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Jesus Christ It’s a Lion Get In The Car! is an expression often used to caption image macros featuring photos of lions or other felines, which was popularized on the /b/ (random) board of 4chan in 2006. It is often paired with the emoticon >:3, which is meant to represent the face of a lion
The first known instance of the phrase “Jesus Christ it’s a lion get in the car” appeared in a Toothpaste for Dinner webcomic titled “Basic Electronic Symbols” posted on August 30th, 2005.
DeviantArt user Verdot claims to have illustrated the emoticon “>:3” in a circle with the caption “RAWR I AM A LION” during the summer of 2005. According to Internet culture wiki Encyclopedia Dramatica, an anonymous 4chan user posted a thread titled “All I Lerned in Colege”, which featured the Toothpaste For Dinner comic sometime in February of 2006. Verdot posted his emoticon image in response, causing other users to associate the two images. An archive of the particular thread has not been found.
On May 31st, 2006, the first mention of the phrase outside of 4chan appeared on DeviantArt as the title of a GIF animation depicting a man and a Jesus statue seeing a lion whose face was replaced with the emoticon. On July 4th, 2006, a definition for “>:3” was submitted to Urban Dictionary, associating the phrase “Rawr I’m a lion” with “Jesus Christ it’s a lion get in the car.” Throughout 2006, the phrase was used on a LOLcat shared on the Octopus Overlords forum, Yahoo! Answers, FARK and the hacking blog SEO Black Hat. In 2007, the LOLcat version gained greater popularity after being featured on I Can Has Cheezburger, appearing on My[Confined]Space, the Etiquette Hell forums and LOLCatz.net.
Operation Lioncash is a graffiti meme orchestrated by Anonymous, which involves defacing portraits on paper money with the lion face emoticon. It was started by an American 4chan user who first posted a one dollar bill with the emoticon to 4chan’s /b/ board on April 23rd, 2008. Occasionally, photos of these bills continue to appear on Tumblr.
Straight Dope – Origin of “Jesus Christ it’s a lion! Get in the car!”?
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