AH.com has so many running jokes that trying to present a comprehensive list would be madness. Therefore, here it is. Please note that these running gags are listed in rough chronological order.
The Forks: Originally devised by Michael back in 2004, the Forks used to be called for whenever a soul-scarring incident occurs on the board, such as The Mists of Time showing off his photo collection. Now replaced by the Brain Bleach which people say is more efficient.
Dave Howery: Everyone used to be strangely convinced that Dave has a giant bushy biker beard (which he strenuously denies) and Dave himself wants to invade Canada with an army of robot tanks. Now people just ignore him. See main article.
Hockey-Rice: A 2004 ASB scenario by KJM in which Canada and China merge into one country called Hockey-Rice to provide a worthy opponent to the USA. Its flag is a colour-inverted and flipped Nazi flag. Often referenced in mid-2000s AH.com media.
Blaming Thande: Because Thande is the cause of all the world's evils. See main article.
MrP and Fellatio Nelson are actually black: Deduced by John Reynolds, revived for the MEJ fiasco. Rattslinger and Hazazel later unearthed the fact that they both sing backing vocals for a black supremacist heavy metal band called Cracker Annihilation, under the stage names “Milk Wrath” and “Cookie Death”.
Floid Country Demonyms: After a drunk Fellatio Nelson asked Floid if he was “Sudanases”, using -ases as a country demonym has caught on. Other uses include 'Chineases' for China and 'Hondurases' for Honduras.
Scottish Aircraft Carriers: Based on the model for an independent Scotland's navy drawn up by a loony in the Outer Hebrides, but mainly associated with the mainstream Scottish National Party in order to mock them - an independent Scotland would apparently have around 34 aircraft carriers (but, strangely, no aircraft). Addendum: This joke from around 2007 became rather less funny after the British government decided to actually adopt the whole 'aircraft carriers with no aircraft' thing as a money-saving measure in 2010.
Upstate New York is fictional: A joke stemming from the fact that Britons, Europeans etc are often completely unaware that there is such a thing as New York State or that the name could refer to anything other than the city.
Universal Healthcare Debates: A subject which has been so often argued in Political Chat that the threads have now descended to self-parody. Essentially, the Americans are convinced that receiving free healthcare is tantamount to worshipping Stalin, while everyone else thinks it's a good idea. In 2009 this exploded into the mainstream consciousness, with Barack Obama's alleged plans for
universal expanded state leaving American healthcare pretty much as bad as it was already, with transatlantic flamewars crisscrossing the internet. It remains to be seen if other AH.com traditions such as arguing over the Universal Colour Scheme will result in a Tory civil war also.
Gun Control Debates: A subject which has been so often argued in Political Chat that the threads have now descended to self-parody. Essentially, the Americans are convinced that depriving any man, woman or child of their right to own a lethal weapon is tantamount to worshipping Hitler, while everyone else thinks it's a good idea.
Global Warming Debates: A subject which has been so often argued in Political Chat that the threads have now descended to self-parody. Essentially, the Americans are convinced that depriving any man, woman, child or global mega-corporation of their right to churn out enough Carbon Dioxide to put out the Sun is tantamount to worshipping Mao (we're running out of loony dictators, chaps), while everyone else thinks it's a good idea.
Education Debates: A subject which has been so often argued in Political Chat that the threads have now descended to self-parody. Essentially, MrP & Thande are convinced that vote-grubbing British politicians have doomed us to a future of post-apocalyptic nightmare (including the spread of the dreaded Grocer's Apostrophe), while Justin Pickard and Kit believe that the system is splendid, n taht poepul r nu briter then evar. See also Campaign to Overthrow and Undermine the teaching of Glib History; British Education System.
xyz gone mad #123456: A running joke in thread titles. Started with and usually still is “Political Correctness”, with the number of course being random but high. Such threads include a totally asinine story that derives its craziness from the thread title's topic, for example political correctness. Other examples include Health and Safety or EU Bureaucracy. On the occasion when a PC-gone-mad idea is actually shot down, it is customary to post the news with the title “Common Sense Gone Sane Part #34” with a much smaller number. A recent addition to the list, courtesy of MrP, is “Chavez Thread #2353543453”, in which we learn the everyday happenings of the cheeky chirpy crack-smoking socialist dictator of Venezuela.
The Germano-Russo-EU Alliance of Doom for Poland: Germany, Russia and the EU are all conspiring to dismember Poland and kill all the Poles, as evidenced by the behaviour of mid-nineteenth century German settlers on the American Plains. Er, fictional Germans in a cowboy book, mind. An idea originally propounded as serious by HurganPL, and subsequently cited by everyone else as evidence that Hurgan's from an ATL.
Fake Spanish: Popularised by Thermopylae, the Fake Spanish language is often called upon when presenting new media for a TL, especially “El Mappo!” whenever a new map is made. (Real Spanish would be 'La Carte!' or “¡El Mapa!”) Fake Spanish is also often used with respect to the Heterosexual Reconquista.
The Inevitable Republic of Deseret/Inevitable Kingdom of Burgundy/Inevitable Kingdom of Hungary: A term coined by Imajin for Deseret and then modified by Thande for Burgundy and by some other members for Hungary, to describe how those two states often pop up in maps of North America and Europe, respectively, with little explanation, often defying the butterfly effect. This meme also inspired the name 'Inevitablid Caliphate of Europe' (see below).
The Space Filling Empire: Another map term invented by Imajin, to describe how inexperienced mapmakers often fill up areas they have no ideas about (usually Africa or Central Asia) with a poorly defined empire or union of some kind. The concept is now referenced at TV Tropes.
The Inevitablid/Obligatid/Randomid/Implausiblid/Destinid/Bigassid Caliphates: Originally a term for the common future history cliche of an eeeeeviiiiiil Muslim-immigrant caliphate taking over Europe, it evolved into something of a running joke when refering to caliphates appearing in alternate history and future history. There are seven rival dynasties, each purportedly named after their (made-up) founders, the first three as named by fortyseven:
Is any of us really real? Someone once suggested that Doctor What was the only real poster, and the rest of us are just Ian typing really quickly to give the impression of hundreds of people. fortyseven suggested that we are all Ian's sockpuppets and that Ian has an extreme case of multiple personality disorder. In similar fashion, HARRY suggested that all the posts were really made by Turtledove sockpuppets, except for the innuendoey ones which were the work of Stirling.
The Nonexistent States of America: Most of the Britons on the board firmly believe that the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado etc. are entirely fictional, and were only invented by American airline companies in order to make their planes seem faster than they are on flights from the east coast to the west coast. This is strongly denied by most of the American posters, especially those who believe they live in the said nonexistent states: on the contrary, according to the Americans, it is Delaware that is fictional.
The Germans' obsession with obscure political debates: Especially true of Steffen and Susano. Steffen's famous comment is that one time at a bar he rather would discuss reforms to the welfare state than watch the topless dancer, and was even rather annoyed by her.
The Germans are a hive mind, and again especially Steffen and Susano and their political differences just a ploy, or a form of schizophrenia. Kabraloth is also assumed to be part of this hivemind, which is mostly named for Susano. Hence, Kabraloth and Steffen had their respective user titles be “Not a Susano” for a while, while Susano's was “Also Steffen and Kabraloth”. Since then, Susano muses who else could be part of his hivemind - for example, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, as he can answer as quickly to provocations as Susano.
“European Union novels”: Joke invented by Thande, popular especially during the writing of his AH.com Wars spoof of Star Wars. The joke is a riff on the fandom acronym used for Star Wars Expanded Universe novels and products - EU.
Byzantine Airships are the epitome of cool: An opinion expressed by Midgard, Sargon and others (Abdul Hadi Pasha considers them to be second in coolness to Ottoman airships) for many years. In 2007 it essentially became the manifesto of the Evil Party.
Keenir is actually MrP posting while tired and amnesiac: A certain similarity of style noted by P himself, while Thande suggested that Keenir's knowledge of Turkish may come from P falling asleep on a volume of Ottoman battleship designs and the principle of knowledge osmosis.
Landshark was: But we stopped chasing him.
The Bannedwagon: Joke started by DominusNovus, where a word similar to Banned/Kicked is placed in the user title, with the intended affect of causing another user to freak out at a normal board member being Banned/Kicked. Dominus originally used the actual word Banned, after which Ian stopped people being able to use it, and double-take workarounds such as Bamed or Barned were adopted. Another variation is to alter the word Banned to suggest your own username, such as Thanned or Ranned. The term 'bannedwagon' for the popularity of the joke was invented by KJM.
Logic and Reason: Several members, notably GBW, occasionally forget and recourse to these two concepts, which are taboo on AH.com. The correct response to this is a pitying shake of the head and 'You're using logic and reason again…'
Chinese inventions: According to AH.com, not only did China invent gunpowder, the printing press etc. before anyone else, but also any concept that comes up in a thread about China, such as censorship, America, and exaggeration. Most notably, as Dave Howery observed, the Chinese invented bears, you know.
Thread Hijackings: Whether it is purposeful or not, most threads in Chat and NP Chat end up getting pulled off topic, also called hijacking. VulcanTrekkie45 created a thread to document these happenings, but it was quickly hijacked and died.
Ignore Threads: If anyone makes a mistake posting a thread (or duplicates it), and therefore deletes the content and changes the title to 'Ignore', it is customary for almost all the online members to post in that thread with comments such as 'you want me to ignore this thread? Right, I'm ignoring it…'
The Four Horsemen of the AH.com-alypse: After several members complained about The Office in The Official British TV Thread, Sargon noted that there were now four members available that could form some sort of group. MrP suggested The Four Horsemen of the AH.com-alypse, and everyone thought this was a good idea, agreeing upon Thande as Pestilence (because of the effect of his chemical concoctions), MrP as War (due to his WW1 warship interests), Sargon as Death (seeing as he's a member of the EVIL Party) and The Dean as Famine (attributed to his waistline and the fact that he could be a one-man cause of one). Keenir wanted to be the Fifth Horseman, but as there's some confusion on the issue, that'll be settled later. An AH.com Series episode is confidently expected to be written about this at some point.
Wikipedia: Because of various interesting renderings of history on Wikipedia, it's become common when referring to looking at it to make reference to one of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Israel or the Armenian Genocide no matter which article one has been reading. For example, one might claim to have been inspecting a history of pottery in Asia Minor, and mention as an aside that the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is responsible for the elaborate artistry.
The Americans cannot organise a meetup: Accompanied by much chortling, usually from the British members, this joke mostly dates from 2006, when the British members managed to have about five meetups and the Americans failed to have any, even though zillions of them live near each other in small areas like New Jersey. The joke has died off since the Americans did manage two meetups in 2007 in New York City - although as both meetings had a Commonwealth subject attending (Kit and Doctor What) there have been claims that the meet-ups only happened because of British-derived organisation. Much like Psychomeltdown moving the goalposts for Writer Chimphood to keep excluding Michael, the British members kept redefining what constituted a 'meet-up' for a while to keep excluding earlier American efforts. Notably, the even less successful efforts of the Germans, Australians etc. are much more rarely mocked… After many years, the spell of this running gag was finally broken in May 2017, when a group of AH.commers attended a successful meetup in Washington. All 8 of them. ;)
Swedish politics: A popular thread digression, usually resorted to in WyldCard4's threads to twit his inability to understand AH.com. Despite the fact that it is usually started by LordInsane, who claims to be a Norwegian exile. Madness? THIS…IS…AH.COOOOOM!!!
The Irish are Chinese: British posters are occasionally irritated by claims from Americans who neither speak Irish nor have visited Ireland nor know any Irish people that they (the Americans) are Irish. Even less typically, an American with real connexions to Ireland will say something silly. So when Oweno/Rocano recently claimed that the Irish (who live on the second largest of the British Isles) are not British, MrP agreed, noting that the Irish are in fact Chinese. With any luck this joke will run and run.
Glaaawwbul Waaarming: Based on a the joke Irish pronunciation of the phrase by Bono and the Edge in Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse's sketch show. Usually invoked when mocking eco-mentalists who blame absolutely any negative event in the world on 'glawwwbul waarming'. Also sometimes called 'glerble werming', after the Mancunian pronunciation.
The Bald Imposter and elle-jay's real identities: Apparently a fourteen-year-old high school girl called Kayla and her jockish boyfriend Dylan, respectively.
The Luftwaffe and CGI: Because there are so many obviously CGI pictures of secret Nazi super-aircraft that were never built (e.g. Luftwaffe '46), Thande remarked that the Luftwaffe would probably have done better in WW2 if they'd spent their budget on building planes rather than inventing CGI. This running joke has taken on a life of its own in the Pics-of-Gorgeous Aircraft Thread, in which it is noted that the more sensible RAF instead developed CGI in between WW2 and the Korean War, as the first RAF planes with CGI pictures date from the early '50s. The Confederate Air Force has emerged as another culprit in the 'spending more money on CGI than planes' phenomenon. It later emerged that the only reason the Luftwaffe had computers on which to do CGI was because the Reichswehr had wasted all its money, 25 years earlier, on designing the A.I. for the game Alpha Centauri. See also: German Techwank.
Kit is actually a Californian housewife: A joke by some of the Americans dating from as early as 2005. Other variations have painted him as a female mall rat and Valley Girl (a particularly hilarious one for the British members, as that phrase also fits rather well for Wales). This joke essentially stems from the conspiracy theory that, because Kit (according to Fellatio Nelson) is so stereotypically homosexual, he's actually role-playing and getting it all out of a book.
The Worthless U.S. Dollar: Due to the decline in value of the U.S. dollar in 2007 and 2008, it is customary to describe the exchange rate to the British Pound Sterling or the Euro as being something like 750,000 to one, as though the U.S. dollar is now a form of lire.
AH.com Doppelgangers: A complex topic which deals with lookalikes of AH.commers in the world of celebrities, entertainment, or just on the streets. Perhaps the most notorious lookey-likey is Doctor What with Jeff Goldblum. However, some members are known to have a startling number of duplicates, and this has been recognised - Flocculencio's Flocculgangers, Hendryk's Hendryklones, and Gottheit being seventy four different people.
Li'l MEJ: When anyone says anything that MEJ could possibly have construed as racist (i.e. when anyone says anything), it is customary for Archangel Michael to post an image meme which consists of a black kid silently mouthing “That's Racist!”
Average Wow: Coined by Nekromans after it was said, apparently by accident, in the thread title of one of our more illiterate phonespammers. 'Average wow!' is an exclamation made when one receives an item of minor good fortune, not deserving of a full-blooded wow.
Thande's sworn enemies: Sporadically brought up, but long-running gag.
Mexican Polar Bears: Developed on the map thread after euio posted a map which included a Mexican occupation of northern Canada, having been screwed over in the partition by their American allies. However, it then transpired that the Mexicans had warmed Arctic Canada up to Mediterranean temperatures by force-feeding really hot tortillas to all the polar bears. This then turned into an anti-eco-mentalist conspiracy as it combined glaawwbul waaarming with abusing baby seals (with fajitas).
Interestingly, in an unconnected event, CalBear, in a discussion of a polar bear swimming to Iceland, referred to the border fence along the U.S. Mexican border, and how it compared to the Icelandic illegal immigration response (shoot it).
Reverse American Politics: One strange aspect about the American politics on the board is that many U.S. members have registered party identities totally disconnected with their political views. For example, Grimm Reaper is a Democrat and NapoleonXIV is a Republican. Possibly connected with this is the fact that a British political test thinks that DelawareWerewolf should vote for the hard-left socialist Respect party. Recently, Paul Spring (a right-wing member who often debates politics with Leo Caesius) revealed he planned to vote for Obama, while Leo himself was seriously considering voting for McCain. Another addition to this was the revelation of MacCaulay that, despite being a self-declared Libertarian, he had worked for Howard Dean's presidential campaign in 2004.
The Teachings of St Cyril the Inherent: As bestowed upon AH.com by one remarkable man, whose unique moral teachings are simply beyond the capacity of the mundane human mind to comprehend.
The Landgraviate of P: Based on MrP being nicknamed Herr von P because of his supposed German-ness, LordInsane objected that this meant that there had to be a place in Germany called “P”. Thande then deduced that there was in fact a tiny city-state of the Holy Roman Empire that had been named “P” because there wasn't enough room to fit any more letters in on the map.
Nuclear reactors, a Jewish conspiracy with no backup plan: With thanks to our latest insane troll, Eleven11, we now know that nuclear reactors do not exist, they are simply a cover-up by the cabal of Jews who run the world, and in fact Wozza's uncle is employed in the job of squeezing oil out of potatoes on the inside. We also know that anyone without a backup plan must be the result of a cover-up, or something.
Made-up Running Jokes: Apparently, a joke, by definition, is a running joke if it appears on the Running Jokes page. This was taken to an extreme by Codae, who added “Made-up Running Jokes” to the wiki page, despite the utter lack of use on the forum beforehand. Who is to be blamed for this practice? Thande, most likely.
Warhammer 40K and the 2008 U.S. presidential elections: A joke put together by MerryPrankster, MrP, Thande and others. According to this analogy, Barack Obama is the Emperor of Mankind (because of Abdul Hadi Pasha accusing his supporters of being starry-eyed messianics), Hillary Clinton is Warmaster Hillary of the Hillary Heresy, and John McCain is the Chaos God John McKhorne (as in 'War for the War Vet, Votes for McKhorne!'). Variations on this included Merry instead turning four candidates into Chaos gods.
The AH.com Revolving Door: Due to the addictiveness of AH.com, most people who leave either on principle or just because they feel they are spending too much time on there are usually back within a month.
The BBC System of Measurements: Often talked about when posting BBC News articles and invoked to settle metric vs. imperial disputes.
Memetic Mutation: Usually occurs with memes that refer to certain noteworthy trolls, or to posts by normal members judged to be particularily lunatic. Those memes are then wildly mixed.
Time Travellers: It has been deduced that Ofaloaf, because of his mutton chops and wide-eyed expression of wonder, and Admiral Canaris because of his conservative political views, are both time travellers from the year 1890, like that bloke out of the film Time Changer. Later, it was found that Roberto is one of the original Scottish Darien colonists who fell through a time portal to the present day, as this is the only conceivable explanation for a ginger Hondurasesian. His dad, possibly related to this, is an Antarctican. There also remains a minority view that Ran Exilis is from the seventeenth century (because of his hair), and fled to the twenty-first in order to escape angry fathers all across the Dutch East Indies. This further explains the recent influx of Indonesian members - they're all Ran's great-great-great-great-grandchildren who have inherited his love of AH and did not exist in the timestream before his adventures. There were also rumblings that VulcanTrekkie45 might have been from the late 19th century when he posted his full name for the first time. It has also been suggested, on grounds of general similarity in appearance, that Archangel Michael may be destined to travel back in time and assume the role of Rasputin. A recent addition to the ranks of the possible time travellers is mowque, due to his lack of interest in any media form developed since about 1875.
Singapore, the Perfect Society: Flocculencio enjoys boasting to everyone else about how excellent Singapore's services are - the universal healthcare to the Americans, and the no-nonsense education system to the Britons, among others.
Pour le coeur makes the laws of physics break down: Every time MrP writes a new segment of his timeline, the universe breaks down a bit more. This leads to the BBC reporting science news correctly, the Mayor of Doncaster leaving Labour, or MrP and Susano being on the same side in a religious debate.
The Dean's private army: Hendryk has noted that The Dean's supposedly innocent activities of supervising kids in healthy outdoorsy activities actually correspond suspiciously to a regime of training for a private army. It is speculated that El Deano is planning a coup.
DelawareWerewolf is really a were-poodle: Inspired when user DelawarePoodle (now EvolvedLupine) posted a thread entitled Question about collars. On the basis that you wouldn't find a wolf wearing a collar Cockroach proposed that DW wasn't actually a werewolf but rather a were-poodle.
Red Alert: Westwood/EA's Command&Conquer: Red Alert series of games has provided a number of AH.com running jokes (see main article).
Libertarian Somalia: Whenever anyone mentions American Libertarianism, Hendryk (or occasionally someone else, usually Kidblast) will point out that all the supposed qualifications for a libertarian paradise are met in modern Somalia, and then invite any proponents of Libertarianism to move there.
Member doppelgangers: A long-standing running joke surrounding several members who have posted their pictures, and their resemblance to each other, celebrities, and people encountered in daily life.
Royal alter egos: Various members have been identified with members of the British Royal Family - Susano with Prince Philip due to dodgy comments about the Chinese, and MrP with Prince Charles due to their shared interests in whisky and talking to plants. This technically means Susano is P's dad.
When did it become (year) again?: Coined by The Bald Imposter originally, this has become popular with many other members. Essentially, when a member (usually a newish one) posts some very old and well-known internet phenomenon as though it is new (e.g. Chuck Norris facts, “All Your Base Are Belong To Us”), Baldie would interject with “When did it become 2002 again?” or similar. Possibly the most extreme example of this was in 2008, when a member posted the famous 'Things I Shall Do When I Become An Evil Overlord' list and Flocculencio kindly replied with “Welcome to 1998, my friend!”
The House of O: Largely derived from Fellatio Nelson's habit of referring to Susano as “Susan O”. The House of O is a mysterious family whose other members include Robert O, 09Camar O, Mojojoj O, Frankoli O, and of course Fellati O himself.
Iceland is a bizarre alien fish: Communist Wizard posted a map of Iceland, prompting Grimm Reaper to note the aforementioned resemblance; after Thande referenced an old map depicting Iceland as such, Grimm Reaper pointed out that this would explain the country's obsession with its cod spawn (see Cod Wars).
CreeperSpeak: The Bald Imposter once summarised thecreeper's posting style and political opinions as “obama good obama win” (sometimes addended with “mccain bad mccain lose”). Although thecreeper has improved since then, this proved such an iconic meme that it keeps cropping up in different contexts even after the 2008 US presidential election concluded.
Eyebrow Twitching: Introduced by Zyzzyva. All the things a member dislikes (see: P-gah) are listed, with them remaining stock still and their eyebrow twitching with each one, until they finally go berserk and try to kill someone.
Thinly Veiled Tracts: See this thread.
Russian Naming Terminology: Owing to the fact that parts of the Russian-speaking lands are historically named by colour (e.g. White Russia = Belarus), but also factions in the Russian Civil War were named by colour (White Russians = tsarists) and you can do the same for race (White Russians = Russians who are Caucasian). As Susano summed it up, “one should take into account that even while they were red, Red Russia and White Russia were still settled by white people, so its White Red Red Russia and White Red White Russia. We can be glad they were the bad guys in the Cold War, or else we'd have had Whitehat White Red Red Russia and Whitehat White Red White Russia. Alas, there's no Green Russia populated by Martians, though, if they [the Green faction in the Civil War, Anarchists] could have held on to Red Russia, we would have Green White Red Russia, that is, Italian Russia.” This then segued into the fact that Stalingrad has excellent spaghetti restaurants.
Barack Obama: Is a commie muslim fascist liberal atheist socialist commie atheist muslim terrorist, apparently.
American NewSpeak: Based on “Ameriwank”, variations such as “Ameriteen”, “Amerileft” and “Ameriright/Ameright” have sprung up to describe various demographics of U.S. posters and political fields.
Impenetrable Switzerland - Switzerland is under the protection of a magic spell and thus, cannot be invaded.
Nuclear Bike Locks - After a news story revealed that for many years, Britain's nuclear warheads had been secured from theft using bike locks, this is now often referenced whenever nuclear weapons and proliferation are brought up.
Why does (group X) hate America ?: A very old one which is sometimes revived. Posters may be accused of hating America after making any logical argument about American politics, especially one aimed at the Ameriright. Reached its extreme when Hendryk's comment on Barack Obama's victory in 2008 was “Why do Americans hate America?”
End of the World Competition: There is a global competition going on to see who can end the world first. The main competitors are the Large Hadron Collider (AKA “the end-of-the-world-machine”) and CERN; the Mayan 2012 prophecy; and Thande.
The Onion invades reality: In early 2010 a common response to bizarre news articles was “is this from the [satirical American newspaper the] Onion?” It soon became clear that the reality of the Onion's universe was leaking into ours. Swiftly became an overused meme.
Google It: A meme started in a thread about a future cold war with China.
Getting Drunk With Some Nazis: A minor meme based on an amusing caption in CCA's timeline Chiang Kai-shek Goes to Germany, “Chiang dragged Wang (Jingwei) with him to prevent Wang from stirring shit while he was away. Here is Wang getting drunk with some Nazis”. It has thus become slightly popular to invoke this, as in “Can you come out tonight?” “Sorry, I'm getting drunk with some Nazis”.
Invulnerable Madagascar: Derived from a Flash game in which you play as a virus and try to infect the whole world; Madagascar is usually the last defiant holdout, and several AH.commer players of the game viewed the island as their personal nemesis. The fact that Madagascar is by contrast the first place where a global plague strikes in Jared's Lands of Red and Gold may be a reference to this.
Al-Qaeda's Number Three: Due to the US Army consistently having claimed to have killed “Al-Qaeda's Number Three” man approximately 700 times in a row. Although this is obviously due to new people taking over the role, this has led to a meme that Al-Qaeda's Number Three is a Captain Scarlet-style invincible man.
The Korean War Never Ended: As the BBC and other news sources feel the need to mention the fact that the Korean war technically never ended because there was an armistice not a treaty in every single article about it (annoying MacCauley), it is customary to mention this fact whenever Korea is mentioned. Leo also had a similar gag where he would keep stating that Tycho Brahe got his moose drunk and then it fell down the stairs (but changing to a different animal each time).
“Could Indian Impload one day“: Minor meme. Based on the eponymous, poor-grammar, bizarre anti-India rant by Death that got him banned in April 2011. Variations/mutations on the meme include saying to others (in a mock-threatening way) that they should watch out, or else they might impload one day…
Lactose-Tolerant Mutant Scum: People who are lactose tolerant are apparently hideous mutants, at least according to lactose intolerant board members.
Obama and the Republicans Whenever this phrase crops up, it's noted that it would be a good name for a rock band, or a similar 'X and the Y' phrase is said to be the opening act for Obama and the Republicans.
The 300 Nutters: After noting that every time a minor ineffective pressure group (which only exists to be quoted as an opposing view by the media on non-controversial issues) appears it is always cited to have exactly 300 members. This was further developed into the idea that this was always the same 300 people, and that in fact Leonidas' 300 Spartans had been cursed by Ahura Mazda to be forever reincarnated as stupid pressure groups.
Government Small Enough to Fit in your X: A madlibs-based Political Chat meme about groups claiming to want small government but also attempting to enforce socially conservative views. Some examples are “Government small enough to fit in your bedroom” (about sexual practices) and “Government small enough to fit in your uterus” (about abortion).
The Avro Arrow: Due to widespread Canadian AHer bitterness about the cancellation of the Avro Arrow (a domestically built Canadian jet fighter from the fifties) there is a gag that absolutely everything in Canada revolves around the Arrow, and that if it had been built, Canada would now be a utopian paradise and/or global superpower.
The Colour Scheme War: An AH.com civil war that almost errupted due to arguments among the Mappist Cabal over the merit of various map colour schemes and the results of a narrow vote on what to colour non-communist Russia on AH maps - green or gold or something else entirely ? Three main ideological factions arose from the conflict, becoming mini-memes in and of themselves: The Greensheviks (pro-Green Russia), the Goldilocks (pro-Gold Russia) and the Map Marauders (anarchistic, Russia to be coloured according one's preferences). Yeah, a lot of the humour was based on Russian Civil War analogies… The Colour Scheme War has recently been picked up as a potential story arc for the revived AH.com series.
2011, the First Year of the ASB: The year 2011 has had events so unlikely that it has been dubbed the Year of the ASB. This has gotten somewhat annoying, and sometimes results in the speaker being slapped with a frozen trout.
2012, the Second Year of the ASB: The year 2012 is also known as the Year of the Future History Cliche, because it has had technology develop that was future history cliches, such as hydrogen leaves, artificial life, Indian satellites, asteroid mining, rogue geoengineering, revamping the USA's states, and all that jazz.
2013, the Third Year of the ASB: The year 2013 is also known as the Year that Reality Disintegrated, because events that would be swiftly sent to ASB and laughed mercilessly at there, happened in that year, like the Pope resigning for no reason whatsoever, the KKK and the Crips teaming up to stop a racist rally with non-violence, meteorites hitting Russia, a resurgence of paganism in Britain and Ireland, ecological conservatism in Georgia and same-sex marriage in Utah.
2014: The Fourth Year of the ASB or 2014 : The Year when Time Went Backwards: The madness never stops… Panasonic announces a robot suit for sale at 5,000 US dollars and a Congressperson writes his resignation letter in Klingon, Ukraine starts doing a small-scale reenactment of the plot of a rejected Call of Duty game, while Russia starts a reenactment of Modern Warfare. Crimea becomes independent (for one day), an Orthodox Synod would be gathered in Constantinople, and Venetians (supposedly) vote for the rebirth of the Most Serene Republic of Venice along with Scottish and Catalan referundums on independence.
All Mac's Favourite Shows Get Cancelled: MacCaulay is known for going on epic rants about his favourite TV shows being cancelled by daft American TV executives (starting with Stargate Universe). This has led to the idea that TV executives deliberately spy on him to find out which shows he likes so they can cancel them.
Sealion TV: The moniker bestowed upon Spike TV's Alternate History television show after their first episode depicted a pathetically ASB German victory in WWII followed by Nazi occupation of the United States.
FletcherOfSaltoun supports every political party in Scotland: After being accused of being a diehard supporter of Labour, the SNP, the Scottish Conservatives and more in different Political Chat discussions, Fletch decided to come clean and admit he is a diehard supporter of all political parties.
Colonel Gaddafi's sons all have superpowers: According to Emperor Qianlong, anyway. For example, Khamis Gaddafi has the power of resurrection, judging by the fact his death has been reported approximately 500 times during the Libyan Civil War.
Woodrow Wilson is the root of all evil: Based on Wilson being a hate figure on AH.com, largely because of his extreme racism (segregating bits of the US armed forces that hadn't ever actually been segregated before) and authoritarianism (he wanted the Sedition Act to be permanent!) and hypocritical colonialism (the Balkans can be free, but the Mexicans and Vietnamese need whitey to show them how it's done) and destruction of the American Socialist Party (that's a no-no since the site is rather lefty) and actions at Versailles leading to WW2 (do you get the picture?), and defeating Theodore FUCKING Roosevelt in an election (to some this is the most unacceptable) has led to Wilson being blamed for everything that went wrong in history, especially if it happened centuries before his birth. He's essentially the anti-Theodore Roosevelt.
More recently Wilson has shared this role with Christopher Columbus, who besides his actual nastiness turns out to also be responsible for causing a change in global climate that began 200 years before he was born.
Frisian Islands: Based off an insane idea for an alternate D-Day landing, rivalling Seelowe in ASBness developed by david green. Has since become a stock response to other insane WW2 scenarios (“Germany builds a fleet of carriers befor ehte war? Why don't they just tow the Frisian Islands tot he mid-Atlantic?”).
Tony Abbott Responded By Calling For A Federal Election: Suggested by ColeMercury after a series of events where Australia's conservative Liberal/National Coalition opposition leader, Tony Abbott, non sequiturishly called for a federal election in response to any incident no matter how unrelated. Therefore on AH.com, any news story about anything may prompt Abbott to call for a federal election. A similar joke is North Korea regarding absolutely anything as “a declaration of war”.
African Rebel Movements: Originally observed by Susano but tends to show up whenever they become topical again. All African rebel movements seem to be made of a combination of the same few buzzwords to form a French acronym: the words used include “National”, “Union”/“Universal”, “Restoration”, “Salvation”, “Democracy”, “Popular”/“People's”, “State”, “Committee”, “Liberation”, “Front” and so on.
(By the way,) The Olympics Are On This Year: 2012 running joke (obviously) based on how the BBC and other British media have developed a non sequiturish habit of mentioning the upcoming London Olympics in practically every sentence. For example “In world news tonight, in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad remained defiant as his troops continued to bombard the rebel city of Homs, and also, the Olympics are on this year”. Often combined with Tony Abbott calling for a federal election (see above).
masteraccount references, particularly to his threads. Masteraccount was a troll with a cult following known for his obsession with Sonic the Hedgehog and bizarre and/or apocalyptic ASB scenarios. Some common references include (but are not limited to): What if Peoples blood becoming strawberry syrup, earth exploding in 1982, Sonic the Hedgehog in 1926, etc. Masteraccount's escapades were one of the reasons why Ian officially forbade the posting of cruel and pointless scenarios in the ASB forum. (Though this rule has been in place since the site's existence, so it was technically nothing new.)
Two warm-water ports ! And a transcontinental railroad to connect them ! And Alsace-Lorraine !: A list of territorial demands, expanding on “a warm-water port”, that can be applied to virtually any state (except France, obviously). First used in reference to New Mexico by Kaiphranos, discussing a map by Beedok; has since appeared for Austria, regarding the rumored accession of the Greek island of Ikaria.
Everyone loves Brian Schweitzer: Due to the popularity of current Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer both in his own right with AH.com's Amerileft and with the writers of American political timelines in the FH forum, this has led to the idea that most or all of AH.com's members are madly in love with Schweitzer and act like creepy stalkers with a crush towards him.
The Empire of Kongo Strikes Again: The flag of the Kongo Empire, a red X on a white background, looks rather like the 'image not found' symbol from Internet Explorer, so it is customary to make some reference to the Kongo Empire when an image linked to by somebody fails to load.
The Armoured Dinner Jacket: The current loud-mouthed President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose difficult-to-pronounce-and-say name is often simply shortened to the similar-looking phrase “Armo(u)red Dinner Jacket”. This is believed to have been coined by MrP and P Minor in Englishman, but a similar joke was apparently independently conceived by The Spectator a few months later (which referred to him as 'President I'm-in-a-dinner-jacket').
Abhakhazia and Turquoise Blue Are Married: Pointed out by Thande, it seems that Abhakhazia and Turquoise Blue are a young married couple in which the dominating progressive wife (Turquoise Blue) picks on the conservative henpecked husband (Abhakhazia). Neither openly deny this claim, but Abhakhazia always says whenever it is brought up that Thande, is in fact in a similar relationship with Elle-jay. Of course, the meme's dead now.
Uber-Balkans Colonize Africa: Originating in the OOC thread for the Scramble For Africa nation game. Hetalia originally claimed Serbia, but was miffed when he was not allowed to annex surrounding nations and thus give him access to the Mediterranean. Without a sea, he claimed, the “imminent powerhouse” of Serbia could never conquer lands in Africa. Later claimed Greece instead, since it had a sea already.
Swiftian Fae Monarchism: Orville_third once started a thread regarding an article on an internet rumor that Nicholas Cage is a vampire, offhandedly mentioning his theory that Taylor Swift is a fairy princess. The thread quickly diverted to the latter topic. Since then, it has not only popped up regarding Orville_third's comments, but King Thomas has joined in, and it even shows up during unrelated threads.
Richard Nixon: There are a variety of running themes related to America's 37th president. Firstly, AH.com is home to more people than usual who will defend his overall record (though by no means everyone) rather than seeing him as entirely defined by Watergate as is common in popular culture, a dissonance which often surprises newer members. Secondly, the fact that Nixon always looks awkward in photos and has some rather surprising ones (like one with Elvis and one where he's levitating) has made him a common target for the “Things that look like AH but aren't” thread. Overall, Nixon comes up in conversations more often than you might think.
Gaydiation: As explained by TheDarkMessiah, the board emits a radioactive substance known as Gaydiation, which slowly turns all over time gayer and gayer, until they are LGBT in some way or form, explaining the board's unusually high ratio of LGBT Members, appears to not work on all members however, as some appear to have a natural resistance to it.
You are “based”: After Dirk mistyped the word “biased” as “based”, people started posting various quips with plentiful puns related to the words “based” and “base”, often in unusual or deliberately punny contexts. One of the fuelers of the “based” phenomenon was Dirk himself. This in turn led to the proposed formation of another new meme, that being…
Blame Dirk: Proposed new variant of “Blame Thande”, in light of Dirk's role in the aforementioned “based” meme.
“Wilson is love, Wilson is truth”: Related to the aforementioned “Wilson is the root of all evil” meme. In an effort to stave off what he and several others see as a one-sided tarring of president Wilson and one-sided adoration of president Roosevelt, TheTimeRanger founded the Wilsonian Belief, in order to speak up for ol' Woodrow. Wilsonianism is nevertheless rather tongue-in-cheek.
Wehraboo: Became a popular disparaging moniker during early 2014. A paraphrase of the existing slang term Weeaboo (i.e. mindless admirer of all things Japanese and anime - but only the romanticised stuff, not the real thing), a Wehraboo is a history or alternate history fan (including an AH.commer) that is firmly entrenched in the belief that Nazi Germany's Wehrmacht was the best military in history, without a single flaw. Effectively, a Wehraboo is any obsessive Wehrmacht fanboy/fangirl who doesn't like historical facts getting in the way of his militaristic fantasies. While not necessarily, many Wehraboos can become Nazi apologists (which is obviously frowned upon on AH.com and gets you banned in short order). The cliché of German Techwank can be a common fetish for many Wehraboos. A popular pastime of Wehraboos is the Wehrabingo. A rarer variation of Wehraboo is the so-called “Kaiserboo”, who has a similar obsession with the supposed infallibility of Imperial Germany's military.
Computer Strategy Game Geopolitics: The apparent belief of some more obscure members of the site (including the ever-dependable n00bs) that current international geopolitics is basically just a larger version of grand strategy or real time strategy computer games. (In truth, AH.com's long-lasting obsession with both genres might have something to do with it.) This leads to peculiar statements that show up shockingly often even in Political Chat threads. One example out of many… Perhaps the commonest cliché of these beliefs is the notion that a rebellious new nation or separatist/insurgent group “needs to hold territory for a certain amount of time” and then will become somehow automatically approved and recognised by the rest of the world. (Your bet as to “Why ?” is as good as our's. It might have something to do with the popular contemporary notion of “humans are all apathetic” being taken to its logical extreme.)
This post requires an AH.com [NAME OF PRECIOUS METAL] Account to view: Started by Richard Harrow in Sabot Cat's Social Thread, spoofing the premium account nature of a lot of sites on the Internet, including many bigger discussion forums. nlspeed wasn't particularly satisfied by this joke, deeming it old and bearded. CannedTech proposed that curious AH.commers should pay for these account viewing fees by Dogecoin - because an AH site needs it's own made-up equivalent of Bitcoin, of course !
”Dogs of Flanders”, Lord Roem's (virtual) band: A running joke about Lord Roem that started in the fourth How do you look ? thread after he posted some photos of him and his friends on a moody-looking sea coast with overcast weather, and joked about it being a good background for an album cover. Georgepatton was quick to embrace this, and the band “Dogs of Flanders” was born. Ever since then, Dogs of Flanders had already published a second album.
Technocracy is fascism for nerds: The meme developed and reoccured in a series of threads in PolChat from early 2015, in which board members theoretically discussed technocracy's feasibility and effectiveness as a real world political regime. While the consensus was that technocracy would see little success and effectiveness in any realistic scale, the meme was embraced by quite a few AH.commers with a wry sense of humour.
Anime jokes and gifs: Started originally as an import from sites such as Reddit and 4chan. However, over time, the Anime/Manga Thread, and AH.com overall, has moved to developing a culture of its' own, a notable one being the posting of gifs, new anime releases, and especially 4chan pictures, like this and this.
“It's not just a timeline, it's a state of mind…”: A lesser-used jokey idiom, applied by particular people to timelines they really like, find engaging, well done, etc. Basically a shorthand for “I think this timeline is awesome !”. Something of a spiritual successor to the old joke about MrP's WWI timeline being so good it breaks down the laws of reality. Some of the timelines that have gained the “…it's a state of mind…” compliment include Lands of Red and Gold, Male Rising or The Land of Sad Songs.
“We must build a…”: Odd little meme that surfaced for a short while in the first few weeks after the board started using the XenForo software as its new base. It appeared purely in the form of thread tags, which were a wholly new feature in board software at that point. Unfortunately, adding of tags was not restricted at first, leading to several less mature or cheekier members of the board abusing this to add said meme to many threads. Its original form was “We must build a canal” and apparently was a nod to an earlier AH.com running gag or some running gag already established in the A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones fandom on the board. The admin quickly got fed up with the spamming of this tag in far too many unrelated threads, and made software adjustments to discourage tag spamming (limiting the creation of new tags to a thread's creator). Subsequent renditions or variations of the meme were mostly parodic in nature, such as “We must not build a canal…”, “We must build a cannoli…” or “We must build a database…”.
People outside of AH.com mistaking AH fan works for serious historical non-fiction: Hilarious and sad in equal parts, this has become an increasingly frequent occurence in recent years. Factors behind it include the continuing global proliferation of the Internet, the growth of professional-level skilled amateur artists posting their works (including AH artworks) on the Internet, and the mainstream public's interest in the alternate history genre being much higher and more varied than in the decades before. Perfectly exemplified in this infamous textbook-related case that occured in Denmark, which also included severe copyright infringement in addition to cluelessness. (Said case seems to overlap with the past cases of foreign politicians ignorant to double-check taking news outlets like The Onion as absolute fact.)
“Bellowing Antropoids” and “Britain is Fat/VAT”: Mostly politbrit memes that appeared after the conclusion of the controversial “Brexit” referendum in the UK. Shortly after their spread in Political Chat, they became so memetic that they quickly lost any serious connotations they might have had first, and devolved into purely sarcastic usage by all involved.
Top Kekkonen: Charming meme devised by DrakonFin by combining the already established Internet expression “top kek” (a belly laugh, a “super-LOL”) with a photo of a chuckling Urho Kekkonen, Finland's famous Cold War era president. The caption added to the photo was, naturally, “Top Kekkonen”. Originally intended as a one-off joke in a thread discussing Putin's politics towards Finland and other neighbours of Russia, it developed something of a cult following in PolChat and was still being used even several months later. Effectivelly became the indigenous AH.com version of the “top kek” shorthand.