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.

Return to FAQ index

On other Stack Exchange sites

  • 55
    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
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 20:22
  • 168
    faq? I'd call this just an aq
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:32
  • 101
    Meh. People ask this stuff? It's merely a q.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 2, 2009 at 3:13
  • 36
    You hate "SOpedians"??? I'm going to kill a pony in revenge. Commented Sep 2, 2009 at 15:44
  • 36
    @Shog9: The a in aq stands for "answered", not "asked" :-)
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Commented Sep 5, 2009 at 15:06
  • 7
    Does, the "jump the shark" qualify? What is it all about?
    – OscarRyz
    Commented Sep 11, 2009 at 19:02
  • 44
    @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. Commented Oct 1, 2009 at 5:45
  • 25
    Please note: "Jump the shark" has specific meaning in the Jeff/Joel context: see here: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000679.html
    – Benjol
    Commented Oct 29, 2009 at 11:05
  • 28
    What (TF) is "Cultural Height"? 6 ft 2 inches???
    – user135186
    Commented Dec 12, 2009 at 5:26
  • 13
    @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. Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 19:44
  • 105
    This question belongs on Meta-Meta
    – JoelFan
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 18:33
  • 13
    This whole page has me laughing out loud.
    – Maxpm
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 5:07
  • 8
    Meme? a meme is a funny joke with stick figures and funny faces..... curse you wikipedia.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 18:17
  • 4
    I don't understand mulching. Can someone please define it? Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 18:25
  • 146
    You should totally drop those memes and try jQuery. Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 10:17

76 Answers 76


Meme: Slowest Cheater in the East (SCITE)

Originator: Mehrdad

First Heard: August 26th, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

  • 2
    This is not a meme, it is an acronym.
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:31
  • 18
    A meme is a catchphrase or concept. "Slowest Cheater in the East" qualifies on both accounts (which just happens to have a convenient acronym). Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:38
  • 26
    Or, by some personal preferences, it could be an initia... I just had the strangest sense of déjà vu. Commented Sep 21, 2009 at 5:08
  • So, should you have downvoted the dup? Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 19:42
  • 7
    I'm surprised nobody pointed out the fact that the acronym coincides with the name of the SciTE text editor.
    – user153011
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 15:40
  • 3
    @nyuszika7h: Clearly the only thing to do is to fork SciTE and call the new branch FGitW.... Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 4:25
  • FGitW reference. Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 20:07
  • SciTE reference. Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 20:08


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: 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.

  • 8
    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. Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 13:56
  • 15
    @Robert it's not vandalizing, the editor who put the change is the one who added this meme Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 14:02
  • 7
    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 Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 14:12
  • 10
    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 Mod
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 14:57
  • 4
    @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. Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 15:21

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
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 14:28
  • 4
    Personally I prefer this form of oscillation
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 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." Commented Feb 12, 2013 at 18:51
  • 4
    The original answer has been deleted. Screenshot here.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 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. Commented Jul 29, 2013 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). Commented Jul 29, 2013 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
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 13:14
  • 1
    Deleted by a moderator, @Doorknob. 10k won't help there.
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 20:44
  • 2
    @Arjan Noooooooo
    – Doorknob
    Commented Aug 14, 2013 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
    Commented Nov 4, 2009 at 1:31
  • thx, fixed. and blamed, for what it's worth. :) Commented Nov 4, 2009 at 3:19
  • as long as it handles hanging chads
    – user131297
    Commented Nov 18, 2009 at 18:51
  • "Cultural Height: 5'3" without shoes." - You don't wear shoes in public? Commented Nov 21, 2009 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. Commented Nov 21, 2009 at 15:45

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. Commented Feb 16, 2014 at 17:39
  • 24
    @psubsee2003 Are you sure you weren't looking at a cached version? ;)
    – Travis J
    Commented Feb 16, 2014 at 18:12
  • 4
    @juergen why the rollback? Care to explain what was wrong in the edit? Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 12:17
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard: I just liked my revision more.
    – juergen d
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 13:42
  • 29391 posts on main-SO about it.
    – bjb568
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 19:06
  • 4
    Related, but external: shouldiblamecaching.com
    – Kroltan
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 0:53
  • shouldiblamecaching.com just displays "Yes. Advice may be invalid due to caching.". How is this relevant? Does it add anything worthwhile? Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 7:25
  • 2
    @PeterMortensen that site is typically linked to on posts reporting "bugs" that are really just cached variables not updating.
    – Nissa
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 18:23
  • 1
    @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
    Commented Jan 23, 2020 at 20:59

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: 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: 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
    Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 18:17
  • 4
    @igormilla oy, it's obviously currency.
    – Xeoncross
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 21:08
  • 14
    Might also be related to Oi?
    – Junuxx
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 14:40
  • 6
    In Brazilian Portuguese it's "hello".
    – JMCF125
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 15:09

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.

  • 13
    "We hate fun." Posted on a meme thread. Riiiiiiight.
    – MD XF
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 20:57
  • @MD XF meta is different
    – apaul
    Commented Dec 13, 2016 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.


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
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 6:21
  • you suspend 'em? Should I flag those instead of just VtCing as off topic?
    – Zelda
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 22:51
  • @BenBrocka: They get dealt with pretty quickly. But yes, you can flag.
    – user102937
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 22:52
  • 6
    On a serious note: doesn't this somehow tell oblivious folks that it's okay to post unrelated "answers"?
    – Arjan
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 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
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 12:29
  • 2
    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
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 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! Commented Jun 18, 2012 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
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 14:48
  • 1
    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? Commented May 19, 2018 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
    Commented May 19, 2018 at 21:45

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
    Commented Jun 23, 2010 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 StaffMod
    Commented Jun 23, 2010 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
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 8:43
  • I thought it was supposed to be used for tags as well as keyboard shortcuts. My apologies.
    – Tyler
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 9:23
  • 9
    What, you guys don't have an always-friday-in-iceland key on your keyboards?
    – intuited
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 4:07

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. Commented May 14, 2012 at 22:29
  • 5
    I am unfortunately to blame for that. Not my finest idea by any stretch.
    – user50049
    Commented Nov 16, 2012 at 9:05
  • 3
    Like this? Tim Burr! Commented Jan 14, 2014 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
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 14:15
  • 5
    Glasses @TGMCians. Glasses ...
    – Bart
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 14:19
  • Ahhh @Bart Yes..
    – Ajay S
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 14:20
  • Wonder what took us so long to acknowledge Bart's memesness. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 14:55
  • 2
    It could only be done by a nemesis @ShadowWizard. Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 15:02
  • 5
    a memesis? facepalms himself Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 15:49
  • "Usage: If Bart posts a message, ★ it!" - Thats a misuse of Bart.
    – nicael
    Commented Nov 23, 2014 at 19:41
  • We misuse him all the time @nicael. Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 3:39
  • Your popularity increased @Bart, finally got a badge for your meme :) Commented Dec 13, 2014 at 18:12
  • 1
    Yay @InfiniteRecursion. Well deserved.
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 13, 2014 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 !! Commented Nov 28, 2009 at 17:42
  • 24
    Some legal advice: to sidestep the pillaging, update it hourly.
    – alex
    Commented Nov 28, 2009 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
    Commented Nov 28, 2009 at 19:30
  • @John Rudy: the last sentence was a joke, of course. @Ólafur Waage: I'll be waiting for you, you barbarian!
    – perbert
    Commented Nov 28, 2009 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
    Commented Nov 28, 2009 at 19:56

Meme: The homepage is being Yaakoved

Originator: Shadow Wizard (in chat)

Cultural height: 2021

Background: When launching a new feature that has been discussed for years. Yaakov Ellis ♦ will mark these old questions with the appropriate status tag. The result is a homepage (i.e. the list of recently active questions) with loads of red-tagged questions.

Screenshot of 11 posts edited by Yaakov within 22 minutes in one view.

  • Why is “Wizards” a related meme? It’s about many users having a similar name, whereas this is about a staff member mass-tagging old feature requests. Is it because you see “modified […] ⟨Something⟩ Wizard” quite often on the homepage? Seems a bit far-fetched… Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 8:40
  • No, because the originator is a wizzard @user289905
    – Luuklag
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:21
  • 2
    Being posted under the title of "many memes", meme it maketh not. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:31
  • 3
    Where has the word "Yaakoved" been used? Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:37
  • @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q in chat. See the link after Originator
    – Luuklag
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:38
  • 1
    @Mari funny word that was adopted by others can be seen as a meme. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 9:56
  • 1
    @Shadow10YearsWizard It's not a meme because someone turned a person's name into an adjective, it's called English! Shakespearean, Dickensian, Trumpism, Augustan, Thatcherite etc. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 10:42
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA isn't it being used as a verb here? Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 11:38
  • 1
    Yes, used in the passive voice @YaakovEllis. Personally, I would have favoured yaakovied But "Yaakoved" could also be used an adjective e.g The Yaakoved main page. Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 13:27
  • 1
    @shadow He is the Yaakovian of transformation, then?
    – Conrado
    Commented Jun 23, 2023 at 15:12

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...

  • 31
    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
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:39
  • 19
    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
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:46
  • 3
    @Welbog I love dachshunds! My wife and I have 2. Commented Sep 2, 2009 at 4:04
  • 4
    Welbog always delivers.
    – Troggy
    Commented Sep 2, 2009 at 20:25
  • 9
    De-livers? Sounds scary... Commented Sep 6, 2010 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
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:12
  • Shog9 actually edited his post within the 5 min window to get the link in the post.
    – jjnguy
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 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. Commented Sep 1, 2009 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
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:20
  • 1
    – jjnguy
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:25
  • 9
    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19478/the-many-memes-of-meta/…
    – Welbog
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:47
  • 2
    I have to upvote this answer because my name is mentioned. Also, see here for another good link.
    – mmyers
    Commented Sep 8, 2009 at 15:20

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"


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

  • 9
    Maybe this can become a Winter Bash hat ...
    – rene
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 15:14
  • 3
    You've been awarded the Paper Bag! Wait. Did you screw something up?! totally.
    – L_Church
    Commented Jun 19, 2018 at 15:15

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!".
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:16
  • 1
    We are not a meme, we AN HERO.
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:21
  • (-1) not a meme (see definition in OP)
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 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!
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:36
  • Isn't Shog9 in the mafia?
    – user27414
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 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. Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 21:40
  • @Shog9: Look out! You have been implicated with being in THE MAFIA! You will go down with us!
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:08
  • The trick to running the SO Mafia is sorting what voice is telling you what.
    Commented Sep 1, 2009 at 22:34
  • 2
    I always preferred Cabal to mafia. Commented Sep 2, 2009 at 16:46
  • 1
    @Gortok: That is why you were not in it. It is a Mafia.
    Commented Sep 2, 2009 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. Commented Nov 11, 2009 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
    Commented Nov 12, 2009 at 1:14
  • @Dereleased, you seem to have extreme right tendencies (unless that comment's a joke, which it probably is :)).
    – JMCF125
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:29

Meme: Brown

Originator: jadarnel27, in chat (more)

Cultural Height: TBD

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

Usage: Brown.

  • 4
    – Lix
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 23:47
  • 8
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 3, 2013 at 10:46
  • Also, Because Science. Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 1:48
  • But Because Science only works because brown.
    – Dev
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 10:42

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: 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



Meme: Iterative shrug evolution

Originator: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Cultural Height: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Background: The shrug character requires additional care to be properly printed in a post, by escaping the backslash representing the right arm and escaping one of the underscores to prevent italics in posts already edited after the migration to CommonMark. This has led to multiple variations of the Unicode figure found on Stack Overflow posts.

  • No escaping, missing right arm: ¯_(ツ)_/¯ 1
  • Unicode full width spacing underscore to avoid style rules: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 1
  • Shrunken arms and tilted head, more uncommon: ¯\(ツ)1
  • Surrounded by a code box, so that no escaping is required: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Beefy left arm, excessive number of slashes ¯\_(ツ)_//¯
  • The final form, sometimes after correcting edits: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

More recently, multiple edits were required, hence the iterative evolution.

As stated in deleted comments, full consistency in the shrug character is deemed important by some, and a new perspective for others.

  • [...] please do something about that shrug. Poor guy is missing an arm.
  • Thanks. So much better now. That hand flailing on the air was unnerving.
  • I don't know, it kinda reminded me of Rayman.
  • And know the little fella has two arms, and it's not inside a dark space. [...] There is hope for us still.
  • 12
    ¯\_( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)_/¯
    – Kevin B
    Commented Oct 29, 2020 at 18:35

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