"Rules of the Internet" is a loose collection of rules and aphorisms
spawned by the infamous
4chan Image Board
. Depending on who you ask, they are either not meant to be taken seriously or very Serious Business
. Most of them don't apply except for within the community they originated from, and the list is continuously changing but through Memetic Mutation
a handful have become well known.
Also, almost none of the numbers are standardized, so it's not uncommon to find many rules reordered or simply replaced altogether. The only numbers that are
standardized are Rule 34
, Rule 50
and Rule 63
, as well as possibly Rules 1 and 2 (but that's probably only because of Fight Club
). There are so many there is a Wiki of Internet Rules
Some of the more notable rulesnote
- Rule 5: We do not forgive, we do not forget.
- Rule 6: /b/ is not your personal army.
- Rule 7: No matter how much you love debating, keep in mind that no one on the internet debates. Instead they mock your intelligence as well as your parents.
- Rule 9: Anonymous is still able to deliver.
- Rule 10: There are no real rules about posting.
- Rule 11: There are no real rules about moderation either - enjoy your ban.
- Rule 12: Anything you say can and will be used against you.
- Rule 13: Anything you say can and will be turned into something else.
- Rule 15: The harder you try, the harder you will fail.
- Rule 16: If you fail in epic proportions, it may just become a winning failure.
- Rule 18: Everything that can be labelled can be hated.
- Rule 20: Nothing is to be taken seriously.
- Rule 21: Pictures or it didn't happen.
- Rule 22: Original content is original only for a few seconds before it's no longer original. Every post is always a repost of a repost.
- Rule 30: Girls do not exist on the internet.
- Rule 31: You must have pictures to prove your statements.
- Rule 32: Lurk more - it's never enough
- Rule 35: If there is no porn of it, porn will be made of it.
- Rule 37: No matter how fucked up it is, there is always worse than what you just saw.
- Rule 38. No real limits of any kind apply here - not even the sky
- Rule 39. CAPSLOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL
- Rule 40. EVEN WITH CRUISE CONTROL YOU STILL HAVE TO STEER
- Rule 41. Desu isn't funny. Seriously guys. It's worse than Chuck Norris jokes.
- Rule 42: Nothing is Sacred.
- Rule 44: If it exists, there is a version of it for your fandom... and it has a wiki and possibly a tabletop version with a theme song by sung by a Vocaloid.
- Rule 45: If there is not, there will be.
- Rule 48: The pool is always closed.
- Rule 49. You cannot divide by zero (just because the calculator says so)
Tropes Named by the Rules of the Internet:
Tropes associated with the Rules of the Internet:
- Civilized Animal and Funny Animals: There being ponies of the actual Touhou characters as well as ponies cosplaying as Touhou characters. It's also possible to find pony versions of almost every single video game character you can think of and they all act like people!
- Corrupt the Cutie: Rule 43
- Crossover: Rules 50 and Rule 44; There are even cases of well-known video game characters, turned into ponies, and then modded into Touhou games. You can control PyramidHead Pony in a SHMUP that used to feature Moe anime girls.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil and/or Digital Piracy Is Okay: Rule 62
- Epic Fail: Rule 16
- Forced Meme: Rule 41 is a reminder that repeating something over and over again doesn't make it funny nor does it make it a meme.
- Four Is Death: Rule 4
- Epic Fail - Rule 15
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Rule 9001 is "It's over 9000!!!"
- GIFT: Rule 7, Rule 12, Rule 13, Rule 14, Rule 18, Rule 42 and Rule 43 are pretty GIFTed.
- Rule 48 is metaphor for "GIFTed people always spoil the fun".
- G.I.R.L.: Rule 29 and Rule 30
- Girl on Girl Is Hot: Rule 47
- Homage: Rules 1 and 2.
- Hypocritical Humor: Many of the rules contradict themselves later.
- Information Wants to Be Free: Rule 62
- Memetic Mutation: Everywhere
- PædoHunt: Rule 29
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Rule 10 and Rule 38
- Shaped Like Itself: Rule 9001
- Shout-Out: Many rules of the internet are references, e.g. Rule 42 or rules particular to certain communities that may be localised memes.
- Rule 42 is a subversion in that it states "nothing is sacred". It's effectively an anti-shoutout.
- Sparse List of Rules: Rule 34 was written first, and even now there are a number of gaps of varying size.
- Snark Bait - Rule 14
- Streisand Effect: The idea behind Rule 19. The more you want something to not happen, the more likely it will happen just to piss you off.
- Subverted Kids Show: Rule 43 in action- corrupting an innocent kid's show into something amusing to adults.