Internet Is Leaking

Internet Is Leaking

Part of a series on Internet Slang. [View Related Entries]
[View Related Sub-entries]

Updated Aug 28, 2018 at 09:32AM EDT by Don.

Added Oct 17, 2010 at 06:03PM EDT by Not_Penny's_Quote.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

If you keep putting soft drinks in the freezer... You are dumb. You are really dumb For real


"The Internet Is Leaking" is an expression used to describe sightings of online culture references outside of the Internet, which often take the form of costumes, sculptures, foods and printed pictures.


On August 28th, 2006, a post on the blog OK Whatever[3] used the phrase "the Internet is leaking" to describe how online humor and shock sites were having an effect on society.

"The internet is leaking, I think. And it’s changing what people see as funny, one broadband connection at a time."

Precursor: IRL

The phrase "in real life" (IRL) was initially used to describe anything that existed outside of a hypertext environment. On June 25th, 2004, an Urban Dictionary[11] submission by user IceWarm defined "IRL" as an abbreviation "used in internet chat rooms to let people you are talking about something in the real world and not in the internet world." It later became common to use "IRL" as a descriptor for things that traditionally belonged in the online world, but had made their way into the real world.



On February 16th, 2007, the Zune Boards[7] member Samurai submitted a post titled "The Internet is Leaking," which included several anecdotes describing people who used Internet slang offline. Samurai criticized the practice, saying that "Internet culture should not enter the real [world]." On May 27th, 2008, the Internet humor site College Humor[1] published a post titled "The Internet is Leaking", which featured a picture of a flood-damaged residential area with several buildings spelling out the abbreviation "LOL" (shown below, left). On March 19th, 2009, the Internet culture blog The Daily What[8] published a post titled "The Internet is Leaking", which included a photo of a traffic light button with a sticker for the social news website Digg (shown below, right).


On August 4th, 2011, a post was submitted to the /r/pics[6] subreddit titled "The Internet is Leaking", which included a photo of an IRL Troll Poster with several Facebook "Like" icons and the phrase "Be the first of your friends to like this post" (shown below, left). The post reached the front page, accumulating over 4,300 up votes prior to being archived. On March 7th, 2012, the single topic blog Passive Aggressive Notes[9] posted a photograph of a printed Schrute Facts image macro taped on the wall of a New York City office (shown below, right).

Be the first of your friends to like this post. STOP Can you recycle that? The recycling bins are ten steps down the hallway. FALSE ITIS EXACTLY 26 STEPS AWAY

Commercial Adaptation

"The Internet is leaking" has also been associated with the commercialization of Internet memes for use in advertisements or marketing campaigns. On October 26th, 2009, the cartoon cable network Adult Swim displayed a Courage Wolf image macro during a commercial break with the caption "If at first you don't succeed / you were taught by losers" (shown below, left). On September 1st, 2010, Paul Vasquez, also known as the Double Rainbow Guy, appeared in a commercial for the Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery software (shown right).

On March 7th, 2011, a trailer was uploaded to YouTube for the film The Chronicles of Rick Roll, a comedy film about viral video characters adventuring in a fantasy setting. The trailer featured cameos by Antoine Dodson (Bed Intruder, Paul Vasquez (Double Rainbow, Ben Schulz (Leeroy Jenkins), Brian Collin (Boom Goes The Dynamite), and Gary Brolsma (Numa Numa).

Notable Examples

MR 30 201JANUARY 5 209 8OSTONS LARGEST WEEKLY THE BOSTON PHRNI to NOR Year's Eve THE SHAPE OFMEMES TO COME hat will top Hipster Ariel, Bronies and Nyan Cat in 2012? by Eugenia Willkamson POLITICS ROMNEY'S BIC YEAR will he flip? Or will he ǖop? OCCUPy 2012 ROUTE 12 may be blocked off by a sleeping POKéMON. Detour through R00 TUNNEL to LAVENDER TOWN. VERMILION POLICE joo ART OF TROLLING.COM9
Ligases enzyme substrates active site


The expression is also used to describe Internet-related costumes that have been seen IRL.


Search Interest

External References

[1] College Humor – The Internet is leaking

[2] Reddit – The Internet is leaking into meatspace.


[4] Gawker – Stupid California Police Warn Parents of Pedobear, the Pedophile Mascot

[5] Twitter – @basch

[6] Reddit – The internet is leaking

[7] Zune Boards – The Internet is leaking

[8] The Daily What – The Internet is Leaking

[9] Passive Aggressive Notes – The Internet is Leaking

[10] Urban Dictionary – IRL

[11] Urban Dictionary – IRL

Recent Videos 21 total

Recent Images 318 total

Top Comments


The idea of the "internet leaking" feels so out of date now. Nowadays, people I know are talking about memes outside of the internet all the time. Memes stopped being an inside joke a long time ago, and I think it's really interesting to see what the overall online attitude was towards memes over a decade ago.


+ Add a Comment

Comments (103)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Hello! You must login or signup first!