Stack OverflowFunny or weird error messages from a development environment/application
[+52] [132] pablito
[2008-10-26 14:35:58]
[ polls error-message fun ]

What is the funniest or weirdest error message you've got from a development environment/application?

For example:

Please make community wiki as this not a real question. - tvanfosson
I agree, please change it to community wiki. - Matt Refghi
(3) Community wiki IS NOT a synonym for "not a real question". Until someone can come up with some criteria for community wiki, don't wiki any of your posts. - Juliet
(4) @Juliet: such criteria exist. See… - Lord Torgamus
[+94] [2008-10-26 16:00:39] Adam Liss

Booting a headless build machine:

Keyboard not found. Press F1 to continue.

(8) What is worse is that some computers don't have the option to stop the keyboard check. - Brad Gilbert
haha. i first saw this when i was in grade school. was confused as hell. - moogs
lolwat. I laughed. - SD.
(2) ... Or any other key to abort. - scraimer
Classic! My favorite too! - Gab Royer
(6) I made a tiny USB dongle that would pretend to be a keyboard to be able to use my old computer as a server. Without it it would require a keyboard everytime it rebooted. - Marius
(16) You should have made one with just an F1 key on it, so you can recover. - Pete Kirkham
(2) In the IBM PC BIOS ROM there is another message Video Error, Press F1 to continue - Joshua
(1) Marius: wow, how? isn't USB hardware complicated stuff? - Stefan Monov
@Casey, you know someone spammed you on your blog right? lol - Earlz
[+77] [2009-02-17 06:52:53] Franci Penov

Attempting to install a pre-release build of Virtual PC inside a Virtual PC machine:

You had to try this, didn't you?

There was also a litte bit more to it; unfortunately, I don't remember the whole message. That part though had me laughing for couple of days.

[+65] [2008-10-26 14:42:31] Milan Babuškov

My favorite:

"The error message cannot be displayed"

(8) That makes sense. Using "this" instead of "the" is better. - moo
[+56] [2008-10-26 14:43:35] kender

Not development, but production. And the message was in the code.

"If you ever see a window with this message, it means there were some bugs we didn't think of. Make a screenshot and mail it to us with your customer-ID and we'll refund your money"

hahahaha that was a good one. - pablito
(5) Did you, and did they? - rwmnau
(8) Where where?? I want to get free stuff. - Darryl Hein
(3) We were just maintaining this application, this is why I saw the sources. No idea though if any customer ever saw this message :) - kender
[+47] [2008-10-26 16:15:55] Robert Gamble

sudo [1] can be configured to display insults when a user mistypes their password, my favorites are:

  • Maybe if you used more than just two fingers...
  • My pet ferret can type better than you!
  • It's only your word against mine.

+1 for It's only your word against mine. - Ryan Guest
I just checked the man page and it's not in there. How do you do that? - Max
(14) "man sudoers": insults - If set, sudo will insult users when they enter an incorrect password. This flag is off by default. - Robert Gamble
[+44] [2009-07-01 15:20:00] PTBNL

Having a bad day at an old job, I typed a certain 4 letter word for manure at the command line prompt. Much to my surprise, an ASCII art picture of a mushroom appeared, followed by the statement "Are you a mushroom too? Kept in the dark and fed [same four letter word]". It turned out my boss had set this up to lighten his bad days!

(3) Haha, brilliant! - molf
[+40] [2009-02-06 11:37:16] Hermit

"You don't exist. Go away."

This is a real error message I got working with SSH on Linux.

Turns out it's because I was logged in as a user who wasn't in /etc/passwd.

Yup. Seen this one before too. That's what causes it alright. - T.E.D.
[+39] [2008-10-26 16:53:39] RoadWarrior

Diagnostic message from Apple's MPW C compiler:

"Too many errors on one line (make fewer)."

valgrind spits the same thing out if you get too many issues. - windfinder
[+38] [2008-11-18 20:41:42] Jonas Kongslund

alt text

Do not stare too long at the numbers, they're only for those with training [1].


(4) Yay Amiga nostalgia! Still sends cold chills down my spine when I see it. But yours could be improved by being a blinking animated gif. - ddaa
Ah the memories. My wife once caused this by screaming at me. Quite a pair of on that woman. - T.E.D.
Ugh, it's a nice error but I sure did hate seeing that. I had one of the first A3000s and it had some hardware issues... it crashed all the time, sadly. - JAL
(2) it's nothing unusual, just a buffer overflow in the exec.library - x4u
[+37] [2008-12-30 23:54:13] Brad Gilbert

500 Internal Server Error

Looks like a base64 encoded message. I'm too lazy to do it, but someone should take the time to decode it - tj111
(4) Not straight-up RFC 2045 base64--note the "-" and "_" characters. - outis
[+35] [2008-12-30 09:31:42] Johannes Schaub - litb

This one looks suspicious:

error: 'long long long' is too long for GCC

I was going to post that one! :D - CrazyJugglerDrummer
LOL really cool :D - Michel Kogan
[+34] [2009-07-01 15:27:24] BigBlondeViking

My fav!

Error : The operation completed successfully


Error : The operation completed successfully

That is my favorite, too. I've also seen "Error: success" here and there. - JAL
ROFLOL.. you can't get more stupid than that! Successful completion is an error?! - user266803
Just got this: System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The operation completed successfully. And to make it worse, it did actually complete successfully! - LKIM
[+30] [2008-10-26 17:13:46] RoadWarrior

Click harder [1]. [SFW]


wow... did not work well with opera... - Svish
(10) I just keep getting "Internet Explorer Cannot Display the Webpage" - Wayne Koorts
@Svish, LOL. @Wayne, read the rest of the page. - RoadWarrior
(19) @Wayne: Have you tried clicking a bit harder on that link? - Lars Haugseth
Love it! Made my day. - Spence
I even got the "Internet Explorer Cannot Display the Webpage" from FireFox! How'd that happen?! ;-> LOL! - PTBNL
(6) You have got to check the alt text on that refresh pic. - tsilb
I also get "Internet explorer cannot display the webpage", clicking harder didn't helped :S - Chuck Norris
[+26] [2009-10-05 21:38:08] Shawn Hurley

There are a few that I'll never forget:

BS Error on the old TRS-80's basic.

Code has no affect on a more recent C/C++ compiler. I thank the compiler for not making value judgments on my code.

But my absolute favorite was on the Amiga 500. I popped a disk out before it was finished writing to it. It slid the screen down two inches and in flashing black and red letters across the top said:

Put that disk BACK.

Never did that again.

(9) That Amiga one is priceless! - staticsan
[+25] [2008-10-26 16:52:38] RoadWarrior

When you tried to kill the print spooler on the Nixdorf 8870 minicomputer, and for some reason it wouldn't die, the error message shown was:

"Spooler is too tough!"

[+23] [2009-07-06 23:23:45] Spence

The code has thrown an unhandled MoronicUserException. Message: "User was a moron."

(5) I may have to use this one... - corymathews
mee to lolololololol :D - Chuck Norris
[+20] [2008-10-26 16:04:56] Steven A. Lowe

CD-ROM driver not responding, please insert Windows CD

(1) You can still get something similar on Win7: during installation, it boots from the CD, then proceeds to tell you that it doesn't have a driver for the CD drive, and suggests that you insert a CD with a driver installer. - romkyns
[+19] [2008-11-06 02:40:31] community_owned

.net 2002 (C#)

"An unhandled exception of type 'System.Index.OutOfRangeException' occurred in

Additional information: Index -1 is not non-negative and below total rows count."


-1 is NOT non-negative ... thanks Microsoft Developers!


You left out part of it: is NOT non-negative OR ... Another way to express it is is negative or above or equal to total rows count. Either way has two much negativity though don't you think? - Windows programmer
(10) You mean neither way has too little non-positivity? - finnw
[+19] [2009-04-05 10:46:51] Randy Orrison

The Daily WTF [1] is a good source of these. Their regular Error'd feature is exactly what you're looking for, and the rest of their articles are always good for a laugh as well.


(1) Link to archive of the Error'd series: - Stephan202
[+17] [2009-04-05 10:56:13] Blorgbeard

I got this once trying to boot linux on a damaged harddrive:

Bug in initramfs /init detected. Dropping to a shell. Good luck!  
bash-3.1# _

[+17] [2008-12-13 15:35:45] tvanfosson

I use a quote from Carl Sandburg on my default error page -- the one that shows up when the code fails to handle an exception. The error message goes:

“Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me.”
-- Carl Sandbug

Unfortunately, this isn't one of them. Please contact the administrator.

[+16] [2009-09-17 09:05:45] TheBeardyMan

In Inform 7, the code:

3 is a scene.

produces the error message:

That, sir, is a damned lie!

[+15] [2008-10-26 17:22:20] RoadWarrior

Nice SML compiler error message:

"Error: expected type (int, int, int) but got type (int, int, int)."

(1) What was the error? Because I'm not seeing it. - Paul Nathan
Good times, good times. - johanbev
(1) The error was probably in the parser :) - Alex
[+14] [2008-10-26 18:55:03] Gamecat

From a lotus notes production release:

"this feature is not enabled in the beta release."

[+14] [2008-10-26 23:55:29] community_owned

On a WinNT setup installation:

"Please close the door to your C: drive and press the <Enter> key."

[+14] [2008-10-27 00:10:43] Donnie H

Error: Too many errors.

This comes in Visual Studio right? - user266803
[+14] [2009-09-23 18:28:51] instanceofTom

Error: "If you see this, I have caught and handeled more exceptions for you than you deserve. Failing now. Withholding debug information. Bye."

[+12] [2009-07-15 20:41:25] typeoneerror

This PHP error threw me the first time I saw it:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_PAAMAYIM_NEKUDOTAYIM expecting T_STRING in...

(it means something like “double colon” in hebrew)

(2) Yes that really threw me off when I was learning OO in PHP. Had to google it. - Neil Aitken
They updated the online docs a few months ago to say what it was. :-) - staticsan
Every PHP developer has or eventually will encounter that oddity. Those of who don't speak Hebrew have all raised an eyebrow at some point. - Brian Lacy
[+12] [2009-09-09 21:37:52] Xeoncross

I was trying to update my amazon mp3 application when I got this little gem. It's so ridiculous I almost believe I edited the photo without telling myself. What were they smoking?

amazon error

(3) It's called "oh crap the new version doesn't work! Roll back before we're really screwed." - Chris Lively
[+12] [2008-11-06 02:01:44] Gabe

Not exactly an error message I got, but one I made. The final project for a Data Structures class printed

Oh my god! What did you do? What did you do?

Whenever it ever caught an exception

(4) If I had a nickel for every time I had my programs print ridiculous and snide remarks in school. All nighters tended to create very abrasive and unforgiving UIs in my programs... - Eric
@eric indeed. Those all nighters were bad, especially when you were on the other side of ballmer's curve.. - corymathews
Don't you mean the Balmer Peak? - Robert P
[+12] [2009-02-06 11:04:00] Evan

I came across a little program that could change the text on the little one line LCD displays on certain HP laster printers. Some people were confused, and others bemused when the printer gave the error message, "Need Chocolate"

I wrote an app that did that more than a few years ago. About once a week I would change the message. Most people never even saw it, but every so often someone would do a double take. - Chris Lively
Chocoholic printer! - Uronym
[+11] [2008-11-06 02:19:11] Joshua

Entering an absurdly old birthdate: I don't think you're Methuselah.

(3) Ha, I do that all the time in DOB entry: "Seriously? You're 893 years old?" - typeoneerror
[+11] [2008-10-26 22:32:22] chimp

Error: No error occurred!

I suspect the error status got cleared between the time the error was trapped and the time it was reported. - chimp
I've gotten this one too. That's what MS's error code to text function generates when you feed it a success code. If you get the logic on an error handler backwards (or enter it for some reason other than a bad status code from a system routine) you can get this. - T.E.D.
I got something similar from a third party production package. I don't know what makes it happen, but every now and then I get the following message "Error code 0 No Error". The program would just continue on and nothing bad happened so I guess there really was no error ;) Weird. - Bill W
[+11] [2009-10-05 22:25:52] staticsan

I'm probably going to annoy an old friend if he ever reads this, but he had a boring day at work many years ago, whilst finishing off a simple print server. It was written in VB and was for more than one branch PC to share a serial printer. This particular day he was writing the error handler.

Quite apart from:

This error can't happen.

... there was also:

Orange marmalade? No, paper jam!

... and:

Pieces of seven! Pieces of seven! It's a parrot-y error!

... and once coded, he promptly forgot about them.

It was quite some months before Branch Support encountered a strange call from one branch that had received the 'parrot-y' error (turned out to be a loose cable). That's when they also discovered the 'orange marmalade' error. Branch Support were only slightly annoyed they didn't know about them before hand, but it otherwise brightened everyone's day. Fortunately, branch staff were accustomed to strange messages from IT apps, so there was no problem leaving them in. :-)

[+11] [2010-02-09 02:01:16] Erik van Brakel

I used to play admin on some proprietary online isometric game. When you were in godmode (all commands) and typed /goto you could go to an arbitrary place on the map. When that failed, you got the errormessage:

'Goto failed. Dijkstra was right after all!'

Obviously a reference to Dijkstra's paper against the GOTO statement in programming.

[+10] [2009-02-06 05:14:43] patricksweeney

I love when XP would do the one error where it says the "memory" could not be "read". Both those words are in quotes in the error message. It just sounds like airquotes!

(6) <jre> One time I went into a stupid donut shop to take a pee-pee. They had a sign that said: PLEASE "FLUSH TOILET" BEFORE LEAVING. Flush toilet was in parentheses. So I assumed it was code for something <jre> So I "pissed in the sink" - tstenner
Quotes used to be used by signwriters several decades ago as a form of emphasis. - staticsan
The Gallery Of "Misused" Quotation Marks: - David
[+9] [2008-10-26 17:57:44] Blauohr

last message in the log: "die welt ist schlecht !", which means The world is bad!

sorry it is in german ?

Translates to: "the world is bad" - HS.
[+9] [2008-12-30 09:37:57] sarego

"An unexpected error occured while trying to display an unexpected error"

Got this from RAD once

lolz so it actually fails to get the fail? - gdscei
[+8] [2009-02-17 07:36:43] Lars Wirzenius

From GNU tar:

tar: Cowardly refusing to create an empty archive

(when you don't give it any files to add to the archive it should create).

(13) That actually has a serious background: Old versions of tar used to truncate the destination file instead of showing this error. This could easily lead to data loss if you misplaced an argument. The error is actually a safety check. - sleske
(3) Yeah, but it's still funny. - anthony-arnold
[+8] [2009-11-16 18:51:05] harriyott

"When casting from a number, the value must be a number less than infinity [1]."

Silly me trying to use numbers bigger than infinity!


(3) That doesn't mean it's bigger than infinity. It's just not less than infinity. It could be equal to infinity. - Wallacoloo
Good point, well made. Maybe that's what I did. - harriyott
(3) Silly you, trying to use numbers equal to infinity. - Brian Lacy
(IEEE) float NaNs and +infinity are not less than infinity, so there's nothing really wrong with this message. - Mechanical snail
[+7] [2010-01-13 06:25:18] Alok

Tex [1] has some funny ones (I have seen only a few of those myself, thankfully):

  • That makes 100 errors; please try again.
  • You can’t do that in horizontal mode.
  • Maybe you should try asking a human?
  • If you really absolutely need more capacity, you can ask a wizard to enlarge me.
  • I'm broken. Please show this to someone who can fix can fix.
  • I can't go on meeting you like this.
  • One of your faux pas seems to have wounded me deeply... in fact, I'm barely conscious. Please fix it and try again.
  • Dimensions can be in units of em, ex, in, pt, pc, cm, mm, dd, cc, bp, or sp; but yours is a new one! I'll assume that you meant to say pt, for printer's points.

[+7] [2009-04-29 02:23:50] tspauld

Debugging some QBASIC code back in the day I got this:


After investigating I figured out how to reproduce it and I was also able to get Yellow, White, and a few other colors. Unfortunately I don't remember the details, but it had to do with editing the code while debugging.

[+7] [2009-07-06 18:58:44] smok1

The most funny message I ‘ve ever seen was .. my own. Here is the story:

In 2004 I was a member of a team making huge credit application system. The client application was written in Delphi. It consisted one big form called TemplateForm. Actual client forms for processing credits actually inherited from this form, so there was one MortgageForm, one CreditCardForm, one PersonalForm, one BussinesForm, and so on.

One day I have checked in my sources, being sure it will work, and went home. During the evening developer from Personal Credits Team changed slightly our TemplateForm – instead of hardcoding form’s title, he have added a GetFormName function call in TemplateForm constructor. The only pain was he made GetFormName an abstract function in a template without letting the rest of the team know about the change (in fact, he changed PersonalForm, but did not change other forms inheriting from TemplateForm). Nowadays Delphi warns about creating object of a class containing unimplemented abstract methods… but it was Delphi 5, and night build run smoothly.

The following day, when I was eating breakfast, I was reading desperate mail from our support and business knowledge team. They were complaining about “Abstract Error” (which is Delphi response to calling abstract method). When Ann sent a message that she does not understand what “Abstract error” meant, her colleague Lukas, wrote that she would probably understand error message regarding cloths, dresses, perfumes and “girls stuff”. She replied, that she would rather have Aidan Quinn on error message. ‘WTF?’ asked developers, and quickly googled this:

So, when we came to work we have downloaded a big picture of Aidan, created TdlgAidanInfo form class, and put a small Panel in TemplateForm. This small panel had OnClick event, and this event was firing Aidan form using ShowModal . Ann was very happy, and she planned to show this trick to our customer during some hard meeting, to “clean some air” (we were constantly kicked by our customer).

Unfortunately one of Personal Credits Team developers saw the increase in size of the executable. Since EXE was something about 6 MB, we thought no one will notice additional 200 kB… But he notices. Most dialogs was named something like dlgALL_ALL_ZBZ_LST, making it almost impossible to understand, so TdlgAidanInfo was soon discovered and deleted. Our boss was informed and there was a bit of a mess.

Since Aidan’s photo had been removed, we had put one line of code in the place where his window was previously. This was a message box with a text “Aidan Quinn used to live there” and a title “It is important to have a sense of humor”. Aidan’s story was then forgotten.

About two years later our support team has been called by bank executive reporting some strange bug about credit amount. This executive was a bit terrified because he thought he was getting crazy… he said:

‘We [him and a clerk] panicked a bit and started to try various options to get right credit amount. And we clicked a lot of places on UI and … and some unexpected message box about someone named Aidan Quinn appeared!’

We have spent about a hour laughing. Instead of support team Ann responded to customer: ‘

This message box is not unexpected.


Too long, but I read it! but hey, I can imagine it must have been really funny for you guys (though it was just normal for me) - LocustHorde
[+7] [2008-11-06 03:17:28] Cristián Romo

Not really funny, but the timing was good. That is, if an error is ever good... I got it while browsing this question.

On Stack Overflow: Server Error in '/' Application.

[+7] [2008-10-26 14:55:10] Chris Boran

I have a toss up - "Kernel Panic... die die die!" and while examining the logs of the process "Please see the logs for more details".

[+6] [2008-12-30 09:48:16] Soviut

"PC LOAD LETTER? What the hell does that mean?" The line is from Office Space when the Michael Bolton character can't get a laser printer to print.

Its funny because I actually saw that error on, what I assume, was a similar make or model of printer they had at my college.

(3) It's not an error. It's a request for letter-size paper. - Loren Pechtel
(1) ... and the PC refers to the Paper Cassette (as opposed to the other supported paper inputs) - Andrew Swan
(2) They didn't make it up out of thin air. That's what printers used to say when they wanted more paper. - T.E.D.
It's still an error. Notification of user error still counts. Edit: Also it might be argued, the message itself is a usability flaw, and thus the software is erroneous. - Brian Lacy
Considering I didn't know what it meant when I saw office space, and I didn't know what it meant when I saw it in real life, I think it's a pretty good WTF error. - Soviut
[+6] [2009-07-01 15:11:40] Stefano Borini

In a software I once worked on, there was an exception for an impossible condition to happen (sort of "if true: do this; elif false: do that; else: raise exception"). The message was:

"Impossible condition happened. How the hell did you get here ?"

The test department was able to get there anyway, but unfortunately I am not aware of the details.

I wouldn't say that is impossible. If the variable is undefined it will be neither true or false and hence raise the exception. - sglantz
@sglantz : it was C++ - Stefano Borini
Was floating-point involved? With IEEE floating-point representations, if a is a NaN then neither a == b nor a != b will be true. - David Thornley
[+6] [2009-04-29 16:12:39] Anthony Rizk

Haven't seen it personally (and I guess isn't not unique to a development environment), but Printer on Fire [1] has got to be the classic in this genre


[+6] [2009-12-22 21:10:29] sglantz

I ran into this seemingly paradoxical error message recently in .Net:

Nullable object must have a value.

[+6] [2009-08-05 16:17:46] Carl Manaster

I sometimes put "something" in when I haven't yet come up with a name for... well, something - and one day from this code:

x = something;

my system gave me the error message:

something cannot be resolved

[+6] [2010-02-15 18:34:34] chrism1

From the output of revisor [1] on Fedora 12:

Hacking anaconda's .discinfo because it'll shit itself if it reads it's own output

[+5] [2010-07-12 22:09:36] houbysoft

Not really an error message, oh well.

This appeared once when I was hunting for an antivirus:

alt text

[+5] [2009-07-07 00:09:16] Secko

A few errors I enjoyed:

Error: No help available for %d

Error: Success

Error: Error ocurred when attempting to print error message.

Error: Last line of file ends without a newline!

+1 for "No help available for %d" - JoePasq
[+5] [2009-02-06 11:28:29] Amr ElGarhy

Check this one, its funny :)alt text

[+5] [2008-10-26 16:56:50] clofresh

The last company I worked for was maintaining their own app server, and their exception page would just say:

"did not work."

Gee, thanks.

meh must of been to lazy to type a full message. - corymathews
[+4] [2008-10-26 17:21:01] Cruachan

Borland Pascal for Mac (this is the original Mac, circa 1986 or so, as used by Scotty) would quite regularly give the following message on compilation :-

"Syntax Error in Code"

And that we it. No indication of either WHERE the error was or WHAT the error was. Just a mite irritating when compiling thousands of lines of code.

As can be imagined this tended to produce a regime of compiling often so you always knew what you'd been changing, however I have seen myself been reduced to binary chopping the code (commenting out whole sections) to trace the error down.

[+4] [2008-10-26 14:36:51] Brian R. Bondy

From MS SQL:

Transaction doomed in trigger. Batch has been aborted.

[+4] [2008-10-26 16:28:38] ngn

The strangest 404 I've seen, it popped up in Bulgarian and said something equivalent to: "The requested page cannot be found on the path of the page. Please go to your current location."

[+4] [2008-12-30 09:52:12] devio

I love translation errors in error messages, for example when "function argument count error" becomes "error counting function arguments". I guess the translators have no idea what the error message is all about, and hope the user/developer can make any sense of it.

Printer status message "Deleting - Out of paper - Printing" all at the same time.

Click "OK" to cancel, click "Cancel" to continue.

HP LaserJet printers displayed an ambiguous "INPUT JAM" message.

Couple of screenshots [1] (mostly German).


+1 - OK to Cancel, Cancel to continue.. ROFLOL.. - user266803
[+4] [2009-07-01 14:59:36] dotjoe

Get this one every couple weeks. Makes me chuckle everytime.

System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The operation completed successfully
   at System.Drawing.Printing.StandardPrintController.OnStartPrint(PrintDocument document, PrintEventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.Forms.PrintControllerWithStatusDialog.OnStartPrint(PrintDocument document, PrintEventArgs e)
   at System.Drawing.Printing.PrintController.Print(PrintDocument document)
   at System.Drawing.Printing.PrintDocument.Print()
   at CrystalDecisions.Windows.Forms.ReportDocumentBase.Print()

[+4] [2009-07-06 23:01:51] community_owned

"Pure Virtual Function Called"

Yeah, must be one of Visual Studios :) - vobject
[+4] [2009-10-13 15:23:44] DisgruntledGoat

The most frustrating error message which I got all the time in XP was when trying to rename video files.

Cannot rename [filename]. Make sure that the file is not currently in use.

It wasn't in use... apart from Explorer, which I was using to rename the file! It turns out Explorer is reading the file in order to tell you the file size, video resolution etc...

[+4] [2009-10-27 20:22:10] Cylon Cat

ORA-24344: success with compilation error

[+4] [2009-11-16 14:32:29] awregan

C++ confused by earlier errors, bailing out

[+4] [2010-02-09 01:39:40] tjjjohnson

Here's one from an unconfigured IoC container.

"Could not resolve the current kernel. Wang. Wang."

[+4] [2010-03-03 20:59:50] Tom

My favorite one (wish I could have experienced this personally) is supposedly from a HP recovery CD years ago. The message was:

"No binary data aggregations engendered a sufficient level of nominal synchronicity with the specification that you provided."


File not found.

See here [1] for source or here [2] for the main page of the site.


[+4] [2010-03-03 21:17:28] daf

Acorn Risc OS:

"Killing the utility module would be foolish."

First time I've been insulted by an operating system.

[+4] [2010-02-26 15:07:46] Felipe Fiali

alt text

Windowns 7's "Blue Screen"

alt text

(1) :) put a smile on my face - Dev2rights
[+3] [2010-02-26 15:13:48] Charles Anderson

This popup alert from the Debug build of Adobe InDesign CS2:

CmdQueue::DiscardScheduledCmdsForTarget found cmd class 0xaf0d targeted at this DB.    
Discarding. This is expected behavior, not a bug. Just thought you might like to know.

[+3] [2010-01-25 18:11:46] Justin Holbrook

I have a printout of this warning since I like it so much, very ominous sounding, from one of our vendor apps:

Are you sure you want to close this connection? (only time will reveal the extent of the damage for which you may be responsible)

[+3] [2010-01-29 05:45:54] jschmier

From the Linux kernel

VFS: Busy inodes after unmount. Self-destruct in 5 seconds. Have a nice day...

[+3] [2010-02-08 20:22:31] Codezy

Names replaced, but a fellow developer 'Jane Smith', got this error on her machine today after opening a corrupt file:

"Jane Smith is corrupt, damaged, or missing."

[+3] [2010-01-13 06:26:48] Alok

The famous lp0 on fire [1] message. Never seen this though.


[+3] [2009-07-06 23:27:46] Dan Blair

The Mac assembler I was forced to use in school.

"Well, Smoke me a kipper!"

For almost every error.

Awesome, a Red Dwarf reference. Does it say "stoke me a clipper" for the other errors? - DisgruntledGoat
[+3] [2009-07-15 20:46:56] rmeador

This is one of my favorites, written to the console by VLC during normal operation (there don't seem to be any problems associated with it):

** (.:5762): CRITICAL **: gtk_pizza_set_size: assertion `pizza != NULL' failed

[+3] [2009-07-15 20:30:08] Jeff Kelley

alt text

[+3] [2009-07-15 20:35:52] EvilTeach

"There is something rotten in the state of Denmark"

This was THE ONLY ERROR MESSAGE in a home grown backup utility at my place of employment. It did double buffer processing to tape, and any error would take it to a completion handler, which would dump out that message and abort.

[+3] [2009-10-05 21:48:54] marcospereira

"UnbelievableException: no way! this exception will be not throwed".

I can't believe that someone wrote this kind of code/joke.

(1) I doubt English was their native language. - Loren Pechtel
Sounds like an attempt at loltalk. - anthony-arnold
[+3] [2009-09-23 18:33:45] WilliamKF

Here is one from a product I am working on (note it is a warning not an error):

Warning: Got unexpected '%s' exception '%s'. This is the last place to handle this exception but it can't be. The exception is ignored to avoid crashing the tool. The optimization result is incomplete and your data might be corrupted. Sorry.

[+3] [2009-02-17 06:58:31] Tsvetomir Tsonev

Actually a colleague showed me this one, but we had a good laugh:

"1 is null or not an object"

Gotta love IE's JavaScript engine :)

[+3] [2008-10-26 14:49:28] moffdub

I always do a double-take when Eclipse tells me: "Cannot convert type foo to type foo." Of course, if it would speak up when I import in the same file as, I'd've avoided that mistake!

[+2] [2008-10-26 15:05:56] ManiacZX

I can't remember where it was, but I've gotten something along the lines of

"An error occurred while trying to display the error message."

Sounds like Apache, when it's been configured to display a customized error page, but hits an error on the error page. - Sherm Pendley
[+2] [2008-10-26 16:48:20] Mike

In OS/2, there was a catchall error message: SYS0000: Y N A R I Perhaps this was to help with internationalization by enumerating the first letter of Yes / No / Abort / Retry / Ignore. However a device driver install once called up this message on a dialog box.

  Error installing driver.  Y N A R I ?

[+2] [2009-02-17 07:03:46] ecleel

Segmentation Fault in C++

Brief, but descriptive. Certainly neither funny nor weird. - outis
[+2] [2009-02-17 06:44:48] Ola Eldøy

The Norwegian translation of the Windows GPF error message is complete nonsense:

Minnet kunne ikke være "read".

It's hard to retranslate this back to English, so I guess you'll have to be able to understand both Norwegian and English to appreciate the weirdness.

[+2] [2009-07-01 15:41:10] user123330

From an unnamed database for Windows(tm):

"Whoops! Nothing to see here, move along."

[+2] [2009-04-29 16:15:47] prasanna

In SQLite3,

error:not an error

[+2] [2009-04-29 16:01:23] Daniel Silveira

"too complicated SQL statement", from MaxDB

[+2] [2009-07-15 20:27:05] Jeremy Bade

Error occurred on error page.

This message appeared when a new error occurred on the error page. Our webapp displays the error page when any error is encountered somewhere in the app.

[+2] [2009-11-17 20:04:04] Jim

Seen by end users in one of our earlier releases when attempting to use certain advanced functionality:

This feature to be coded by [Developer's Name] later...

[+2] [2010-07-12 21:32:10] Jay Askren

Error: This will never happen.

[+2] [2010-11-24 02:50:09] John

cannot create /var/log/vbox-install.log: Permission denied Look at /var/log/vbox-install.log to find out what went wrong

[+2] [2011-01-11 18:13:13] Brian Lacy

Of course I didn't see it myself, but my answer would have to be the errors produced by the infamous Therac-25 radition therapy machine. It's technically not funny either, but certainly bizarre.

Therac-25 was designed to deliver precisely controlled doses of radiation to patients suffering from cancer. Due to engineering flaws in the system, when certain conditions were met, the machine delivered an uncontrolled, unfiltered dose of radiation resulting in a massive and deadly radiation overdose. This happened six times between 1985 and 1987.

When the condition occurred, the system also produced a succinct error message to let the operator know something had gone horribly, horribly wrong. The message read:


[+2] [2011-01-17 10:49:06] Umer

once,saw on a webpage...

'undefined' is undefined

         [ OK ]

[+2] [2011-07-05 10:03:21] GarethOwen

I filled in a form incorrectly, and was given some life advice:

enter image description here

[+2] [2011-07-07 04:30:26] Arpit

My organization was developing an app, and allegedly a developer was pissed off by his manager!

When an error occurred in the application, the error message that appeared: Fatal error, cannot save; All work will be lost


Instead of OK, he replaced the button with Who Cares!!

[+2] [2010-07-26 13:02:36] ptomato

As far as I can tell, running GIMP in batch mode has only one catch-all error message for anything that goes wrong:

batch command experienced an execution error

That was helpful, thanks.

[+2] [2010-07-26 21:05:21] caf

TeX has an error: Interwoven alignment preambles are not allowed. It is described by Knuth in the TeXbook thusly:

If you have been so devious as to get this message, you will understand it, and you will deserve no sympathy.

[+2] [2010-07-26 22:08:06] I__

Error has occurred. Please press any key to be executed.

please mark this up immediately - I__
please mark this up immediately again - I__
[+2] [2010-07-27 06:39:25] Matthew Lock
  2. Danger, Will Robinson [2]

[+2] [2010-11-14 17:18:12] mjn

Many years ago I tried to port a Clipper 87 application to Clipper 5.

One of the compiler errors was

Mayhem in case handler

The reason was code similar to the following:


  MYVAR = 1 // boom! this compiled in Clipper 87


CASE 2 // DO 


p.s. in the same application there also was a variable with the name IF. So IF became a reserved word first in Clipper 5 ...

[+1] [2010-11-14 17:26:23] mjn

Delphi 2009 defines [1] a new EProgrammerNotFound exception, however I have not seen any code that throws it. It is even documented [2] in the official Embarcadero DocWiki.


[+1] [2010-07-26 21:17:24] aubreyrhodes

My favorite was from an old job, and actually showed up in released versions of the software

An Application Error Has Occurred: 3

[+1] [2010-03-16 11:36:43] Ian

Two from an old (now obsolete) sonar I used to use:

The DEMON has escaped

(the DEMON was an analogue input processing board)

Absolute Garbage received from the XXX

the XXX was a computer system made by a rival company. Lawsuits were only narrowly avoided!

Another system gave its error reports in Morse code using the front panel LED - well it was for the Navy.

Another error message that nearly had unfortunate results was included in a piece if internal software that accidentally made its way to a (Swedish) customer. The wording...

Sven you are a tit. xxx.dat is not a valid filename.

[+1] [2010-04-13 20:16:18] Brian

in Cygwin:

$ tail -f
tail: warning: following standard input indefinitely is ineffective

[+1] [2010-02-15 18:55:13] David Thornley

The very first TRS-80s came with a 4K ROM running a primitive BASIC interpreter. The error messages were "WHAT?" (syntax error), "HOW?" (runtime error, such as divide by zero or a NEXT without a FOR), and "SORRY" (accessing memory out of range - there was one array, of integers, which consisted of all the RAM not otherwise in use).

[+1] [2010-02-23 17:07:15] Peter Westlake

When trying to install a Windows 95 game, probably Thinkin' Things, on Windows NT:

"You eediot! Thees ees not Chicago!"

Chicago was the code name Microsoft used for Windows 95 while it was in development. I remember toying with Chicago at a friends' house when he had it installed. :) - Geoff
[+1] [2010-02-23 17:28:56] Earlz

The error message my school gives is funny:

It gives a weird error explaining the differences between 403, 404, and 410 and aimed at administrators.. very weird.

[+1] [2010-02-26 15:24:33] Bobby

I once wrote a .NET application which should be called by an old QBasic application for doing some magic with the internet. Unfortunately the client was running this legacy app in fullscreen, which caused my program to crash and leave me with the default .NET error took me quiet some time to figure that one out.

*** Exception Details ***:
System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception: The operation completed successfully

[+1] [2009-12-14 19:49:40] Lord Torgamus

Without a doubt:

[About 257 errors here]
Too many errors. Bailing out.

Similar to awregan's submission, but I'm pretty sure it's not C++-specific.

[+1] [2010-01-03 15:48:37] gdscei

When i was running some kind of software, it gave me the following message:

Unexpected error: Process adopted.

later, when i contact the developer, he said that it was 'just a spelling mistake, it should have said 'aborted''.... Of course...

[+1] [2010-01-13 11:57:29] Radhi

{Unable to evaluate expression because the code is optimized or a native frame is on top of the call stack.}

[+1] [2010-01-15 19:03:51] Lord Torgamus

The JVM and I usually have a good relationship, but it gets real snippy when I play with character encodings. Something about a CoderMalfunctionError [1]....


[+1] [2009-07-27 17:42:44] Kenneth Cochran

Both of these are real error messages whose conditions (according to the original programmer) were impossible. All the developers working on that project after these were written have come across them at one time or another.

This can't be happening!

Never actually saw this one though I've seen a screen shot framed in one of the senior developer's office wall.

Found a Ghost!

This one happen at least twice while I was working for the company. Once it appeared while QA was testing, the other we found out about when a customer called in inquiring about it after it popped up on their screen in the middle of the day.

[+1] [2009-09-23 18:34:06] Thomas Kammeyer

The finger server at an old workplace (internal use only, of course) allowed you to try to finger aliases as well as actual addresses. I tried fingering one of these aliases once and received the response:

Error: Success.

What's happening is probably clear to most UN*X world programmers, but I found it hilarious because I'd just fingered my own alias.

[+1] [2009-08-20 10:00:59] Shaharyar

"Unknown Hard Error"

on explorer startup...

[+1] [2009-07-01 15:15:56] Noah Medling

Error: no error

[+1] [2009-07-06 23:19:09] wweicker

Server Error in '/APPNAME' Application.

Compilation Error

Description: An error occurred during the compilation of a resource required to service this request. Please review the following specific error details and modify your source code appropriately.

Compiler Error Message: BC30035: Syntax error.

Source Error:

Line 1:  //---------------------------------------------------------
Line 2:  // A header comment (sanitized for posting)
Line 3:  //---------------------------------------------------------

Source File: c:\data\www\appname\controls\jsclasses\controlname.js Line: 1

[+1] [2009-07-06 22:56:17] yelinna

Once, in Win2000, I got a little error window with no words, just the X red icon and the Ok button. I pressed OK and nothing more happened.

Other error I got when I was learning pointers in C++ was: "La memoria no se puede "written" 0x098458458..."

Two languages in one error LOL!

other one: In VB6 when I was trying to share long pointers with a C++ dll: "Expression too complex"

Many years ago, a cookie problem with Hotmail--while I was in China. I was trying to explain the problem to a Chinese speaker--who didn't know about cookies. The dictionary only had the edible kind. I carefully switched Hotmail into Chinese and trigger the error--a page full of bird tracks with "cookies" in English in the middle of it! - Loren Pechtel
[+1] [2009-02-17 07:38:37] devio

Quantifier {x,y} following nothing.

I came across this message working with SharpZipLib. Its FastZip class contains a method CreateZip which accepts a file filter expression. However the filter is not expressed in DOS format (*.txt), but as a regex (\.txt$).

And if you know it should be a regex, the message even makes sense. I guess the exception is raised by .Net RegEx, not by SharpZipLib itself.

[+1] [2009-03-17 21:08:34] community_owned

While using the MS Visual Studio Express Betas, I didn't expect everything to be perfect, but I always got a good chuckle when I'd get an Error Message Box that said "Don't know what to do."

[+1] [2009-04-05 10:21:58] community_owned

"My dog ate my search results..."

[+1] [2009-02-06 06:00:25] Evan

One of our junior developers put in the message, "You can't do that" when the user used a feature of the product the wrong way. No explanation, just, "You can't do that."

[+1] [2009-02-06 11:15:14] Conrad


This is not an error.

[+1] [2008-12-30 09:30:51] Onur Bıyık

Like this:

.\rpcdcep.h(88) : warning C4230: anachronism used :
 modifiers/qualifiers interspersed, qualifier ignored

[+1] [2009-02-02 14:52:54] Jeff

Eclipse: "An internal error occurred while showing an internal error."

[+1] [2008-11-06 03:39:41] Oddthinking

I used an in-house debugging application that was written by some long-gone mysterious contractors.

One of its tricks was to flash an error message very briefly on the screen; so briefly you couldn't quite read it, I always read it as "Silja Line", but that made no sense. Silja Line is the name of a ferry company.

Eventually, I looked at the code to find out what it really said.

Yes, it really popped up the message "Silja Line" when there was an out-of-memory exception.


[+1] [2008-10-27 01:12:00] Peter LaComb Jr.

Lotus notes (in LotusScript, when attempting to use a null variant as if it were an array):

Variant does not contain a container.

[+1] [2008-10-27 12:59:04] DrHazzard


Data Execution Prevention: Windows Explorer has been closed to protect your system.

Note 1: Explorer did not get closed Note 2: This is usually followed by a memory access error (e.g. Attempt to write address 0x00000000)

(3) Translation: You have malware. - Alex
Not really, the machine has very little on it (no random downloads or web browsing) - DrHazzard
[+1] [2008-11-05 20:29:54] gyrolf

Fortran on an specialized PDP-11 clone: "Fatal error T"

I got the explanation from one of the OS developers who had access to the (printed!) compiler source code: the program required more than the reserved 4k memory window to communicate with the OS.

[0] [2008-10-26 14:52:30] Josh Lee

Microsoft Development Environment: "Unknown undo/redo error."

[0] [2009-02-06 06:04:24] Simon Hartcher
"Error saving data. Try again?"

The current software I'm maintaining is riddled with stupid messages like that.