Behind the Curtains - The Story Behind Popular WoW Memes

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Norris, the Onyxia wipe video, and Leeroy Jenkins are just some
examples of the phenomenon that is the internet meme. An internet meme
is any catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to
person using methods available through the Internet. World of Warcraft
provides not only the perfect environment for these memes to spread,
but also the perfect means to create new memes born out of the

Funnily enough as commonplace as some of these memes are, quite a few
people have no idea where they originated from. I think that this is a
situation that should be remedied immediately. So without further ado,
here are my personal favorite World of Warcraft related memes and their


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(better known as the infamous Leeroy Jenkins) is probably one of
the best known players ever in World of Warcraft. Forever immortalized
in a video showing his guild (<PALS FOR LIFE>) planning
out a strategy for taking out the eggs in the Rookery in Upper
Blackrock Spire. Leeroy, supposedly AFK, comes back to the computer and
before his party is fully prepared charges into the Rookery popping
every egg in sight screaming the line that made him famous,
party members rush in behind him into the fray and quickly wipe. The
movie ends with Leeroy saying, “At least I have
chicken” (the guild‘s favorite snack is KFC
according to Ben).

Since the video was released,
Leeroy’s guild has admitted
that while the video was based on an actual event, the video itself
was staged. Regardless, this video has made Leeroy’s name
synonymous with any action that could be potentially stupid, and lead
to less than desirable consequences. The video became so popular that
Blizzard and the rest of the world took notice. Leeroy was asked to
attend Blizzcon 2007 where he preformed his famous line for the crowd,
and an achievement was added to the game to gain the title Jenkins by
killing those pesky whelps.

Leeroy has also been mentioned on Jeopardy, been made into a trading
card in the World of Warcraft Trading Card game, and is even made
reference to in several shows and commercials. The video itself is fun,
and a must see for any World of Warcraft player.

DOTs! (Onyxia Wipe Video)

Think your guild leader is a real jerk? Then you obviously
haven’t watched this video. Starring a very angry raid
leader, with an interesting accent, a foul temper and a big mouth, this
video  follows the adventures of the guild <Wipe
Club> in it’s attempt to defeat Onyxia, back when
Onyxia was 40 player. Ah, memories.

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the guild had had enough of their guild leader’s
antics and to get some revenge, they recorded their voice chat for the
night and posted it for all the world to hear. Throughout the video the
raid leader curses, degrades, and outright yells just for the sheer
pleasure of yelling at his fellow guild mates. While it is an amusing
video, it also can give a general idea of the standard strategy for
defeating Onyxia….if you can stop laughing long enough.

Since it’s first release the More DoTs recording has been put
to various animations that can be seen on sites all over the internet.
It has also been made into an add on that can be used to assist you
while in Onyxia’s lair. There is nothing that motivates you
more to stay out of the whelps than some guy yelling THAT IS A 50 DKP
MINUS in your ear.

 Please be warned this video contains profanity, and is not
for the faint of heart.


Almost every World of Warcraft player has seen someone mention
Mankrik‘s wife. If you have no idea who 
Mankrik’s poor wife is, and why the heck people are looking
for her, let me explain.

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Mankrik’s Wife is part of the quest Lost in Battle
(Horde only), in which Mankrik asks you to find his wife, who he
believes to have fallen in battle. Mankrik, being
the helpful quest
giver he is, offers no directions, and he also doesn’t
mention that there is no NPC actually called
“Mankrik’s Wife”. This results in tons of
requests in Barrens chat for her location. This tends to annoy more
experienced players, or even less experienced players who have seen the
question pop up for the 50th time that day.

Now when you make a request to find Mankrik’s wife you may
get lucky and have some kind soul send you in her general direction,
but you also take the chance to be sent to some far-fetched, hard to
reach place (such as in Vaelastrasz’s room). 
Mankrik’s Wife is also now used as a generic response that
can be applied to almost any question. For example:

“Where can I buy water?”

“Mankrik’s Wife.”

Used in the right way, Mankrik’s Wife (rest her soul) can
provide many laughs, even though it’s sometimes at the
expense of new players. If you haven’t, try it out sometime.

you take the road from Camp Taurajo to the Crossroads, you will come
across a bridge that crosses a dried up river bed. Go southwest of the
bridge and you will discover a collection of huts. Inside one of these
huts is Mankrik’s Wife, aka “Beaten


While these jokes are not only found inside the World of Warcraft, they
have become such a part of the game that I couldn’t help but
add it to my list. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see a
Chuck Norris joke in Trade chat, and just when they seem to die away,
they come back again. Chuck Norris facts can be used in any situation,
and during any type of conversation.

Chuck Norris has appeared in numerous action films, and even began his
rise to stardom as a martial artist. Always playing the tough guy, the
image stuck and resulted in the various Chuck Norris facts which
appeared in 2005 as a by-product of the Vin Diesel Fact Generator.
Conan O’Brien’s Chuck Norris jokes are also seen as
a inspiration for it’s popularity. These
“facts” attribute various (and mostly impossible)
feats and traits to Norris. Norris has stated that he is not offended
by these, and actually finds some of them funny.

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of my personal favorite facts are:

  • Chuck Norris does not sleep.
    He waits.
  • There is no chin behind
    Chuck Norris'
    beard. There is only another fist.
  • Superman only has two
    weaknesses. Kryptonite and a round house kick
    from Chuck Norris.


Once again, this meme phenomenon did not begin in the World of Warcraft
universe however it is heavily used and I thought it deserved a spot on
the list (mostly because O rly is one of my favorite responses to just
about anything, even in real life).

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of O rly’s beginnings seem rather sketchy, however at least
as early as August of 2003 O rly could be found being used on the
Something Awful Forums. Eventually it made it’s way to 4chan
and became connected with a bunch of images, the most popular being a
snowy owl picture captured by nature photographer John White.

O rly literally meaning “Oh, really” can either be
used in friendly conversation, or as
a sarcastic response to someone
you feel as no idea what they are talking about. The most common
response to O rly is Ya rly (Yeah, really).

O rly has quickly spread through the general population and was an
instant hit, being used in games across various gaming systems such as
Game Boy Advance, Xbox, and Nintendo DS. References to O rly can be
found in Everquest 2, Runescape, and even in our beloved World of
Warcraft in the form of two Auctioneers. Auctioneer Yarly can be found
in the Undercity, while Auctioneer O’reely makes his home in
Booty Bay.

This brings me to the end of my list of favorite World of Warcraft
related internet memes. I hope you enjoyed learning the stories behind
them as much as I did, even though I barely scratched the
surface.  Join us on our forums and share your favorite World
of Warcraft related memes. And remember, when in doubt, just kite it to
Vael’s room!

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About The Author

Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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