The All Are Belong snowclone

Victor Steinbok wrote yesterday to ask about the meme pattern All Your X Are Belong To Y (All Are Belong, for short), citing a recent instance,

All your domains are belong to U.S. (link)

and saying that he was finding it everywhere these days.

The model,

All your base are belong to us.

dates back to 1991, and plays on it go back at least to 2001. Language Log has been playing on it since 2004.

The model. The Wikipedia account:

“All your base are belong to us” (often shortened to “All Your Base”, “AYBABTU”, or simply “AYB”) is a broken English phrase that is an Internet phenomenon or meme. The text comes from the opening cutscene of the 1991 European Sega Mega Drive version of the video game Zero Wing by Toaplan, which was poorly translated from Japanese.

The meme developed from this as the result of a GIF animation depicting the opening text which was initially popularized on the Something Awful message forums, leading to a phenomenon of surreal altered images depicting the meme in everyday scenes, placement of the text in real world locations, and the text and images being set to hardcore techno music by the band The Laziest Men on Mars.

… The phrase or some variation of lines from the game has appeared in numerous articles, books, comics, clothing, movies, radio shows, songs, television shows, video games, webcomics, and websites.

Wikipedia provides three variations on the model:

On June 1, 2006, the video hosting website YouTube was taken down temporarily for maintenance. The phrase “ALL YOUR VIDEO ARE BELONG TO US” appeared below the YouTube logo as a placeholder while the site was down. Some users believed the site had been hacked, leading the host to add the message “No, we haven’t been hacked. Get a sense of humor.”

On December 13, 2010, the song “My Feelings for You” by DJs Avicii and Sebastien Drums was released. Its music video makes reference to this citation stating “All your feelings are belong to us…”.

On December 2, 2011, a team calling itself “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” won the DARPA Shredder Challenge, requiring reassembly of five documents from shredded fragments in order to answer questions about the coded messages.

The Know Your Meme site has a much more detailed history, and an earlier variation:

March 2, 2001: The Dutch railways website is hacked to display the phrase, “ALL YOUR TRAINS ARE BELONG TO US.”

Plus a collection of variants on YouTube:

All Your Snakes Are Belong To Us (Snakes on a Plane mashup), June 2006

All Your Base Are Belong To ORLY? (Owl remix) August 2006

All Your Pokemon Belong To Us remix February 2007

All Your Chocolate Rain Are Belong To Us (Tay Zonday mashup), August 2007

And, in comments, quite an assortment of others, among them:

In DC Universe online one of the demons say all your souls are belong to us.

I’m in a video game guild who always greet the enemy with “ALL YOUR [insert enemy guild’s name] ARE BELONG TO US”

all your +1 confirm are belong to us!

All your base are belong to Chuck Norris.

All your base are belong to me

plus some that diverge in other details from All Your X Are Belong To Y:

All those memes are belong to us.

All you base are belong to us.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
All my base
Are belong to you

Elsewhere, you can find sites with the entertaining

All your bass are belong to us/me/him/etc.

For images, see the All Your Base Are Belong To Us site:

This site is dedicated to the famous engrish mistranslation of the classic video game Zero Wing for Sega Genesis that took the internet by storm! You can see the renown flash animation of the Zero Wing opening sequence which started the craze by clicking the link above! You can also see some of the classic All Your Base images that have been circulating around the net these past couple of years by clicking the thumbnails below.

All Are Belong on Language Log. The Language Log history begins in April 2004, in two postings by Mark Liberman:

[4/14/04] people are ready and willing to learn all sorts of crufty constructions, from “what’s X doing Y” to “all your X are belong to us”. (link)

[4/23/04] “Flurble gronk bloopit, bnip Frundletrune” is a string that is found in certain packets emitted by version 3.2.0 of NetStumbler (version 3.2.3 uses “All your 802.11b are belong to us” instead, etc.). (link)

and continued in succeeding years, also in postings by Mark:

[2/24/05] roses are #FF0000
violets are #0000FF
all my base
are belong to you (link)

[8/4/06] See here: “All our N-gram are belong to you“. [link to a Google posting with this title] (link)

The years 2004-06 were the heyday of All Are Belong on Language Log, with three postings using the snowclone in titles, in addition to the four appearances above within postings:

[ML, 5/15/04] All your base are belong to which lexical category? (link)

[EB, 7/05/05] All your letters are belong to us (link)

[ML, 1/31/06]  All your emoticons are belong to Cingular? (link)

All Are Belong rolls on.

5 Responses to “The All Are Belong snowclone”

  1. Theodore Says:

    I was able to unearth this related “meme collision” I created back in 2001: http://nullmorpheme.tumblr.com/post/22539422717/made-this-meme-collision-back-in-2001-unearthed

  2. Mike Briggs Says:

    “You can see the renown flash animation of the Zero Wing opening sequence which started the craze by clicking the link above!”

    And an eggcorn pops up amind the snowclones.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      If you mean the adjective renown, that’s not an eggcorn, but an instance of “final t/d deletion” eliminating the PSP suffix (as in skim mik for skimmed milk), which has been discussed often on Language Log. There *are* eggcorns that turn on final t/d deletion (goal standard for gold standard), but this isn’t one of them.

  3. Ben Zimmer Says:

    Erin O’Connor also covered this in her Snowclones Database.

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