Help I'm Trapped in a Factory

Help I'm Trapped in a Factory

Updated Jul 12, 2014 at 01:15PM EDT by Brucker.

Added Aug 06, 2010 at 10:32AM EDT by rthomas2.

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About

“Help I’m Trapped in a Factory” is a phrasal template used in satirical pleas for help claiming to be stuck inside a factory that produces the object containing the message.

Origin

The exact origin of the phrasal template is unknown. Since the mid 1950s, the bubble gum brand Bazooka Joe produced gum wrappers with messages written on the inside, some of which purportedly contained the message “Help! I’m trapped in a bubble gum factory!”[1][2] On January 1st, 2006, the webcomic Xkcd[3] published a comic titled “Pi Equals,” which contained the mathematical constant π with the hidden message “helpimtrappedinauniversefactory” (shown below).



Spread

On March 22nd, 2006, Flickr[6] user Cheri Utsler uploaded a photograph of a toilet paper roll with the message “Help!!! I’m trapped in the toilet paper factory” written in blue marker (shown below).



On October 10th, 2007, Xkcd[9] published a comic titled “Exploits of a Mom,” which included the message “Her daughter is named Help I’m trapped in a driver’s license factory” hidden in the comic’s alt text. On July 4th, 2008, an electronic traffic sign at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was hacked with several joke messages, including the phrase “trapped in a sign factory” (shown below).[7]



In Season 4 of the animated television show Robot Chicken,[4] originally broadcast in December 2008, the titles of episodes 1 through 4 spelled out “Help Me / They Took My Thumbs / I’m Trapped / In a DVD Factory.” On January 19th, 2011, a TV Tropes[5] entry titled “Help Help Trapped in Title Factory” was created, listing several examples of the phrasal template found in pop culture. On January 14th, 2013, Redditor SpinyLumpsucker posted a screenshot of a Facebook status update with a haiku poem about being stuck in a “haiku factory” to the /r/funny[8] subreddit (shown below).



Notable Examples




Search Interest

Not available.

External References

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