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So Hardcore is a catchphrase used to sarcastically react to another's actions, which the poster framed as being intense or experienced. The phrase was commonly used in Rage Comics Forever Alone image macro memes.
The phrase likely predates its internet usage as a means of qualifying or commenting on another's actions, sarcastically responding to another's attempts to appear passionate about their actions or brag about how intense they took an action. On September 23rd, 1997, rapper Busta Rhymes released the album When Disaster Strikes…, which featured the song "So Hardcore." The song uses the expression to exemplify intensity, with the lyrics "So hardcore like Quickdraw McGraw / Fuck what you heard, you ain't heard this before" (shown below, left).
On November 1st, 2011, Blogspot user benmarvin shared the earliest available version of the Rage Comics (shown below, right).
Throughout the remainder of 2011, the meme continued to spread around the internet. On November 10th, 2011, FunnyJunk  user xxspoonxx posted the image in response to an image of a person pretending smoke a packet of Mentos candies (shown below, left). The post received more than 355 upvotes in less than 10 years.
The following year, the meme persisted as a reaction to other comments. For example, on May 6th, 2012, MinecraftForum.net  user Peavler posted in the thread "Have you ever stayed up late to play minecraft past your bedtime?" They posted the image with the caption, "So you're telling me you actually defied your parents and stayed up passed your BEDTIME!?" (shown below, right).
 Genius – So Hardcore
 Blogspot – Rules of Hardcore
 FunnyJunk – Smoking Mentos
 Minecraft Forum – Have you ever stayed up late to play minecraft past your bedtime?
Jul 27, 2012 at 02:38PM EDT
Feb 01, 2012 at 09:58PM EST
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