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Buzzkilling refers to the practice of deconstructing nonsensical humor with rationalist or logical explanations, while intentionally overlooking the point of the joke. It is also simply known as “ruining a joke.”


Buzzkilling in the form of image macros made its earliest known appearance on May 20th, 2004 in a Something Awful photoshop contest[4] based on an United States Postal Service safety notice titled “Put Yourself in My Shoes,” which encouraged homeowners to keep their dogs under control during mail deliveries. Later that day, a forum member remixed the flyer[5] in the most literal sense with captions directly addressing the dog from the mailman’s perspective (“Those are my shoes. Give them back, you are a dog. They don’t even fit.”).


Since as early as 1992, the term “buzzkill” has been colloquial used to describe someone or something that brings a negative effect on an exciting or positive situation, especially when under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.[1] In 1995, it was used as the title of a short-lived MTV hidden camera reality television series[2] (shown below) which featured three 20-somethings pulling pranks on both people on the street and well-known celebrities. In March 2003, the term was first defined on Urban Dictionary[3] and eventually highlighted as the Urban Word of the Day on December 28th, 2005.


By 2008, these image macros began to follow a snowclone formula, using captions that often began with “get down from there,” “get out of there” or “what are you doing” before specifying the absurdity caused by the action the subject of the image is participating in. On November 12th, 2008, a photo depicting a ram with one of its horns caught on a power line was shared on My[confined]Space[6] with the caption “Get down from there ram, you don’t belong on the power line you’re a ram.”

This photo, along with others that followed similar captioning structures, were shared on a number of forums and humor sites in late 2008 including The Bore[7], the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association Discussion Forum[8], The Trukstop[11] and[9] On December 30th, the single topic Tumblr Dog, Get Down From There[10] was created to share these photos, but has not been updated since May 2010. Between 2009 and 2011, Buzzkilling image macros were shared on forums and humor sites including the Gamespot forums[12], Meme Classics[13], Fark[14], FunnyJunk[15], Reddit[16] and the Lolbrary.[17]

Notable Examples

Hipster Editing

Hipster Edits (a.k.a. Instagram Quote Rebuttals") are a series of image macros typically designed to ridicule inspirational photo quotes that are commonly seen on Tumblr. It consists of a picture, usually taken with Instagram feature and hence the term “Hipster Edit”, an ostensibly meaningful quote and a buzzkilling remark denoted underneath in red text.

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