James Doakes' "Surprise Motherfucker"

James Doakes' "Surprise Motherfucker"

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About

Surprise Motherfucker is a catchphrase associated with James Doakes (played by Erik King), a recurring character from the Showtime television drama series Dexter. Celebrated for its overly confrontational attitude, image macros of Doakes featuring the phrase have been since used on imageboards and forums in response to someone else’s comment.

Origin

The phrase “Surprise Motherfucker” was first used on the show Dexter[7] by the character James Doakes[8], played by actor Erik King[9], in the season one episode “Born Free.” In the episode, the protagonist Dexter Morgan (played by Michael C. Hall) take a trip to the shipping yard to inspect a container that he suspects to be the site of his mother’s murder, when Doakes suddenly confronts him by saying “Surprise, Motherfucker.” This episode originally aired on premium cable network Showtime on December 17th, 2006.



Doakes’ quote from the scene soon became a memorable one-liner among fans of the show on LiveJournal.[11] It was eventually introduced to a broader audience in December 2008 when a five-second clip of the quote was uploaded onto YouTube and subsequently featured on Reddit[18] in October 2010. As of May 2012, the video has accumulated more than 1.98 million views.

Spread

In December 2008, the first YTMND site[12] featuring Doakes and the sound clip was created on December 28th, 2008. In January 2011, the single serving site SurpriseMotherfucker.com[1] was launched to showcase videos of Doakes’ soundbite edited into other movie scenes (shown below). In February 2012, a single-topic Tumblr[5] began curating various images and videos based on the catchphrase.



On January 29th, 2012, the first photoshopped instance (shown below, left) of Doakes and reverse-captioned images of the original stillshot were posted to Tumblr by cranialabattoir[16] and received 21,677 notes. Some of the images featured alternate captions and visual add-ons, replacing “surprise” with other similar sounding words or phrases like “Damn Flies” and “Bowties."


  

On March 5th, 2012, blogger Corey Branigan posted another set of James Doakes images (shown above, right) to his Tumblr[13], where it accrued over 70,000 notes, as well as a feature post on Uproxx[15] two days later. Similar images can be found under hashtags #suprise muthafucka[4], #surprise motherfucker[14] and #doakes.[17] The Facebook fan page for the phrase has 538 likes and there is also a Quickmeme[3] page based on the still from the Dexter episode.

Notable Examples

Notable Videos

Video parodies of Doakes’ quote typically involve editing the audio of the original Dexter scene or placing Doakes’ soundbite into other video clips. Edited versions of the Dexter scene began appearing as early as 2009, but the volume of related video results began to grow substantially in January 2011. On YouTube, there are approximately 160 results for “doakes surprise”[10] and 1120 for “surprise motherfucker”[2] as of May 2012.




Notable Images




Notable Comments



Search Interest



External References

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Recent Images 81 total

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