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

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


PROTIP (sometimes spelled Pro Tip) is an Internet slang term commonly used in online communities and social networking platforms to preface a piece of advice or suggestion that may either be genuinely helpful or self-explanatory in nature.


The term was initially popularized in the mid-to-late 1990s by American video game magazine GamePro, which used "protip" as the title of a recurring sidebar element that offers gameplay strategy tips in reviews of various video games (shown below).

The Monthly Guide to the Wonlo or Role-PLaying Games July '95 simple. The backgrounds don't look particularly 16- bittish, and the enemies are weakly illustrated. Dragon Warrior on the NES had better looking enemies. All the main characters look exactly the By Sir Scary Larry Although EarthBound has all the classic RPG elements (extensive conversations, puzzle solving side quests, weapons, and power-ups), it has a very child- like interface. If dungeons and dragons are more to your taste, pass up this kid's menu PROTIP: Libraries are a good source of information. Librarians to Chec 々go will also give you maps of the town. Stop in every local library The saving graces are the PROTIP: Never pass up a butterfly. fairly good music and uninten Touching it restores all your PSI tionally hilarious adult humor points, Also, if you're near the Discussions about bodily func PROTIP: In town, search every- mouth of a cave, go in, use numerous PSI attacks, then exit Banal Frontier tions, crazed maniacs, and sexual innuendoes abound EarthBound is the story of a thecave and refill your PSI meter young boy, a meteorite, and a the mystery, which has some- number of very funny coincithing to do with aliens takingEar dences. After a meteorite falls where for power-ups, Even trash cans reveal helpful itens. same; only different hair color sets them apart . in EarthBound. · Tones The graphics follow the three "S's": short, squashed, and The good music features eerie symphony sounds that over the Earth. on the town of Onett (which is lhe lack of a convincing . next to the town of Twoson, story line and the dull NES- next to get the clone graphics (the game is a idea), our young hero ded s gding Famicon title) will make serious RPG fans a little cautious about straight to heck and he should do something about it. He pairs. approaching EarthBound. up with his buddies (a psychic a dog, and other assorted cast members) and tries to unravel If you turn your back on an If you attack from the back, the screen turns enemy (which you should green, and you'll score a never do), the screen goes surprise attack (you get to red, and the enemy scores fight untouched for one a surprise attack on you battle round) PROTIP: Don't leave home without a weapon. Check the box in your sister's room for the cracked bat. As soon as you get enough money, buy another weapon. , t EarthBound By Nintendo raphics Sound Control FunFactor Challenge Other useful strategies If you attack from the side with the enemy facing you, it's an even fight, and the screen turns purple. You go first, your enemy goes next, and so on. include walking around enemies (which the com puter won't let you do too often) or exiting and re- entering a room to see if the sprite has disappeared. inner Price not avai Ava antasy RPG ESRB rating: Kids GAMEPRO July 1995 The control falls along clas sic RPG lines. A menu system enables you to choose items spells, and more. When you buy a more powerful weapon the computer will equip it for you and trade you cash for the old one. The only drawback is the very limited number of items you can carry at a time. Fightín' FRanky Fighting Franky, the boss of the first arcade, is tough. First you have to find the arcade (which is in the lower-middle por tion of Onet) When you see this tough guy, refuse to join, and he'l fight you. Beat him, and you'll meet Frank PROTIP: Moles are also an invaluable source of informa- tion. Seek them out and leam Don't fight Frank without 100 percent health. Bring along some hamburgers and try to have the PSI Rockin' Attack. If you don't, go out and fight until you do. complement heroic fighting tunes. When you find Frank's Arcade, you're treated to a variety of classic video game music. Its unfortunate that ho voice-overs or better enemy immature for older gamers sounds were inducted into EarthBound can be amusing if you know where to look for the funny parts. Otherwise, the humor is too mature for little When Frank falls, there's one more men- ace: Frankystein! Use PSI Rockin' or try to slug it out hit-for-hit with him kids, and the gameplay is too This one is bound to fall to sometime soon. Earthy Humozl have such a limited amount of space in everything you can to pump up your life bar Even the bee has a sense of humor! "Oh! Humor from the bath- The pain... Everything room: "Don't talk to me. you et It on, Spanky?" PROTIP: Call your mom from Onett, and she'll tell you that your sister is Express to store items that you may want later I'lI eat garlic and Break the course of work out to violence. Don't breakmysel" The garlic the wind of change. "...spit in their eyes and made them wet their pants... " Sounds like a drive-by wetting at the police station. strengthen Be choosy; the service mysel." The garlic alone should keep people away from him. Your sccount currenty shows PSF or PROTIP: After looking at the meteorite and traveling back to Pokey's house (to watch his parents knock him around), go back to the meteorite and look for the bee PROTIP: The giant ant before Big Footprint is tough. First eliminate the two smaller ants in front of him, then use the PSI Rockin' Attack to crush him. If your pointsstore and department store (as are get low, use PSI Lifeup to replenish. PROTIP:ATMs are located in every drug- weapons dealers and medicine peddlers). Never canry a lot of cash with you; leave it In your account. If you die, you come back with half the cash you were carying GAMEPRO July 1985

Doom PROTIP Parody

On March 7th, 2004, Andrew Stine, the co-founder and former webmaster of Doom fan community Doomworld, created a parody image of the GamePro lingo by compositing an in-game screenshot of Cyberdemon, the most powerful and hostile monster character featured in Doom's E2M8: Tower of Babel map, with the caption, "PROTIP: To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies." Carefully edited to look like a digital scan of an actual GamePro article, the image was subsequently uploaded to the Doomworld forum.

PROTIP: To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies


Comically inadequate tips & instruction articles have been published in newspapers and magazines long before the arrival of gaming blogs, as shown in this self-defense tips & tricks below:

TIPS-N-TRICKS When they aren't looking.. Punch 'em in the neck 6-A


Although Stine created the image as a satirical commentary on the oftentimes redundant language used by video game journalists in gameplay tips and walkthrough guides, many members of Doomworld and other video game fans soon began passing it around as if it were a digitally scanned image from an actual GamePro article. On October 12th, 2004, Urban Dictionary user Shifty Eyed Goat submitted the earliest known entry for "Protip," defined as:

To distill important knowledge about a subject and share it with those new to said subject. Often used in internet forums to criticize new members if they break the forum rules.

By the early-to-mid 2000s, the term "protip" had become adopted by a wide range of online news publications as a catchall in advice columns and troubleshooting articles, not to mention its widespread usage as the name of online resources that offer computer and IT-related information, including, and, all of which have since gone offline. On September 21st, 2007, the popular webcomic series Penny Arcade ran a cartoon strip titled "The Protip."

In the heat of battle, it can be tough to choose your targets. I'M syMpathetic to that. You see a big guy With a gun, you want to Shoot him right away! But I'M asking you... No, I'M begging yoU. For the love oP God. People. This MotherPucker right here! Shoot hiM. Shoot hiM Pinst! Shoot the doctor.

On December 28th, 2008, Urban Dictionary entry was recognized and featured by the staff as "Urban Word of the Day." In June 2010, Google introduced a tutorial widget named Protips.apk for its Android mobile operating system.

References in Video Games

In addition to its practical usage in online conversations, the term "protip" has been referenced in a number of first-person and third-person shooter video games in homage to Doom, such as Uber Entertainment's 2010 third-person shooter Monday Night Combat, which features an array of "protips" in the loading screen, and id Software's 2016 reboot of Doom, which features a special achievement called "Shoot It Until It Dies" that can be unlocked by killing the Cyberdemon.

Stine's Disclosure

On June 27th, 2016, not long after the release of the Doom remake, Andrew Stine updated his original response to the 2010 Doomworld discussion thread to reveal that the image had been a photoshopped hoax all along:

Sigh, ok. For posterity, the fake protip was created on March 7, 2004, and originally posted in this post here. It was not actually an "April Fools prank", and it wasn't even a "prank" per se – I made a couple of what I thought were obviously fake protip images and posted them in a thread for people to have a sensible chuckle at. I didn't think anything more of them, until a couple of months or years later when I started seeing the Cyberdemon one spreading around the internet and turning into what we nowadays would call a meme (although no one called it that back then). At that point, there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle. So that's basically the whole story.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Doomworld – Andrew Stine's Original Post

[2] Urban Dictionary – Protip

[3] Encyclopedia Dramatica – PROTIP

[4] Wiktionary – Protip

[5] Wikipedia – FYI

[6] Penny Arcade – The Protip

[7] Penny Arcade – The Protip Blog Post

[8] – Pro Tip of the Day (defunct)

[9] – Pro Tip of the Day (defunct)

[10] – Pro Tips (defunct)

[11] Tumblr – Protips (defunct)

[12] Reddit – /r/protips

[13] Twitter – Hashtag Results for #Protip

[14] Tumblr – Tagged Results for 'Protip'

[15] Facebook – Hashtag Results for #Protip

[16] Instagram – Hashtag Results for #Protip

[17] Imgur – Search Results for 'Pro Tips'

[18] Vine – Hashtag Results for #Protip

[19] YouTube – Search Results for 'Pro Tips'

[20] Doomworld – What issue did that infamous "PROTIP" come from?

[21] Reddit – Why are so many people commenting "protip" on YouTube?

[22] BunnyYears – The truth about 'To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies'

[23] Doom Wiki – Protip

Recent Videos 16 total

Recent Images 52 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (75)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Howdy! You must login or signup first!