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Updated Mar 30, 2012 at 05:04PM EDT by amanda b..

Added Jan 02, 2009 at 06:21PM EST by Jamie Dubs.

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Combo Breaker, sometimes seen as C-C-C-C-Combo Breaker!, is a phrase usually used on message boards to break a chain of posts. On 4chan, the phrase is disrupt a popular pastime known as a Combo, which involves posting a series of partially cropped images to bring out the full picture in a given thread.


The phrase “combo breaker” originally appeared in the 1994 arcade fighting game Killer Instinct.[1] In the game, a player can utilize a special move to stop their opponent from completing a combo attack. When a combo breaker is successfully completed, an in-game message that read ’C-C-C-Combo Breaker!" would appear on screen. The term began appearing on the web in April 2004, when the first YTMND site[2] with the phrase was created, using an audio clip from the game.

In August of that year, the first definition of the phrase was added to Urban Dictionary[5], stating that it was used on message boards to break up chains of posts repeating the same phrase.


The first archived 4chan thread featuring a combo breaker[6] took place on December 15th, 2006 in a thread about Haiku poetry. After a series of posts consisting of poems that conformed to Haiku’s strict three line style, a user posted a five line Tanka poem using “C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER” as the second line.

Between 2005 and 2007, over 40 YTMNDs[11] were created in reference to “combo breaker" and several 4chan threads[10] with combo breakers were archived. On May 27th, 2007, an IRC quote[4] using the phrase to break up a multiple line message was registered to the Quote Database.

Jenna says: I
Jenna says: l
Jenna says: o
Jenna says: v
Jenna says: e
Jenna says: y
David says: C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!
Jenna says: what the **** is your problem?
Jenna says: why do you always do that?

After Barack Obama won the presidency on November 4th, 2008, illustrator Patrick Moberg[12] posted a drawing[13] of every American president from George Washington to Obama. The poignant image was reposted[14] on many social networks before it was turned into a demotivational image with the text “C-C-C-Combo Breaker!” underneath. This version was shared on Metafilter[15], eBaum’s World[16], and FunnyJunk[17] that month.

In 2011, the action video game Saints Row: The Third[7] was released with an achievement titled C-C-C-Combo Breaker![8], earned after causing $150,000 dollars in damage during a combo during the Sexy Kitten Yarngasm[9] activity.

Search Interest

Search for “combo breaker” peaked in November 2008, when the Obama demotivational began circulating the web.

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