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“Nanomachines, Son” is an expression uttered by the final boss character in a cinematic sequence from the 2013 action video game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. On the web, the phrase is typically employed as a non sequitur response to an unrelated question, in a similar vein to the use of Aliens.
In the video game Metal Gear Rising, the final boss character Senator Armstrong is confronted by the game’s protagonist as to why he cannot be killed, to which he responds “Nanomachines, son” (shown below). The phrase is meant to indicate that he is using nanotechnology to repair himself and achieve immortality.
Raiden: Why won’t you die?
Senator Armstrong: Nanomachines, son!
On February 21st, 2013, YouTuber SSSniperWolf uploaded an extended version of the scene (shown below), which gained over 19,000 views and 200 comments in the next 10 days, with the majority of comments made in reference to Senator Armstrong’s nanomachines. On the following day, Gamespot Forums member Kobe_Got_Jam linked to the YouTube video in a thread titled “Time to spread a ‘Nanomachines Son’ meme!”
Also on February 22nd, “Nanomachines, son” was added to a list of quotes about nanontechnology on the pop culture database site TV Tropes. On March 15th, a Meme Generator page titled “Nanomachines, son” was created, featuring a still shot of Senator Armstrong as the template image (shown below).
On March 8th, a Facebook page titled “Nanomachines, son” was launched. On March 31st, Urban Dictionary user OhShitSon submitted an entry for “Nanomachines, son,” which defined the term as a catch-all answer to a variety of questions.