E3 2017: How the Shack Meme Wall Works

Come to E3 for the games, stay for 21 years of Shacknews memes and Chatty community history. 

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Quakeholio. Shugashack. The Shack. “That black-and-green website.” If one or more of those names mean anything to you, you know a least a smidge of Shack history and what makes us more than just another website covering the games industry. If you're new, welcome! You're in for a helluva ride.

Shacknews turned 21 years old this past February. Last year at E3 we rang in the big 2-0 by hosting our very own booth at E3. We’re back this year, and like an Apple product, our second annual booth is bigger and better than its first-gen predecessor. Not only will we be broadcasting live from the event,  our booth hosts the Meme Wall, a veritable canvas of Shacknews in-jokes and historical references derived from over two decades of Chatty tomfoolery.

Maybe you're a regular in our Chatty community, someone who posts so frequently as to put "[fry]" or "virus" to shame, but you've forgotten some of our greatest hits. Or maybe you're a lurker, a newcomer to these parts, and are wondering just what a Chatty is and how you can become a part of it. Either way, our meme wall will serve you well—if, that is, you can decipher its content.

Think of this article as your cipher to decoding the meme wall. Below, you'll find a snapshot of the wall and an explanation of its contents. If you plan to attend E3—they sold tickets to the public, you know—come see us in the West Hall of the Convention Center, put your feet up in our lounge area, and watch our live coverage.

The Meme Wall

The Meme wall puts some of the Chatty community's favorite memes on full display for E3 passersby to enjoy. Curious as to what one or more of them mean? Take a stroll down memory lane by perusing the definitions (and links to the Shack Wiki or comment threads where available) below.

  • God Hands: Not everyone sees this image, created by Chatty user edgewise, as the homage to goatse that it is. Some of your older relatives might have tagged you in this image on Facebook. To them, this image of beatific hands pulling clouds wide is proof that the Almighty exists. Break the truth behind “God Hands” to them gently. 
  • SM Virus:  One of our regulars, virus has become Chatty's de facto point of contact for any and all questions, comments, concerns, and idle thoughts related to certain products. "SM" stands for Shack Message, the Chatty community's private messaging service.
  • NUKE'D: When a post gets nuked, it's no longer viewable to anyone. Ever. Unless you know the password and secret handshake.
  • Dinosaur Comics: Remember the dinosaur comic where every panel was the same except for the text spoken by the two rampaging dinos? Shacker "boring gegtik" wrote some of those. We're very proud of him.
  • $300 Jeans:  Chatty poster ArizonaBay took great pride in his fashion sense. His $300 jeans reflected his refined taste.
  • Shack Crest: Lamp, Sand, and Lime: Lamp, Sand, and Lime is the hydra of Shack memes, its three heads each a separate meme that, together, resulted in the Shacknews crest.
  • I ATE A CAT: Some Chatty users with exceptionally long stories to tell like to whet appetites by writing a post alluding to their tale, and then leave Chatty hanging as they type out the full story. In what is believed to be the earliest instance of this meme, fellow community member pupismyname, impatient for details, filled the gap with this supposition. “I ATE A CAT” became a standard reply given to any Chatty member who lacked the Shack etiquette to type out his or her story before teasing it.   
  • y u throw chip?:  Not all Shack memes originated on the Shack. This one came from Something Awful, and we liked it enough to assimilate it. The story goes that a guy and his friend, feeling boisterous, began tossing chips (French fries) at a Burger King. One piece of greasy shrapnel struck the girlfriend of a Korean man making his way up a set of stairs. The Korean gentleman, possessing only a fleeing grasp of the English language, stormed up to the two friends and shouted “WHY YOU THROW CHIP?” The guilty party, reasonably enough, explained what had happened and apologized. That wasn’t good enough for the Korean gentleman, who made as if to walk away only to turn and throw a punch. A brawl ensued, the police were called, the friends made a clean getaway, and a Shack meme was born.
  • Ham and Cheese Sandwich: Shortly after Shacknews CEO Asif Khan purchased our little corner of the Internet, a Shacker asked him how much the acquisition set him back. This Shacker no doubt expected an answer with at least three (maybe two) zeroes at the end. Asif, however, is sticking to his story: Shack cost him a ham sandwich, not a penny more or less.
  • Part of my daily wages are restaurant tickets: Chatty member hamgasm hates his job. If part of your daily wages were restaurant tickets, you would too.
  • Thirsty Deer:  Take a look at the deer head mounted atop the Shack Crest. That regal creature stems from this Shack meme, which started with an Apple joke that fell flat and ended with a Photoshopped image of a deer drinking water. This one might be the most inside of inside jokes, but it's still worth revisiting.

  • RIP DON:  Ever had a friend who ended all of his or her messages with a cryptic, annoying, and/or dumb signature? While trying to sell a bike on Craigslist, Chatty user Slowtreme heard from an interested party who ended every text message with "R.I.P. DON." RIP indeed, Don. Helluva ride.
  • Lamp, Sand, Lime: See "Shack Crest" above.
  • [lol]:  Chatty is something of an open-source endeavor. Some of our most passionate community members give of their time and energy to create extensions for our little corner of the Web. ThomW's claim to fame is the Shack [lol]script, a way to mark a Chatty post as funny—ironically or otherwise.
  • Hover Boards: Do you like hover boards? Yes or no? This meme stemmed from Marty McFly’s pink hover board in Back to the Future 2 and a post from new user Dgriffin04. Ms. Griffin found her way to Chatty via the Latest Chatty app on the iTunes App Store. She liked to write in pink text and, speaking of all things Mattel, made an earnest case to Chatty that hover boards were real, had been invented during the 1980s, but were squelched because the powers that be deemed them unsafe. Chatty disagreed with her account of past events. 
  • I accidentally a car:  Chatty community member spect3r expressed interest in a snazzy-looking car posted to eBay—more interest than he intended, it turns out, because he accidentally bought it. Hence, "I accidentally" became a running Shack joke for any occasion in which any of us kind-of-but-not-really-accidentally purchase anything, especially something one would not want to purchase by accident.
  • Quake vs Unreal:  Like Ranger in a hotly contested deathmatch on Q1DM6, Shacknews spawned as a Quake fansite. Then Unreal came along. Crips versus Bloods. iHop or Denny's. Quake vs Unreal. Our community has been divided ever since.
  • Shugashack logo: Shack was born Quakeholio, a Quake-oriented fansite. "Shugashack" was a rebranding that reflected the site's evolution into an outlet that covered industry news and events outside the id Software sphere.
  • Girlshack:  A mythical paradise where the female populace of Chatty rise to power as mods, post pictures of guinea pigs when posts are nuked, and generally rule with an iron fist. We’d all be better off. I've been told Pinterest is Girlshack's base of operations until they put their plan to take over Chatty into action.
  • Dadshack:  Founded in 1996, Shacknews started as a gathering place for users who, by and large, met two criteria: loved id Software's Quake game, and were young and unattached. As the years passed, our members brought future Shackers into the world. Consequently, the content of their Chatty posts shifted from stories of all-nighters playing Quake and Battlefield 1942 to all-nighters comforting sick kiddos.
  • Sexy gentleman wearing a sombrero:  Shacknews founder Steve Gibson (aka "sTeve," aka "sCary") hanging out at a Shack meet-up. New and old, Quake fan or Unreal pagan, every Shacker owes their ties to our community to Steve. Just be prepared to find another way to kill time at work when he inevitably drops a server and takes Shack offline for an agonizingly long period of time.   
  • MY GIRLFRIEND: Some Shackers like to slip mentions of their girlfriends into casual conversation. Chatty, being a reasonable bunch, interpreted these mentions as subtle bragging.
  • Television. Had quite a bit of work experience.:  Shack founder Stevve Gibson once made a typo, accidentally misspelling "television" as "telivision." Because he held the keys to the kingdom, he did what no other Shack can do: he went into the database and edited his post. Editing! On Shacknews! Unfortunately, Steve flipped the wrong switch and temporarily changed every Chatty post to "Television, had quite a bit of work experience."   

  • BUT SHOW THEM TO ME:  Kids say the darndest things. Take Chatty user zakazi's 6-7-year-old nephew, who was so desperate to see naked ladies on the Internet that his uncle found "NAKED GIRLS BUT SHOW THEM TO ME" in his search history.    Bored Edgewise: Meet edgewise. Another regular from Chatty's ranks, edgewise once attended a Shackmeetand was photographed paying Guitar Hero. The expression on his face suggests that he was immortalized during a moment of extreme concentration or extreme ennui.
  • Uncle Sam:  Shacknews used to get you chicks, per our previous slogan. In point of fact, some members of our community did meet on Chatty and tie the knot. In 2016, Shack CEO Asif Khan did away with "It Gets You Chicks" and rolled out "Do it For Shacknews," a more fitting call to action. Whatever you do, wherever you do it, do it for the Shack community. Then tell us about it. And share pics + divx or I regret to inform you that it simply did not happen.   
  • Thanks.txt:  For some Chatty members, some faux pas are too much to handle. A "thanks.txt" post is, theoretically, a user's farewell to the community.
Long Reads Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 12, 2017 4:45 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, E3 2017: How the Shack Meme Wall Works

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 4:48 PM

      Are you... serious?

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        June 12, 2017 4:53 PM

        What's the problem? I actually found this informative. Despite being a member for 10+ year, I wasn't clear on a lot of that stuff. Less informed community members are likely even less familiar. And if their plan at E3 is to play up the community angle, it makes sense to include a primer on the memes they're using as the segway.

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          June 12, 2017 5:00 PM

          The Meme wall puts some of the Chatty community's favorite memes on full display for E3 passersby to enjoy

          No, it's already fucking embarrassing explaining inside jokes to people you know in real life, let alone show it on your booth at one of the biggest gaming trade shows in the world. That's NOT the part of the Shack that needs exposure to lure people in.

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            June 12, 2017 5:12 PM

            But memes are the gold standard of internet currency and we've got a bunch that are severely undervalued. Maybe we'll get some savvy net investors to stop by, like that guy with all the Pepe signs who got kicked out of the Trump KKK rally.

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            June 12, 2017 5:41 PM

            No way, I completely disagree. Showing that the Shack even HAS a community, and a long running, at least apparently (to those who don't know better) fun loving one at that, is something I think the Shack really does need exposure on. This was an excellent call on TMWTB's part.

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            June 12, 2017 5:54 PM

            oh shut up

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            June 13, 2017 7:30 AM

            ^^^ 2cool4school

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          June 12, 2017 5:01 PM

          That was Steve's and Asif's thought process when they assigned me this article: give people a decoder ring to understand all the crazy stuff plastered on one side of the booth wall, but also inform Shackers who might not be familiar with some of the older, more esoteric jokes and history. I'd never heard the "y u throw chip" story and got a kick out of learning about it.

          I should also point out that the meme wall is only one side of the booth. I think it looks awesome, but the rest of the booth's exterior ranges from normal to quite posh design. We haven't been able to post any images or video because exhibitors are prohibited from posting media of the show floor so as not to spoil any announcements. We're planning to do a video walk through sometime on Tuesday once the show floor is open and all the secrets have been unwrapped in press conferences.

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            June 12, 2017 5:14 PM

            Awesome I'm excited to see it

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            June 13, 2017 3:54 AM

            I can see how showing memes can catch somebody's eye, but how can that convert somebody to actually participate in the community? It would be more interesting to show funny threads, shackbattle events, and other pieces of evidence that a deep community exists here beyond a bunch of memes.

            An accessible way into shack would be to link shackbrowse/latestchatty app, but unfortunately that isn't monetized :(

        • reply
          June 12, 2017 6:59 PM

          Oh, segue* lol

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 4:50 PM

      inside jokes are best kept inside. Telling them to the outside world won't lure people in, or make any sense for that matter.

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        June 12, 2017 4:50 PM

        I'm getting a seizure from cringing so hard.

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        June 12, 2017 4:54 PM

        Nah, the best jokes are the ones that you have to explain to people after you tell them.

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      June 12, 2017 4:55 PM

      Funny how the crest is on there but no mentioning the lamp being "rape her with a lamp". Or lime being a reference to eating an asshole with a lime?

      But I've never liked that crest and thing those old things are gross. But it's weird to have it up and not explain it when explaining everything else

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        June 12, 2017 5:04 PM

        I tend to agree. I've been here for a long time but letting strangers in your closet and explaining your fashion choices isn't a good idea.

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        June 12, 2017 5:05 PM

        I did shy away from some of the more... graphic aspects of the history of some of these memes. If people want to share that history on Chatty or go down the Shack Wiki rabbit hole, they can do that. In this case, we couldn't omit the Shack crest. The idea behind the meme wall is to show off iconography relevant to Shack, and the crest is a major part of the site's history.

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          June 12, 2017 5:07 PM

          Totally understandable. I like everything on the wall! Except the crest, I don't think it represents anything good about the site but to each their own

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        June 12, 2017 9:09 PM

        Wait. The lamp on the crest comes from "rape her with a lamp?"

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          June 12, 2017 9:11 PM

          Yeah. I want to say it was a klerck phrase but not totally sure.

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            June 12, 2017 9:24 PM

            Silver lining- it's an original shack meme.

            I'll work on some new ones and unveil them later.

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              June 12, 2017 9:26 PM

              What's the newest one? Cack old time?

              • reply
                June 13, 2017 7:23 AM

                Cack old time NEVER fails to make me lol irl.

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        June 13, 2017 8:06 AM

        I hate the crest which is why my app is I think the only one to not use it

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      June 12, 2017 5:17 PM

      Let's all be outraged about this cool thing.

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        June 12, 2017 5:18 PM

        Why isn't poo dart on there?

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        June 12, 2017 5:19 PM

        I'm the only one. I guess I just don't get what purpose it serves outside the Shack.

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          June 12, 2017 5:28 PM

          Being as we're a community that's intrinsically linked to the site, I think it's cool to promote that part of the Shack brand.

          We need more Shackers and highlighting that we have a community is a good way to do that. More eyeballs on the site, more people in the Chatty, the healthier the Shack is in the long run.

          • reply
            June 12, 2017 5:38 PM

            Cool, this is what you promote by demonstrating what a tight-knit community this is (a list of random shack facts, I guess), making it inviting to join:

            - Shacker bailing other shackers out of jail and having another shacker represent him in court
            - other regular events like White Elephants
            - other charitable causes I can't remember
            - Shackmeet pictures (with permission)?
            - Shack Battle events

            Not memes that need to be explained.

            • reply
              June 12, 2017 5:53 PM

              Eh, it shows that we have a community, a long-lived one, and that we create our own goofy little culture. If people might find that attractive, they have another reason to check us out.

              And some of the other stuff requires way too much explanation compared to a meme. WE's been DOA for a while, Shack Battles are sporadic nowadays, and listing charitable causes...oh my God, dude. Just...no.

              In conclusion: lighten up, Francis.

            • reply
              June 12, 2017 6:48 PM

              Great ideas, especially the charitable aspects If you need more Ray Holycrosses in your life

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              June 12, 2017 6:59 PM

              The meme pictures are just a segue. They can talk about that stuff once they've caught an eye.

            • reply
              June 12, 2017 7:13 PM

              FWIW, I agree. To be fair, I don't know the demographic that a bunch of inside jokes would appeal to.

            • reply
              June 12, 2017 9:59 PM

              meme cultural appropriate amirite

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          June 12, 2017 5:29 PM

          Nah I am right there with you.

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        June 12, 2017 5:22 PM

        I think we should have a daily outrage corner, kind of like Trump Dump, where people post articles to be outraged about. Or outraged at the outrage something dumb results in.

        I'd love to collapse those threads.

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        June 12, 2017 5:25 PM

        My outrage, let me show it to you.

      • reply
        June 12, 2017 5:29 PM

        Seriously. There are some sour-ass people in this community. But then I guess that's true for most. They're certainly not the majority.

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        June 12, 2017 5:30 PM

        It's awesome dude.

      • reply
        June 12, 2017 5:35 PM

        It's cool. And since they aren't explained on the wall you'd have to like, hand out a flyer or something-- omg, you didn't print flyers explaining all this crap to people, did you?!

      • reply
        June 12, 2017 6:25 PM

        Is this ok to lol at you, not with you? :D

      • reply
        June 13, 2017 4:01 AM

        OUTRAGED MEN BUT SHOW THEM TO ME

      • reply
        June 13, 2017 7:51 AM

        Hi Dude Who Runs Gaming Website, let me introduce you to GAMERS.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:27 PM

      Btw, virus is not a software developer. Just fyi

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:29 PM

      thanks for the meme wall Asif

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:34 PM

      I think it's pretty cool and maybe will get some fresh blood up in this retirement home for internet cowboys

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:37 PM

      I think this is fun and awesome, good job man!

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:39 PM

      That is awesome

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:41 PM

      Ha nice stroll through memory lane! We have a ton of inside jokes and this helps to illustrate a few of them. Just leave the E3 attendees with just a memory of your long hair as you leave!

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:56 PM

      BTW hover boards came from the fact we scared away a newcomer that believed hover boards were real by making fun of her. Not one of the Chatty's proudest moments.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:56 PM

      Nice trip down memory lane! Good times.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 5:59 PM

      people are upset about this? lol.
      chatty gonna chatty

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      June 12, 2017 6:05 PM

      Boring gegtik didn't write any Dinosaur Comics afaik.

      What there was was a Greasemonkey script that I wrote that turned his posts into Dinosaur Comics similar to the more famous Sparkly Comics script.

      I'd post screenshots but I'm not near a laptop.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:07 PM

      Fuck yeah memewall

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:10 PM

      Isnt dadshack an actual website?

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:11 PM

      That's really awesome, thanks guys!

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:11 PM

      Great read. As a long time off and on lurker, I vaguely remember the $300 jeans, but have wondered where some of the other stuff came from.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:21 PM

      I LOVE LAMP

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:23 PM

      Seems like less of a "how" and more of a "what"

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:23 PM

      I want to know who started ZEBRA CUM, damnit.

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        June 12, 2017 6:24 PM

        It's also missing "FHITA", "babehunt" and most notably "Jessica slumber party"

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        June 12, 2017 9:13 PM

        It came from a Lewis Black special.

      • reply
        June 13, 2017 8:08 AM

        In my mind this is still bannable

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:33 PM

      This is helpful

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 6:57 PM

      One of my favourite memes from the Shack: Dognose going "Shame about them pointy elbows" whenever a picture of a girl was posted.

      Circa 2007/2008.

      Good times, good times.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 7:13 PM

      shut it down, shut it all down

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 8:45 PM

      Did no one really post a link to the shackmemes page of Shackwiki to help David write this thing? lol

      https://www.shackwiki.com/wiki/Shack_memes

      That explains most of them with links for context.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 8:54 PM

      That Netscape Navigator screenshot is amazing. So many icons.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 9:07 PM

      Look I love the shack as much as the next shack person...but this is like explaining how a bad magic trick works to someone who isn't interested in magic.

      Might as well blow up the 30 Rock "Hello fellow kids!" Meme and put that above the booth.

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 9:27 PM

      soooooo gooood

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 9:37 PM

      I appreciate the effort

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 9:40 PM

      Wasn't the Hoverboard joke from the late 2000s when LatestChatty hit the App Store and it brought in random users?

    • reply
      June 12, 2017 11:20 PM

      This is so 2018

    • reply
      June 13, 2017 4:18 AM

      I don't think the point of this is necessarily for outsiders to "get it" with a ton of explaining to do. It basically shows that the community has been around for long enough and is established enough to have it's own little funny ecosystem going on. No doubt to entice people to come and check it out and hopefully boost revenue.

      Let the man with the briefcase do what he needs to do.

    • reply
      June 13, 2017 5:57 AM

      Bored Edgewise is not formatted correctly in your article

    • reply
      June 13, 2017 5:58 AM

      Yesssss!! Love it!!!