From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rickrolling is an internet meme that involves playing a trick on someone by tricking them into listening to Rick Astley singing his 1987 song, "Never Gonna Give You Up". It was first seen on 4chan and is called a "bait and switch". A "bait and switch" happens when the prankster gives a website to someone saying that the website address (which is somehow hidden) is about something else. When the victim clicks the link, they see the music video and have been "rickrolled" or "rickroll'd".

As rickrolling has grown in popularity, two of the many videos online have been watched over 13 million times each.[1][2]

On October 27, 2008, at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Astley himself performed a live rickroll. He came out during the singing of "Best Friends" by the cast of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and sang "Never Gonna Give You Up". At the end of the song, one of the characters said "I love rickrolling!"[3]

On February 23, 2010, the most viewed Rickroll video was deleted.

On July 29, 2021, the "Never Gonna Give You Up" YouTube video reached a billion views.

History[change | change source]

Four women's basketball games at Eastern Washington University were Rickrolled in March 2008,[4] in the first photo, Davin Perry, dressed as the singer Rick Astley, performed before a basketball game. The games were not actually interrupted.

Song[change | change source]

Astley recorded "Never Gonna Give You Up" in 1987 on his album Whenever You Need Somebody.[5] This song was his debut single and was a Number One hit for him on many international charts like the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and UK Top 40 charts. It was also Astley's first music video which features him performing the song while dancing.[6]

Origin of the term[change | change source]

Rickrolling is said to have begun as a spin-off of an earlier prank called duckrolling,[7] which was when a link was supposed to lead to a picture or news story but would really link to an edited picture of a duck on wheels. The victim was then said to have been duckrolled. The first instance of rickrolling happened in May 2007 on the 4chan video game board, where a link to the video was said to be a copy of the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV. The joke was confined to 4chan for a short time.[7]

By May 2008,[8] Rickrolling had become an internet hit or phenomenon and very soon rickrolling was being covered on mainstream media.[9] A poll in April 2008 by SurveyUSA guessed or estimated that at least 18 million American adults had been rickrolled.[10] Many still consider Rickrolling to be one of the longest lasting meme and the prank is still commonly used.

April Fools' Day, 2008[change | change source]

On April Fools' Day 2008 and the weeks after, many instances of Rickrolling showed up on the internet, and news media. All of the featured videos on Youtube's main page hyperlinked to the Rickroll. The prank showed up on international YouTube portals before showing up on the main page.[11]

References[change | change source]

  1. "RickRoll'D". YouTube. 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  2. YouTube staff (2008-03-25). "Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up". YouTube. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  3. North, Jesse (2008-11-27). "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: Best and worst moments". Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. Retrieved 2008-11-27.
  4. Rose, Adam (2008-03-19). "College Basketball Game Rick Roll'd". LAist. Gothamist LLC. Archived from the original on 2008-03-24. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
  5. Henderson, Alex. "Whenever You Need Somebody review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-11-18.
  6. Hasty, Katie (2008-04-05). "'80s singer Rick Astley latest Web phenomenon". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "The Biggest Little Internet Hoax on Wheels Hits Mainstream". FOX News. FOX News Network. 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  8. "Rick Roll related Google Trends". Google Trends. Google. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  9. Williams, Andy (2007-06-16). "You've been tRicked". Wigan Today. Johnston Press Digital Publishing. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
  10. "You Wouldn't Get This From Any Other Pollster". SurveyUSA. 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
  11. Arrington, Michael (2008-03-31). "YouTube RickRolls Users". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2008-04-01.

Other websites[change | change source]