PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.
“I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords” is a memorable quote from the 1977 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ short story Empire of the Ants. In online conversations, the phrase can be used to suggest that an outsider group or entity is powerful enough to rule over humanity. In discussion forums and chatrooms, its phrasal template “I, for one, welcome our new X overlords” has been widely used to express mock submission towards an obsessively controlling individual for the sake of humor.
A film adaptation of the H.G. Wells science fiction story Empire of the Ants was released on July 29th, 1977, which revolved around giant mutated ants attempting to destroy humankind. In the film, actress Joan Collins reacts to the insect threat by saying, “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.”
The quote gained popularity after the airing of the 1994 episode of The Simpsons, “Deep Space Homer”, in which news announcer Kent Brockman mistakenly assumes the Earth is about to be invaded by giant space ants. Fearing for his life, he announces his willingness to submit to the imagined invaders.
“One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.”
On May 12th, 2000, the site InsectOverlords.org was created, which contained a transcript of the Kent Brockman speech from The Simpsons episode. On December 18th, 2002, a post titled “I for one welcome our new __ overlords” was submitted to the community blog Metafilter by user ao4047, who inquired the origins of the phrasal template. Many replies to the post cited the “Deep Space Homer” Simpsons episode as the first use of the phrase.
On January 28th, 2004, a Metafilter user patgas posted a link to an article about animal communication with the phrase “I, for one, welcome our new telepathic parrot overlords.” On the following day, the linguistic blog Language Log published a post about the snowclone, which cited the Metafilter parrot example. On December 29th, a Q&A thread was submitted to the Straight Dope forums titled “I, For One, Welcome Our New Cliché-Laden Overlords.” Several months later on February 8th, 2005, another post was submitted to the Straight Dope forums addressing the origins of the snowclone, to which user squeegee cited examples of the phrasal template used on the message board.
I for one welcome our new llama overlords
I, for one, welcome our new Linux overlords
I, for one, welcome our new slimy overlords
Personally, I welcome our new tomndebb overlords.
I, for one, welcome our new cardiac-powered machine overlords
On November 8th, 2006, The New York Times political blog The Caucus published a post titled “The Tao of Kent Brockman”, which reported the use of the phrase “I, for one, welcome our new Democratic overlords” on several websites regarding the recent elections. On May 22nd, 2007, the Snowclones Database blog published a post about the template. On March 19th, 2008, the Internet humor site Cracked, published an article titled “I For One Welcome Our New Robotic Dog Overlords”, which included a video of the “Big Dog” quadruped robot. On June 16th, 2009, author Neil Gaiman published a tweet welcoming squirrels as “new bushy-tailed scampering overlords.”
Off to bed. If squirrels take over in the night, I, for one, welcome our new bushy-tailed scampering overlords, & I know where the nuts are.— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) June 16, 2009
On October 6th, 2010, the National Public Radio news blog The Two-Way published a post titled “I, For One, Welcome Our Ne Robot Overlords”, reporting on the dangers of GPS navigation systems. On July 11th, 2010, a post was submitted to the social news site Reddit about Paul the Octopus titled “I, for one, welcome our new Octopus overlord.”
In February of 2011, a super-computer named “Watson” starred as a contestant on the trivia game show Jeopardy!. The robot managed to beat all human contestants during the three days of competition. During the final show on February 16th, former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings wrote “I for one welcome our new computer overlords” below one of his written answers:
Screen captures of Kent Brockman have been used as an exploitable template for the snowclone, often featuring large multi-national corporations or fictional characters.
Straight Dope – I, For One, Welcome Our New Cliché-Laden Overlords
Straight Dope – Origin: I, for one, welcome our new
New York Times – Instagram Users Fail to Welcome Their New Overlord