Catchphrases and concepts that spread from person to person are known as memes, 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 Exchange, 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 in a separate answer 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. Especially considering that a lot of these memes aren't really understandable to newer users who weren't around in the early years of the network, or are based on system features that no longer exist.

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On other Stack Exchange sites

  • 50
    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 Sep 1 '09 at 20:22
  • 147
    faq? I'd call this just an aq – Vinko Vrsalovic Sep 1 '09 at 22:32
  • 85
    Meh. People ask this stuff? It's merely a q. – Shog9 Sep 2 '09 at 3:13
  • 29
    You hate "SOpedians"??? I'm going to kill a pony in revenge. – Stu Thompson Sep 2 '09 at 15:44
  • 29
    @Shog9: The a in aq stands for "answered", not "asked" :-) – Vinko Vrsalovic Sep 5 '09 at 15:06
  • 6
    Does, the "jump the shark" qualify? What is it all about? – OscarRyz Sep 11 '09 at 19:02
  • 41
    @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 Oct 1 '09 at 5:45
  • 24
    Please note: "Jump the shark" has specific meaning in the Jeff/Joel context: see here: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000679.html – Benjol Oct 29 '09 at 11:05
  • 22
    What (TF) is "Cultural Height"? 6 ft 2 inches??? – user135186 Dec 12 '09 at 5:26
  • 10
    @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 Aug 3 '10 at 19:44
  • 94
    This question belongs on Meta-Meta – JoelFan Feb 25 '11 at 18:33
  • 11
    This whole page has me laughing out loud. – Maxpm Jun 29 '11 at 5:07
  • 6
    Meme? a meme is a funny joke with stick figures and funny faces..... curse you wikipedia. – Gabriel Dec 12 '11 at 18:17
  • 3
    I don't understand mulching. Can someone please define it? – Andy Thomas Dec 12 '11 at 18:25
  • 132
    You should totally drop those memes and try jQuery. – Alex Coplan Dec 14 '11 at 10:17

71 Answers 71



Originator: TheTXI

Cultural Height: Early July 2009

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

Another Alias: Geoffrey Chetwood, now GEOCHET


Meme: Too Many Shogs

Originator: JAL

First Heard: A bug report posted by JAL where when Shog closed a question as multiple duplicates, the iOS Stack Exchange App would show that the question was closed by multiple Shogs.

Status: no longer reproducible. Now we have Too Few Shogs.

Close bug

Cultural Height: Shortly after the bug report was opened.

Background: Due to shortcomings with the Stack Exchange API, a question cannot be closed as multiple duplicates. Shog voted to close a question three times using one account, carefully triggering a server error half-way through the processing of the first two votes so as to add multiple duplicate links. This gave the appearance that multiple Shogs closed the question. Thus, jokes about too many Shogs, what happened to Shogs 1-8, and Shog's Socks were shared on Meta and on Chat. The bug has since been fixed and we will miss all of the Shogs.

  • 11
    HTTP 509 (Too many shogs) – Jason C Mar 3 '17 at 17:52

Meme: Oscillation

Originator: asdf_enel_hak

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

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). 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 them on an answer-unaccepting spree, subverting (or, in their own words, oscillating) the accept system by taking away the well-deserved 15 reputation from every user who had hitherto answered their questions to their satisfaction, as well as the 2 reputation that was originally awarded to themself for accepting the answers to begin with.

  • 19
    It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall I was there for the creation. No, really. – J. Steen Feb 6 '13 at 14:28
  • 4
    Personally I prefer this form of oscillation – Yi Jiang Feb 6 '13 at 14:34
  • 11
    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." – LittleBobbyTables - Au Revoir Feb 12 '13 at 18:51
  • 4
    The original answer has been deleted. Screenshot here. – Arjan Jul 29 '13 at 6:53
  • 1
    Hmm, didn't realize I was voting to delete a meme. I thought it was just incomprehensible nonsense. Like Time Cube. – Cody Gray Jul 29 '13 at 11:43
  • 1
    @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 Jul 29 '13 at 12:31
  • 5
    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 Jul 29 '13 at 13:14
  • 1
    Deleted by a moderator, @Doorknob. 10k won't help there. – Arjan Aug 13 '13 at 20:44
  • 2
    @Arjan Noooooooo – Doorknob Aug 14 '13 at 1:35

Meme: "The Great Mythical Rep Re-Calc"

Originator: ???

First Heard: (by me? two minutes ago. but I'm really awesome. Really 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 among the general user population. Rep-whores in fear for their ill-gotten points. Due to arrive in six to eight weeks, although it's possible my leg is being pulled.

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

More research is needed.

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

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
    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 Nov 4 '09 at 1:31
  • thx, fixed. and blamed, for what it's worth. :) – quack quixote Nov 4 '09 at 3:19
  • as long as it handles hanging chads – user131297 Nov 18 '09 at 18:51
  • "Cultural Height: 5'3" without shoes." - You don't wear shoes in public? – Gabriel Hurley Nov 21 '09 at 12:14
  • 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 Nov 21 '09 at 15:45

Meme: Getting Shogged

Origin: Unknown (possibly the Tavern)

Cultural Height: unfortunately, somewhere in the past

Usage: whenever somebody, having posted an (often unfounded) complaint about Stack Exchange, gets corrected by either a convincing data-analysis or a rhetoric masterpiece by Shog9, that person is said to have been shogged.

  • 6
    Please don't vent your frustrations by vandalizing this entry. If the phenomenon you are referring to has become a meme in itself, a new answer/entry would be appropriate. – Robert Columbia Jan 14 at 13:56
  • 13
    @Robert it's not vandalizing, the editor who put the change is the one who added this meme – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 14 at 14:02
  • 6
    It was a thinly veiled attempt at expressing my frustration; I intended to revert it to the original spelling on a date to be determined. Even if I wasn't the author of this answer, is it such a bad joke? This Q&A is tagged fun after all ... – Glorfindel Jan 14 at 14:12
  • 7
    I vote for keeping it fun then, and not bringing in the drama. I understand it's yours and the frustration (I probably share at least part of it...)... But this isn't the kind of 'fun' we should have, I think... It reminds me of the kind of 'fun' schoolkids have when bullying others by changing their name to mean something mean. – Tinkeringbell Jan 14 at 14:57
  • 2
    @ShadowTheBurningWizard if this was an ordinary answer, that would make some sense, but this is Community Wiki. The nature of Community Wiki is that no one truly "owns" the answer. The one who created it is simply the first contributor. – Robert Columbia Jan 14 at 15:21

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

Originator: Jonathan Sampson (here)

Cultural height: just now

Background: Many "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 1150 comments on Meta mentioning caching.

Taken to new heights while troubleshooting OAuth:

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”, which appeared during the preparation work for Stack Overflow in Portuguese. And sometimes it's localization caching!

See also: http://shouldiblamecaching.com

  • 8
    I cannot believe this was never here until now. – psubsee2003 Feb 16 '14 at 17:39
  • 21
    @psubsee2003 Are you sure you weren't looking at a cached version? ;) – Travis J Feb 16 '14 at 18:12
  • 4
    @juergen why the rollback? Care to explain what was wrong in the edit? – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Mar 9 '14 at 12:17
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard: I just liked my revision more. – juergen d Mar 9 '14 at 13:42
  • 29391 posts on main-SO about it. – bjb568 May 21 '14 at 19:06
  • 3
    Related, but external: shouldiblamecaching.com – Kroltan Apr 20 '16 at 0:53
  • shouldiblamecaching.com just displays "Yes. Advice may be invalid due to caching.". How is this relevant? Does it add anything worthwhile? – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Dec 18 '16 at 7:25
  • 1
    @PeterMortensen that site is typically linked to on posts reporting "bugs" that are really just cached variables not updating. – Nissa Dec 18 '16 at 18:23
  • @PeterMortensen Several years after the fact and a minor aside, but I created that site in large part due to caching-related bug answers here – Tim Stone Jan 23 at 20:59

Meme: Oy

Origin: rchern

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.

  • 14
    "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 Mar 22 '11 at 18:17
  • 4
    @igormilla oy, it's obviously currency. – Xeoncross Feb 22 '12 at 21:08
  • 11
    Might also be related to Oi? – Junuxx Jun 3 '12 at 14:40
  • 6
    In Brazilian Portuguese it's "hello". – JMCF125 Dec 30 '13 at 15:09

Meme: Link or it didn't happen

Origin: Paraphrase of Pics or it didn't happen

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 (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)


Meme: Always Friday in Iceland

Originator: Ólafur Waage (?)

Cultural Height: TBD

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

  • 2
    Cf. Friday afternoon – mmyers Jun 23 '10 at 18:18
  • While our viking friend might be why the term came to existence, I believe it was Shog9 who created the badge. – Grace Note Jun 23 '10 at 19:15
  • 3
    @MatrixFrog Please do not abuse the <kbd> tag - kbd abuse, as Meta users should well know, is punishable by castle banishment. – Yi Jiang Dec 22 '10 at 8:43
  • I thought it was supposed to be used for tags as well as keyboard shortcuts. My apologies. – MatrixFrog Dec 22 '10 at 9:23
  • 9
    What, you guys don't have an always-friday-in-iceland key on your keyboards? – intuited Apr 12 '11 at 4:07

Meme: Tim Post lost his keys

Originator: Tim Post

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: In his answer to Should 'drive by' downvoting be more effectively caught?, Tim Post describes a long chain of events, starting with him losing his keys, to explain why an answer was downvoted. Since then, "Tim Post lost his keys again" has become a somewhat frequent explanation for random and inexplicable events.


Meme: Calvin and Hobbes-rolling

Originator: Pekka, Collaborator: Tim Manishearth

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 that aids C&H-rollers in their nefarious deeds.

  • 9
    Special bonus: lengthy suspensions for the hapless question-askers. – user102937 Jun 6 '12 at 6:21
  • you suspend 'em? Should I flag those instead of just VtCing as off topic? – Ben Brocka Jun 8 '12 at 22:51
  • @BenBrocka: They get dealt with pretty quickly. But yes, you can flag. – user102937 Jun 8 '12 at 22:52
  • 5
    On a serious note: doesn't this somehow tell oblivious folks that it's okay to post unrelated "answers"? – Arjan Jun 10 '12 at 8:43
  • @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 Jun 10 '12 at 12:29
  • 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 Jun 10 '12 at 16:30
  • 2
    @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 Jun 18 '12 at 8:31
  • 4
    @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. – user102937 Jun 18 '12 at 14:48
  • Are users really allowed to post off-topic answers like that? I haven't seen anyone do it. Is that because the rules have changed since this answer was posted or just because they've stopped doing it for another reason? – Donald Duck May 19 '18 at 19:43
  • @DonaldDuck: It hasn't happened in awhile; the last time was probably shortly after I posted the last comment five years ago. Ah, good times. – user102937 May 19 '18 at 21:45

Meme: We Hate Fun

Originator: Jeff Atwood, https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/01/stack-overflow-where-we-hate-fun/

Mentioned: Wherever fun is being had.

Background: This meme may have started before the blog post concerning fun questions on Stack Overflow, but since the blog post it has seemingly grown to cover the suppression of fun in general.

Common usage:

Comment: Hey why is my post being downvoted? Don't you people have a sense of humor?

Response: We hate fun.

Cultural height: unsure.

  • 7
    "We hate fun." Posted on a meme thread. Riiiiiiight. – MD XF Dec 13 '16 at 20:57
  • @MD XF meta is different – apaul Dec 13 '16 at 21:14

Meme: bring back the polyglot

Originators: gparyani, the4kman

Background: It started when the Stack Overflow 404 page was changed to no longer include the polyglot. gparyani asked Bring back the 404 polyglot on Meta Stack Overflow, and then the4kman answered saying he changed his profile picture to this:


And everyone was free to join him. Many users have been using the picture in their profiles. Some even in creative ways:

Donald Duck avatar

When asked for an explanation of the languages used in this "new polyglot", the4kman responded:

It uses 326 different languages and throws a compiler error in each one of them.

  • 10
    Cultural height: 404 – MEE Apr 24 '18 at 17:09

Meme: name change to "Tim something".

Originator: Tim Post (?)

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

Cultural height: TBD.

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

  • 8
    I'd say the originator was Tim Post. – Cody Gray May 14 '12 at 22:29
  • 5
    I am unfortunately to blame for that. Not my finest idea by any stretch. – Tim Post Nov 16 '12 at 9:05
  • 3
    Like this? Tim Burr! – einsteinsci Jan 14 '14 at 6:14

Meme: GIF of fox jumping in the snow

Originator: TGMCians, in chat

Cultural height: TBD

Background: TGMCians posted the animated GIF of the fox jumping in the snow in chat, and later, the image was posted several times and some people even added it to the "about me" on their profile. The fox GIF looks like this:


The fox is actually catching a mouse buried beneath the snow.


Meme: A Stack Overflow Carol

Originator: Tim Post

Cultural Height: Christmas

About: One day near Christmas 2011, Tim Post decided to change his name to Tiny Tim, a character from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. 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:

  • Shog9 - Nine Shogs Shogging

  • Kev - The AntiSanta

  • Pubby - Santa Claus

This occured again near Christmas, 2012 where the Stack Exchange moderators invited all to join in actual meta-carols, and again in 2013 as well as 2014.


Meme: Paddington Bear Choppertars

Originator: http://meta.serverfault.com/users/1435/chopper3

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, 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!


Meme: Bart

Originator: Bart, in chat

Cultural Height: The usage of the iconic glasses as profile images by multiple users.

Background: Bart, his glasses, his smiting stick and his stars are legendary in the Tavern on the Meta, as evident from the topic of the room "MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF STARS!"

Usage: If Bart posts a message, ★ it!

  • and no description about goggles ? – Ajay S Nov 20 '14 at 14:15
  • 5
    Glasses @TGMCians. Glasses ... – Bart Nov 20 '14 at 14:19
  • Ahhh @Bart Yes.. – Ajay S Nov 20 '14 at 14:20
  • Wonder what took us so long to acknowledge Bart's memesness. – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Nov 20 '14 at 14:55
  • 2
    It could only be done by a nemesis @ShadowWizard. – Infinite Recursion Nov 20 '14 at 15:02
  • 5
    a memesis? facepalms himself – Vogel612's Shadow Nov 20 '14 at 15:49
  • "Usage: If Bart posts a message, ★ it!" - Thats a misuse of Bart. – nicael Nov 23 '14 at 19:41
  • We misuse him all the time @nicael. – Infinite Recursion Nov 24 '14 at 3:39
  • Your popularity increased @Bart, finally got a badge for your meme :) – Infinite Recursion Dec 13 '14 at 18:12
  • 1
    Yay @InfiniteRecursion. Well deserved. – Bart Dec 13 '14 at 18:13

Meme: Thanks in Advantage

Originator: Stack Overflow

Cultural Height: Unknown

Background: On Stack Overflow it had become somewhat common for a new user to place 'Thanks in advantage' in their questions in order to thank any users who answered. Besides this terrible spelling mistake, 'thanks' in posts is not allowed and as of March 2015 has been eradicated via this Meta Stack Overflow post.


Meme: "Updating the Changing name Meme Answer"

Originator: Brad Gilbert

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

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. This ongoing edition of that particular answer, kept bumping The Many Memes of Meta question to the front page, something that started to bother some users. In an attempt to stop the ongoing edition, moderator Kyle Cronin ♦ decided to lock the answer in question, sparking some controversy. Most moderators and half users, including Jeff Atwood ♦, supported the decision at the time.

To be updated daily for the next 30 days.

  • 10
    If this is updated daily, I will pillage your village !! – Ólafur Waage Nov 28 '09 at 17:42
  • 22
    Some legal advice: to sidestep the pillaging, update it hourly. – alex Nov 28 '09 at 18:35
  • 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 Nov 28 '09 at 19:30
  • @John Rudy: the last sentence was a joke, of course. @Ólafur Waage: I'll be waiting for you, you barbarian! – perbert Nov 28 '09 at 19:35
  • @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 Nov 28 '09 at 19:56

Meme: Moderator paper bag

Originator: Martijn Pieters

Cultural Height: It was highlighted as a needed thing from this comment: Why was I suspended? but seems to have only two instances (latter links)

First Seen: Why was a proper flag declined?

Background: Moderators have a tendency to fess up to their mistakes. They do so by wearing their paper bag of sadness.

Other example: Why was I suspended?

Usage: For moderators to use when they make a mistake and own up to it in a dignified matter

  • The "Cultural Height" part seems to be partly incomprehensible. Can you fix it? – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q May 18 '18 at 17:02
  • 9
    Maybe this can become a Winter Bash hat ... – rene Jun 19 '18 at 15:14
  • 3
    You've been awarded the Paper Bag! Wait. Did you screw something up?! totally. – L_Church Jun 19 '18 at 15:15

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: https://stackoverflow.com/users/52443/welbog

Example: see below...

  • 26
    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. – Welbog Sep 1 '09 at 22:39
  • 15
    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. – Welbog Sep 1 '09 at 22:46
  • 3
    @Welbog I love dachshunds! My wife and I have 2. – Jared Harley Sep 2 '09 at 4:04
  • 4
    Welbog always delivers. – Troggy Sep 2 '09 at 20:25
  • 9
    De-livers? Sounds scary... – Piskvor left the building Sep 6 '10 at 12:54

Meme: Linking to Welbog

Origin: jjnguy / Shog9 / mmyers

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

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

  • 1
    Pesto...I did it first just for the record...check the edit history. – jjnguy Sep 1 '09 at 21:12
  • Shog9 actually edited his post within the 5 min window to get the link in the post. – jjnguy Sep 1 '09 at 21:14
  • 4
    jjnguy: Don't just sit there fabricating lies to make yourself seem important; edit the answer to add those lies. Jerk. – Hilarious Comedy Pesto Sep 1 '09 at 21:18
  • 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 Sep 1 '09 at 21:20
  • 1
    Fixed – jjnguy Sep 1 '09 at 21:25
  • 9
  • 2
    I have to upvote this answer because my name is mentioned. Also, see here for another good link. – mmyers Sep 8 '09 at 15:20

Meme: Brown

Originator: jadarnel27, in chat (more)

Cultural Height: TBD

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

Usage: Brown.

  • 4
    #663300​​​​​​ – Lix Dec 2 '13 at 23:47
  • 8
    6ff47afa5dc7daa42cc705a03fca8a9b – Oded Dec 3 '13 at 10:46
  • Also, Because Science. – JonathanDavidArndt Jul 29 '17 at 1:48
  • But Because Science only works because brown. – Dev Jul 8 '18 at 10:42

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 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 Sep 1 '09 at 21:16
  • 1
    We are not a meme, we AN HERO. – GEOCHET Sep 1 '09 at 21:21
  • (-1) not a meme (see definition in OP) – Shog9 Sep 1 '09 at 21:35
  • 3
    @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 Sep 1 '09 at 21:36
  • Isn't Shog9 in the mafia? – user27414 Sep 1 '09 at 21:37
  • 5
    @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 Sep 1 '09 at 21:40
  • @Shog9: Look out! You have been implicated with being in THE MAFIA! You will go down with us! – GEOCHET Sep 1 '09 at 22:08
  • The trick to running the SO Mafia is sorting what voice is telling you what. – GEOCHET Sep 1 '09 at 22:34
  • 2
    I always preferred Cabal to mafia. – George Stocker Sep 2 '09 at 16:46
  • 1
    @Gortok: That is why you were not in it. It is a Mafia. – GEOCHET Sep 2 '09 at 18:33
  • 3
    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 Nov 11 '09 at 19:52
  • @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 Nov 12 '09 at 1:14
  • @Dereleased, you seem to have extreme right tendencies (unless that comment's a joke, which it probably is :)). – JMCF125 Jan 19 '14 at 22:29

Meme: Downvote, flag and move on

Originator: TBD

Cultural Height: TBD

Description: The response to most of "What should we do when a question is low quality" or "What should be the response for behavior x" or "What action should we take for answer y"

| improve this answer | |

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


Meme: Meta Meta Meta....

Originator: Pollyanna

Cultural Height: March 12th, 2010

Background: It was first fully realized with Pollyanna's posting of Question Title That Doesn't Describe The Problem 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.


Meme: Option Strict On

Originator: VB.NET

Cultural Height: It's larger in need than it appears.

Background: Visual Basic 6.0 wasn't too fussy about strict typing. You could add integers to strings and usually get the result you wanted. And vice-versa. Usually. VB.NET promised to change that and let you get predictable results from your code. As in, the prediction you made, and not what the compiler felt like doing. But that promise is Optional, and not Strictly On as the default.

Corollary: If your code does not compile after setting Option Strict On, it was faulty anyway.

Caveat: Without hours of delving through imprecise documentation, some things can only be found out at run-time. The increase in entropy of the universe for allowing run-time determination of types may be less than the entropy increase resulting from figuring out how to strongly-type something.

Usage: If someone asks a VB.NET question, look for something like TextBox1.Text = x + 5. Found it? Yes! Add a comment like "You should use Option Strict On to point out some problems in your code." Your work is done.

  • 5
    This sounds like a Stack Overflow meme, not a meta meme. – Jeremy Jan 15 '16 at 22:53
  • @JeremyBanks Wow, that was quick! How do I get it to SO memes instead? I couldn't find it. – Andrew Morton Jan 15 '16 at 22:54
  • Hmm... I don't think we have one, curiously enough. :/ – Jeremy Jan 15 '16 at 22:57
  • @JeremyBanks I have a suspicion that this was born from MSO and had some transmogrification to MSE. – Andrew Morton Jan 15 '16 at 23:00
  • 1
    @JeremyBanks How on Earth did you manage this? – E.P. Jan 15 '16 at 23:46
  • @E.P. magic.... or just bug on your side. There's client side script updating comment time stamps on the fly, for some reason on your side it wasn't working very well. ;) – Shadow Wizard Wearing Mask Jan 16 '16 at 5:59
  • Of course, it should be pointed out this is often the actual issue and does need to be mentioned. – Mark Hurd Oct 10 '16 at 6:32

Meme: Profit

Originator: South Park

First Used At Stack Exchange: Oct 9 '08

Cultural Height: TBD

Background: Used in various meta posts often in conjunction with "fun", whatever that is. Often used to add levity to an otherwise dull post (similar to Burninate requests being "witty").

This meme comes directly from South Park‘s season 2, episode 17 (30th in total) which aired on December 16th, 1998. In this particular episode, the children’s underwear are being stolen from them by gnomes for the purpose of “profit.”
The process, as explained by thee gnomes goes something like this.
Step 1. Collect underpants.
Step 2. ?
Step 3. PROFIT


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