John is Kill

John is Kill

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Updated Apr 08, 2014 at 11:17AM EDT by Don.

Added Apr 05, 2014 at 06:48AM EDT by Alex Mercer.

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“John is Kill” refers to a copypasta story that is meant to survey what people were doing at the time of the Beatles singer-songwriter John Lennon’s death on December 8th, 1980. The story, which is marked by improper English grammar and spelling errors, has inspired a number of variations featuring other deceased celebrities and musicians in substitute of the English rock star.


On January 10th, 2010, an anonymous 4chan user posted a thread apologizing for his “poor English” and asking other users “when were you when heat legend dies?”, a mispelling of deceased actor Heath Ledger.

On the same day, Body Building Forums member HITSTICK53 posted a thread titled “when were you when heat legend dies?”[12]. On August 22nd, 2012, a version of the copypasta featuring the deceased Beatles musician John Lennon was posted to 4chan (shown below).

apology for poor english
when were you when john lenin dies?
i was sat at home eating smegma butter when pjotr ring

‘john is kill’


On the same day, Redditor Petryz submitted a screenshot of the original 4chan thread to the /r/4chan[7] subreddit, where it gained over 3,000 up votes and 50 comments prior to being archived. On August 28th, 2012, the screenshot was reposted on FunnyJunk,[1] accumulating upwards of 127,000 views and 1,500 comments in the following two years. On September 17th, a thread was created on 4chan urging users to post comments on Skrillex YouTube videos suggesting that the electronic music producer had died. Two days later, a compilation of hoax YouTube comments titled “When was you when Skrillex die?” was highlighted on FunnyJunk[9] (shown below).

On October 23rd, Newgrounds Forums[6] user Slint posted the “John is kill” copypasta in a thread titled “when were you when.” On November 22nd, the copypasta was reposted to the /sp/ (sports) board on 4chan.[4] On April 2nd, 2013, YouTuber TheStolken uploaded a dramatic reading of the original copypasta (shown below).

On November 30th, a variation of the copypasta with deceased actor Paul Walker substituted for John Lennon was posted on 4chan (shown below). On December 1st, Redditor KINGcjb55 submitted a screenshot of the Paul Walker thread to the /r/4chan[8] subreddit, where it gathered more than 2,100 up votes and 45 comments in four months. On January 8th, 2014, Urban Dictionary[5] user OLPZach submitted an entry for “john is kill,” citing 4chan as the origin of the copypasta.

Search Interest

External References

[1]FunnyJunk – John Is Kill

[2]Battlefield Forums – Related topic

[3]Yahoo Answers – When were you when john lenin dies?

[4]Archive Foolz – /sp/ , /tv/

[5]Urban Dictionary – john is kill

[6]Newgrounds – when were you when

[7]Reddit – john is kil

[8]Reddit – paul is kill

[9]FunnyJunk – When was you when Skrillex die?

[10]Reddit – Heat Legend

[11]Imgur – Heat Legend

[12]Bodybuilding – when were you when heat legend dies?

[13]Funnyjunk – Heat Legend

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