Meme Origin last edited by robertcallaghan on 05/05/21 11:19PM View full history


Games featured on this list were inspirations for Internet Memes, concepts (generally catchphrases or jokes) which spread quickly throughout Internet culture. Memes can stem from Broken English, abysmal game quality, or otherwise memorable moments in video games. While many memes have achieved mainstream recognition, video game memes are most popular among Internet communities with a focus on gaming, such as GameFAQs, NeoGAF, and 4chan.

Video Game Memes in Culture

Ascended Memes

Occasionally, creators of video games and gaming-related entertainment will take note of a popular meme and mention or feature it in later works. This type of meme can be referred to as an "ascended meme", as it ascended from the gaming community to the game itself.

  • The developers of Team Fortress 2 were aware of players noting the similarities between the appearances of The Scout and TV pitchman Vince Offer (of SlapChop/ShamWow fame) and added bits of in-game dialogue for The Scout that are similar to an infomercial, such as "If you order now, I'll throw in a second beating, absolutely free".
  • In TF2, a crouching Spy looking up with his disguise kit vaguely resembles a crab. This "spycrab" phenomenon was noted by the developers, resulting in an extra taunt where the Spy would crouch and imitate a crab.
  • Additionally, many items found in the "Meet the Team" promotional videos for Team Fortress 2 (such as The Sniper's jars of urine and The Heavy's Sandvich) may have come from suggestions by players.
  • The World of Warcraft trading card game and collectible miniatures game both feature Leroy Jenkins in some fashion.
  • The Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage quote "Trouble with the trolley, eh?" was used in a trailer for the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
  • The line from the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trailer "You're lying, dammit! And I can prove it!" (which was never mentioned in the game) became something of a meme. The second game in the series actually features this line as a result.

Memes in Mainstream

As previously mentioned, a few game-related memes have been recognized by mainstream media.

  • The opening cutscene for Zero Wing was briefly parodied by Weezer in their music video for "Pork and Beans", itself a pastiche of Internet memes.
  • Rumor has it that President Barack Obama privately made reference to "all your base..." during his presidential campaign.

Prominent Examples

In this section is a list of meme origins and the memes associated with them. As the list is incomplete, feel free to add any that have not been mentioned.

The grammatically incorrect winning notification from Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.
The grammatically incorrect winning notification from Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.
  • Bad Dudes - "Hey dudes thanks, for rescuing me. Let's go for a burger.... HA! HA! HA! HA!" - Ronald Reagan, President of the United States. "Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?"
  • Battletoads - Calling Gamestop stores to ask if they have the game "Battletoads".
  • Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing - The extremely poor quality of the game (brought to light in part by Alex Navarro's review on GameSpot), "YOU'RE WINNER!"
  • BioShock - "Would you kindly?", a phrase used by Atlas.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - The opening sequence and its poor initial English translation, most notably the ''What is a man? A miserable pile of secrets!'' line from Dracula.
  • Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle - The first appearance of the Dopefish, a character that has gone on to make appearances in dozens of other games - often hidden in secret areas. The character has become an in-joke among developers.
  • Contra - Its cheat code is probably the most known cheat code in history. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start. Also known as " the Konami Code", this has turned into an internet meme, since it is shared by plenty of Konami (and not only Konami) games, and lately spread to other websites, such as Facebook.
  • Dark Age of Camelot - YTMND meme with a user furious over a stolen "Cloudsong".
  • Dead Rising - Frank West's inadvertent catch-phrase ''I've covered wars, ya know'' has become synonymous with the series, and is occasionally used for some self-aware self-deprecation by Frank in later installments.
  • Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones - The NES version of the game incorrectly referred to Billy Lee as "Bimmy Lee".
  • Duke Nukem 3D - "I've got balls of steel" and "It's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I'm all out of gum". (note: the latter quote is actually a slightly modified version of a line spoken by Roddy Piper in the 1988 film They Live -- itself an example of the kind of over-the-top 80s action movies, and their stars, that Duke was created to spoof -- but the quote didn't become a meme until Duke used it in the game.)
  • Dynasty Warriors - Do not pursue Lu Bu!
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - To a lesser extent, the quote "Stop right there, criminal scum!" spoken by the Imperial Guard.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - "I used to be an adventurer like you till I took an arrow to the knee" Replace 'adventurer', 'arrow' or' knee' where appropriate.
  • Genji: Days of the Blade - At the Sony's E3 2006 Conference the phrases "Giant enemy crab" and "Attack its weak point for massive damage!" were used to describe the game's "realistic" combat scenarios.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - "Ah, shit. Here we go again" and "All we had to do was follow the damn train, CJ!"
  • Heavy Rain - Press X to Jason.
  • Hotel Mario - The game's poorly animated cutscenes and cheesy acting/dialogue.
  • Katamari Damacy - "Katamari on the Rocks" by Dokaka. It is also worth noting that the concept of a Katamari is a meme on YTMND.
  • Left 4 Dead - Louis' 'addiction' to pain pills \ˈpēls\ , Francis' hatred for everything.
  • The Legend of Zelda CD-i games (Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon, Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda's Adventure) - See Hotel Mario.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - YTMND meme with the chest opening sequence, Navi's exclamations of "HEY!" and "LISTEN!"
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 2- Spawned a video in which the competitive player "yipes" yells such phrases as "OH YOU SO PRINGLES" and "WHERE YO CURLY MOUSTACHE AT?". It's also infamous for music in the character select screen: "I Wanna Take You for a Ride"
  • Mass Effect - Wrex's muttering of "Shepard" whenever he refers to the Commander.
  • Mass Effect 2 - Shepard always stating "I have to go" or something to that effect, each time s/he leaves a conversation. Also, "I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite store on the Citadel"; where 'store' and 'Citadel' may be replaced with various other words or phrases, depending on the situation.
  • Mass Effect 3 - Because of the notoriously poor reception towards the ending, the creation of the phrase, ''still a better ending than Mass Effect 3''--notably derivative of the ''still a better love story than Twilight'' meme--came to be. ''His Name Was Marauder Shields'' was also born, with comics and parodies centred around the final enemy the player faces--a Marauder with its shields meter below its name--before being transported into the Citadel and the events that follow. The idea is that 'Marauder Shields' was actually trying to save the player from enduring the crushing disappointment of the ending to the Mass Effect trilogy.
  • Metal Gear - Engrish such as "The truck have started to move!" and "I feel asleep!"
  • Metal Gear Solid -- The boss fight against Psycho Mantis is famous for his ability to 'read' the player's memory card, and if certain save files were found on there then he would reference the games in question. One such notable is his ''I see you like Castlevania'' response. Furthermore, the series' use of a cardboard box as a tool to hide and move about in has also reached memetic status.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - The Colonel's nonsensical lines, such as "I need scissors! 61!".
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance -- Senator Armstrong's line, ''Nanomachines, son'', is sometimes used as a response to sum up something that is overly complicated or doesn't make sense. The line is also rumored to be representative of Hideo Kojima's own self-awareness regarding the criticism Metal Gear Solid 4 faced concerning its over-reliance on Nanomachines to explain away many of the game's plot points and character arcs.
  • Metal Slug - The mangled pronunciation of rocket launcher as "rocket lawn chair".
  • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! - The training cutscene & music with the text "NIGGA STOLE MY BIKE!" superimposed over it is the subject of many YTMND sites.
  • Modern Warfare 2 - "We're Oscar Mike" and "Stay frosty", due to Sgt. Foley's constant use of the term as well as the ever-amusing "Ramirez! Destroy that [un-defeatable opponent] with your [low-grade weapon]" (i.e.: Ramirez! Destroy that enemy AC130 with your tactical knife! or Ramirez! Kill that Russian tank with this bullet! )
  • Mortal Kombat franchise - Phrases like "Finish Him!" and "Fatality", Dan Forden's "Toasty!" line, and (primarily from the films) "MORTAL KOMBAT!"
  • The Oregon Trail - "You have died of dysentery".
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - The phrase "Objection!"
  • Pokémon franchise - "so i herd u liek mudkipz" and "FUCK YEAH SEAKING", among many others.
  • Portal - "The cake is a lie", " Weighted Companion Cube", and "Still Alive" by Jonathan Coulton.
  • Pro Wrestling - The phrase "A WINNER IS YOU".
  • Resident Evil - Poorly scripted cutscenes with phrases such as "Jill sandwich", "master of unlocking", and so forth. Specifically Barry Burton's ''You were almost a Jill sandwich'' line has also been referenced by Capcom themselves; in Dead Rising, there exists a sandwich store title Jill's Sandwiches, and one of Barry Burton's melee attacks in his Mercenary appearances is titled Burton Sandwich.
  • Resident Evil 5 - The scene in which Chris Redfield punches a giant boulder was a meme for a short time.
  • Ridge Racer - Kaz Hirai's awkward "Riiiiidge Racer!" at E3 2006.
  • Star Fox 64 - Repeated phrases like "Do a barrel roll!" and "Can't let you do that, Star Fox!"
  • Starcraft - Voice clips such as "You require more Vespene Gas" and "You must construct additional pylons", and the tactic of spawning a large amount of weak Zergling units and attacking the enemy base with a "Zerg Rush".
  • Street Fighter IV - Online players' tendency to play as Ken in any situation is often the subject of mockery.
  • Super Smash Bros. Series - Captain Falcon and his signature move, Falcon Punch.
  • Team Fortress 2 - Aside from those mentioned previously, the Spy's cigarette habit and his use of "Gentlemen...".
  • World of Warcraft - Leroy Jenkins, a user who idiotically runs into a room full of hostile dragon whelps as recorded in a Youtube video.
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link - "I AM ERROR."
  • Zero Wing - Poorly translated 'Engrish' phrases such as "What you say?", "How are you gentlemen", "You have no chance to survive make your time", "We get signal", "Main screen turn on", "Someone set up us the bomb" and, most famously, "All your base are belong to us".
  • Zork - "You are likely to be eaten by a grue".

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