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“Electric Boogaloo” is a phrase typically appended to the title of a sequel TV or film production to mock its poor quality. Originally featured in the title of the poorly received 1984 dance film Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, the term refers to a type of dance move that arose out of funk and hip hop styles in the 1970s, popularized by the street dance team The Electric Boogaloos.
Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (trailer shown below) (trailer shown below) was released on December 21st, 1984 and was met with mediocre reviews from Variety who called it a “comic book” and Roger Ebert who gave it 3 stars. As of March 2013, the film has been given 4.3 stars out of 10 on IMDb and 3.4 starts out of 5 on Rotten Tomatoes. Online, the phrase became adopted as a denotation of any sequel release as early as October 2nd, 2001, in a blog post about a radio show by actor Wil Wheaton.
In the early 2000s, the phrase was used offline in titles of works by Christian ska band Five Iron Frenzy and indie rock band Minus the Bear. In July 2005, the first YTMND site using this title format was created by user Pandaman87, as it was a sequel to one of his previous sites. As of March 2013, there are nearly 20 other sites that use “Electric Boogaloo” in their titles.
In November 2005, “Electric Boogaloo” was first used in this manner by a journalist on the Huffington Post, regarding election reform in Ohio. In July 2007, the New York Times used the term in reference to the sequel to the viral video “I’ve Got a Crush on Obama,” marking one of the first times it was used in a negative fashion. In August of that year, a blog post on the Oxford University Press examined the titling structure and defined it as a snowclone that is used to denote any sequel production, which later became supported through its documentation on the Snowclone Database in 2008. On May 25th, 2008, “Electric Boogaloo” was similarly defined as a general description for sequels on Urban Dictionary.
As of March 2013, there are nearly 500 search results for “electric boogaloo” on Reddit and more than 100,000 on YouTube, although a handful of these relate to the original movie or the dance. There are also articles chronicling the use of the term on TV Tropes and Encyclopedia Dramatica.