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“Ah, The Old Reddit Switch-a-roo” is a catchphrase associated with witty comments found on Reddit that play off the original poster’s ambiguous description by deliberately highlighting the least relevant of two or more subjects depicted in the image or video. Each iteration of the comment is linked to its previous instance on the site, thus forming a long chain of comments that have been classified as examples of “Old Reddit Switch-a-roo” by the community.
On June 26th, 2011, Redditor NickConrad submitted a photograph comparing an Uruk-hai creature from the fantasy film series Lord of the Rings to the Jersey Shore reality star Snookie (shown below) via /r/pics subreddit.
“Honestly? This is so childish and hurtful. This is so typical of reddit, making fun of someone just because they look different. Downvotes here I come, because I guess I’m going to be the only one to stick up for that poor Uruk-hai. He looks nothing like that hideous monster.”
In response, Redditor jun2san commented “Ahhhh, the old reddit switch-a-roo.” The comment was later edited to link to a rage comic explaining the history of the switch-a-roo (shown below) and was later edited again to link to the music video for the song “Never Going to Give You Up” by Rick Astley.
On June 27th, 2011, Redditor ORDub responded to a post pretending to confuse the original poster’s daughter with a grown man, to witch Redditor jun2san responded with “Ahhh, the old reddit switch-a-room [sic]” with a link to the original switch-a-roo comment. From July to August, jun2san continued the switch-a-roo chain in three additional posts. On December 27th, the /r/switcharoo subreddit was launched, documenting notable examples of the chain linking practice on the site. On March 8th, 2012, Redditor sheap posted a map outlining the history of switch-a-roo comments (shown below).
On March 15th, The Daily Dot published an article about the Reddit meme. On August 3rd, 2013, a switch-a-roo wiki was created on the /r/switcharoo subreddit. On April 5th, Redditor ShitGuysWeForgotDre submitted an image macro to the /r/shittyadviceanimals subreddit, featuring Scumbag Steve representing someone who doesn’t provide a proper link to a switch-a-roo chain (shown below).
The Daily Dot – The Art of meme maintenance – Reddits old switcharoo
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