"Rules of the Internet" is a [[SparseListOfRules loose collection of rules and aphorisms]] spawned by the infamous Website/FourChan ImageBoard. Depending on who you ask, they are either not meant to be taken seriously or very SeriousBusiness. Most of them don't apply except for within the community they originated from, and the list is continuously changing but through MemeticMutation 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 RuleThirtyFour and RuleSixtyThree, as well as possibly Rules 1 and 2 (but that's probably only because of ''Film/FightClub'').

%% The old Rules Of The Internet page now redirects to an extremely NSFW picture. Please do not add the link back in. Use the wiki link instead. An archive of the old /b/ Rules is here (NSFW): https://encyclopediadramatica.es/Rules_of_the_Internet

Some of the more notable rules[[note]]For values of "notable" that are extremely arbitrary but being referenced elsewhere helps[[/note]] include:

%% Please don't add more snowclones. "No Exceptions!" should not become a forced meme. The base tenet of all rules of the internet is "Lurk moar". In short, by not posting and by observing the source material for longer than you thought needed, you will gain more mastery of it. Visit 4chan, enjoy /b/, learn history and never think you have mastered it. Don't just add things to "be part of history" as that's unwarranted self importance.

%% Rule 0: LURK MOAR.
* Rule 1: You don't talk about [[Website/FourChan /b/]].
* Rule 2: [[Film/FightClub You DON'T talk about /b/.]]
%% It's an old meme... besides, some places you have have to be part of to really appreciate. /b/ is one of them.
* Rule 3: We are @/{{Anonymous}}
%% On the internet everyone is anonymous. It's part of being on the internet! Thus I'm anonymous, you're anonymous...
* Rule 4: [[IAmLegion We are legion.]]
%% It sounds threatening, but in actuality it's more like the "many stones make a mountain" principal where if we each do our part we will have a larger effect than you can imagine!
* Rule 5: We do not forgive, we do not forget.
%% Originally it meant "the internet is forever. nothing is ever really deleted so don't be stupid unless you want to be remembered as stupid.", but hactivists hijacked it, turning it into a meme.
* Rule 6: [[Website/FourChan /b/]] is not your personal army.
%% People tend to go on 4Chan, especially /b/, expecting others to solve their problems or get back at their personal "enemies" for them. The good people of 4Chan have better things to do with their time than dealing with petty things the person posting really should be dealing with on their own.
* 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.
%% Remember the G.I.F.T.
* Rule 8: [[{{Troll}} Anonymous can be a horrible, senseless, uncaring monster.]]
%% Once again, remember G.I.F.T., but more so, the dreaded Internet troll- someone who deliberately sabotages a forum with anger-inducing comments just to watch its occupants go ballistic, and/or derail a whole discussion.
* Rule 9: Anonymous is still able to deliver.
%% "Deliver" means to do what you promised you would. This means that if we all pitch in we can do amazing things together! Sometimes all it takes is one person doing something right to make a difference.
%% Touhou is already covered by rule 44. Same for ponies.
* Rule 10: There are no real rules about posting.
%% Site rules vary and nobody can force you to post or not post anything.
* Rule 11: There are no real rules about moderation either -- enjoy your ban.
%% Caveat to rule 10: If you act stupid or break the SITE rules, remember that the ban hammer is always stronger than you.
* Rule 12: Anything you say can and will be used against you.
%% Remember: the internet is forever.
* Rule 13: Anything you say can and will be turned into something else.
%% Also remember the G.I.F.T. which can be compounded with the other rules.
* Rule 14: Do not argue with {{troll}}s -- [[SnarkBait it means they win]].
%% Trolls want attention. The only way to defeat a troll is to ignore them.
* Rule 15: The harder you try, the harder you will fail.
%% Which is more amazing: failing at making a LEGO elephant or failing at making a elephant-shaped house?
* Rule 16: If you fail in epic proportions, it may just become a [[EpicFail winning failure]].
%% Sometimes failures are just as impressive as success.
* Rule 17: Every win [[DiscreditedMeme fails eventually]].
%% Nothing lasts forever. Enjoy your successes but don't dwell on them.
* Rule 18: Everything that can be labelled can be hated.
%% No matter what you love there's someone who doesn't love it. Learn to live and let live.
* Rule 19: [[HateDumb The more you hate it,]] [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity the stronger it gets.]]
%% Hate is pointless. Don't waste your time on it.
* Rule 20: Nothing is to be taken seriously.
%% Reinforcing rules 18 & 19. Don't make me quote the Joker...
* 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.
%% This is because people tend to save and repost things they like. Some even think every idea is a mutation of another idea: in short original content doesn't exist.
* Rule 29: On the internet men are men, [[GuyInRealLife women are also men]], and kids are [[PedoHunt undercover FBI agents]].
%% Remember: we are all anonymous which makes gender a moot point. The few people who point out their genders in an anonymous setting usually have ulterior motives.
* Rule 30: Girls do not exist on the internet.
%% Due to being anonymous and gender being a moot point, saying you are a "girl" usually denotes the poster is not a girl and just saying this to get attention or is a girl really just trying to get attention. Either way, trying to get everyone's attention is a trolling tactic. Ignore them. Girl? What girl? We're all anons!
* Rule 32: You must have pictures to prove your statements/Anything can be explained with a picture.
%% Pictures with timestamps are popular means of showing something is "real" on 4chan due to the ease of someone just using google to find an appropriate image then making things up.
* Rule 33: Lurk more -- it's never enough
%% When in doubt, don't post: read. Chances are your answer is already somewhere. It also prevents you from ruining "good things" and looking really dumb. Think you know enough to post? That means you probably don't.
* RuleThirtyFour: If it exists, [[TheInternetIsForPorn there is porn of it]]. No exceptions.
%% See the article link for details. Pretty self evident, really, and the only time "No exceptions" should appear in this list.
* Rule 35: If there is no porn of it, porn will be made of it.
%% Also pretty self-evident. This is why rule 34 is the "no exceptions" rule.
* Rule 36: [[FetishFuel No matter what it is, it is somebody's fetish]].
%% Self-evident.
* Rule 37: No matter how [[SickAndWrong fucked up]] it is, there is always worse than what you just saw.
%% Self-evident. Also, you can't unsee it. Sorry, friend.
* Rule 38. No real limits of any kind apply here -- not even the sky
%% The internet is all the world, both good and bad, in one place. What you make of it is up to you!
%% A classic meme...
%% ...but please note that it's very easy to overdo memes and look like an unfunny idiot in the process. Please use your internet wit (and caps lock as well) sparingly and with common sense.
* Rule 41. Desu isn't funny. Seriously guys. It's worse than Chuck Norris jokes.[[note]]Originally "It needs more [[Manga/RozenMaiden desu]]. No exceptions" before "more desu" became a DiscreditedMeme.[[/note]]
%% The more you post a meme the less funny it gets. Also, some things never were very funny to start with even though people keep posting them. Posting something over and over doesn't make a meme. These sorts of things are called "forced memes".
* Rule 42: Nothing is Sacred.
%% No matter what you hold dear, there are others who don't care about it. Just as you would expect others to respect your liking something, please respect that others may not agree. Learn to let go, ignore, and move on. Also an anti-shout out to the "meaning of life" from the Hitchhiker’s Guide.
* Rule 43: [[CorruptTheCutie The more beautiful and pure a thing is]] -- [[SubvertedKidsShow the more satisfying it is to corrupt it.]]
%% Self evident, click the link for more details.
* Rule 44: If it exists, there is a version of it for your fandom... and it [[TheWikiRule has a wiki]] and possibly a tabletop version with a theme song performed by a Music/{{Vocaloid}}.
%% Encapsulating a lot of snowclones, though the "furry version" is the oldest version of this one.
%% Also covers Touhou Fandom and all the Ponies. That means: Do NOT add them. Please.
* Rule 45: If there is not, there will be.
%% Remember: ideas become un-original shortly after being put to the net and will be permuted forever after.
* Rule 46: [[CallBack The internet is]] [[SeriousBusiness SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS.]]
%% Remember the MST Manta "It's really just a show, I should try to relax..."
* Rule 47: [[GirlOnGirlIsHot The only good hentai is yuri, that's how the internet works.]] Only exception may be Vanilla.
%% This is stating the American-focused male stereotype and is not to be taken literally. Remember rule 42.
* Rule 48: The pool is always closed.
%% Slang for when jerks ruin something good - "Pool is closed". It's a reference to a series of raids /b/ carried out on Habbo Hotel, where they would block the entrance of popular hangouts with their black avatars dressed in an afro and business suit; one of the phrases they repeatedly used in chat was "Pool's closed due to AIDS". The raids were in response to rumors that Habbo moderators had a tendency to ban users based on the color of their skin.
* Rule 49. You cannot divide by zero (just because the calculator says so)
%% Nothing will never become something. You have to create things for others to be able to come enjoy them. Also don't try to wrangle the rules to your favor - it won't work.
%% Aka "Trolls and people who over-react always mess up good things".
* RuleFifty: A CrossOver, no matter how improbable, will eventually happen in FanArt, FanFiction, or [[FanficRecs/TouhouCrossover official release material]], often through fanfiction of it.
%% Encapsulates a ton of the snowclones people kept posting. This means LEGO-(whatever), Touhou-(whatever), fanfiction and all similar are covered.
* Rule 62: [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil It has been cracked]] [[DigitalPiracyIsOkay and pirated.]] [[InformationWantsToBeFree You can find anything if you look long enough.]]
* RuleSixtyThree: For every given male character, there is a female version of that character (and vice-versa). [[RuleThirtyFour And there is always porn of that character.]]
* Rule 77: [[Website/SomethingAwful The Internet makes you stupid.]]

!! Tropes Named by the Rules of the Internet:
* DivideByZero: Trope namer is rule 49
* RuleThirtyFour: "There's porn of it"
* RuleFifty: "There's a crossover with it"
* RuleSixtyThree: "There's a gender-flipped version of it"
* SeriousBusiness: named by rule 46
* ThereAreNoGirlsOnTheInternet : Rule 30, memetic version

!! Tropes associated with the Rules of the Internet:
* CorruptTheCutie: 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 [[VideoGame/SilentHill2 Pyramid Head]] [[MyLittlePony Pony]] in a [[ShootEmUp SHMUP]] that used to feature {{Moe}} anime girls.
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil and/or DigitalPiracyIsOkay: Rule 62
* EpicFail: Rule 16
* ForcedMeme: Rule 41 is a reminder that repeating something over and over again doesn't make it funny nor does it make it a meme.
* FourIsDeath: Rule 4
* EpicFail - Rule 15
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Rule 9001 is "It's [[OverNineThousand over 9000]]!!!"
* {{GIFT}}: Rule 7, Rule 12, Rule 13, Rule 14, Rule 18, Rule 42 and Rule 43 are pretty {{GIFT}}ed.
** Rule 48 is metaphor for "{{GIFT}}ed people always spoil the fun".
* {{GIRL}}: Rule 29 and Rule 30
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Rule 47
* {{Homage}}: Rules 1 and 2.
* HypocriticalHumor: Many of the rules contradict themselves later.
* InformationWantsToBeFree: Rule 62
* MemeticMutation: Everywhere
* PedoHunt: Rule 29
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Perhaps the only surefire way to exempt yourself from any rule of the internet- or even real life- is to use your massive affluence to make yourself immune from any rules. Who would tell you you're breaking the rules when you're the one with their tax money?
* ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem: Rule 10 and Rule 38
* ShapedLikeItself: Rule 9001
* ShoutOut: 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.
* SparseListOfRules: RuleThirtyFour was written first, and even now there are a number of gaps of varying size.
* SnarkBait - Rule 14
* StreisandEffect: The idea behind Rule 19. The more you want something to not happen, the more likely it will happen just to piss you off.
* SubvertedKidsShow: Rule 43 in action- corrupting an innocent kid's show into something amusing to adults.
* TheWikiRule: Rule 44 includes this.