Top Five Most Annoying Gaming Memes

By Jordan Douglas on March 4, 2012, 6:18PM EDT

Some people thrive off the obscure in-jokes, cliches and memes the darkest corners of the Internet have to offer, so it's no surprise a tech-savvy audience - such as core gamers - would be subject to more than its fair share.

Personally, I've never enjoyed them. As with any joke amongst friends, they quickly run dry from overexposure - 21st century, instant communication only fuels that.

The following are some of the most criminal offenders of the lot, memes which have long overstayed their welcome, even if they're relatively new. They are listed in alphabetical order as, well, we wouldn't want to offend anyone would we?

"All Your Base Are Belong to Us"
Zero Wing

It's a real shame this meme has gotten so out of hand over the course of the two-plus decades since Zero Wing was released in 1989. 'All your base are belong to us' is the result of incredibly poor, and hilarious, English localization from the Land of the Rising Sun. The first time you see it in context, it's worthy of a good laugh, simply to see how far we've come in gaming. Unfortunately, the meme has been so overexposed in the millennium-era that it consistently out-preforms GlaDOS and Cake in Internet search results.

"Arrow to the Knee"
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

With the possible exception of Adam Jensen's robotic delivery, taking an arrow to the knee in the wonderful world of Skyrim became an incredibly prominent meme based on very little. I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone where the phrase comes from, but for comprehensiveness, I will anyway. Bethesda is known for having repeating dialogue and phrases within their massive worlds, but having every other NPC in Skyrim regale you with tales of their golden years being swiftly cut short by an arrow to the knee was beyond anything seen before. Needless to say, the meme exploded overnight to the levels of GlaDOS and her pastries.

"The Cake is a Lie"

'The cake is a lie' goes beyond gaming. It's become such a powerful and overused meme that friends unfamiliar with Portal, Valve or GlaDOS will be able to recall the phrase and it's bone-chilling effects. Cake threatened to overshadow the fantastic work Valve had done with Portal, to the point where the developers almost entirely shunned references to cake in Portal 2 - save for a very subtle wall carving that could be easily missed.

"Do a Barrel Roll"
Star Fox 64

Another retro meme which has stood the test of time (whether that's good or bad is up to you), doing a barrel roll comes out of Star Fox on the Nintendo 64. Having that pesky Peppy Hare incessantly demand barrel rolls from the player caught on like wire fire across the obscure forums that generate and fuel so many of these memes. Mercifully, Star Fox is one of the franchises Nintendo hasn't flooded the market with, so there's hope this one may yet go gracefully into the sunset.

"I Never Asked For This"
Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Who would have thought such a prominent meme could be spawned from a simple launch trailer? Well, Deus Ex: Human Revolution did exactly that with it's debut, thrusting protagonist Adam Jensen into the spotlight with his deadpan delivery of "I didn't ask for this" - in this case, 'this' being human augmentation. The resulting meme spread across forums like a virus, along the lines of the "It's a trap!" meme before it.

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