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YTMND, an abbreviation of the phrase “You’re the man now, dog!", is an online community and memetic hub site that hosts user-generated remixes and parodies of popular culture in the form of multimedia webpages featuring a still image or animated GIF with an overlay text and looped audio track.
The phrase “you’re the man now, dog!” is a memorable quote by uttered by the character William Forrester (player by Sean Connery) in the 2000 drama film Finding Forrester (shown below).
On July 6th, 2001, YTMND founder Max Goldberg created the site Yourethemannowdog.com, which was originally composed of white, 3-dimensional ASCII text on a black background reading “YOURE THE MAN NOW DOG DOT COM” (shown below, left). Several months later, the website swapped the ASCII text with a tiled photograph of Sean Connery (shown below, right).
On April 1st, 2004, Goldberg registered the domain ytmnd.com. According to the YTMND about page, the site was launched that month, though marred by numerous bugs. On April 25th, one of the first notable YTMND sites was submitted by user ShittyMcShit. Titled picard.ytmnd.com, the page featured a photograph of the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Jean-Luc Picard accompanied by the remix track “The Picard Song” by musician DarkMateria. Within eight years, the page received over 3.8 million views, 1,800 comments and a 4.55/5 star rating.
On November 25th, 2005, Goldberg updated the site with a new redesign, comment layout, news system, content management system, URL scheme and added two new servers.
On December 14th, 2005, Goldberg posted a blog post announcing a new “site sponsorship” feature allowing users to donate money to the site to have their YTMNDs featured on the front page. The program was launched as a fundraiser to purchase a new content server for the site.
On September 24th, 2006, the site was updated with a redesign and a new browse feature allowing users to sort through the site’s growing collection of YTMN pages.
On July 16th, 2011, Goldberg updated the design and software running YTMND, moving the pages from XHTML to HTML5, a full rewrite of the YTMND loader/player, a standalone asset uploader and customizable site preview images.
After creating an account, YTMND users have the ability to create customized pages consisting of a centered or tiled image accompanied by a looping sound file. The front page prominently displays top rated, top viewed, recently created and sponsored pages.
Doesn’t Change Facial Expressions
Doesn’t Change Facial Expressions is a series of animated GIFs created by compiling a series of individual’s stillshots (or celebrity photos) and producing a montage in loop sequence. On YTMND, the GIFs are often accompanied by the Swedish DJ Eric Prydz’ 2004 house single “Call on Me.”
Kirby’s Gourmet Race Remixes
OMG Secret Nazi
OMG Secret Nazi is a YTMND photoshop meme depicting swastikas and other Nazi-related symbols that are “accidentally found” in public places.
Dramatic Readings are intentionally over-the-top sarcastic readings of a text performed with an overly-dramatic voice. YTMND pages featuring audio recordings of dramatic readings were first created in early 2006.
Asiacopter is a series of stop-motion animations featuring an Asian student spinning around in mid-air like a helicopter which are typically accompanied by the orchestral version of the main theme from the Japanese role-playing game Final Fantasy VII.
Brian Peppers is a registered sex offender from Ohio who has been featured in numerous YTMND pages since March 2005.
Batman Bomb Run
It’s Not a Defect, It’s a Feature
It’s Not a Defect, It’s a Feature is a series of YTMND pages featuring zooming text containing variations of the phrase “It’s not a defect, it’s a feature!”
Lex Luthor YTMNDs
Lex Luthor YTMNDs is a YTMND fad based off a scene from the 2006 superhero movie Superman Returns.
Professor X Had One Weakness
Professor X Had One Weakness is a YTMND fad featuring an exploitable comic panel of the character Professor X from the X-Men being pushed down a flight of stairs accompanied by a chiptune cover of the theme from the 1984 comedy film Beverly Hills Cop.
What is Love?
“What is Love” is a 1993 dance pop song by the Trinidanian eurodance artist Haddaway, which saw a resurgence in popularity when it was featured in the “Roxbury Guys” sketches on TV show Saturday Night Live in 1996. In 2005, a scene from the show in which several characters are shown bobbing their heads in unison to “What is Love” was uploaded as a GIF to YTMND, which inspired a fad on the community website.
I Love Bell Peppers
I Love Bell Peppers is a YTMND fad featuring an exploitable GIF of Takeshi Kaga from the reality show Iron Chef biting proudly and enthusiastically into a bell pepper.
Gay Fuel was an energy drink marketed by Florida-based Specialty Spirits, LLC towards the gay community using the slogan “GET FIRED UP" which subsequently inspired a YTMND fad featuring the 1985 pop song “Tarzan Boy” by Baltimora.
Chacarron Macarron, also known as “Ualuealuealeuale,” refers to a YTMND fad associated with the incoherent gibberish chorus from the song “Chacarron Macarron” by the Panamanian artist Rodney Clark, a.k.a El Chombo.
“Ridin’ Spinnaz” refers to a YTMND series featuring a looped footage of hardcore gay porn, set to the eponymous rap song by Three 6 Mafia for humorous effect.
Dew Army is a YTMND series that involves combining a short clip of a mondegreen (an easily misunderstood fragment of a song) with text or an image representing the phonetic interpretation of the misinterpreted lyrics. Despite being labeled “Dew Army,” individual instances of the YTMND series almost never contain the words “Dew Army” in the title.
LOL Internet is a series of YTMNDs featuring animated GIFs of various characters shown traveling at fast speeds with speech bubbles containing variations of the phrase “LOL, Internet.”
Safety Not Guaranteed
Safety Not Guaranteed is a YTMND series based on a newspaper ad featuring a portrait of a young man sporting a mullet haircut next to an advertisement seeking a time-traveling companion.
Conflict With eBaum’s World
In January 2006, a “doesn’t change facial expressions” animated GIF of actress Lindsay Lohan created by YTMND user SpliceVW was reuploaded and watermarked on eBaum’s World without crediting either SpliceVW or YTMND. In retaliation, YTMND users raided the eBaum’s World forums with spam and orchestrated DDoS attacks against the site. On January 8th, Goldberg denounced the attacks in a blog post:
“I tried to stop this all when it was a snowball, but it just turned into an avalanche. I’d like to make an open statement to the community, in regards to DDoS. Don’t do it. It sets a whole new precedent and will not end well, it affects a lot more than just eBaum’s World and really crosses the line.”
On January 10th, eBaum’s World published a blog post claiming that the site had been the victim of a “global cyber-terrorism attack.” That same day, Goldberg posted an email correspondence between with eBaum’s World executive Neil Bauman, in which the two came to an agreement regarding content on their respective websites.
Church of Scientology
In June 10th, 2006, YTMND founder Max Goldberg announced that he had received a cease-and-desist letter from Scientology lawyers requesting the removal of several pages that mocked the organization. After Goldberg refused to take down the sites, YTMND users responded by creating more Scientology-related sites. In the month of June alone, over 550 YTMND pages were created mocking Scientology.
On January 11th, 2007, Goldberg published a blog post announcing that Sega Europe had delivered a cease and desist letter concerning the Sonic Says YTMND fad concerning its use of a clip from the Sonic animated series. On February 7th, Goldberg posted an update speculating that the conflict with Sega had “blown over.”
On July 19th, 2007, Goldberg published a blog post featuring several emails sent from Scholastic books threatening to sue him for hosting spoilers for the fantasy children’s book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Goldberg claimed he “enjoyed” getting these types of emails, adding “so I’m not taking shit down.”
In May 2009, after the Pez candy company threatened to sue YTMND for hosting two pages with fake Adolf Hitler Pez candy dispensers, Goldberg launched a Pez-themed YTMND contest with the winning prize being a potential lawsuit.
Search interest in “YTMND” peaked in mid-2006, and has been steadily decreasing since 2008.