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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," 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 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. 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.


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. The remake, on the other hand, starts with a description of the weather.
  • 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.
    • In a downplayed example, the bullies, while still huge jerks, never try to kill anyone in the remake. There is also no mention of them mugging other kids at knifepoint. They simply mess with Jeff and Liu's bikes and get into a fistfight with them. When they try to get revenge on Jeff later, they do it away from anyone else, and only try to beat him up, whereas in the original, they attacked him at a birthday party with the intent to brutally murder him and threatened all those present.
    • In "JTK", this is played mostly straight with Randy, Troy, and Keith. They only attack Jeff once, but it was in the heat of the moment and because he was making them feel nervous. And on the flipside, this leads to ...
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the above-mentioned "JTK", Jeff is stripped of his qualities that were intended to make him sympathetic, where he is actively antisocial and hostile towards almost everyone, idolizes school shooters and identifies with villains, and plans a school massacre months in advance that ends in the death of dozens of victims in addition to his parents and his brother.
  • Adaptation Expansion: My Version continues on from the Bolivian Army Ending of the original, showing Andy's attempt to kill Jeff as an adult with the help of Detective Price, Stephen, and Josh.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In Jeff the Killer (My Version), Liu is called Andy. Randy, Keith, and Troy become Michael, Stephen, and Greg respectively.
  • 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.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Jeff's mom in the official remake begs for her life and in a last ditch tries to manipulate Jeff into sparing her.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • The fact that apparently bleach makes skin turn pure white. In reality, bleach can irritate the skin, making it turn red and inflamed.
    • 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 (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 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. 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 this in the official remake.
    • Deconstructed, subverted, and played straight in "JTK". Jeff was the subject of mockery and gossip in school, but precisely because of his creepy, unsettling aura and antisocial behavior. Nothing ever suggests that he any of his victims treated him badly enough to deserve death, with the only ones who ever physically hurt him not only getting away with it, but otherwise being seemingly nice guys who only attacked him in a heated confrontation and came to feel bad about it later. Played straight with Jeff himself, who is killed after claiming numerous lives.
  • Bait the Dog: When Jeff is forced to come to Randy's house in the official remake, Randy seems like he's not such a bad guy after all. The impression given is somebody who only got into a fight against Jeff and Liu because he felt provoked and is willing to let bygones be bygones. As a result, the reader starts thinking he might be a Red Herring who has nothing to do with Jeffery Woods becoming Jeff the Killer. Even Jeff starts to like him after a while. Then he tries to force Jeff to let Keith and Troy beat him up and his true colors are revealed.
  • Beige Prose:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Book-Ends: My Version invokes this, with the four protagonists attempting to cure Jeff's passion for killing by restaging the events of the birthday party where it all began. For an added bonus, Jeff ultimately burns to death in a similar fashion to his birth.
  • 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."
  • 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 Randy 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.
  • 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.
  • Dead Guy Junior: In My Version's epilogue, it's revealed that Andy named his son Jeff.
  • 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
  • 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.)
    • 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
  • 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: Randy becomes this in the official remake. 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.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Stephen in My Version turns to the side of good after seeing the horrific results of Jeff's insanity first hand.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Josh pulls one of these to kill Jeff once and for all in My Version.
  • 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.
  • Informed Attribute: Jeff doesn't really become "the killer" by the end of the remake; he only kills his parents, who he obviously murdered for personal reasons as opposed to "losing his sanity". There's also no indication that he'll continue his killing spree.
  • 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:
    • In the remake, Randy, Keith and Troy get off scot-free by lying their way out of it. And somehow making them think Jeff shot himself with a flare gun.
    • 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. The remake lessens this, as he only murders his parents, with no clear indication that he plans to continue killing. His parents are asshole victims in this version, and while murder is still murder, he does end up having to say goodbye to his brother (who he truly cares for) and leave his house, forcing him to become a homeless loner.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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.
  • Purple Prose: The remake uses this in spades.
  • Said Bookism: The remake's author seems almost incapable of having anyone simply "say" anything. They blurt, reply, announce, invite, and suggest, but they hardly ever say.
  • 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...
  • 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 the 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".
    • The remake also spares all of the bullies, as opposed to the original killing Randy and leaving Keith and Troy to suffer from Uncertain Doom. Now, all three are victims of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
    • My Version spares Andy, the equivalent of Liu, and Stephen, the equivalent to Keith.
  • 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.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Jeff in the end.
  • 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.
  • Trophy Child: This is how Jeff and Liu's parents treat them in the 2015 remake. When he and his brother get in trouble for standing up to the local bullies, their parents take the side of the cops, refuse to listen to their children about what happened even when in private, and even send Liu away as punishment. This is all because the bully, Randy, is the son of their father's new boss, and they'd rather look good to their new neighbors than support their children. After Jeff is in the hospital for being hit with a flare gun, his mother is more concerned with how he'll look than if he'll be okay mentally or physically. All of this makes it no wonder they die in this version of the story.
  • Two-Faced: In the remake, half of Jeff's face gets hideously disfigured by a flare gun.
  • 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.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The remake spends the majority of its opening telling us over and over again that Jeff and Liu miss home. It later recaps Jeff's first encounter with the bullies in the same scene.
  • 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 when they were whacked on the head with a towel rack but it's not made very clear. Though it's implied Kieth dies with it being explicitly stated, "As he lay there bleeding to death," implying Kieth did die.
  • 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.
  • You Bastard!: The entire purpose of the story "Jeff." It features a nameless character being captured by a more human-looking Jeff, who calls them out on using pictures of his murders and posting them in message boards for shits and giggles. At the climax, Jeff forces them to remove the heart of one of his already horrifically mutilated victims. Oh, and the kicker? It's written in second person.


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