Cave Johnson / Combustible Lemons

Cave Johnson / Combustible Lemons

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Updated Dec 15, 2011 at 10:26PM EST by Brad.

Added May 08, 2011 at 12:00AM EDT by Kalmo.

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Warning: This entry contains spoilers.


Cave Johnson is a character from the video game Portal 2, who was the founder and CEO of Aperture Science, the laboratory in which the game takes place. Since the game’s release he has been the subject of various image macros and video remixes, often in the context of his famous “lemons” speech. (See also: Portal 2 Space Personality Core)


During the middle of Chapter 6, The Fall, an automated recording is played of the deceased Cave Johnson. It is told that he is the founder of Aperture Science, has spent years as CEO, and is coming up with new inventions and ideas for the future. Some of his ideas backfired, and one even cost him his life. He received a deadly disease which was caused by the contact of Moon Rocks. At first he is optimistic that his researchers will create a vaccine to save him. Unfortunately as time goes by, his optimism fades, and soon becomes enraged.

“When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”


As of May 2011, several Cave Johnson related sites have been created including a Tumblr[3], Twitter[4] (over 850 followers), Facebook[5] (over 2,000 likes), and the single topic blog “Cave Johnson, here!”.[6]

A Kotaku article about the single topic blog was posted on April 29th, 2011.[7] A round-up of Cave Johnson quotes was posted to BuzzFeed on May 4th, 2011.[8]

Search queries for “cave johnson” increased dramatically around the same the game was released in April, 2011.

TF2 Community Weapon

A challenge to create a “Combustible Lemon Launcher” was posted to Reddit on May 4th, 2011 by user Drgrundy.[1] Redditors jimpact, and Forgetful_Redditor responded with screenshots of 3D textures he had been working on.[2]

Video Derivatives

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Image Derivatives

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[1]Reddit – Challenge: create this as a community weapon for TF2-- The Cave Johnson Combustible Lemon Launcher / 5/4/2011

[2]Reddit – jimpact

[3]Tumblr – I Don’t Want Your Damn Lemons

[4]Twitter – @ApScience

[5]Facebook – Cave Johnson

[6]Cave Johnson, here!

[7]Kotaku – A Compendium of Cave Johnson Quotes from Portal 2 / 4/29/2011

[8]BuzzFeed – Cave Johnson, Here! / 5/4/2011

[]Combine Overwiki – Cave Johnson

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