Last week I was watching a TV show. During a dialog, one character asked the other something like "So how long will it take you to do it" and the answer was simply "6 to 8 weeks".

This led me to believe Jeff was just using a known meme and just applying it here, over five years ago, but all my searches utterly failed and pointed on this very meta post as the origin of the meme.

  1. Searching just for 6 to 8 weeks without quotes or anything:

    First out of nearly two billion results. Nice.

  2. Searching for "6 to 8 weeks" with quotes, same just with less total results:

    Then I found this post (Link removed: site closed, now a phishing site), an interview with Erik Wernquist who is the creator of Crazy Frog:

    How much time did it take in the beginning to program it?

    The first animation I did at my spare time. I worked about 6 to 8 weeks on building the character and making the first animation

Is it coincidence, fate or something that Jeff read and later used himself? :)

  • 3
    It originated with JeffAtwood, during the development of Stack Overflow. Beta was said to be 6 to 8 weeks out; needless to say he missed that target. Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 9:20
  • @Martijn might be! Anyway found a bug in markup, can't format the quote properly. Will investigate further later. :) Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 9:21
  • @Sha: repro & fix for the formatting misbehavior: meta.stackexchange.com/a/181300/158667 - not sure what part of that is a bug. I'd say the way you formatted the image quotes isn't kosher, and I'm surprised that part works.
    – Mat
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 9:47
  • 6
    as far as I can tell, this dates back to at least 1989, Muppet babies episode 603: Six-to-Eight Weeks "The Babies anxiously await the arrival of a playhouse that Nanny ordered for them, which was supposed to arrive in six to eight weeks..."
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:11
  • 2
    @gnat valid candidate for an answer! :-) Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:15
  • @Mat thanks, so the bug was the image was part of the list where it shouldn't be! :/ Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:16
  • @ShaWizDowArd there you go :)
    – gnat
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:33
  • 1
    No. The first one (1, 86 0, 000) is definently a conspiracy theory.
    – Cole Tobin
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 17:42
  • @Cole yep that's possible! Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 17:52
  • Should this question be merged into the Many memes of meta?
    – Cole Tobin
    Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 19:09
  • 2
    It is also found in Phineas and Ferb show 6-8 weeks in Phineas and Ferb?. It is possible that the show took it from Jeff's words.
    – Nog Shine
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 7:07
  • Someone check if Barnier used the expression even before Atwood ;) uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-barnier/… A search finds utwente.nl/en/bms/pa/research/wessel/wessel3.pdf 1999 - note drawn up by Barnier in his function as chairman of the European ...... the Member States of the Council of Europe during the year in periods of 6-8 weeks.
    – Nemo
    Commented Sep 10, 2018 at 15:14
  • @Nemo nice find! Commented Sep 11, 2018 at 7:37
  • 1
    The Simpsons episode The Canine Mutiny referred to the "6 to 8 weeks" concept in 1997 when Bart received his fraudulent credit card "6 to 8 weeks" after filling it out.
    – rgettman
    Commented Apr 26, 2019 at 16:26
  • 1
    The Simpsons episode Marge in Chains referred to the "6 to 8 weeks" concept in 1993 when the flu-contaminated "Juice Loosener" took "6 to 8 weeks" to arrive in Springfield from Osaka.
    – rgettman
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 21:26

2 Answers 2


Searching web for six to eight weeks leads to Muppet Babies TV series, Episode 603: Six-to-Eight Weeks which sounds painfully familiar:

The Babies anxiously await the arrival of a playhouse that Nanny ordered for them, which was supposed to arrive in six to eight weeks...


Muppet babies wiki says "Air Date September 30, 1989", about 20 years before Stack Overflow and several years before Crazy Frog. :)

  • 11
    Until better (or official from Jeff Himself) answer will arrive, accepting this as the truth. :) Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 10:34

I can't prove that this is what Jeff had in mind, but cereal box mail-order prizes* like secret decoder rings or propeller beanies famously ask you to "please allow" "4-6 weeks", or "6-8 weeks" for delivery after sending away for them.

I've found two mentions of that specific time frame:


...and Pac-Man vowed to never again make kids wait 6-8 weeks for four pieces of colored hard plastic.


Is it just me, or has the wait for mail in offers increased from 6-8 weeks to 10-12?

Far from conclusive, and I certainly don't want to take credit away from Jeff for promoting the meme, but these things have been around since the early part of the 20th century, and they're definitely an element of American culture. It's what I always think of when I hear this phrase (and I'd wager that it's where the Muppet Babies title came from, too, given the plot).

*Technically a "premium", apparently, if it isn't in the box to begin with.

  • 2
    +1 for excellent research, but only Jeff can know for sure. :) Commented Jul 28, 2013 at 19:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .