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

Jeff the Killer is a particularly infamous Creepypasta.

The story was formed sort of spontaneously by a user named "Sesseur" 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," A video on YouTube 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 when the lead admin attempted to erase the site off the internet; though ED was resurrected, the discussion pages with any information relevant to the case were not recovered. 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 (referred to at one point on the Wiki as crappypastas). A remake was posted in 2015, but was also criticized for the fact that while it managed to fix the broken grammar and plot holes, it still wasn't that great overall.


The origin of the image associated with the Creepypasta may be more interesting than the story itself. For years, multiple rumors flew around the image, including that it was an edited photo of an overweight girl who was bullied by 4Chan and killed herself, or that it was an edited photo of an early camgirl. In 2015, Sesseur claimed in an interview that he made the image himself with a latex mask and some makeup. But shortly after, copies of the image and its alt were found on the Japanese internet dating back to years before Sesseur's first post, as far back as 2005. According to sources on the Japanese internet, including some of the earliest uploaders of the image, the original image was part of a video of a middle-aged woman getting close to the camera, causing her face to appear white, although this image or video has never been found and may well be lost to time, assuming these rumors are even true. YouTuber blameitonjorge has documented the search for this image.

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.

  • 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.
  • Ambiguously Human:
    • In the original story, Jeff is — despite being fully human — somehow capable of all sorts of inhuman actions, like killing Randy with one punch, and survives being burned alive AND horrific self-mutilation.
    • One interpretation, in a story simply entitled "Jeff," he looks completely normal, with no real deformities except for eyes that turn red the angrier he gets.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Despite only being a child, Jeff is ridiculously strong, being able to break bones like twigs, and tear a towel rack off a wall effortlessly - cement, tiles, grout and metal joints be damned!
    • 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, with the only way of preventing this being to constantly hydrate the exposed eyes, a costly and tedious affair.
    • Also, Jeff seems completely fine with having a Glasgow Grin, something which usually results in fatal bleeding. In addition, receiving a Glasgow smile and surviving makes it usually very difficult to speak, or eat, or drink, or... well, anything that requires precise movement of the jaws.
    • Jeff claims cutting his eyelids off would allow him to never sleep again. In reality, people can sleep with their eyes open in a condition called nocturnal lagopthalmos. In addition, it is impossible to completely stop sleeping without dying (see fatal familial insomnia); the longest time someone has spent without sleeping without any stimulants is 11 days, and long before that point, the brain will force any but the most resilient (or the most drugged up) individuals to fall asleep.
    • The fact that apparently bleach makes skin turn pure white. In reality, bleach can irritate the skin depending on its concentration, making it turn red and inflamed. First and second-degree burns also make the skin red and inflamed, so even these in combination wouldn't have had the claimed effect.
    • 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 speak either coherent or incoherent nonsense. 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 exactly the right conditions to cause this to happen. Normally it takes several powerful hits to the chest to cause death, or very rarely an extraordinarily traumatic impact at just the wrong moment during the heart's compression cycle which causes fatal arrhythmia.note  Though, given the over-the-top nature of the fic, the implication might be the Jeff just hit Randy so hard it shattered his ribs, which could have pierced his heart and killed him.
  • Artistic License – Chemistry:
    • Not only is bleach not flammable, but bleach is a base chemical. While it does cause clothes to become washed out by reacting with the dyes in the fabric, 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 versions which involve Jeff being doused in vodka as well as bleach fix one problem but cause another: alcohol is fairly volatile, so it's likely that some of it would have evaporated before Jeff was set on fire. The bleach would have also diluted it a fair bit, so it wouldn't have burnt as spectacularly as described, if it even caught fire at all.
    • Household bleach is fairly dilute so it doesn't really affect human skin unless it's left on there for a long time, and its damage tends to be fairly limited as long as it doesn't get inside the body through the mouth or nose or into the eyes. Presumably washing off the bleach before it did any damage was one of the first things they'd have done at the hospital, so there's really no reason why it should have affected Jeff's face at all.
  • Artistic License – Law: Liu is immediately sent to juvenile hall for one year without a trial or any further investigation.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The three kids from Jeff's origin story.
    • Jeff and Liu's parents are certainly aren't exactly great given the he mother's immediate response to Jeff's Sanity Slippage that has prompted him to mutilate himself with a knife is telling her husband to "get the gun").
  • 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.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: 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.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Unbelievably the prose uses this; Keith apparently knocks down a "thing" of bleach.
    • One version claiming to be the original that was submitted to the Creepypasta Wiki consistently used the word "knifed" instead of "stabbed."
  • Bullying a Dragon: Again, the three kids from Jeff's origin story.
  • Catchphrase: "Go to sleep."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: At best, this is the Fandom's semi-canonical depiction of him.
  • Cop Hater: In Jane The Killer, Jane's father is an ex-cop who now hates them, as he was framed for stealing drugs and was forced to leave. He enforces a strict "no cop" policy.
  • Crapsack World: You know the neighbourhood where young children are stabbed (and shot) to death by other young children on a regular basis and where police have the authority to act as Judge, Jury, and Executioner? That neighbourhood is considered to be one of the nicer places in this universe!
  • Deadly Euphemism: If you run into Jeff, pretty much the only thing you'll hear him say is "go to sleep."
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • "Jeff's mother hugs Jeff"
    • From the newspaper excerpt at the start of the pasta: "a pair of two eyes."
  • Enfant Terrible:
    • Jeff is officially 13.
    • Randy, Troy and Keith implied to be 12 somehow have the ability of obtaining knives and guns.
  • 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 comic book.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • Faux Affably Evil: This is also how Jeff is usually portrayed.
  • Fighting Back Is Wrong:
    • Jane The Killer, an alternate telling of the Jeff the Killer story from the point of view of a girl named Jane, features the titular character watching the confrontation between Jeff and Randy at the bus stop. Her reaction to Jeff beating up the school bully is to consider him a monstrous person hiding an inner evil. Bad Creepypasta pointed out how horrible this thinking is, pointing out that Jeff did nothing but defend himself and defeat the kid that everyone else, including Jane herself, is afraid of.
    • The original story also uses this trope, as police show up at their door that afternoon to arrest Jeff for "attacking" Randy.
  • 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.
  • Hate Sink: Randy, Keith and Troy, who were a group of bullies, they were made to be hated given by the fact they bully Jeff for fun and shows no remorse on doing so.
  • Hollywood Healing:
    • Four 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.
    • Despite Jeff being stabbed, and having the shit beaten out of him, his burns are the only things mentioned afterwards.
  • 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.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: The cops in this universe apparently operate like this, since they seemingly have the authority to sentence people on the spot with even the flimsiest of evidence.
  • Karma Houdini: Jeff himself is this. the original has him kill his whole family and go on to become a serial killer, with no qualms against murdering children. The story offers no indication that he will be brought to justice anytime soon.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, being kicked in the face repeatedly, getting punched repeatedly, getting thrown through a glass door, having a glass bottle broken over his head, being set on fire, falling down a flight of stairs, burning off his own eyelids, and giving himself a Glasgow Smile. It's shocking that he can even walk, let alone become a serial killer.
  • 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. The Internet Historian and some other Youtubers got in on the fun as well.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: After Jeff disfigures himself, his mother starts thinking about killing him almost immediately.
  • 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 one, and if Troy and Keith 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, Troy and Keith die, they're never mentioned again, and it's not even clear if Troy and Keith 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.
    • Jeff receives a stab wound and gets the shit beaten out him at the party, but his burned face seems to be the only thing he is treated for at the hospital.
  • Police Are Useless: "We found three kids, two stabbed" Keith was the only one who got stabbed, the Police have got bad information.
  • 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.
  • Sequel: There's a slightly less-popular sequel called "Jeff Is Back", which manages to have better writing but is still relatively the same...
  • 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. Considering he vanishes from the story after this point, it’s unclear if he even dies from doing this or not.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The trio of bullies certainly qualify, being downright cartoonish in the original and willing to murder Jeff themselves. And of course, Jeff himself in the end.
  • Terrible Trio: Randy, Troy, and Keith, the three bullies that mugged and assaulted Jeff and his brother.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: "Jeff" isn't exactly the most frightening of names.
  • 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 infamous in the story.
  • 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.