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I'd like to have amusing but on-topic images for our 404 Page Not Found page on:

  • Stack Overflow
  • Server Fault
  • Super User
  • Meta

By on topic, I mean the 404 image on Stack Overflow should be a programmery "not found" of some kind, and the Super User one should be a power user's "not found", and so forth.

These images would be shown in addition to the existing 404 page text, so nothing is getting lost, we're just trying to inject a little fun into the process.

I'm having trouble coming up with anything. Any good suggestions? Post them as answers!

If your submission or suggestion is highly voted and meets the criteria outlined, it's likely to be deployed as the "official" 404 image for one of the trilogy sites …

EDIT: 404 page winners!

  • Mark Rushakoff : Stack Overflow
  • squillman : Server Fault

The other two I selected myself.

share|improve this question
Are you saying the power user sysadmin kitty cat of programming doesn't cover for all? – random Oct 24 '09 at 0:10
we already have per-site images for error pages. 404 is 100% text at the moment. – Jeff Atwood Oct 24 '09 at 0:12
If someone wants to add images to my text, you're welcome to, since I didn't find any good ones. – Ólafur Waage Oct 24 '09 at 0:17
Are the images themselves required, or is a concrete description of an image enough? – retracile Oct 24 '09 at 1:31
You could put in some ideas for images using keywords for google search. – delete Oct 24 '09 at 5:10
Seems a bit odd to have a bounty here, when I assume there will be 4 "chosen" 404 pages (one for each site), but only one will get a bounty. – TM. Oct 29 '09 at 18:45
When I saw that headline, I misread it as "For the site" – Paul McMillan Oct 29 '09 at 19:11
why the bounty @PopularDemand? – studiohack Dec 31 '11 at 20:07
@studiohack just because I like Mark's code. I didn't know it was created specifically for SO's 404 page until recently. I know it's only MSO rep, but I felt like doing something. – Pops Jan 6 '12 at 18:48

29 Answers 29

up vote 89 down vote accepted

I'd like to see some kind of polyglot for Stack Overflow's 404 page. Here's a little polyglot for Befunge-93, Brainf*ck, Python, Ruby, Perl, and C that simply prints 404 to stdout. It probably works in whatever other scripting languages that use # as a line comment and accept the keyword print. Could possibly add Whitespace as well, but that doesn't show up very well in images.

# define v putchar
#   define print(x) main(){v(4+v(v(52)-4));return 0;}/*

There were a couple things I didn't care for in the version that's up on the 404 page now, so I propose this modified version. It still works in Perl/Python/Ruby/C/Befunge/BF (at 143 chars), but I got rid of the exit stuff since it didn't really add anything, and technically the BF output a \0 that I didn't originally mean to have in there.

# define v putchar
#  define print(x) main(){v(4+v(v(52)-4));return 0;}/*
#undef /*>.@*/v

I'm actually not sure if Perl needs a semicolon after print(202*2) — I can recall Perl requiring a semicolon after each statement, but Perl 5.10.0 on my machine doesn't complain, even with the -W flag.

share|improve this answer
good stuff, will use this for the SO 404 page – Jeff Atwood Nov 2 '09 at 9:34
Just saw the 404 page when I logged out at work today -- that made my week! Thanks for picking it! – Mark Rushakoff Nov 2 '09 at 22:35
correct me if I'm wrong, but in BF93 specification, it's up to interpreter how to handle undefined characters such as 'e'. So it's possible (and probable) that a befunge interpreter only print a single 0 and exits. – Ali.S May 16 '14 at 19:28

Here's another for SF. Found it here, not sure about permissions.

404: Server not found

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
holy crap that's a lot of ethernet cabling! – Jeff Atwood Oct 24 '09 at 1:37
Someone should be shot. Not fired. Shot. – squillman Oct 24 '09 at 1:40
But once they are shot, no-one will ever be able to untangle it. – delete Oct 24 '09 at 2:34
As one comment on the original blog post noted, it almost looks like straw balls... – Arthur Reutenauer Oct 24 '09 at 7:29
5 – LiraNuna Oct 27 '09 at 6:24
His noodly appendage hath blessed the machinery: – gnostradamus Oct 29 '09 at 15:17
Permissions would be the kicker on something like this. Sure, we have all seen it a few times, but that doesn't make it public domain. For a "professional" site like SO, using unlicensed images can get them in trouble. – Jim McKeeth Nov 1 '09 at 4:03
this will be used on SF. I awarded to Mark because he wrote actual code! – Jeff Atwood Nov 2 '09 at 9:35
Yeah, best I had was a pic. If I created that I would have had to shoot myself :) – squillman Nov 2 '09 at 19:27

For Stack Overflow (or any of the sites; it's a Star Wars reference).


404: These are not the Droids you're looking for.


404: We couldn't find the Droids you were looking for. Try Google?

share|improve this answer
+100 fantastic! – squillman Oct 24 '09 at 1:35
might be ok for Super User, but not programmery or sysadminy enough for SO/SF – Jeff Atwood Oct 24 '09 at 3:41
@Jeff - but geeky enough... – Marc Gravell Oct 24 '09 at 7:09
Perhaps I don't have enough sense of humour, but I don't understand why this would come up with a 404 error. – delete Oct 25 '09 at 13:12
@Kinopiko .. "These are not the droids you're looking for" .. sounds like "droids not found" to me :) – warren Oct 27 '09 at 6:20
Cool but too much free advertisement. – Daniel Daranas Oct 27 '09 at 14:55
Advertising for Google/ I'd be surprised if Google needed advertisement at this point. – George Stocker Oct 27 '09 at 14:59
Hey - who's this Google company? Never heard of them, look interesting. – Dominic Rodger Oct 29 '09 at 15:54
This one needs to go on – gobernador Jun 25 '12 at 23:13
It's actually an advertisement for Linux, note the bar at the bottom. – Nathan Merrill Feb 25 '14 at 2:20

As usual I'm late to the party... :-) The inline image sucks (auto sizing and all that)...

Error 404

EDIT: Actually given some more thought to this (even though the bounty is over, I would do the 404 page as an actual question. Asked by "Community" or "". The text of the question would be the text/links on the current 404 page (and maybe the winning image from this question). And for fun I would allow users to actually answer the question. Imagine the chaos that could ensue... :-)

share|improve this answer
WTF? Are you logged in as community? – Dexter Nov 5 '09 at 5:27
No just some creative cut & paste suing Firebug... :-) – beggs Nov 5 '09 at 7:14

For any of the sites:

"Despite his best efforts, Joel Spolsky was unable to locate the item in question"

or, more neutrally,

"Despite our best efforts, we were unable to locate the item in question"

Vintage image.

(Original source from Google Image search for "IBM punch cards")

share|improve this answer
Which site is this better aimed for? – random Oct 24 '09 at 2:08
I think it would go well with any of the sites. – delete Oct 24 '09 at 2:32
I once found a Burroughs adding machine in an abandoned warehouse. It was integrated into a stand that seemed a little bigger than this but it was also rusted in place. – dlamblin Oct 29 '09 at 18:37
This machine is an "IBM 29 card punch", according to the original website. – delete Oct 30 '09 at 1:07
s/Joel Spolsky/Jon Skeet/ – alexanderpas Jun 19 '10 at 14:41

For Meta.

Unfortunately, there are no waffles here.

[Ed- Image no longer exists.]

share|improve this answer
I think it needs more ponies. – Ether Oct 24 '09 at 0:28
Someone PS a pony somewhere in there. – Ólafur Waage Oct 24 '09 at 0:35
+1 for the Swiss coop label – Georg Schölly Oct 27 '09 at 11:17
add freehand circles with dropshadows!! – Kip Nov 1 '09 at 4:37
-1 Eyes are bleeding from the compression and for piggy-backing on the votes for the first edited version. – random Nov 1 '09 at 5:08
would it be better as a separate answer? i thought it would be douchy if i "stole" the image as a separate answer, so i presented it as an alternative form of this answer – Kip Nov 1 '09 at 5:21
After the amount of votes already on it, the change is way drastic and personally would rather see it as a new answer since it for all intents and context is a new candidate. You can have the au naturel or the so-lossy-you're-making-a-brown-sound versions to choose between. – random Nov 1 '09 at 5:27
okay I made it a separate answer:… – Kip Nov 1 '09 at 5:31
woo do I get waffles as a prize? – Ólafur Waage Nov 4 '09 at 10:03

For ServerFault:

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."


"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't find that."

(from google image search for "hal 9000")

share|improve this answer

For SO

It seems you're trying to access a page that doesn't exist. You should totally drop that and try jQuery.

share|improve this answer
This is kind of a memme that the people most likely to find a broken link on SO wouldn't understand, I'm afraid. Is more meta material. – perbert Oct 24 '09 at 17:53
@voyager: For Meta you need: "You should totally drop shadows..." – Ladybug Killer Oct 27 '09 at 8:30

Stack Overflow:

function lookForPage(url) {
  if (pageExists(url)) {
    return page(url);
  } else {
    return lookForPage(url);
share|improve this answer

For Super User:

"Your input could not be processed"

(This is from a Google Image search for "cat keyboard")


share|improve this answer
why is that person holding a network cable (or straw?!?!) near the cat's buttockal region? – warren Oct 27 '09 at 6:21
@warren: connecting some cat 5? – AnonJr Oct 27 '09 at 21:08
@warren: it's the handle of whatever dangly toy they used to entice the kitten onto the keyboard in the first place. – Zac Thompson Oct 29 '09 at 3:23
maybe i'm overly morbid, but it looked like the guy was about to do an autopsy on the cat... :) – Kip Nov 1 '09 at 4:54
@Kip: may be he was debugging the cat after its process died unexpectedly. – perbert Nov 1 '09 at 16:14

This could work on SuperUser: [Ed- Image no longer exists.]

Error 404

Just for kicks, we tried:

sudo "make me a sandwich"; 

It didn't work. We'll be back up in a minute.

share|improve this answer
This one made me laugh! – Adam Davis Oct 29 '09 at 20:02
Probably best not to intimate a 404 is a temporary thing, but otherwise funny! :) – Phoshi Oct 30 '09 at 11:57
@Phoshi: Oh yeah... wow... good call. Epic fail on my part. Maybe good for a error 500 though! – KyleFarris Oct 30 '09 at 15:48

enter image description here

This is for Super User

share|improve this answer
+1, this is usually how I feel inside whenever I get ANY 404 for something I was really looking for. It's actually making me think about it now, and making me upset. – snicker Oct 30 '09 at 14:20
+1 That's great – squillman Oct 30 '09 at 15:55

In honor of Geocities, called home by the Lord today at much too young an age:

"under construction"

share|improve this answer
The very first website I contributed to was there. Ah, we are nothing. – Daniel Daranas Oct 27 '09 at 14:56

For SO.

It seems you've followed a dangling pointer.

original image (dead)

substitute image

share|improve this answer
a screenshot of code would work, in this case, I think. – Jeff Atwood Oct 24 '09 at 0:22
I found some example code for a dangling pointer. Can be replaced. – Ólafur Waage Oct 24 '09 at 0:29
BSOD? ... (obligatory spaces) – Ether Oct 24 '09 at 0:30

Here's a play on a qmail bounce, for SF:

alt text

share|improve this answer

Here's a couple for SF/SU:

As suggested in comments

For Linux users:
Not Found - Windows

For Windows users:
Not Found - KDE

Someone will have to pick me up on the Mac Finder shot, I don't have a Mac lying around here...

share|improve this answer
Now if that would only show for non-Windows users, and come up with something similar for Linux/BSD/OSX/something that only shows for Windows users, I could get behind it. ;) – retracile Oct 24 '09 at 1:35
What about finder for Apple users. – Brad Gilbert Oct 24 '09 at 6:16
This would also work well on SU. – Arthur Reutenauer Oct 24 '09 at 7:30
The OS reversal was on purpose? – perbert Oct 29 '09 at 23:19
Yes, based on retracile's comment. But doesn't have to be. – squillman Oct 29 '09 at 23:27
Port 22 ?!?! – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jul 15 '10 at 21:14
@George: it's SSH... – squillman Jul 15 '10 at 22:26
@squill: Oops... didn't see the "Enter a name for this Secure Shell..." part – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jul 15 '10 at 22:30

Oscar the grouch

share|improve this answer
+1 for hand-drawn circles. – snicker Nov 4 '09 at 7:13

For Meta

I took Ólafur Waage/random's answer and added freehand circles with dropshadows and unnecessarily high JPEG compression. (Properly compressed version here.)

share|improve this answer
Beautiful. I promised myself I wouldn't cry. – Maxpm Jun 29 '11 at 5:42

Sorry, we can't find your page. You may have mistyped something.

(from google image search for "monkey keyboard")

share|improve this answer
That just looks like a chimp at a keyboard. Where's the magical monkey keyboard with a banana as the space bar? – random Oct 24 '09 at 7:41
This is a visual joke about "monkeys typing Shakespeare". There is a better image on Google image search, but this one had a hotlinking block on it: – delete Oct 24 '09 at 8:26

For StackOverflow: punch cards scattered across the floor and the text: "Error: We didn't find that hole."

share|improve this answer
Error: unable to find correct <s>punchcard</s>data – Brad Gilbert Oct 24 '09 at 6:14

For SuperUser: A generic super-hero's costume (incorporating the logo colors?), on either hanger or a mannequin, with the text "404 Hero not found".

share|improve this answer
Really needs images in an images discussion. – random Oct 24 '09 at 1:36
Fair enough; I'll bow out. – retracile Oct 24 '09 at 1:55

For Meta: a picture of that "Thinker" statue in a ditch of dirty water; "404: Amazingly, that's one thing we didn't find here."

share|improve this answer

alt text

This is for Server Fault

share|improve this answer
From iStockPhoto? – random Nov 1 '09 at 3:08

For StackOverflow: reams upon reams of green-bar paper with (presumably) code printouts, along with the text "What line did you say that was again?"

share|improve this answer
Too bad I threw out all that green-bar with the COBOL code from college... I could have totally used that for a visual. – AnonJr Oct 27 '09 at 21:11

404, the waffles are outdoors today.:
Waffles and Dinges

share|improve this answer
Sorry, again, I don't understand the joke. – delete Oct 30 '09 at 1:27
The joke is that when Spider-Man tried to save Gwen Stacy from falling off the bridge, he ended up snapping her neck and killing her. – random Oct 30 '09 at 11:39

alt text

This is for STACK OVERFLOW !!!

share|improve this answer

Here is a nice collection of images for inspiration. An amusing image is a good idea, but I would take the "URL as part of the UI" metaphor one step further. Turn the juicy bits of the miss-typed URL into a search.

If they type something starting with

You could put some other parsing in there to make a more educated guess for what they were going for. Apply the same pattern to any site in the trilogy, or for that matter on Stack Exchange.

share|improve this answer
a serious answer to a not-serious request, though... – Jeff Atwood Nov 2 '09 at 9:32
Well, I opened with the link to the collection of 404 pages so that I wouldn't end up too serious. – Jim McKeeth Nov 2 '09 at 17:31

This isn't a picture but it's still a funny 404 message. Unfortunately you will have to click the link: Depressed Server. If someone knows how to make it show up here without having to click the link please edit my post so it will.

share|improve this answer
Although it's funny, it wouldn't make a very good 404 page for real errors, since the already-frustrated user would not want to sit there watching someone's joke message scroll past. – delete Oct 24 '09 at 8:29
But it is a real 404 page. The Marvin-robot is one of my favorites. But it's been done- need something new here. – Joel Coehoorn Oct 27 '09 at 2:08

We made you a question ... but we eated it.

share|improve this answer
The grammar is acceptable for a LOLCAT message, but the spelling is far too accurate. – David Thornley Oct 30 '09 at 14:35

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