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SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING (a.k.a President Madagascar) is a catchphrase derived from the online flash game Pandemic II, where the player must spread a deadly disease across the world in order to effectively wipe out the human race. In the game, the Republic of Madagascar is often considered the most difficult target to infect with contagions due to the island nation has no airports or bordering countries and any potential outbreak can be prevented by shutting down the shipyards, which happens quite often during gameplay.
Since its debut in 2008, Madagascar’s near-perfect border security (as portrayed in the game) has become a popular joke among the fans, spawning comics and videos depicting the President of Madagascar yelling “SHUT DOWN EVERYTHING.”
Pandemic 2 is an online flash game loosely based on the cooperative board game Pandemic, designed by Matt Leacock and published by Z-Man Games in 2008.
Developed by Dark Realm Studios and hosted by Crazy Monkey Games, Pandemic II was released on July 14th, 2008. It has been subsequently uploaded to various flash game sites like Kongregate, AddictingGames, and Newgrounds.
The game’s premise is creating a disease, modifying the symptoms, resistances, and other variables in order to effectively manipulate it to wipe out the human race, keeping track of progress through a world map.
In the game, Madagascar’s shipyards are often shut down before the diseases can infiltrate through the island, causing much frustration for players trying to beat the game.
An archived thread from 4chan’s /v/ board dates back to July 16, 2008. The first Encyclopedia Dramatica entry was created on July 18th, 2008. The day after a reference was made on Gamefaqs. The first relevant definition on Urban Dictionary was created on July 22nd, 2008. An Uncyclopedia entry was created on July 26th, 2008. A reference was made on Fark on August 26th, 2008.
The phrase is often used in a similar fashion to Do Not Want as a reaction to any unwanted entity or event. It is also used as a comically inflated over-reaction like Kill It With Fire, and Nuke It From Orbit. From Urban Dictionary:
Topic Creator: Wow, they put tomatoes in my burger when I told the, not to. I’m mad.
Poster: President Madagascar!
They put tomatoes in our burgers!
President Madagascar and SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING. have their first burst of searches in July 2008, when it was still new. Then in April 2009 it had a second, larger boost. April 2009 was also the peak of Swine flu searches.