unicode character"...? - Arjan
@Arjan strange! No idea what that is about - Pëkka
(1) Just to be sure, you might want to take that umlaut to the doctor as well, @Pëkka. ;-) - Arjan
[+37] [2011-08-09 04:30:19] ckittel

Meme: Burninated

Origin: Possibly Jeff Atwood [1] / Strongbad: Trogdor the Burninator [2]

Cultural Height: 2010 - 2011

Background: Used in reference to deleting a tag from the system.

See Also: The official burninated dragon [3] * New proposed graphics [4], Trogdor the Video Game [5].


(1) Oh wow, the whole time I thought Jeff or someone else on the team made up that drawing as the pluralization mascot turned tag deleter. - Jeff Mercado
Also addressed at The true meaning of burninate (but the answer is basically just this answer, copy-pasted) - Pops
[+35] [2009-10-01 05:31:16] Super Long Names are Hilarious

Meme: The Language That Must Not Be Named (or Brainf_ck)

Originator: Unclear. The censorship of the Language That Must Not Be Named has been around for a long time. However, the question that caused the ensuing war was asked by user Jon B [1] in response to the favorite esoteric language [2] question on Stack Overflow, where several people (notably Lance Roberts [3], myself [4], and, appropriately, He Who Must Not Be Named) were engaged in a low-intensity edit war.

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: The little question that started the big war [5] was asked by Jon B after a certain more liberal (on this issue, at least - I can't speak for his personal or political beliefs) moderator [6] asked that the term be preserved, as it is the name of the language. Several users replied, generating much heated debate and some equally heated flaming. The conflict lasted for several hours, generating 13 upvotes on two answers in favor of the term being used unaltered, 9 in favor of it being used but resigned that it probably shouldn't be, and several others, along with a notable (and rather noble) answer by Lance out-and-out opposed to the word that generated an impressive -19 votes. Then Jeff Atwood came in, edited (and locked) all posts to use the censored form, and effectively ended the debate.

Further Background: It should be noted that the accepted answer [7], while a good answer (it received an upvote from me), is not representative of the highest "community-choice" answer (and isn't meant to be - Jon B said he picked the answer he most agreed with, since there really doesn't seem to be an answer everyone can agree on in this situation).


(4) WOW! I am new to the site and had never read this question. It saddens me to see that we are below the level of Wikipedia in formality. - user150068
[+33] [2011-12-08 00:33:02] Pëkka

Meme: Porblem, Halting Issue, Pro-blem, pr0blem

Originator: Unknown

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Late 2011, the SO devs decided to add a filter to question titles blocking (among others) the word Problem. Even though this change undoubtedly managed to block a lot of crap (if just for a short time), it lead to great discontent among the Meta community. With great glee, they pointed out that people started circumventing the filter by using slight variations of the word - among them porblem, pro-blem, and issue. Various users and moderators have renamed themselves in protest:

  • Josh Caswell: Problem
  • MPelletier: problAm
  • NullUserException ♦: ProblematicTitleException ♦
  • Robert Harvey ♦: pr0blem ♦



(12) Originator: Kevin Montrose, of course. - NullUserException อ_อ
Another case, this time on Super User: p-r-o-b-l-e-m. (LOL!) - DragonLord the Fiery
Not to mention replacing some letters with similar looking unicode variants (eg o with the greek omicron). - Calmarius
[+32] [2009-09-01 22:27:10] Robert Cartaino

Meme: Slowest Cheater in the East (SCITE)

Originator: Mehrdad

First Heard: August 26th, 2009

Definition: A term borne of the protest incited when changes to the default sorting order of questions were instituted to compensate for the disproportionate attention given late-arriving answers [1].

Background: On August 26th, questions with the same vote rank were changed from a sort order of oldest-first to a random ordering. This change sparked a controversy among users who claimed that the change would encourage "strategic down-voting."

From: What has happened to the sorting of answers on Stack Overflow? [2]

The new system creates plenty of horrible problems (the slowest cheater in the east (SCITE) problem) just to solve FGITW, which was not a big issue.

For instance, today, I answered a question and a virtually identical answer appeared 3 minutes later and got upvoted. In this specific case, the guy himself was nice enough to upvote me, but I honestly don't think it's a good thing to post a dupe answer after 3 minutes and leave it there. -- Mehrdad


This is not a meme, it is an acronym. - GEOCHET
(9) A meme is a catchphrase or concept. "Slowest Cheater in the East" qualifies on both accounts (which just happens to have a convenient acronym). - Robert Cartaino
(10) Or, by some personal preferences, it could be an initia... I just had the strangest sense of déjà vu. - Christopher Galpin
So, should you have downvoted the dup? - Kelly S. French
[+32] [2009-11-03 22:50:03] quack quixote

Meme: "The Great Mythical Rep Re-Calc"

Originator: ???

First Heard: (by me? two minutes ago [1]. but I'm really awesome. Really [2] sez so, so it's gotta be true, right?)

Cultural Height: 5'3" without shoes. Or so I've heard.

Background: Apparent fears of downvote weights increasing [3] among the general user population. Rep-whores [4] in fear for their ill-gotten points. Due to arrive in six to eight weeks [5], although it's possible my leg is being pulled [6].

Official Response: The Great Mythical Rep Re-Calc occurred in March, 2010 [7]. Rumors now grow of another Great Rep Re-Calc. It could occur in as little as 6-8 weeks [8]...

More research is needed [9].

The other shoe dropped Feb 27, 2011. Nothing will ever be the same. [10]

The final shoe dropped almost exactly a year later. Everything will always be the same (where "everything" encompasses only "display rep" and "actual rep"). [11]


(7) You mean the great mythical rep recalc. :) Like unicorns, we don't know that it actually exists in anything but our wildest fantasies. It's promised to arrive "in six to eight weeks". - Ether
thx, fixed. and blamed, for what it's worth. :) - quack quixote
as long as it handles hanging chads - JeffO
"Cultural Height: 5'3" without shoes." - You don't wear shoes in public? - Gabriel Hurley
that was added by someone not me. plus, i'm taller than that. but yeah, it so happens that i'm frequently shoeless in public. season and location dependant, of course. - quack quixote
[+30] [2009-09-01 20:14:57] TheTXI

Meme: Greasemonkey

Originator: Jonathan Sampson [1]

Cultural Height: First month of Meta Stack Overflow's existence.

Background: Greasemonkey originated as an offshoot of the Stack Overflow jQuery meme. This is due to the high frequency of requests by users for certain types of functionality for the Stack Overflow family of websites, many of which were easily solved using custom Greasemonkey scripts. Before long nearly every feature request could be seen as solvable through some type of Greasemonkey script (whether for real or just in the imagination of a commenter).

See Also: jQuery [2] (Stack Overflow predecessor)


[+30] [2010-11-23 19:31:14] The Unhandled Exception

Meme: Oy

Origin: rchern [1]

Cultural Height: TBD

First Seen: MSO Chat, probably in The Tavern

Background: Not completely known. Some believe it is the Jewish / Yiddish phrase "Oy Vey". Others like Michael Myers believe "It's 'yo' backwards. [Because] everything is backwards in Missouri.". "Oy" most frequently shows up in MSO chat, with at least 2 - 5 "oy"s showing up per day

alt text

Also, roughly 85% of the time "oy" is said in chat, that message receives at least one if not multiple stars. Some like Yi Jiang believe "oy"s are a form of currency.


(8) "oy" could refer to representation of Russian word "оу"(cyrillic) which means "Oh" in English. And considering that surname Chernoff (the surname of user rchern) has Russian roots it could be right explanation of oy's nature . - igor milla
(1) @igormilla oy, it's obviously currency. - Xeoncross
(5) Might also be related to Oi? - Junuxx
(1) In Brazilian Portuguese it's "hello". - JMCF125
[+28] [2013-02-06 14:02:29] BoltClock's a Unicorn

Meme: Oscillation

Originator: asdf_enel_hak [1]

First Heard: February 3rd, 2013 [2] (Deleted. >10k only. Screenshot for mortals [3])

Cultural Height: Oscillates between then and now

Definition: The repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states ( Wikipedia [4]). Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum, AC power, and a fickle mind.

Background: A user experienced an existential crisis and, as a result of "a changing mind", started to "think larger", "in any direction". This led him on an answer-unaccepting spree [5], subverting (or, in his own words, oscillating) the accept system by taking away the well-deserved 15 reputation from every user who had hitherto answered his questions to his satisfaction, as well as the 2 reputation that was originally awarded to himself for accepting the answers to begin with.


(12) It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall I was there for the creation. No, really. - J. Steen
(1) Personally I prefer this form of oscillation - Yi Jiang
(3) This has bled over IRL for me; I've started using this as my answer at home as well. "Why aren't the dishes done?" "Oscillation." - LBT
(1) The original answer has been deleted. Screenshot here. - Arjan
Hmm, didn't realize I was voting to delete a meme. I thought it was just incomprehensible nonsense. Like Time Cube. - Cody Gray
@Cody Gray: To be fair, that's precisely what made it a meme (which I didn't invent, only documented here). - BoltClock's a Unicorn
(1) Noooo, the answer got deleted?! That answer was amazing! :P But seriously, it's linked to all over the place; I'm going to have to get 10k on meta just to vote to undelete it :( (@Cody) - Doorknob
Deleted by a moderator, @Doorknob. 10k won't help there. - Arjan
@Arjan Noooooooo - Doorknob
[+25] [2010-02-24 15:10:30] jmfsg

Meme: Link or it didn't happen

Origin: Paraphrase of Pics or it didn't happen [1]

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Used in response to a user claiming an event (usually offensive to that user) inside S[OFU] or meta, without actually providing a link to the question or answer for the rest to see it really happened, or to judge if it was just a misunderstanding.

See Example question [2] (as of this writing, there is no link to proof of the claims, but you may need to see the edit history to see the first, original revision)


[+23] [2011-09-29 17:44:20] voretaq7

Meme: Paddington Bear Choppertars [1]


Cultural Height: SF regulars are pretty ADD - Most of us switched back to normal avatars about a week after that meta question was asked.

Background: See Paddington Bear Choppertar [2], it's all explained.

Seriously, how is this a Meta meme? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but it garnered some attention and lots of chat discussions for the week or so we had it going on. Also it's got Paddington Freakin' Bear so you know it's cool!


[+22] [2012-07-20 13:20:42] The Unhandled Exception

Meme: The Tim Stone Bat Signal

Tim Stone Signal

Originator: animuson [1] in chat [2]

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: User Tim Stone [3] is well known for his in-depth knowledge of the system and his ability to find/answer [4] questions. After the Trogdor the Burninator request image [5] was created, a "Summon Tim Stone" image was created to summon Tim to investigate a bug report.

Usage: Comment / add to the end of a [6] answer the image: Also works in MSO chat, apparently.

[4] /questions/tagged/bug
[6] /questions/tagged/bug

(5) Tim Stone signal for the win! - Sathya
[+21] [2012-06-06 06:19:40] Robert Harvey

Meme: Calvin and Hobbes-rolling

Originator: Pekka [1], Collaborator: Tim Manishearth [2]

Cultural Height:

enter image description here

Background: In an effort to make it more fun for users who try and get around the question-asking ban on Stack Overflow by asking their wildly off-topic questions on Meta, it's now possible to get a customized "Calvin and Hobbes" answer, free of charge.

It aims to replace the "we get a hundred off-topic programming posts a day AAARGH!" complaint of MSO users with "Sweet! A hundred comic strips a day!"

There's now a script [3] that aids C&H-rollers in their nefarious deeds.


(8) Special bonus: lengthy suspensions for the hapless question-askers. - Robert Harvey
you suspend 'em? Should I flag those instead of just VtCing as off topic? - Ben Brocka
@BenBrocka: They get dealt with pretty quickly. But yes, you can flag. - Robert Harvey
(4) On a serious note: doesn't this somehow tell oblivious folks that it's okay to post unrelated "answers"? - Arjan
@arj - I partially agree with you there. Although these kinds of posts get downvoted off the home page pretty fast, closed almost immediately and shortly after deleted so there is not much risk of advertising "bad" behavior. Adding minimal information to the post itself would perhaps minimize the "unrelated answer" issue too... - Lix
@Arjan: See Also re: the first paragraph below the cartoon. - Robert Harvey
(1) Of course, with the description above all is clear, @Robert. But when posted as "This is an interesting question, to which I don't know the answer, but I have this comic" things might not be that clear at all, I feel. Keep in mind the OP didn't even understand they were posting off topic to start with. I'm afraid they won't see the sarcasm in such response either. (But then indeed: I also don't know if that makes things worse.) - Arjan
(1) @Arjan: I'd guess the 2/3 of all misguided posters are question banned on SO and will stop collaborating anyway (if it can be called that). The other 1/3 just missed the "Ask Question" button, landed on Meta, failed to recognize the different theme, did not notice the obscure must-have-tags which no other question on SO has and completely ignored any other hint that they are wrong...possibility that those become 'valuable' collaborators is...well...not so hot either. ... But you can show me examples to proof me wrong, please! - Time Traveling Bobby
(3) @Arjan: I've gotten one response from a cartoon. It was: "Ah, yeah, you're right, posted in the wrong place. Sorry about that." Most of these folks are question-banned on SO; they know very well what they are doing. They want us to migrate their off-topic question to Stack Overflow. - Robert Harvey
[+20] [2010-06-23 17:11:52] C. Ross

Meme: Always Friday in Iceland

Originator: Ólafur Waage [1] (?)

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: While programmers enjoy Friday Afternoons [2] they've also been known to do things other than work during the week. So Shog9 [3] created the [4] tag, because we all know those Icelanders are always making jokes [5].

[4] /questions/tagged/always-friday-in-iceland

(2) Cf. Friday afternoon - mmyers
While our viking friend might be why the term came to existence, I believe it was Shog9 who created the badge. - Grace Note
(2) @MatrixFrog Please do not abuse the <kbd> tag - kbd abuse, as Meta users should well know, is punishable by castle banishment. - Yi Jiang
I thought it was supposed to be used for tags as well as keyboard shortcuts. My apologies. - MatrixFrog
(5) What, you guys don't have an always-friday-in-iceland key on your keyboards? - intuited
[+19] [2011-12-12 18:11:22] John

Meme: A Stack Overflow Carol

Originator: Tim Post [1]

Cultural Height: Christmas

About: One day near Christmas 2011, Tim Post [2] decided to change his name to Tiny Tim, a character from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol [3]. That prompted other users to change their names to other characters from the story, including...

And one character from a different Christmas story:

And yet another character from yet another Christmas story:

And from other holiday related things:

This occured again near Christmas, 2012 where the Stack Exchange moderators invited all to join in actual meta-carols [20], and again in 2013.


[+12] [2009-11-28 17:26:39] perbert

Meme: " Updating the Changing name Meme Answer [1]"

Originator: Brad Gilbert

First Heard: Answer posted at Oct 19 at 23:28. First written acknowledgment of meme status was 2009-11-28 [2].

Cultural Height: 2009-11-28, when it was crushed down by a locking.

Background: Answer to The Many Memes of Meta question, it had become custom to keep it updated whenever a user changed his/her/its name.

Controversy: Thanks to a big effort of the community, the answer was kept updated regularly, being edited sometimes several times in a single day [3]. This ongoing edition of that particular answer, kept bumping The Many Memes of Meta [4] question to the front page, something that started to bother some users [5]. In an attempt to stop the ongoing edition, moderator Kyle Cronin [6] ♦ decided to lock the answer in question, sparking some controversy [7]. Most moderators and half users [8], including [9] Jeff Atwood [10] ♦, supported the decision at the time.

To be updated daily for the next 30 days.


(9) If this is updated daily, I will pillage your village !! - Ólafur Waage
(13) Some legal advice: to sidestep the pillaging, update it hourly. - alex
While I sort of initiated the controversy, I think intentionally replicating the problem on another post is really not going to help much ... In fact, I kinda think it'll hurt the cause. - John Rudy
@John Rudy: the last sentence was a joke, of course. @Ólafur Waage: I'll be waiting for you, you barbarian! - perbert
@waveyλger: Cool beans. :) (I think some people may take you seriously on it ... :) (Yes, I cheated & used copy-and-paste for your name.) - John Rudy
[+12] [2012-05-14 22:15:17] gnat

Meme: name change to "Tim something".

Originator: Tim Post [1] (?)

Mentioned: Tavern, May 14 2012

Background: Extraordinary ping-ability of the name @Tim.

Three Tims for the Elven-devs in the Tavern,
Seven for the Moderation-overlords in their halls of 01100010011010010111010001110011,
Nine for New Users doomed to downvotes,
One for the Jeff Atwood on his dark throne
In the Land of Horror where the Coding lies.
One Tim to rule them all, One Tim to find them,
One Tim to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Horror where the Coders lie.

- Anonymous [9]

Cultural height: TBD.

Usage specifics: Put a space after Tim in order to get notifications when pinged @Tim.


(5) I'd say the originator was Tim Post. - Cody Gray
(2) I am unfortunately to blame for that. Not my finest idea by any stretch. - Tim Post
(1) Like this? Tim Burr! - einsteinsci
[+11] [2013-11-05 15:07:18] gnat

Meme: Meta effect.

Originator: Mat [1] (?)

Mentioned: MSO comments [2], Sep 8 2011

Background: Increase of voting activities observed in main site posts that have been exposed at meta. Most ironic when someone complaining to Meta about "unfair downvotes" on another site gets more downvotes. Also seen: closing, re-opening, deleting etc. Often the opposite of the desired result for the user who came to Meta about the specific question.

Cultural height: Low ( seen infrequently in MSO comments [3]).


[+11] [2014-02-16 17:09:26] juergen d

Meme: Caching (“caching, it's always caching”)

Originator: Jonathan Sampson [1] ( here [2])

Cultural height: just now

Background: Many " [3]s" turn out to be a caching issue (client-side, or server-side, or in between) resolving itself later due to a cache refresh. Currently there are over 660 comments [4] on Meta mentioning caching.

Taken to new heights while troubleshooting OAuth [5]:

Too bad I couldn't clear the cache on my high school dancing... Probably why my senior prom silently failed. Never saw my date or my wallet again.

Derived meme: “localization, it's always localization” [6], which appeared during the preparation work for Stack Overflow in Portuguese [7]. And sometimes it's localization caching [8]!

[3] /questions/tagged/bug

(5) I cannot believe this was never here until now. - psubsee2003
(4) @psubsee2003 Are you sure you weren't looking at a cached version? ;) - Travis J
(3) @juergen why the rollback? Care to explain what was wrong in the edit? - Shadow Wizard
@ShadowWizard: I just liked my revision more. - juergen d
[+10] [2009-09-01 21:09:52] Hilarious Comedy Pesto

Meme: Linking to Welbog [1]

Origin: jjnguy [2] / Shog9 [3] / mmyers [4]

Cultural Height: Linking to Welbog [5] never goes out of style, but technically late July, 2009

Background: Started by jjnguy with this answer [6], as a genuine recognition of Welbog's brilliance. It was made into a meme by mmyers and Shog9 minutes later here [7] and here [8].


(1) Pesto...I did it first just for the record...check the edit history. - jjnguy
Shog9 actually edited his post within the 5 min window to get the link in the post. - jjnguy
(3) jjnguy: Don't just sit there fabricating lies to make yourself seem important; edit the answer to add those lies. Jerk. - Hilarious Comedy Pesto
Fine, I didn't wanna edit it and make it seem like I'm making stuff up...but I'll fix it, hold on. - jjnguy
(1) Fixed - jjnguy
(1) I have to upvote this answer because my name is mentioned. Also, see here for another good link. - mmyers
[+10] [2013-12-02 22:10:17] animuson

Meme: Brown

Originator: jadarnel27 [1], in chat [2] ( more [3])

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Brown. It's the answer to everything. Because brown.

Usage: Brown.


#663300​​​​​​ - Lix
6ff47afa5dc7daa42cc705a03fca8a9b - Oded
[+8] [2009-09-01 20:43:10] Troggy

Meme: Continuous outbursts of excessive analogies and profane demonstrations

Originator: Welbog

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: The background on this meme started with his profile, which describes him to the core:

Example: see below...

(21) I'm going to come to your house and grate all of your cheese, increasing its surface area and promoting mould propagation! Ahaha! Your family will visit you for your famous cheese soufflé but will discover a green and blue soufflé instead of a more naturally coloured one such as yellow or orange! The rumours will spread about how unsanitarily you keep your living arrangements. People will think that you don't bathe and that your dog has fleas. And your cat has fleas! And your pony has fleas!! You will never live this down, and you'll be forced to move to east Virginia where no one looks. - XMLbog
(12) But back to my main point: your grated cheese will still have more surface area than normal cheese, even though you spent several hours painstakingly braiding it. You remember that string cheese that used to be popular when we were kids? Does that still exist anymore? I hated that stuff, but it was neat so I still wanted it. Luckily my parents were smart and never bought it for me. That stuff is bound to be loaded with unnatural things like pony claws and dog fleas and stuff. Anyway, while you're in east Virginia can you pick me up a copy of the Alexandria Gazette Packet? I want one. - XMLbog
(3) @Welbog I love dachshunds! My wife and I have 2. - Jared Harley
(4) Welbog always delivers. - Troggy
(6) De-livers? Sounds scary... - Piskvor
[+8] [2009-09-01 21:11:31] user27414

Meme: SO Mafia

Originator: Unknown

Cultural Height: Throughout 2009

Background: Originally known as the TDWTF Mafia, the SO Mafia is a group of users led by HE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED [1] who hang around on IRC (#somafia on slashnet) deciding which users get to live or die. They quiet the voices by down-voting and closing anything they don't like, and editing everything else to bring it up to their "standards".


(1) It should be pointed out this is not a meme, but whatever. There was a meme based on it a while ago. "It is a mafia not a cabal damn it!". - GEOCHET
(1) We are not a meme, we AN HERO. - GEOCHET
(-1) not a meme (see definition in OP) - Shog9
(2) @Shog9: YOU DOWN VOTED THE MAFIA?? It is all over for you man. We will edit your every post and down vote you right to hell! - GEOCHET
Isn't Shog9 in the mafia? - user27414
(3) @Jon B: Not after this incident. He's lucky not to have his status edited to "deceased". There's no rolling back from concrete shoes. - Hilarious Comedy Pesto
@Shog9: Look out! You have been implicated with being in THE MAFIA! You will go down with us! - GEOCHET
The trick to running the SO Mafia is sorting what voice is telling you what. - GEOCHET
(2) I always preferred Cabal to mafia. - George Stocker
(1) @Gortok: That is why you were not in it. It is a Mafia. - GEOCHET
(2) How is this any different from the "Popular" kids in school manipulating groupthink through word and/or deed? Add technology and a dash of meritocracy and we're back in high school. - Kelly S. French
@Kelly French, But that's what keeps it classy -- you see, they know better than us, and therefore must sometimes think for us, lest we lead ourselves astray. - Dereleased
@Dereleased, you seem to have extreme right tendencies (unless that comment's a joke, which it probably is :)). - JMCF125
[+7] [2009-09-01 19:49:58] TheTXI

Meme: Vampire

Origin: Malfist

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Vampire originally began as a tag on Stack Overflow when a user posted a question concerned over whether Jeff Atwood was of the blood-drinking undead. It has now been latched onto as an example of a completely nonsensical tag and is randomly inserted into the tags of equally nonsensical questions.

Further Background: Vampire was a tag that was used once upon a time. After Welbog's tragic loss of his powerful afro, he became fixated on adding this tag to any post he could to try and cope with his loss. Vampire may also refer to the coder of the night, Jeff Atwood.

See Also: A Vampire picture [1]


(8) Don't forget the Jon Skeet files ( - Super Long Names are Hilarious
@SLNaH Bunny Shoes?!?!?! - Question-Failed
In a way, Vampire is SO's Obi-Wan Kenobi. - Eldros
@SuperLongNamesareHilarious Woah! - Jeff Bridgman
[+6] [2010-05-01 20:33:21] Earlz

Meme: Meta Meta Meta....

Originator: Pollyanna [1]

Cultural Height: March 12th, 2010

Background: It was first fully realized with Pollyanna's posting of Question Title That Doesn't Describe The Problem [2] it has since been regarded as the goto question for when you wish to talk about talking about talking about meta.

Further Background: It has existed before this question, but the tag has not existed and it was not as widespread.


[+5] [2014-01-13 22:40:32] einsteinsci

Meme: Parsing HTML with RegEx

Originator: Bobince

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: This meme began as bobince has unofficially become the Assistant Don't Parse HTML With Regex Officer. He has described the terrible maw of horrors that will uproar if HTML is ever parsed with RegEx, such as in this post [1].


[+4] [2012-06-09 17:05:22] uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN

Meme: You insensitive clod!

Originator: sixlettervariables [1]

First Heard: June 9, 2012

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: After a question was asked suggesting that Stack Overflow modify their logo for holidays and events, sixlettervariables suggested that an imagined response from users might be: "Omigerd you left out Important Day X you insensitive clods!"


Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson


sorry, but it was sixlettervariables in the comments who Tim was quoting. - ben is uǝq backwards
(2) I'm pretty sure this originated on Slashdot and just carried over. I had not read the comment cited here before inferring the same about George Edison under his answer on the same question :) - Tim Post
Originally a Slashdot Meme, does that matter? :-P - Martijn Pieters
(6) Yes, this is definitely a Slashdot meme, lots of people use it quite often. @Ben - you insensitive clod! - Tim Post
Hey! No C&H-rolling the meta meme post!… - Manishearth
(2) I thought phrases had to be used more than once to become memes. - mmyers
[+4] [2014-01-13 21:51:00] Doorknob

Meme: Neckbeards

Originator: user3184074 [1] and "my forum websites"

Cultural Height: ongoing? [2]

First Seen: (meta 10kers only)

Background: Some random guy typed up a page-long rant with copious amounts of allcaps and calling people "neckbeards," which is apparently (slang) A nerd; a dweeb. [3], although in the context he used it nobody is entirely sure what it means.


[+2] [2010-06-05 00:41:57] perbert

Meme: Oh! the huge Manatee! [1]

Originator: The image already existed as a general Internet Meme, it was used first on a scared question by voyager [2].

First Heard: Stickers for non US residents? [3] on Sep 17 '09 [4].

Cultural Height: It pops up every now [5] and [6] then [7].

Background: ---

Trivia: ---.


+1 because I've used it. - Question-Failed
[0] [2009-09-10 16:41:20] Nathan Koop

Meme: Welbog has no body

Originator: Welbog [1] (note linking to welbog)

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: This meme began with Welbog's feature request for a brain interface for post humans [2]


(6) I think it takes at least more than 24 hours for something to be considered a meme. - gnostradamus
(3) I'm so confused... I was given to understand that Welbog was a maple tree:… - Shog9
(1) @gnovice: please save your comments for an answer documenting the "everything is a meme" meme. - Shog9
(3) @gnostradamus It actually takes 6 to 8 weeks. - J. Steen