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In Jokes

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When you have a twenty-year-old community of over 50,000 members and many more readers, you build up a good amount of common history and in-jokes.

In-jokes aren't necessarily supposed to make any sense; there aren't always complicated backstories behind them. You'll often find them in Dead Threads that people are messing about in (that said, threads that do contain in-jokes - even a large number - are not necessarily dead). If you see an offhanded reference to (say) pancakes and it doesn't appear to make any sense - don't worry, you aren't missing out on anything.

General humour in a thread is fine. Use in-jokes judiciously, because they clutter the site and can confuse those outside the MeFi community. Fresh, original wit may be a better way to contribute.

Matt didn't like them.


Some vaguely current injokes and social references, alphabetized for the sake of some kind of order, are:

  • "." (The Period) - The reason people place a period as the sole content of their comment is usually to denote a moment of silence. Not really a joke, but certainly a bit of MeFi slang.
  • ___Filter. Not a reference to the multiple other MeFi-workalike or MeFi-related websites, but a reference to MetaFilter being taken over by a single topic. Lately this has been IraqFilter, but more generally it's a reflection of the NewsFilter problem.
  • Acronyms. MetaFilter specific acronyms you should know.
  • "administrator! please hope me!!!" Sometimes used by older MeFi members in a time of need; see original post
  • Crone Island - light-hearted, biting political joke coined in the thread of the fpp, "Where's My Cut?": On Unpaid Emotional Labor, commonly referred to as the Emotional Labor thread. Essentially, a place only women (later, clarified to include men who are allies) are allowed who reject restrictive and oppressive patriarchal notions about gender.
  • Dead goating. Posting a depressing comment in a happy thread.
  • HAMBURGER. In a MetaTalk thread created to suggest the addition of a MetaFilter HTML tag to denote sarcasm "{/}", prefpara noted the tag's resemblance to a HAMBURGER. Thus a sentence with HAMBURGER appended to the end is intended to be interpreted as excessively sarcastic.
  • "I know more about this than you can possibly imagine." Also: "I know more about (topic of thread) than you can possibly imagine." Used when someone -either another user or the subject of the post- tries to pull rank and use their unverified previous knowledge on the topic as evidence that they are right. Originated from a thread on autism and vaccines in June 2009 where a user only active for the one thread used the phrase. The original usage was deleted by the mods along with other identifying remarks tying the user to their real life persona. Related MeTa.
  • "In conclusion, X is a land of contrasts." This is a reference to a bad book report written by Bart Simpson that ends, "In conclusion, Libya is a land of contrast." The quote somehow gets an additional S when used by mefites. I just don't know. [1].
  • "Is this 'X' something you need a Y to have heard of?" Originated in this post by mischief, when he asserted that he didn't know who Janeane Garofalo was because he didn't own a television.
  • "Metafilters's own xxxx". Any user who is famous in any way.
  • Mushrooms (a reference to an incredibly contentious, lengthy, and ultimately silly undeleted thread)
  • Mystery Meat. A post where there is no indication where the links go, and the reader is expected to click blindly. Possibly first used in 2006.
  • Pepsi Blue (posts that appear to be an advertising shill)
  • Plate Of Beans During intense discussions on MetaFilter, users are sometimes accused of overthinking a plate of beans.
  • Ponies (people tend to ask for ponies on MeTa whilst asking for particularly improbable feature requests)
  • Schmoopy. Warm fuzzies. Shows up most often in the form of MeTa posts thanking other mefites or that announce joyous occasions. The opposite of GRAR.
  • "So this subject of post, it vibrates?" There were so many attempts to post the news story about the Harry Potter vibrating broomstick, it became an InJoke. Also recently spotted as "So this subject of post, it verb?"
  • Special Snowflake. It's even got a shirt.
  • summary quotes, which are taught in livejournalism school, can be used either to call out a quote as invalid, or to invalidate a quote one makes for the sake of hilariousness.
  • “Surely this”, with optional emphasis on “this”. The implied follow-up is: “Surely this will bring about the end of the Bush administration”. Uttered as an expression of anger turned into disbelief and apathy after some new abuse from the Bush administration comes to light, pitchforks being sure to follow. Early sightings 1 2 3.
  • Taglines. If you look at MetaFilter's logo in the top left corner of every page, you'll see a tagline (on this wiki, we stole 'weblog as conversation'). Posters often like to create new taglines depending on the situation. If you reference your own post as a tagline, or change the quote, you will be mocked.
  • "This is just to say..." Cortex is pretty sure that This is Just to Say by William Carlos Williams is the unofficial official poem of Metafilter. It mostly pops up in the form of a parody.
  • "This is probably bad news for insert name here." Example, origin. aznblader links to a scanned and posted book, "The New Soldier," containing Vietnam-era antiwar material, believing the cover photograph depicts Presidential candidate John Kerry. The cover does not, and the mocking is merciless (even extending to aznblader's personal blog comments), instantly spawning a new joke. The embarrased aznblader refers, in-thread, to the original post as "an abortion of idiocy."
  • "This is why we can't have nice things." Often said when people act up in MetaTalk.
  • "Viking (That's where I'm a...)" A Simpsons reference (aren't they all, deep down?) that became a subject of general on-line debate. A Front Page Post, June 11, 2007 describing the debate turned into a contentious 467-comment argument; a statement from a Simpsons producer/writer, October 26, 2007 is regarded by some as a definitive victory for the literalists. Originally referring to "Sleep", now used in a variety of references as "(Location or condition). That's where I'm a (group type, including but not limited to Viking, Pirate, Ninja, Curmudgeon)"
  • Wendell, as in: "This will Wendell", "This will not Wendell" and some other references to Wendell refer to the likelihood of a thread ending badly, as 'Wendell' is an anagram of 'end well', as first pointed out by Jessamyn. Since phrases like "This will end in tears" or "This will end in flames" are used elsewhere, this represents one of the few MeFi In-Jokes to utilize understatement. It should also be noted that the user Wendell has not ended, well or otherwise (though he now is using another account).
  • "what". A punctuation-free comment consisting solely of the word "what". Originated elsewhere. Described by languagehat: "the equivalent of a slack-jawed stare of bafflement." On TVTropes, this is known as a Flat What.

Somewhat (or very) dated

Mefi has been around for a while, and in-jokes fall to the wayside or haven't aged well, but are still useful for making sense of older threads.

  • [NOT -IST] Editorial note, after stating your honest views, that you are not something-ist, usually not racist. The original usage by stavrosthewonderchicken in this MetaTalk comment used paretheses, not square brackets. Don't miss his epic comment on Korean culture directly above the InJoke inspiring one linked here.
  • "1) Brief idea... 2) ????.... 3) Profit": Implies that a business plan or idea is badly thought out. The in-joke seems to have moved over from Slashdot. Derived from the Underpants Gnomes episode of South Park.
  • Banjo - Occasionally seen as a jokey response ("Buy her a banjo") in RelationshipFilter questions and off-the-rails MeTa threads. Origin. Related MeTa.
  • Flameout. Someone gets very agitated over something in MetaTalk and is subsequently banned, disables their account, or simply stops visiting the site.
  • "I just don't know." Pops up occasionally in threads, seemingly out of context. It is almost never commented on. Who started it? I just_dont_know.
  • "James Brown." When a NewsFilter post is a double or triple users will occassionally reference the late singer James Brown whose death was announced with three FPP's within a single minute and then a fourth even later in the day.
  • "JRUN error". Along with ColdFusion errors, these server errors would pop up, sometimes on very long threads, breaking the site. Example:

Server Error
The server encountered an internal error and was unable to complete your request.

JRun closed connection.

  • Metageist - two consecutive Ask MetaFilter threads that, while not identical, are similar enough in subject to be notable.
  • "Nader Nader Nader". During the 2000 US Presidential race, MetaFilter was inundated with threads discussing Ralph Nader's third-party candidacy, though he never drew more than single-digit support in polls. The InJoke today would probably be "NaderFilter". Also see DeanFilter.
  • Pancakes (people tend to post things like "who here likes pancakes?" when they find a post stupid)
  • Plo Chops - just say it in an Arnold Schwarznegger accent. (Blow Jobs)
  • quoting SCIENCE can be noted in an effort to make feigned outrage that much more outrageous (you DELETED them?), or can be used to denote tongue-in-cheek spurious statistics.
  • "Tamagotchi" can refer to a United States politician. "Feed the Tamagotchi or else democracy dies" was part of a comment about the state of representative democracy in the US in 2017.
  • "WHAT. THE. FUCK. MATT?" or variants of it. First sighted in this MetaTalk thread, it is now used in more humorous situations. Example: WOULD YOU LIKE. A COOKIE. MATT?

See Also