Web Original / Jeff The Killer

"I really like this one. it's like an 80s horror film."
MrCreepypasta on Jeff's sequel

Jeff the Killer is a particularly famous Creepypasta.

It was formed sort of spontaneously by a user named "killerjeff" on the old Encyclopaedia Dramatica back in 2008, based on speculation about the origin about a particularly unsettling picture on the Creepypasta article called "joy.jpg," which may or may not have been a heavily Photoshopped picture of an overweight girl used to bully her two years before. A video on Newgrounds soon surfaced of this picture edited to be deranged and scary in October of 2008.

This is a combination of original research and memories of former ED editors, whose words must be taken at face value because in 2011 most of the relevant image discussion pages and user profiles for ED were deleted in their entirety. However, like everything else on the Internet, one person's guess is as good as anyone else's.

It eventually become almost synonymous with Creepypasta itself, mostly known thanks to the ridiculous amount of spinoffs, as well as its infamously Narmy and unrealistic origin story, both of which have turned something originally totally off-the-rails frightening into something...well, not so much. Over the years, the other well-written Creepypastas have resulted in this Jeff the Killer becoming increasingly derided and disliked, so much so that it got removed off the Creepypasta Wiki and placed on its sister site, the Trollpasta Wiki, dedicated to non-serious and poorly-written Creepypastas. A remake was posted in 2015.

Tropes associated with Jeff the Killer:

  • Acrofatic: Presumably how Troy can jump over a fence on a skateboard.
  • Action Prologue: The opening to the story starts with a child retelling his account of nearly being stabbed by Jeff.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the official remake, Jeff spares Liu, and his reasons for killing his parents are more understandable since they were not particularly nice to him or Liu. The opening with him trying to kill a child is cut, and it's not even clear if he plans on continuing to kill people.
  • Adults Are Useless: None of the parents step in to break up the fight between Jeff, and the bullies. While they do have guns, and use them, you'd think that someone would try to disarm them while they're distracted, but nope. Nobody does anything till most of them are dead, and Jeff is on fire.
  • Aerith and Bob/Odd Name Out: Most of the names are all standard, normal American names, and then there's Jeff's brother Liu.
  • Artistic License Biology: Jeff somehow has perfect vision despite burning his eyelids off. Without eyelids in real life, a person would very quickly turn blind because of infections, their eyes drying out, or simply getting damaged by dust or foreign objects.
    • Also, Jeff seems completely fine with having a Glasgow Smile, something which usually results in fatal bleeding.
    • The fact that the fire dyed his hair black instead of burning it all off or turning it grey and crusty.
    • Also, the doctor, no less, claims that Jeff's insane laughter is a result of the Anesthetics they use. While this is a possible symptom of coming out of anesthesia, anesthetized patients are far more likely to babble and say unusual things. Watch some videos of dental patients waking up and talking for the first time after surgery for proof.
    • Jeff punching Randy in the heart which results in the latter dying is made trivially easy in the story, whereas in real life it takes several powerful blows to the heart before any ill effects take place.
  • Artistic License Chemistry: Not only is bleach not flammable (something fixed in some retellings of the story, where he was drenched in alcohol as well as bleach), but bleach is a base chemical. While it does cause clothes to become washed out if bleach was left on a person's hand long-term it would cause the skin to become irritated, similar to how an acid dissolves the skin, so if Jeff weren't turned black from being burned alive he would be a lighter-than-normal pink due to the majority of his epidermis sloughing off. The only correct thing about him being drenched in bleach is his skin feeling "tight," a result of said effect of it being a base.
    • The most common chemical in bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or H2O2 is effectively the same as water, meaning that if anything, the bleach would prevent a fire from breaking out.
  • Artistic License Law: Liu is immediately sent to juvenile hall for one year without any further investigation.
  • Asshole Victim: The three kids from Jeff's origin story.
  • Beige Prose: One of the story's many problems. See Buffy Speak below.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Jeff makes it clear that he cares about Liu. The remake increases this trope tenfold by having Jeff spare his brother and tell him that he loves him.
    • Knight Templar Big Brother: Jeff's first kills were a group of bullies who stole Liu's wallet and threatened both of them with a knife.
  • Buffy Speak: Unbelievably the prose uses this; Keith apparently knocks down a "thing" of bleach.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Again, the three kids from Jeff's origin story.
  • Black Eyes, Take Warning: No explanation is given for why they're black, but they're there.
    • Note that sometimes fanart forgoes the black part, and often stylizes them as red.
  • Catch Phrase: "Go to sleep."
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Jeff is fucking strong for his age. He's able to rip a towel rack off the wall with little effort, and break another kid's wrist with even less.
    • Also Troy and Keith for being able to throw Jeff through a sliding glass door, and the latter breaking a bottle of vodka over his head.
    • Don't forget Jeff killing Randy with ONE PUNCH.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: At best, this is the Fandom's semi-canonical depiction of him.
  • Continuity Snarl: All the way back in 2008, "Jeff" on Newgrounds asserted that he fell face first into a box of cleaning chemicals, which deformed his face the way it is now, and that the "creepier" picture was him having fun in Photoshop. The far sillier origin story was developed much later.
  • Deadly Euphemism: If you run into Jeff, pretty much the only thing you'll hear him say is "go to sleep."
  • Eldritch Abomination: Turns into this in the Worm Jeff saga.
  • Enfant Terrible: Jeff is officially 13.
    • Randy, Troy and Keith implied to be 12 somehow have the ability of obtaining knives and guns.
  • Expy: Of The Joker. His face in particular is chemically bleached like the original, and a Glasgow Grin like the Dark Knight version.
    • When it comes to people drawing him, he often times unintentionally turns out looking like Beyond Birthday. (Or, at least what they think Beyond Birthday looks like; his description in the novel is quite vague.)
    • The Remake forgoes his Joker-esque appearance for a more Two-Face style look, with one half of Jeff's face being perfectly normal looking while the other is horribly disfigured
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Has been shown in Jeff the Killer vs Jane the Killer that he will not hurt a baby.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Randy has dialogue that wouldn't be out of place in a comicbook.
  • Fat and Skinny: Troy, to Randy and especially Keith.
  • Fat Bastard: Troy, one of the bullies in the story, was implied to be very fat.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: "Jeff" isn't exactly the most frightening of names.
  • Glasgow Grin: This is Jeff's shtick. Often makes people compare Jeff to The Dark Knight's Joker.
  • Hollywood Healing: Three days after having one of his wrists broken by Jeff, Randy is able to use his wrists just fine. Despite this, he still has a bruise on his nose from where Jeff punched him, which you think would have healed first. This is more likely a Plot Hole than anything else.
  • How Do I Used Tense?: All over the place. The story is infamous for constantly switching tenses, sometimes even doing it in the same sentence.
  • How We Got Here: The story opens with a news report detailing one of Jeff's attempted killings, and states that he has been killing people for quite some time. The rest of the story details Jeff's Start of Darkness.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Randy, Keith, and Troy are all implied to be only twelve years old.
  • Kill It with Fire: Presumably what Keith tried to do with Jeff, though it didn't actually work.
  • Knife Nut: Jeff is rarely seen without a knife of some kind.
  • Laughing Mad: Jeff lets one out when he sees his deformed face in the mirror.
  • Lean and Mean: Keith, one of the bullies from the story, was implied to be very skinny.
  • Made of Iron: In total Jeff withstands being stabbed, kicked in the face, punched, thrown through glass, having a glass bottle broken over his head, set on fire, burning off his own eyelids, and giving himself a Glasgow Smile, and can still move around just fine.
  • Man on Fire: Jeff after Keith sets him ablaze.
  • MST: BAD CREEPYPASTA has done an MST'd reading of the story in a very lemony, snarky way.
  • My Nayme Is: Assuming that Liu isn't supposed to adopted, or the use of a foreign name, and is just a really weird spelling of 'Lou', or 'Louie'.
  • Nightmare Face: The image that started it all is very hard to get out of your head, and can be quite a shocker. The picture it was based on (hit the link in the opening paragraph for a comparison) is not at all better.
  • One-Hit Kill: Jeff does this to Randy, somehow.
  • Plot Hole: Many, but these are just a few.
    • This one tends to stand out the most. Though it technically was self-defense, absolutely no charges are ever pressed against Jeff for killing two, and if Troy also died, then three people. If Liu was sent to juvie for just one incident that was also self-defensenote , it's rather jarring that Jeff didn't face any consequences.
    • The fact that after Randy, Keith, and Troy die, they're never mentioned again, and it's not even clear if Troy actually died.
    • How Liu got his injuries is never explained.
    • How Randy is able to use his wrists despite Jeff breaking one of them a few days prior.
  • Police Are Useless: "We found three kids, two stabbed" Keith was the only one who got stabbed, the Police have got bad information.
  • Police Brutality: The Police pull out their guns and aim them at Liu just because he decided to show proof that it was him who attacked the trio.
  • Purple Prose: The remake uses this in spades.
  • Rule 34: And it's just as wordlessly horrible as you can imagine.
  • Rule 63: Tumblr often has Jane the Killer.
  • Sanity Slippage: The origin story is about how Jeff became a psychotic killer.
  • Self-Made Orphan: The night Jeff returns from the hospital, he kills both his parents.
  • Slasher Smile/Glasgow Grin: Jeff carves a smile into his face so he can "smile forever". How he does not bleed to death from this is anyone's guess.
  • Spared By Adaptation: The spin-off, Homicidal Liu starts with the premise that Liu survived Jeff's brutal murder of his family and became a killer himself. In the Remake, Liu is spared by Jeff after he kills their parents, simply stating that Liu is now "free".
  • Stupid Evil: Despite lying to the police to get Liu arrested, Randy, Troy, and Keith have no problems attacking Jeff and trying to kill him at a birthday party with tons of witnesses. Even if Randy had won, he would have been arrested for murder. Randy even admits that he lied right in front of everyone. The three don't even have the sense to wear masks to hide their identities.
    • Jeff can be considered this too, since he inflicted injuries upon himself that would both severely cripple him, and eventually outright kill him.
  • Taking You with Me: Keith presumably tries to do this with Jeff by tossing his lighter at the latter, who has been coated in vodka and bleach.
  • Terrible Trio: Randy, Troy, and Keith, the three bullies that mugged and assaulted Jeff and his brother.
  • Tragic Villain: An attempt to make Jeff sympathetic is made. It doesn't work very well.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After killing his parents, Jeff for some reason decides to kill his brother, even though his brother took the blame for attacking Randy, and company.
  • The Unpronounceable; A very mild case revolving around Jeff's brother Liu's name. While the name itself isn't hard to say in theory, just exactly how you're supposed to say it is where the confusion starts. People are divided between whether or not it's supposed to be said "Lee-oo" or just "Lou". A very small fraction of people think it's supposed to be pronounced like "Louie", and at least one person as evident by the WMG page has theorized that "Liu" is actually just short for his real name which is an older version of the name "Leopold" which is "Liupold. Needless to say the author never clarified, and the name is just one of the many Snark Baits in the story.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Troy and Keith, despite being major antagonists, just kinda awkwardly leave the story after Jeff is burned. They might have been killed during the fire (or Troy by being whacked on the head with a towel rack) but it's not made very clear.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The original tries to make Jeff out to be one of these. It doesn't work that well.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The story opens with a report detailing Jeff's attempted murder of a child.