Just like our mother site we need a repository of our Memes :

It has become a more frequent occurrence where new users will be confronted by an engrained meme and be left sitting there scratching their heads. I therefore propose that this space be used to document the lighter sides of S[OFU]'s culture.

Each meme should be documented separately and I hope that we as a community will be able to provide greater context to each one.

The memes may occur in the posts on the SFF.SE site, in comments, or on site chat.

  • 3
    NOTE: the following meme candidates are desperately seeking volunteers to write about them: Time lords. Time traveling robots. Dead fish of JackBNimble. Unicorn Blood. Shark vs. Gorilla. Lucas retcons. "Wikia is bad quality data". Starred Slytherincess/Glee chat comments and Starred Tango's swear words. Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 14:24
  • UPDATED LIST: Time lords. Dead fish of JackBNimble. Unicorn Blood. Lucas retcons. "Wikia is bad quality data". Starred Slytherincess/Glee chat comments and Starred Tango's swear words. Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 14:34
  • I feel like there's bound to be something in terms of frequent answers, both correct and incorrect, but I'm not sure what. I know "The Last Question" is known as Asimov's goto answer when people think they read a story of his. I know Hardware comes up fairly often (but is seldom correct).
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 18:06
  • 1
    I have added 'Dead Fish' and 'Unicorn Blood.' Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 21:52
  • 5
    Also someone should do:unanswered story ident questions are actually people's dreams. Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 18:19
  • 3
    Is someone going to curate a "Flag-gate" or "Mod-fest" entry here? Or would that be too poor-taste?
    – Möoz
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 21:27
  • What do you mean by "meme"? No image?
    – RedCaio
    Commented Dec 13, 2015 at 19:34
  • Still waiting for someone to write something up about me being Rand.
    – Mithical
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 10:53
  • sigh - Nostalgic for the Suicide Squid meme from the Usenet rec.arts.comics groups.
    – RDFozz
    Commented Jan 24, 2018 at 21:04

25 Answers 25


Meme: Warning: TV Tropes Link

Originator: Mason Wheeler: July 26, 2011.

Cultural Height: No identifiable particular peak usage of this meme.

Background: DVK explains the warning provided with a link to TVTropes:

don't follow the link or you'll waste half your life in a twisty maze of content

TVTropes is in informal encyclopedic wiki cataloging common tropes found in popular media. It is common for readers to click through to one link, and then be presumed missing as the reader has not been seen or heard from in days, having become engrossed following link after link of related tropes.

TVTropes own site acknowledges the dangers of viewing the site with a meta-trope: TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life, citing additional reasons for warnings such as

  • A common complaint of people who take courses like Media or Film studies is that they never look at a TV program, advertisement or film the same way ever again.
  • Analyzing a medium in depth and pulling it apart by the seams teaches you to watch things critically — analyzing every aspect and codifying them inside your mind.

They also add their own warning about the time sink that browsing can become for users.

Now we warn you about the amount of time you will spend browsing the website in your first few weeks of visiting. Some editors spend 7 hour+ periods just reading through the thousands of pages, going through an extended Wiki Walk.

The tag also exists, citing that warnings are typically provided when linking to the site.

A link to an article on TV Tropes is usually accompanied by a warning, since the interlinkedness of the site makes it an enormous time sink.

Example Usage:

  • (Warning: TVTropes link!)

  • Usual TVTropes productivity-warning applies.

  • (Warning! Don't click -- it will eat half your day.)


Tab Explosion

  • 1
    I don't know...this is common to see in SciFi, but is it really specific to this SE?
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 14:43
  • 11
    @Zibbobz It's my understanding that we're collecting memes found on the site, not those necessarily specific or having originated here. Gorilla Vs Shark is not specific to our site, nor did it originate here, but it is quite applicable here.
    – phantom42
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 14:49
  • Excellent point. I was actually asking specifically because I wasn't sure, not asking as a counterpoint. Upvoted.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 15:33
  • 2
    Same warning applies to Cracked.com, BTW.
    – SQB
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 19:01
  • 1
    @Zibbobz - memes don't have to be unique to the site to be relevant to it. Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 14:32
  • See also another meta question, meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/q/6396/4918 What is so wrong about TVTropes?
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 12:29

Meme: "Time Traveling Robots".

Originator: An Internet troll originally going under the name "Rondo", although a wide variety of subsequent usernames were used.

Cultural Height: April of 2012 through early 2013

Background: It started innocently enough. A question posted by a new user, asking about the Terminator franchise. Then another, again, seemingly innocently enough.

And then it began.

A question was posted asking for a list of all movies involving time traveling robots. It was closed as off-topic as an open-ended list.

Another question was posted to replace it. It was closed as well.

Rondo implied that he believed time traveling robots were real, and expressed frustration with his eventual reluctant conclusion that Terminator 2 was fictional:

Rondo's list question

The new question feed started filling up with questions about time traveling robots. Some of them were disguised, starting off as seemingly legitimate questions, only to throw in a bit about time traveling robots at the end.

Rondo's Cyborg 2087 question

Others were blatant, asking every possible variation of questions involving time traveling robots conceivable.

Neo is clearly a time traveling robot!

Classical examples of early time traveling robots were sought: I've always believed that Jean Valjean was actually a fugitive cyborg from the future

User accounts were banned or destroyed, only to have a new series of questions posted under a new account. John Connor quailed in despair. K-9 contemplated suicide by sonic screwdriver. Even Bender swore off a life of crime. All to no avail.

Aliases were created, usually some sort of anagram of "Rondo", and various scatological themes were incorporated into his obsession with robots.

Rondo's quest spread to other sites, as well: Time traveling robots need more quarters!

Eventually, the influx of time traveling robot questions stopped.

And then started again.

Then stopped.

A user going by the same original username eventually showed up, and started posting questions that seem legitimate. Some of them didn't even involve time traveling robots. It is uncertain whether there is any relationship between this account and the original trolls.

Consipiracy theories were formulated, speculating on the possible identity of the original perpetrator.

Regardless, the spam thankfully ended, but ever since the concept of time traveling robots has had a special place on our site, and the original spam would be referenced for a long time after.

Eventually, it would go on to inspire a blog post

  • 15
    It would be good to mention the (IMHO) absolutely amazing and artful lists of possible media included in many of those questions. Frankly, as far as trolls went, this one was pure genius. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 13:39
  • @DVK I would have loved to use more specific examples, but my memory simply isn't that good, and I couldn't find the deleted questions. Please feel free to edit in any you can think of or find.
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 13:41
  • 4
    @Beofett - I have a bunch of screenshots of Rondo posts, as well as Rondo Some e-cards that are kind of funny. I had a theory as to who Rondo is/was, so whenever he/she would post I would do a screenshot. I can share them if you'd like. :) Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 19:34
  • @Slytherincess Please do!
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 19:48
  • I'll have to email them. If you don't mind sending me an email at slytherincess[at]gmail, I'll reply and send them. :) Commented Oct 4, 2014 at 20:16
  • 5
    Screenshots added courtesy of a very helpful Slytherincess :)
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 17:57
  • Clearly what we need next are meta-questions about time travelling robots.
    – Zibbobz
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 14:39
  • 2
    @Zibbobz like What's with the time traveling robots?? :)
    – Beofett
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 14:44
  • 11
    Hmm. I'm curious, though - did Rondo ever find his time traveling robots? Or did they go back in time and erase the answer from the site?
    – Omegacron
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 18:54
  • Did this happen before or after the wave of time-travelling robots questions? @Slytherincess do you have exact dates for those posts?
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Mar 13, 2015 at 0:13
  • What about time travelling genie?, do they count ;) Commented May 18, 2016 at 11:31
  • My favorite is the time-travelling robots/opera question. So funny :)) (I have three Someecards I made for Rondo that are all safe for work. Let me know if you want them for any reason and I'll get them to you. :) Commented May 19, 2016 at 18:54
  • Oops, I already said that! Consider this a duplicate comment ... :P Commented May 19, 2016 at 18:57
  • Another example: Is the spaceship in Flight of the Navigator a robot?
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 10, 2017 at 2:23
  • New sighting: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/190726/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 16:37

This meme example is a work in progress. Please add details from searching chat, comments and posts

Meme: "JKR Math" / "JKR is bad at maths".

Originator: TBD (Slytherincess or DVK, likely? My first candidate is this comment from 2011) on main site. PearsonArtPhoto on chat.

Cultural Height: You'd need to be good at maths to find local maxima.

Background: J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter author) admitted in interviews that she is bad at mathematics, as an explanation for some of the numerical inconsistencies in Harry Potter books (such as population size of Wizarding Britain, or time intervals/chronology)

The meme is used in one of two contexts:

  • Finding Yet Another example of an inconsistency in Harry Potter canon that can most plausibly be explained by JKR not knowing maths

  • Using "JKR Math" as a noun describing any poor math by SFF author, the same way people refer to "Lucas/Star Wars physics"



Meme: "Gorilla vs. Shark".

Originator: Jeff Atwood, one of the founders of the Stackexchange platform.

Cultural Height: September, 2012 and again in July of 2014.

Background: In August of 2011, Jeff Atwood wrote a blog entry entitled Gorilla vs. Shark. While aimed primarily at issues with a certain type of question on Stackoverflow.com, the points made about the uselessness of asking "who would win" in a battle between x and Y turned out to be particularly applicable to SciFi.se. Throughout our site's history, we've had a number of odd battles suggested, most of which have been since deleted after "gorilla vs. shark" was invoked as a close reason.

At one point, we even had a tag dedicated to the topic.


Meme: Phantom42 is Slytherincess' daughter

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley)

Originator: Richard: Nov 4 '14 9:22 PM.

Cultural Height: Late 2014

Background: Phantom42 and Slytherincess were logging off of chat within minutes of each other. The former supposedly to commute, and the latter supposedly to pick up her daughter.

Phantom42 joked:

The fact that @Slytherincess says she's leaving to pick up her daughter just as I'm signing off to go commute should in no way be viewed as suspicious.

Richard deduced the the secret connection:

@phantom42 - Are you @Slytherincess' daughter?

Since then, occasional comments/jokes are made when either of the users are logging out of chat in the afternoon.

  • I remember these days!
    – Möoz
    Commented Nov 16, 2022 at 4:42

Meme: "Because, magic"

Originator: SFF.se Harry Potter fans.

Cultural Height: The wave has yet to crest!

Currently active: Yes

Background: In October/November 2011, SFF.se approved Harry Potter as a Q&A topic. Since that time, hundreds of users, perhaps thinking they were clever and iconoclastic, have answered "Because, magic!" whenever a Harry Potter question is posed. It is meant to suggest that anything which happens in the Harry Potter universe can be fixed by magic, including, presumably, feats that defy normal magic, such as healing wounds from Dark Magic, and even Death itself. This is not compatible with Harry Potter canon, and J.K. Rowling has said many times that "magic doesn't and cannot fix everything."

The application of "Because, magic" is not encouraged and occurs mainly with newer users. However, occasionally a high/higher rep user will whip this winner out of his/her war chest. Upon encountering "Because, magic", the community typically 1) mocks the phrase, 2) rolls their collective eyes, or 3) pretends to answer every other question on the site with "Because, magic", even when magic doesn't even exist in a given universe.

Example: "Because, magic" (Scroll down to the bottom of the comments)

Tag status: No tag exists.

  • 8
    I think "because, magic" is also used to express the feeling that the use of magic in the Harry Potter universe is not always consistent, nor is it always followed through to its logical consequences.
    – SQB
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 6:11
  • 4
    @SQB - Undoubtedly you are correct -- it's a way of expressing frustration at the author for plot inconsistencies and an overly idealistic storyline. In this instance it's usually expressed sardonically. OTOH, other types of users use "Because, magic" as if they are being clever and no one else could have ever possibly come up with this stale clunker a hundred times before. :) Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 15:48
  • To me, "because magic" and "because, magic" are two COMPLETELY different things. Which one is the actual meme?
    – Martha
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 23:05
  • 1
    @martha please explain? Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 23:34
  • @Martha -- I believe it should be Because, magic, with a comma. I have added a comma accordingly. (Although you'd probably find it written both ways, depending on the writer.) Commented Jan 18, 2015 at 6:05
  • 5
    I believe TVTropes calls this "A wizard did it".
    – b_jonas
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 9:42
  • 1
    Is "because bad writing" a sub-trope of this trope?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 11:01
  • 1
    @b_jonas -- No it is not the same as "A wizard did it." It is the "Because, magic" meme, not the "A wizard did it" meme. I am also not talking about the one-upmanship meme, which, of course, would be rude to pursue. Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 1:21

Meme: You are dead to me (mostly to Jack B Nimble)

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley), 2013 Moderator Election

Originator: Jack B. Nimble

Cultural Height: End of 2012.

Background: Anytime someone in chat says or does something that Jack B. Nimble dislikes, Jack declares to the person "you are dead to me".

The offending topic could be something important, like taking issue with Unicorn Blood drinking. Or, as was the case with the very first instance ever, as trivial as a person promising to "BRB" and failing to appear back soon.

The person who is the most dead to Jack B. Nimble is clearly @TangoOversway, and the situation is qualitatively symmetrical.


  • 3
    I think this is too contrived... The memes that are supposed to be documented here are the ones that someone might run into on meta or the main site. Something that's only on chat isn't at all like the original "many memes of meta/SO" posts. Commented Sep 27, 2014 at 22:33
  • 2
    This is a common saying. I just don't see it as relevant.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 14:00
  • 6
    Well, I've been dead to Jack B Nimble at least 2-3 times, so it seems legit to me. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 19:56
  • 4
    Fyi. This was asked on meta and consensus was it is valid to have chat memes Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:18
  • 30
    @Ward You are dead to me. Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 20:37
  • 2
    I've been dead to @JackBNimble a few dozen times over.
    – Tango
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 17:02
  • Latest occurrence happened in chat, after a "We have a blog?" remark. Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 15:50

Meme: Obie, aka: Obie the Interrupting OneBox

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley)

Originator: Mike Edenfield May 27, 2015 6:58 PM.

Cultural Height: Through early May 2017.

Background: Richard was attempting to tell a knock-knock joke about an interrupting cow named Gerald, but was thwarted by the system's question feed which generates preview links to questions, answers, and a number of other selected types of links, as it generated a preview link for a new question on the main site.

Referring to Richard's joke being interrupted, the Interrupting OneBox was briefly referred to as "Gerald" by Mike Edenfield, who shortly changed his mind and dubbed it "Obie the Interrupting Onebox".

the secret origins of obie
Click for bigger

Since this time, even when Obie is not interrupting or ruining jokes, the Onebox previews are still referred to as "Obie".

(Note: If you're not clear why Obie is a funny nickname, recall that OneBox can be abbreviated as "OB")

Usage Examples:

I thought Obie knew how to Twitter
-Mike Edenfield

Shut up Obie

Slow as ever Obie
-Mike Edenfield

The Death of Obie

As of May 2017, the name "Obie" was retired when the previous chat room was frozen, and the new room taking its place decided to distance itself completely from all things related to the old room.

  • I was familiar with the nickname but had no idea where this originated from. Thanks!
    – Ixrec
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 22:09
  • @randal'thor i swapped the image with one that included richard's joke for better context.
    – phantom42
    Commented Nov 8, 2015 at 22:26
  • If anyone's interested, the cause of Obie's death was 'Poisoning'.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 22:28
  • 1
    @Möoz it was actually death by tomato blight. So really it was death by infection.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 22:23

Meme: rand al'thor's (or anyone else's) donkey of shame

Originator: Wad Cheber

Cultural height: September 2015 to present.

Background: rand made the mistake of admitting that he has never seen any of the Star Wars movies. Therefore, he was forced to ride a donkey backwards into the desert with a bucket on his head.

Most commonly used by saying "GET ON THE DONKEY" whenever he mentions Star Wars.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Update: This meme has expanded in recent months, and can now be used in reference to anyone who hasn't seen/read a wildly successful and well known work of science fiction/fantasy.

Other such franchises include Star Trek, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, Terminator, etc. It should be used primarily with reference for whichever format(s) of such franchises are extremely popular: eg, movies for Star Wars, Terminator, and BTTF; movies and books for HP and LotR; movies and TV for Star Trek; etc1.

1 I thought I had a Hunger Games donkey, but chat came to the consensus that HG isn't big enough, and hasn't been around for long enough, to warrant its own donkey.

Update #2: On May 23, 2016 rand al'thor said this:

enter image description here

It did not go unnoticed.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    SOrry I couldn't get the bucket onto his head in the picture. I'll work on it.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 21:43
  • 4
    That one is harmless compared to him not having finished WoT. Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 17:54
  • 1
    @randal'thor I think it would be helpful if you posted why you haven't seen Star Wars. I have often wondered about this, as I'm sure many other users have. This way when someone goes "Wait, what?! You've never seen Star Wars?!" there's a place they can go for an explanation. For example I've been wondering, if you've never seen Star Wars then why do you answer Star Wars related questions? You could post that here or on a new meta post. :)
    – RedCaio
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 6:33
  • @RedCaio He hates it and thinks it is stupid, despite not having enough information to make such judgments.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 7:11
  • 4
    @RedCaio Why not just leave it as a mystery? ;-) Seriously though, I don't get why people make such a fuss over it. I don't think it's particularly noteworthy if people haven't seen Stardust or Doctor Who, say, or read Wheel of Time. Different people have different tastes. As for why I answer SW questions, the answer was originally rep, but these days I rarely answer them and only when a question actually interests me for some reason.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 10:42
  • 6
    @randal'thor the everyday person may have heard of Doctor Who or possibly wheel of time. Saying you've never even seen Star Wars is like saying you've never tried ice cream or eaten a cookie. Why not at least try something when chances are you'll like it or love it?
    – RedCaio
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 10:58
  • 5
    @RedCaio Popular =/= good :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 11:07
  • 1
    @randal'thor I know. There's a microscopic chance you won't like it. If you do try it you'd at least know whether you liked it and you'd be able to relate to others who have seen it. In any case, "You must do what you feel is right, of course" as Obi-Wan says.
    – RedCaio
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 11:28
  • @WadCheber "He hates it and thinks it is stupid, despite not having enough information to make such judgments.", that sounds like Dizzle. Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 10:42
  • @Randal'Thor The other weird thing about not watching Star Wars is that it's not actually a big time investment, especially if you actually do end up hating it and turn it off partway through. Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 23:36
  • So... Am I concerned if I never watched in its entirety any of the followings? Lord of the ring, Star Trek, Star Wars, Back fo the future, Games of Throne, [insert the rest of the list there]
    – Clockwork
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 20:12

Meme: The Many Hammers of SFF

Scope: SFF Chat Room (Mos Eisley) and 2015 Moderator Election Question Collection (comments)

Originator: Gilles 2011-04-02

Cultural Height: January 2014; ongoing.

Known variants

Beware those who transgress

Thor smashes enemies with his hammer "Mjolnir" and crushes his enemies: The Dupes

Scholars maintain that the swoosh and gong these "Hammers" make can awaken sleeping giants.

  • 2
    You should link to relevant support pages or blog posts for various hammer actions Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 15:39
  • 3
    Don't forget the Foe-Hammer Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 18:41
  • Added some examples and corresponding images. Credit to @Richard for the images.
    – Möoz
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 21:12
  • 2
    I had nothing to do with this meme. “Mod hammer” is Stack Exchange-wide and older than SFF. Is there really an SFF-specific hammer meme?
    – user56
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 14:47
  • @MichaelEdenfield Thor ... is that who it is? I always think of it as Richard!
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 15:07
  • @Gilles That's correct, but you were the first instance (that I could find) on this site :)
    – Möoz
    Commented May 1, 2015 at 1:14
  • "Closes an answer" o_O
    – user57650
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:34

Meme: "Dead Fish of Jack B Nimble"

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley) and 2012 Moderator Election

Originator: Jack B Nimble

Cultural Height: January 2012

Background: Once upon a time Jack B Nimble had an aquarium [comic, comic, comic]. It was not a very successful aquarium, and it had a high death rate.

When the 2012 moderator elections were held, He ran a fierce campaign against 'Is X a Timelord' questions and offered this promise.

If elected as Moderator I would [nurture] the site as well or better than the fish that recently died in my fish tank due to severe neglect.

These days, you might occasionally hear someone mention the dead fish (most notably Slytherincess), but for the most part this meme has gone the way of the D'Arsay.


Meme: "Saying 'crap' gets stars in chat"

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley)

Originator: TangoOversway

Cultural Height: Early 2012

First Occurrence: TangoOversway Jan 19 '12 6:50 PM

There are times I make sure I include a full sentence here, to give something funny to be starred, then people ignore those and star my comments whenever I say, "Crap!"

Background: Tango said it, and it made it so. Although of 527 chat entries containing 'crap', only 47 of them have received stars.

To date one comment shines highest with 6 stars for containing the secret 'star' word.

Tango Note to self: Whenever anyone mentions @Slytherincess and Glee in a message, star it - just like all my messages get starred when I write "crap" in them.

  • 1
    I've seen many people use the word 'crap' and not get starred, but if I use it, it almost always gets starred. Sometimes I may say it in several comments in a conversation and only one got a star.
    – Tango
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 17:01
  • 1
    Just saw this again. Just to be clear: I didn't originate this. I was just the victim of it. I am unable to use the word 'crap' in chat without it being stared at least the first time I use it in a conversation.
    – Tango
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 4:20

Meme: "timey-wimey."

Originator: TBD (Possibly Keen in this answer from June 7, 2011.)

Cultural Height: Still going strong.

Background: Based on a quote from the Doctor Who episode "Blink."

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff." — The Tenth Doctor

This phrase, or some variation of it, is often used in response to questions related to Doctor Who or time travel in general.

It is similar to the meme "Because, Magic" in that it is used as an excuse when something doesn't make sense.


Meme: "Unicorn Blood"

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley)

Originator: Maybe Jack B Nimble

The first time he mentioned the consumption of unicorn was in this question What are the uses of Unicorns? (Jan. 2012)

The first time someone mentioned drinking the blood of a unicorn was Oct 2012.

JackBNimble: @Izkata I love the [delicious] taste of unicorn blood..

Cultural Height: October 2012 - September 2014

Background: In the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the antagonist Voldemort drinks the blood of a unicorn to keep himself alive.

"...it is a monstrous thing, to slay a unicorn. Only one who has nothing to lose, and everything to gain, would commit such a crime. The blood of a unicorn will keep you alive, even if you are an inch from death, but at a terrible price. You have slain something pure and defenceless to save yourself, and you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips." - Firenze

Ever since then, it has been a fad to drink the blood of unicorns. Voldemort made it cool before it was cool.

Lots of people have jumped on the bandwagon.

Xantec: I cannot remember the last time I had Unicorn blood.

DVK: I guess drinking Unicorn Blood does do good things for you.

SQB: But that unicorn blood one pretty much cinched it for me.

Pureferret: [In] other news, my new ear medicine is made [of] Magic, Rainbows and a dash of unicorn blood.


Meme: Thanks, Richard/It's Richard's fault

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley) and Meta (multiple questions)

Originator: Michael Edenfield and Phantom42, based on behavior of SS-3.1415926535897932384626433

Cultural Height: April 2015 - October 2015.

Background: A user who had a number of contentious posts which would often be closed or downvoted, was also receiving temporary bans in chat for offensive remarks. Despite many of the closures being the result of the community's will, or any one of the mods, this user would almost always blame Richard.

Case in point: SS was banned from chat and opened this meta question

Now, what have I done wrong or unethical this time that I have been banned again?

@Richard, seriously? This is you who have started the fight...

To which Keen responded

Because you said something rude in The Waiting Room (Health.SE's chat room), it was flagged, and deleted. Don't be rude.

Also quit blaming Richard for everything.

The amount of blame placed on Richard for every perceived sleight led way to chat's assigning the blame for every wrong in the world to Richard.

In chat, phantom42 said

We need a "Thanks Richard" (a la Thanks Obama) image to start posting anytime anything bad happens around here.

Michael Edenfield stepped up to the task and created a handful of images for use, lampooning the situation.

thanks, richard

is it off-topic?

I'm just here to see who blames richard

damn you, richard!

Unofficial retirement: When Richard stepped down as moderator, the active chat participants made a collective agreement to no longer blame Richard for everything, even in jest, going so far as to even remove the "Blame Richard" functionality from Mike Edenfield's Joshua bot.

  • 9
    Why Thor? Wouldn't Buffy be a more appropriate reference to @Richard? Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 13:30
  • 9
    @DrRDizzle Because of Richard's use of photos of Thor/Mjolnir in chat whenever he is performing mod-actions.
    – phantom42
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 13:32
  • No dark buffy will work better. Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 13:57
  • 1
    @AnkitSharma You're free to make new ones, just as Michael did.
    – phantom42
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 15:23
  • 6
    @AnkitSharma - I tend to use Buffy as my avatar, but when I mod things, I always portray it as Thor.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 12:29
  • 1
    Buffy in the profile sheets, Thor in the mod streets. Get you a man that can do both!
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 2:32

Meme: If Toad Slimed...

Scope: SFF Chat room (Mos Eisley) and main site (multiple questions)

Originator: Michael Edenfield Mar 4 5:14 PM.

Cultural Height: Early March 2015

Background: A new user began asking a series of questions about Toad's spit, and who might survive or avoid the attack.

Tag Status: Of course there's a tag!


Some of the regular users in chat noticed the trend and began commenting on it and its possible ulterior motives

Sean Duggan: @JackBNimble: The question is, how long will it take before he asks whether the time-traveling robots can remove the slime from Toad's attack?


Michael Edenfield: I'm a bit worried over his fascination with Toad's spit.


Michael Edenfield: @phantom42 Originally I thought he was looking for a female that was vulnerable to Toad, but his question about Rogue clearly indicates that she is vulnerable and he just wants to know if she could survive Gambit's rescue attempt. I think?

And thus, chat turned into creating absurd versions...

Michael Edenfield: If Toad slimed a drunk Caitlin Snow could The Flash run her home before she choked on her own vomit?


Michael Edenfield: If Mystique was slimed by Toad could she turn into a gnat?

as well as trying to figure out what characters might actually fit what the user was looking for.

Michael Edenfield: marvel wikia lists 102 x-men related women. I'll take A-M you take the rest? :)

In the end, we came up with Dani Moonstar, Silverfox, Blindfold, and Karma as all being the most susceptible to Toad's slime attack.

Since then, when lower-quality questions or topics, or just absurd situations come up, Toad's slime attacks are sometimes mentioned, wondering how Toad's slime would affect the situation.

Michael Edenfield: if toad spit on padme would it still be creepy for her to marry anakin?


Michael Edenfield: If Toad slimed a drunk Caitlin Snow could The Flash run her home before she choked on her own vomit?


Michael Edenfield: If Toad spit slime at the Blob could Juggernaut still break through it?


Whenever somebody asks a question regarding "How does x work", Paul D. Waite jumps in with a

How does x work? Very well, thank you.

Before anyone else gets a chance!

How does the chain used at the Battle of the Blackwater work?
How can Invisible Woman see?
How does the red pill work?
And many, many more. I call out Paul because of all such comments, he's made over half of them.

And if you think he missed one, think again!

How does the new Deadpool movie relate to X-Men Origins: Wolverine?

Oh, and because I forgot to make this joke before: how does the new Deadpool movie relate to X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Very well, thank you.

  • 6
    Paul D. Waite is the king of smartarse comments, full stop. Not just "Very well, thank you" but all sorts. I'll gather a list sometime if you want.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2016 at 1:52
  • 3
    I started being funnier on this site because of Paul.
    – Möoz
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 19:25
  • 1
    Actually, "well" cannot isn't a possible reply (semantically) to "how does X Y", so the joke doesn't work. You can only use if for "How is X Ying" which is close to "How well is X Ying". IMHO.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 12:37
  • 10
    @einpoklum No, it works very well. Thank you.
    – user31178
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 15:44
  • @CreationEdge: (shrug).
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 16:03
  • Why doesn't this explain the point and origin of the meme? Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 22:11
  • @DVK Just because it doesn't have it in bold headers doesn't mean it's not there ;)
    – user31178
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 22:57
  • @CreationEdge - I'm pretty sure Mr. Waite didn't come up with the idea originally. Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:53
  • @DVK-in-Florida ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    – user31178
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 1:15
  • 1
    @CreationEdge - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transporter_(Star_Trek). Search for "very well" Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 1:41
  • 1
    @einpoklum - Its semantic oddness is arguably the main driver of its humor.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 6:43
  • @Adamant: If you're not in on this super-sophisticated nuance, it just sounds like someone is failing to make a joke at your question's expense, and it feels annoying rather than funny. IMHO.
    – einpoklum
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 10:23
  • and the follow up.. How powerful is X? -- It is Z (usually 4 or 7) powerful!
    – Skooba
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 19:58
  • I think I started this on this Doctor Who question having read the quote originally on Wikipedia. Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 6:44
  • 1
    @AncientSwordRage Very well, thank you.
    – Möoz
    Commented Sep 12, 2023 at 1:53

Meme: "Tacos" (v 2.0)

Scope: SFF chat — both (the now defunct) Mos Eisley and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

Originator: Unknown, but Ixrec may have explicitly described it first.

I love how "tacos" is the official safe word when engaging in rough chat
- Ixrec

He also may have been the first to use it this way.

Cultural Height: November 2015 to present

Background: Born from the ashes of an unfortunate, older meme, "taco(s)" is now a hint to change the subject in chat to avoid unpleasantness.


@Axelrod And there we come to what are likely fundamental differences between us, and so I bid you a respectful change of subject. Tacos.
- Politank-Z


MEME: Just because you can ask doesn't mean you should ask.

Originator: Dr. Ian Malcolm

Cultural Height Currently effective Stack premise.

Background: Paraphrased from 1993 Jurassic Park speech. Ian said it first, but OP's of the world won't listen.


Meme: Praxis and Often Right have synaptic scanners that allow each other to listen in on the other's thoughts

Originator: Praxis

Cultural Height: June 2015, but it still recurs


Dr Noonien Soong has a device called a synaptic scanner which he uses to transfer or copy consciousness from a living being into an android body. My handle being a reference to Dr Soong, was making comments about downvotes and Praxis made a very similar remark literally at the same time. The remark was made by Praxis that a synaptic scanner must have been used.

Since then, whenever Praxis and Often Right make a statement that is very similar, they cite the synaptic scanner as the reason.


@JasonBaker: do you mean Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the one with V'Ger in it), because in that movie the Enterprise had undergone a refit to have the rectangular warp nacelles which these images don't have. That movie is the only time I ever recall seeing the Enterprise in spacedock too, but that's not it I'm afraid! – Often Right Jun 4 at 1:39

@JasonBaker : Do you mean The Motion Picture? I'm just clarifying because the image above shows the Enterprise as it appeared in The Original Series, but The Motion Picture only has the refit Enterprise, which looks quite different from above. – Praxis Jun 4 at 1:39
@OftenRight : Were you scanning my brainwaves?! – Praxis Jun 4 at 1:40
@Praxis - my synaptic scanner comes in handy sometimes ;) – Often Right Jun 4 at 1:41

Note how we both had the same idea at the same time - proof of the synaptic scanners!

  • 8
    I try to jam your scanner every time I think about posting an answer. ;-)
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 25, 2015 at 13:43

Meme: Adamant is a vampire

Originator: Steelerfan

Background: Steelerfan heard that I slept during in the daytime:

Adamant: I sleep during the day.

Steelerfan then realized the truth:

Steelerfan: Ahhh…so you’re a vampire! The truth is revealed!


Slytherincess: I kind of like vampires too – I didn’t realize that you, @Adamant, are a vampire! That’s spectacular and explains why you sleep in a coffin!


Steelerfan: Adamant is a vampire, there’s really nothing else to say.

And even:

MannlyMann: @steelerfan he had to be a vampire like @Adamant


Meme: "Everyone is Jay Garrick"

Scope: SFF Chat room (Agents of Nothing)

Originator: phantom42

Cultural Height: From Early 2016

First Occurrence: phantom42 Apr 1 3:27 AM

jay garrick is everyone - phantom42


During Season 2 of The Flash, there are questions about the identity of Zoom, The Man In The Iron Mask, Jay Garrick, and his doppleganger. As the season progresses, the viewer inevitably questions if each of them is really Jay Garrick, possibly even all of them somehow.

the speed force is everything, and everything is jay garrick. - KutuluMike

Answer of every question is Jay Garrick. - MAFIA36790

Speed force is Jay Garrick - Ankit Sharma

I like the TV Flash (aka, everyone is secretly Jay Garrick) - Jack B Nimble

And then people started declaring everyone Jay Garrick; John Berg, bucky, steve, t'challa, Barry, Speed force etc etc and even you are Jay Garrick.

Even it got crossed over to The Screening Room

quicksilver is jay garrick - KutuluMike

And even to Movies & TV answers

The Man in the Iron Mask (Deposed King of France (Leonardo Di Caprio)) aka Jay Garrick (from The Jay Garrick Show).

It appears that the people in the Arrowverse have yet to realize that literally everyone is Jay Garrick.

Even YouTube know that

enter image description here

Even Oprah Winfrey agreed

enter image description here

  • 6
    I don't get it. How is this funny?
    – RedCaio
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 9:42

Meme: How old is this non-Star Wars character who shares a name with a Star Wars character?

Originator: Allie B, though it may have been unintentional.

Cultural Height: January, 2016.

Background: Originated with this question, followed by multiple others.

Explanation: A question where the age of a character who shares their name with a Star Wars character is asked. The title of the question deliberately does not mention the work, so it can make people think it's a Star Wars question at first.

  • I am disappointed by your multiple links in "multiple others". You appear to have the right letters to put each link on a letter that matches the characters' name. :)
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 14:07
  • 1
    Urgh. So very bored of this gag. It's like a never-ending SNL sketch that ISN'T.FUNNY
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 0:36

Meme: This guy / these guys / this ship / this pillow

Originator: @ThePopMachine here and @Praxis here on Sept 11, 2015.

Cultural Height: Alive and well

Background: @ThePopMachine asks question excluding these guys and @Praxis answers question with The two guys on the right. ; @ThePopMachine comments I'm literally lying in bed cracking up over the fact your answer is the two guys on the right. A meme is born. Generally used when a post revolves around an image, especially of something relatively obscure.


These guys and these guys and this guy and this guy and this ship and this pillow


In Star Wars: IV and Star Trek: III, are this guy and this guy the same guy?


Is this guy a Star Wars character?

  • 4
    I don't get it. "This guy" or "this person" are normal things to say. How are they memes?
    – RedCaio
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 6:36
  • 1
    @RedCaio: you don't have to get it. It's an in-joke/meme anyways. This has taken on a life beyond its literal meaning in that even in contexts where it would be more natural to give the person's name, or respond with a longer sentence, we would be likely to start with just This guy.. Do you find In Star Wars: IV and Star Trek: III, are this guy and this guy the same guy? to be a natural phrasing? Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 6:48
  • @user14111: Hunh? "Excluding these guys" is referring to the guys in image that is linked to by "these guys", not the phrase itself. See. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 15:25

MEME: </ insert word here >

DESCRIPTION: using a random word, preceded by </ and followed by >. Usually used at the end of a thought or sentence. In this way, it is similar to an HTML end tag like </strike> for creating strikethrough text, or </sub> for creating lowered text etc.


  1. </ninja>
    • Did I win this time? </ninja> ;-)) – rand al'thor
      - source

  2. </sarcasm>
    • I'll sometimes write </sarcasm> at the end of a Facebook comment
      - source

  3. </handwave>
    • <handwave>He knew via the Force that he would be made Chancellor</handwave> – Daniel Roseman
      - source

  4. </straight_face>
    • according to Lucas, the story was always broken into 9 movies. </straight_face> - DVK
      - source

MEANING: In the above case, </sarcasm>, it means 'I was being sarcastic. I'm done now.In the case of </ninja>, it means that they were in a race to post first - the race is over now. One of them was 'ninja'd'.

According to rand al'thor:

It means one is exiting the state described by that random word (sometimes the word might be included in < > beforehand as well). E.g. "DVK totally doesn't know his stuff about Star Wars </sarcasm>" or "<ninja> I got my answer in before yours! </ninja>".

So I guess people use </ > like some people use hashtags # or parentheses ( ). It still doesn't make a lot of sense to me though. :/

ORIGINATOR: [I don't know where this meme originated. Do you?]

Rather than ask "what does it mean when someone uses a word surrounded by </ >? as it's own question on meta, I'm posting here since it is a meme I've seen several times on SFF. Please let me know if you know what it means. :)

  • 1
    If means 'this action is finished'.
    – Mithical
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 9:18
  • 7
    This is a wider Internet meme, not specific to SFF.SE. ([citation needed] - I'll give you a link when I find one)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 22:51
  • 4
    This far predates SFF, and SE in general. It's been around at least 10 years, quite possibly more.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 23:47
  • For an example of this notation in its original usage, try typing <strike>some text here</strike> into a post somewhere.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 11:47
  • 2
    Uh.. No. This is a based on HTML (or XML) tags, which have opening and closing tags. The false closing tag means that you are done/closing with whatever action/descriptor you are using. </sarcasm> means you are done being sarcastic. </ninja> means you are done being a ninja. The opening tags were originally omitted in early days of usage because of some sites/boards trying to render the non-existent HTML tag, and the whole thing disappearing.
    – phantom42
    Commented Apr 3, 2016 at 13:42
  • ALSO THIS meta.scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/7799/…
    – RedCaio
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 3:09

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