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ROFLcopter is an Internet slang term used as a superlative of the abbreviation ROFL (“rolling on the floor laughing”). Like the slang term Lollerskates, ROFLcopter inspired a GIF animation of an ASCII helicopter with spinning “ROFL” blades.
According to an Urban Dictionary submission by user Brother Laz, the word “ROFLcopter” originated in a web forum for the online strategy game Warcraft III as a slang term for the gyrocopter flying machine unit, which were often mass produced by players for trolling purposes. On January 11th, 2004, the earliest known use of the term was posted by user SteniS in a thread on the Inc Gamers Warcraft III forum about strategies against various Warcraft III units.
On March 30th, 2004, the single-serving site Roflcopter.com was registered, which featured an animated GIF of an ASCII helicopter with the abbreviations “ROFL” and “LOL” as blades.
In September of 2005, a ROFLcopter flash game was released, in which the player could control an ASCII ROFLcopter to shoot down enemies on screen. On July 10th, 2006, a post was submitted to the Flash developer forums Flash Kit titled “My roflcopter goes soi soi soi soi” by user Genesis F5, which included instructions on how to make the Windows Narrator text-to-speech software mimic the sound of a helicopter by typing the phrase “my roflcopter goes soi soi soi soi soi soi soi.”
On May 6th, 2007, YouTube netprince uploaded a video of the ASCII GIF to YouTube titled “Roflcopter”, which accumulated over 800,000 views in less than five years. On August 4th, 2008, a video titled “ROFLcopter: The Movie” was uploaded to the Dailymotion, which featured two teenager boys being attacked by a laughing helicopter (shown left). On September 2nd, 2009, YouTuber charlestrippy posted a video titled “ROFLCopter” featuring a a remote controlled helicopter with the note “ROFL” attached to it (shown right).
On March 14th, 2010, an animated GIF of a failed flying machine with the caption “ROFLcopter” was uploaded to the Internet humor site FunnyJunk (shown left). On March 17th, 2012, Redditor occupyfacebook submitted a post titled “ROFLcopter”, which included a photo of a woman with a helicopter hairstyle (shown right).
On May 1st, 2004, an ASCII animation titled “ROFL COPTER ROFL!!!” was created by user xenoshockwave on the GIF-sharing site YTMND. Since its upload, the page has been viewed over 16,500 times. On July 8th, 2006, user Chyort uploaded the RoflCopter Takeoff Final YTMND, which is the most viewed ROFLCopter YTMND page with more than 190,000 views in less than six years. As of May 2nd, 2012, over 140 ROFLcopter YTMNDs have been created.
By September of 2005, searches for the term seem to have mostly leveled out, maintaining search volume without much decrease for the last 6 years.