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“Problem Solved!” is a colloquial expression that is used to introduce a comically makeshift solution to a complex problem, or conversely, an overly elaborate solution to a rather simple problem. Online, it has similar usage to “Fixed That For You” (FTFY) or “There, I Fixed It.”
The phrase “problem solved” has been used since as early as 2000 in computer and tech message boards in thread titles to denote that a solution has been found for the question posed. The phrase took on a more sarcastic tone as early as 2003, as shown in a thread from the Online Keyboard Community. After the user Sol asked for suggestions on a keyboard that offers smooth transitions, Over The Edge solved his problem by telling him to both of his two ideal keyboards.
The phrase continued to be used on message boards and forums throughout the early 2000s, falling under the media spotlight in December 2006 after U.S. department store Kmart clothing line Route 66 Attitude released a controversial t-shirt with the phrase (shown below). The shirt depicted a two-panel comic featuring male stick figure and a female stick figure arguing with a caption saying “Problem” in the first panel. The second panel showed the male pushing the female out of a window with the caption “Solved.” The shirt was slammed online for its suggested violence towards women and dozens of protests were held outside of local Kmart stores, attempting to get the company to pull the shirt. By the end of January, some stores had taken the shirt off the shelves.
Despite this controversy, the phrase continued to be used online, becoming a popular retort on tech forums. Many Mac or Linux users would use the phrase in response to people with Windows problems with a suggestion to switch to their preferred operating system. It has also appeared as a caption or title for dozens of image macros depicting quick fixes on FunnyJunk, Cheezburger and 9gag. Problem Solved can also be found as a hashtag on Tumblr and Twitter, accompanying both serious and sarcastic posts.
Foul Bachelor Frog
The phrase also can frequently be found in instances of the Foul Bachelor Frog image macro series, notably those explaining makeshift solutions driven by laziness.
Tech Soup – Problem Solved! "GLW StartOpenGl-could not loadd OpenGl subsystem. / 10/05/2000
Online Keyboard Community – Go get that synth you want and get a Kurz too! Problem solved. :lol: / 09/21/2003
Creative Destruction – Throwing Rocks at Boys, and Pushing Girls through Windows
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