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Rick Roll

"Listen, I just think itís bizarre and funny. My main consideration is that my daughter doesnít get embarrassed about it."

A Rickroll is a particular Internet prank in which a link that supposedly goes to something relevant to the conversation is actually a link toó

La-laaaa, La-laaa, Lalalalala-laaaa, badoom badoom badoom
We're no strangers to love... You know the rules, and so do I
A full commitmentís what Iím thinking of
You wouldn't get this from any other guy...

óa link to the music video from Rick Astley's 1987 pop hit "Never Gonna Give You Up."

The meme started at the 4chan imageboard with the duckroll: the action of linking to a post in another thread only to annoy people. Posts in the same thread just get highlighted, but to view a post in another thread you need to load the entire thread—there is no way to tell if the link is from this or another thread without scripts or manually checking each post number. It used a picture of a duck on wheels as an image attached to the target post. However, there's also a case to be made that Mystery Science Theater 3000 foresaw the concept in their riff on Attack of The The Eye Creatures.

Rickrolling has become one of the few Internet memes to break into larger popular culture in some fashion — there have been newspaper articles on the subject, and even real-world Rickrolls where spectators at some public event end up watching the Astley video. Astley himself, apparently, is also amused by the meme.

The all-time champion of the sport is Cartoon Network, which successfully conspired with Rick Astley himself to prank the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2008. Crowning Moment Of Awesome indeed. Rickrolling was also used in Scribblenauts, and was even invoked by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi when the House of Representatives launched its YouTube channel. The Oregon State Legislature managed to do a Rickroll without anybody noticing. Perhaps crowning the entire phenomenon was the White House Communications Department, which, in response to complaints on Twitter that a fiscal policy press conference was too boring, Tweeted a link to something it promised would be much more interesting. It turned out to be a Rick Roll. Great Britain unfortunately missed a golden opportunity during the "celebration of British pop music" segment of the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony to rickroll the entire world.

In some cases, there's been Hilarious in Hindsight, such as Joel Robinson abruptly singing the song during one experiment (because of a character's resemblance to Rick Astley), making it seem like he was Rick Rolling the film. The worst offender is the re-release of the 1983 film adaptation of I Am the Cheese, which already had some Narmy Soundtrack Dissonance, playing the upbeat song during the end credits. In other words, the film Rick Rolled itself.

Variations include the BarackRoll and ReichRoll. When YouTube presented its "1911 Videos" for April Fool's Day 1911, viewers were "Ruth Roll'd" with a cute dancer. Users of The Miniatures Page have a variation in which you instead link to a picture of Sean Connery as Zed. Brain Bleach ensues. In YouTube nowadays, it's somewhat easier to know if a video is a disguised Rick Roll - you just need to see if below the keywords is "Features content from: Rick Astley Official Channel", or nowadays, "Music: Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up".

Popularity of the Rickroll phenomenon has led to fans remixing Astley's song with other pop culture artifacts, including Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (it seems both Ear Worms share the exact same time signature). You can listen to the mashup here if interested. And no, Bill O'Reilly was not the very first Rick Roll victim. For Chrono Trigger fans, there's the RoboRoll.

It's entirely possible that the first ever victim of the Rick Roll (in a meta sense) might have been Kylie Minogue. Both she and Astley were members of the Stock Aitken Waterman hit factory back in the eighties. Apparently, they rushed through the production of her song "I Should Be So Lucky" because he was supposed to use the studio to record later that day. Looking at the production dates, it's not impossible to believe she was the first person to have something sidelined thanks to a performance of "Never Gonna Give You Up."

The original Rickroll video was deleted from YouTube on 24 February 2010 but restored soon afterward.

The Nightmare Fuel alternative is to have a screaming face and/or a scream - this is called a Screamer.

And if you really want to get rid of it, use this Adblock Plus subscription list (scroll to bottom).


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alternative title(s): Rickrolling
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