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Nailed It is a phrase used to express success after achieving something seemingly difficult with relative ease. Online, it is often found as a caption on image macros or in sarcastic commentary criticizing the quality of success, especially in response to attempts at recreating recipes or craft projects.
Online use of the phrase “nailed it” in a sarcastic manner has appeared since as early as March 5th, 1998 in a discussion on the alt.sports.basketball.nba.boston-celtics newsgroup comparing the demeanors of players Ron Mercer and Antoine Walker. After poster HelzWrath suggested that their different personalities were attributed to the places in which they were raised, another poster nicknamed V.L.L. took offense to it. Helzwrath felt like V.L.L. had missed the post’s point, responding sarcastically with “you nailed it.”
HelzWrath: Mercer was born in Nashville, TN. Walker was born in the projects in Chicago.
V.L.L.: So people from Chicago are brash, showboating idiots and people from Tennessee are classy and stalwart?
HelzWrath:Yup. That’s exactly it. You nailed it baby. I wish I could have put it that eloquently.
Hey. If you’re not smart enough to know that someone’s environment affects their personality, then I’m sorry. I take it then, that you think a person from Beverly Hills is no different than someone from Harlem? Ok, just so I know.
In 2003, language site English Baby! provided a free lesson based around the idiom, explaining both its positive and sarcastic meanings to foreign language learners. In 2004, the history of the idiom “you nailed it” in its positive sense was discussed on British message board The Phrase Finder. Beginning in 2006, the sarcastic version of the phrase began to appear on message boards including Democratic Underground and 4chan. On November 26th, 2010, the /r/NailedIt subreddit launched, dedicated to showing off photos of failed craft projects or recipes, often paired with the inspiration photo to illustrate just how poorly it was recreated.
Using “nailed it” as a caption on image macro depicting failed attempts at recreating something became popular on a number of humor sites including Memebase, My Food Looks Funny, the Chive, Craft Fail Meme Center and We Know Memes. In 2012, compilations of these image macros were featured on men’s humor site Mandatory, Daily Dawdle and Smosh. On December 27th, 2012, a Facebook fan page titled “Nailed It Memes” was created, but has not been updated since January 2013. Nailed It is also used in both affirming and sarcastic tones as a hashtag on Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter, where it has been tweeted more than 52,000 times.
alt.sports.basketball.nba.boston-celtics – Yup. That’s exactly it. You nailed it baby. I wish I could have put it that
Democratic Underground – you nailed it perfect sarcasm, dailykoff! you didn’t need the sarcasm icon
Foolz Archive – Lucky Star nailed it. Which is was not all that funny.
Daily Dawdle – 16 Hilarious Pinterest FAILs – Nailed It (17 Pics)