"Listen, I just think itís bizarre and funny. My main consideration is that my daughter doesnít get embarrassed about it."
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
. Nick Lowe
's song "All Men Are Liars", which mocks Astley and at one point transitions into the first line of "Never Gonna Give You Up"'s chorus, is another contender for an early adopter of the Rick Roll
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.
The meme now automatically makes any previous usage of the song 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. Kids Incorporated
also featured characters covering the song during one concert spot. And then there's 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 (presumably originally silent
) end credits, after the depressing ending
. In other words, the film Rick Rolled itself
Variations include the BarackRoll
. When YouTube
presented its "1911 Videos" for April Fool's Day 2011, 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
. 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
♫Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you♫