The slang term Brain Rot being used in a meme example.

Brain Rot / Brainrot

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Updated Jun 12, 2024 at 11:31AM EDT by Zach.

Added Nov 08, 2023 at 02:34PM EST by Phillip Hamilton.

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Related Explainer: What's The 'Brain Rot' Meme About? The Internet Slang Term For The 'Chronically Online' And Its Memes Explained

About

Brain Rot or Brainrot is a slang term used to describe content that has little to no artistic, educational or substantive value, painting it as having a negative impact on the viewer and thus leading to the degradation and "rot" of their brain. In relation, the term is used to refer to pieces of "brain rot content" that a person cannot stop thinking about, leading to further brain rot, such as regularly repeating the Skibidi Toilet song. Although the exact origins of the term are unknown, it has been used online since as early as 2007, becoming increasingly popularized throughout the 2010s and 2020s.

Origin

It is unclear where the term "brain rot" originates from. Some of the earliest uses of the term in reference to content that is perceived to "rot the brain" were posted to X,[1][2] formerly Twitter, by users @IzzyNeis and @carrissa on June 25th and August 23rd, 2007, the former describing reality dating shows as brain rot and the latter describing being online in general as brain rot (shown below).


Izzy Neis @IzzyNeis These shows based around engineered "love" are brain rot... all of them but "Flavor of Love" 10:05 PM. Jun 25, 2007

Spread

The term continued to spread online and in general throughout the 2000s. The term saw an increase in search interest in late 2011 for its use in the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in which the player can contract a disease called brain rot.[3]

The term saw increased use in memes throughout the 2020s. On September 28th, 2021, iFunny[4] user Apathy posted a meme using the Skyrim brain rot status indicator as an exploitable, garnering over 17,000 smiles in two years (shown below). On February 27th, 2022, Instagram[5] user realjoemema posted a today I offer you meme using the term, garnering over 5,000 likes in a year (shown below, right).


A PALALLEU You have contracted Brain Rot. --2306 Dear followers, Today I offer you @c pure brain rot Planta Tomorrow? the same

On August 17th, 2023, iFunny[6] user Quat posted a Soyjak meme using the term in reference to Skibidi Toilet, garnering over 1,300 smiles in three months (shown below).


This is peak content CLU CRINGE BRAIN ROT! KIDS THESE DAYS!

On October 24th, TikToker[7] @neptunezz.x posted a video of some kids singing the Skibidi Toilet song captioned "actual brain rot," garnering over 70,000 views in a month (shown below, left). On November 6th, TikToker[8] @vexbolts posted a video using the term, garnering over 100,000 views in two days (shown below, right).

@neptunezz.x oh #fyp #fypp #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #yourpage #foru #4u #4u #skibiditoilet #skibiditoiletiscringe #skibiditoiletisnotfunny #skibidi #skibiditoiletisntfunny #brainrot #brainrotting #thisisbrainrot #rottingbrains #thisisrottingbrains #youtubeshorts #youtube #youtubeshort #youtubeshorts💀💀💀 #youtubeshortskids #youtubeshortscomments #youtubeshortskidcringe #youtubeshortsiahellacringe #banyoutubeshorts ♬ I'Il die next summer (no joke) – DRXG ADXICTION & RAGEIX

@vexbolts No one can get past level 4 brain rot 😂😂😂 (use code vexbolts) #vexbolts #fortnitechapter4 #fortnite #brainrot #fanumtax ♬ original sound – yeVexbolts

The Brain Rot Continues

"Brain rot continues" is a phrase that was popularized in 2020, used primarily on X by artists who tend to create art based on one particular franchise or fandom, to indicate that they are still obsessed with the fandom. For example, on December 31st, 2020, X[9] user @inozuart posted Harry Potter fan art writing, "ayo Harry Potter brain rot continues as does my ever changing style," garnering over 1,100 likes in three years (shown below, left). On August 21st, 2023, X[10] user @ksj_art posted Steven Universe art, writing, "My SU brain rot continues," garnering over 3,100 likes in three months (shown belwo, right).


ino7₂zZ @inozuart ayo Harry Potter brain rot continues as does my ever changing style #technofanart #dreamfanart 11:58 PM Dec 31, 2020 INOZUART Stello @ksj_art My SU brain rot continues #Steven Universe #stevenuniversefanart 1:33 PM . Aug 21, 2023 41.1K Views ...

Various Examples


ME? HA YEAH MAN IM GOOD J JUST NEED TO LET MY BRAIN ROT ON INSTAGRAM FOR A FEW HOURS Me: *Opens a Twitter account* My brain, instantly; You have contracted Brain Rot. THEGAMER College Education has worn off come back to bed babe let your brain rot with me a lil bit longer Victory Moth™+ @Sarcastic Moths I'm stuck circling my brain rot between three mostly monochromatic m------------. I should call my therapist. 1:28 PM 07 Sep 21 · Twitter for Android ⠀ Dumb gmod humor: 2013 Dumb gmod humor: 2023 "Gen alpha brain rot..." 128005 Dan Arrows @Dan_Arrows We've achieved a level of Facebook brain rot that shouldn't be possible Acyn @Acyn - 6h Greene: This is a simple meme you would find on the internet but this meme is very real U.S. HOUSE LET'S SEE WHO THIS REALLY IS 12:50 AM Sep 23, 2021 Twitter for Android LIVE C-SPAN :

Search Interest

External References

[1] X – IzzyNeis

[2] X – carrissa

[3] Fandom – Brain Rot

[4] iFunny – Apathy

[5] Instagram – realjoemema

[6] iFunny – Quat

[7] TikTok – neptunezz x

[8] TikTok – vexbolts

[9] X – inozuart

[10] X – ksj_art

Recent Videos 4 total

Recent Images 20 total


Top Comments

Sunsoft Bass
Sunsoft Bass

All generations keep saying that what the new generations consume is brain rot, while ignoring that a bunch of stuff they consumed was also called brain rot by the older generations, and even when the new stuff really is brain rot, the stuff from their time also was.

I'm not going to fall into this excuse to accept every dumb thing that is new, TikTok really is brain rot, fostering stupidity and futility, and the best example are those challenges that may put you in the hospital or kill you, but I'm not going to act that when I was a kid or a teen, all the stuff that came from the CRT TV and early internet was smart.

+11

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