???? PROFIT!!!!

???? PROFIT!!!!

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Updated Feb 16, 2021 at 05:04PM EST by Matt.

Added May 14, 2009 at 09:11PM EDT by james.

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About

???? PROFIT!!!!, also known as the South Park Underpants Gnomes' Plan and Step 4: Profit, refers to numbered lists that explain how to reach a goal. However, in each of these lists, the primary component of the plan is replaced with a series of question marks, leading to the fourth step, which is profiting from the plan. People online use the format to mock ideas, whether for business or otherwise, that do not follow a logical path from inception to profitability. The template is:

1. Step one
2. Step two
3. ????
4. PROFIT!!!

Origin

On December 16th, 1998, Comedy Central aired the South Park episode "Gnomes."[1] In the episode, the characters report that they are missing underpants and discover a society of tiny, magical gnomes who are stealing their undergarments for a supposed profit. When asked about their plan, the gnomes describe their method as, "Step 1: Collect underpants. Step 2." Step 3: Profit." The lack of step two indicates that they do not have an actual plan for monetizing their underpants collection (clip below).



Spread

References to the meme began almost as soon as the episode aired. One of the earliest available references to the scene appeared on the ArsTechnica.com[2] forums on April 21st, 2004. The user Emkorial wrote, "You know, you see posts around that give 4 steps to somehting, 3 being "?" and 4 being "PROFIT!!!". I use them myself, for some reason, I find them freakin hilarious. Just got me thinking, where/how did that originate?"

The phrase "underpants gnomes" and variations of the format continued to see usage over the next two decades, using the format to mock illogical or incomplete business ideas. On April 10th, 2006, the website ConversionRater[3] published the article, "Web 2.0: Underpants Gnomes Business Models." The article features a number of internet marketing plans from the mid-2000s that follow the South Park model. They wrote, "Most of us lived through it and saw what happened to companies with poor business models during the bubble, and it seems like a lot of the new web companies out there are spending less money, technology is cheap or free, and they are doing it with fewer employees. However, I still see way too many companies that are using the 'Underpants Gnomes Business Model.'"

Later that year, on December 18th, 2006, the blog crackedrabbitgaming[4] published a post entitled "GameStop's Business Strategy." The post features a GameStop item for sale with two prices visible (shown below, left). They wrote, "Step 1: Buy cheap games from GameCrazy Step 2: Don’t bother to change the packaging Step 3: Raise the price, but don’t remove the old stickers, so customers can see themselves getting screwed Step 4: Profit!"

Two years later, an MIT blog published a series of variations of the format as part of a trivia game.[5] The author posted clues in the form of the meme and asked participants to guess the answer based on the clues.


GameStop's Business Strategy December 18, 2006 Off2 By TOMMY GUN I was at GameStop the other day, and saw something amusing (the yellow "USED" sticker is GameStop's): Photo taken at GameStop NINTENDO Sa Eet n Ethy Te N-Edventure SIS5 GAMECUBE S999 070706 $17.99 PLAYER Eternal Dariness Sanity's Rea >USED<< $12.99 G >USED<< Eternal Darkness URES USED GAME game crazy EVERYONE GMS FUyeO Mepet Comry DMIDWAY CHAZ ESRO MATURE 17+ www.CrackedRabbitGaming.com So I think I've figured out GameStop's business strategy: Step 1: Buy cheap games from GameCrazy Step 2: Don't bother to change the packaging Step 3: Raise the price, but don't remove the old stickers, so customers can see themselves getting screwed Step 4: Profit! Or maybe it's a clever marketing strategy by GameCrazy, who knows? 19SUSED<< These Ain't No Underpants Gnomes As it turned out, these little grouchy guys we were questioning weren't the underpants gnomes after all. 1. Apply for a cabinet-making apprenticeship 2. ??????? 3. Become an apprentice in Italy 1. Attend graduate school in architecture 2. ??? 3. Appear on an American postage stamp 1. Become a member of a gang 2. ???????????? 3. Get questioned about a ring 1. Design a logo used on a basketball court 2. ??????? 3. Appear on the cover of Rolling Stone 1. Drop out of and then return to college 2. ??? 3. Receive honorary degree from Morehouse College 1. Drop out of secondary school in New Zealand 2. ?????????? 3. Be guarded by the Secret Service 1. Get sent to a military academy 2. ?????????? 3. Buy land surrounded by the ocean 1. Get rejected by United States Naval Academy 2. ???????? 3. Have Olympic Torch lit for me


The criticism also extended to fictional business. On August 1st, 2010, Cracked [6] posted a variation about Weyland-Yutani Corp., the fictional company from the Alien films. They wrote, "1. Capture the universe's most dangerous, uncontrollable creature. 2. ??? 3. Profit" (shown below).


WEYLAND-YUTANI CORP BUILDING BETTER WORLDS The Business Plan: 1. Capture the universe's most dangerous, uncontrollable creature. 2. ??? 3. Profit

The meme dipped in popularity in the 2010s, but still occasionally resurfaced when a plan appeared difficult to parse. For example, on October 8th, 2016, Twitter [7] user @CollegeGameDay tweeted a person holding a sign that reads, "Tennessee Game Plan: 1. Half Time 2. ? 3. Miracle." The post received more than 1,200 likes and 570 retweets in less than five years (shown below).


College GameDay @CollegeGameDay ... COLLEGE GAMEDAY Step 4: Profit. TE NNE S SEE GAME PLAN 1. HALF TIME 2. ????? 3. MIRACLE 8:12 AM · Oct 8, 2016 · Twitter for iPhone

Various Examples


1: BE JESUSS 220 3APROPHET Step Spenda Postmy Ponyartonline can sce forfree Friends * Favourite where 2 deviantART, All righes reserved Step 3:202a Step 4: PROFIT e Cwelve Steps 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had becone unmanageable 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings 8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it 12. PROFIT!
ile work to get credit 1. Suppose y= -6x +13 and we wanted to findthe highest point on the without graphing it Explain how you would go about finding this poi find the highest point just explain how you would find it. traph nt Do not 15 points) -Make Sure s 277 Now that you have eaplained how to find the highest on the purabola y-6+13, answes the following questions a What is the name given to the highest point on a parabola IIpoint) b, What ateh FNNYEXAM.COM FUNDING Steal Underpants Launch Satellites Send Cargo and Astronauts to ISS Kickstarter Profit 10 PROFIT!!


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