Forum fads and in-jokes

From YPPedia

There are quite a few forum fads and in-jokes on the Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates Forums that a visitor may not understand or know about. They range from things mentioned in posts to user avatars.

Current Fads and In-Jokes

+5 Boots of Bilging

These are mentioned every time someone suggests items that offer performance boosts which can be bought and do not show skill in an area relevant to the way it was obtained. It is meant to convey the shaky idea of a pair of boots which can be worn that would increase bilging performance by five unspecified units. The idea parodies RPGs focused on levels and skill points, where items can be bought to enhance the character's statistics, and is in direct opposition to Three Rings' goal of a skill-based game without numbers in its game design. The Boots of Bilging trophy was added to the game as a nod to this in-joke.


This comes from a thread about the expulsion of the crew They Might Be Pirates from the flag Trans-Atlantic Empire[1] on October 3, 2004. The flag posted in the public forum what was apparently an internal flag dispute that was mediated in-game by Poseidon, but refused to publicly discuss it further. This led to speculation on the motives and purpose of posting it publicly in the first place[2][3], followed by posts from various parties defending one side or the other.

Eventually it was derailed by Damienroc, who declared war on Shuranthae[4] after he posted about how it was none of anyone's business to tell people how to run their crews or flags, and provided a possible explanation for the Poseidon's line of reasoning in settling the dispute[5]. Note that both Damienroc and Shuranthae were known at the time for their one-person crews (The Art of Diplomacy and White Wynds respectively). Shuranthae then said he was tempted to make a suggestion for /declarewar in Game Design.

The first use of /declarewar in this fashion was by Fujiko, who declared war on * (everyone)[6].

/declarewar could be interpreted as a call to stop tarting on the forums and settle things in-game through old-fashioned war and PVP, to counter the lack of conflict on the Midnight Ocean.

An Open Letter

Some threads in Piratical Parley and Politics have titles that consist of "An Open Letter to <person or group>", with <person or group> being the name of the person or group that the thread is being directed at. This started when Thusnelda posted a thread titled "Open letter to Three Rings about Astounding Coolness" in Shore Leave[7].


Refers to any tan familiar awarded in an automated tournament after June 25th, 2006. First seen in the June Familiar Tournaments and Auctions thread, where Bia announced a new weekly tournament schedule where only tan familiars will be awarded.

The name is a play on Chia Pets, which are animal figurines that originate as a shade very similar to the tan used for familiars.

Blame Llama

Llama offers his services as a professional scapegoat. For a fee of 50 PoE, he will accept blame for anything.

Blonde and well-tanned X

The player Benzene265 has several blonde and well-tanned pirates, and has referenced this fact many times in various posts. They've also taken to calling things other than pirates blonde and well-tanned. The phrase has been adopted by other posters as well.

But...we're pirates!

This response in the Game Design forum is usually used sarcastically to agree with a quote and disagree with other posts' arguments claiming that a given idea is valid because the players are pirates and are thereby excused from normal standards of fair play or ethical behaviour. It is usually found in threads discussing attempts to solve problems with other players through game design, such as alt exploitation or PvP.


Complainspam refers to the use of one or more appeals to the OMs in order to secure a gameplay or political advantage that would not be available to the player without OM intervention. It includes protesting an action taken by another in hopes that the other player will be disciplined or stopped, or appealing to the OMs to undertake a specific course of action. Often complainspam implies an element of duplicity, where relevant information is withheld from the OM in question in hopes that the OM will act as the complainer wishes based on partial but misleading information, or an imputation of malicious motives that is unwarranted. Complainspam equally refers to appeals made via routes other than the /complain function, such as petition and /tell.

Everyone Wants to Be a Pirate, Even...

Example avatar.

These avatars consist of a non-pirate organism or object wearing a pirate hat, the text "Everyone Wants to be a Pirate" on the left side, and "Even <said organism or object>" on the right side. They were started by Salmon in this thread because he bored at work one day. In his post, he wrote "Just because I've got 30 mins left in work, there's no work to do and i'm bored out of my pretty little fancy boots.... here are a new set of avatar's i've been working on... Feel free to use them if ye really want, going to make more, and will probably take request." He did, in fact, take requests after his first ones (cowboy, ninjas, superheroes and llamas). The first few requests were for ducks, beavers, squirrels and robots. The page with most of the avatars in one convenient spot.

Fandango will drop a chest in round 2

This joke is based off of the Ostreum II blockade, where Notorious Fandango intended to drop a war chest during the second round; this was because they felt that they had a good chance of winning. However, due to an unforeseen bug preventing the dropping of a chest in an existing blockade at a time outside the blockade window, the current king (Homullus) could not drop the war chest. Instead, with the help of the developers, the war chest was dropped for round 3; the flag subsequently did not earn enough rounds to win the blockade. It has since been immortalised as a forum joke, whenever someone posts an intention to declare a blockade on an island.


This word references to the player, avid forum user, and Game Design forum moderator Faulkston who often posts in the Game Design forum with links to former threads with similar or identical topics. Faulkston has a history of being the first (and often only one able) to locate and link older threads discussing the same topic as a new one.

When a thread has been "Faulkston'd", it has been made irrelevant via links to former threads where the topic has already been discussed. This may kill discussion in the thread.

The Game Design ethos attempts to keep discussion of a topic within a single thread, so all relevant discussion is easily accessible[8]. When new threads are started which have already been discussed, users will post links to the former discussion and encourage the starter of the thread to read the original, and post any new thoughts there. If discussion continues in the redundant thread, it may (although not always) be locked by a forum administrator to ensure relevant discussion remains in the original.


When a person makes an obvious error in a post, a response may quote the post, make an edit to the quote in italics or bold, and then post "Fixed." outside of the quote. In a serious discussion, it may be used as an offhand dismissal of the original poster's point, as the "fixing" may change a key word to reverse the original meaning of the quote.

Sometimes, particularly in Shore Leave, a series of fixed posts will appear - generally this is an attempt at non sequitur humor by changing large portions of the previous post in the series. This fad can be found in other places.

Forum Shot

Forum shot was created by Homullus in response to people jokingly suggesting that the game should have features that are either on The List, The Anti-list, or already in the game.[9] Ever since then, people have been loading their forum shot to shoot at people suggesting things on The List or The Anti-list.

Fun > Realism

In Game Design, this is posted in response to a post which gives realism as a reason for or against some idea. This post is implying that the poster feels the idea would result in less fun, even though it would make the game more realistic.


This in-joke was started by Homullus as a semi-serious suggestion for a sea monster other than the kraken. It was quickly elaborated on by an amused forum, and was established as a whale with a large cannon on its head (with more cannons protruding from it at greater difficulties), and could be identified by its distinctive call of wheeeeeeeeeee.

Nemo has suggested that the gunwhale may be implemented as a sea monster.[10]

The name is a play on the nautical term gunwale.

Hand-waving freakoutery (HWFO)

Incredible HWFO Trophy

This phrase describes those posts which, in the poster's opinion, are exaggerative or show that the poster is "freaking out". It was created by Cleaver to respond to some posts about the effects of the global purse, and may be seen abbreviated as HWFO[11].

Hand-waving freakoutery has also appeared in trophy and avatar form.

Hot pirate-on-pirate action

This phrase is often used whenever appropriate to describe various PvP aspects of the game, referring to an interview with Cleaver[12] by IGN's RPG Vault during alpha testing.

I heartily endorse this product and/or service.

Used to denote agreement with the ideas of a previous poster. This is quote from Krusty the Clown of Simpsons fame, who was notorious for endorsing anything and everything for money. Despite the source of the quote, when used in the forums it is generally not satirical.

I think that there should be ___

Posts consisting solely of this sentence were started by Homullus when he realized that the titles of many threads were not descriptive enough to convey the intent of the post. Posters may title a thread vaguely, such as "Blockades." This leads him to post agreement with the idea indicated in the thread title (i.e. "I think there should be blockades.") rather than the idea being discussed in the actual post.


This usually follows "NO GODMODDING!" This originated from a thread in the Events! forum, by the user Redsonic, in which he tried to set up a kind of role playing swordfighting league.[13]


An acronym meaning "Keep it in Parley," in reference to any tarting occurring in a forum outside of Piratical Parley and Politics.


When a thread grows old or it is otherwise unnecessary and it needs to be moved to Davy Jones' Locker, some forumers will post an Lolcat, a picture of a cat or cats with a short caption written in chatspeak. It can add humor to a boring thread as well as derail an undesirable one.

Looterati Conspiracy

People complain, sometimes jokingly, that various things are a Looterati conspiracy. This stems from a perception that the Looterati have received unusually favourable treatment from the Ringers and Ocean Masters.

LSM and LSM Exploit

LSM, or Last Second Move, refers to a battle navigation technique where the navver enters move tokens too late for the brigands to respond to the tokens placed. The LSM Exploit refers to a bnav technique where the navver LSMs, then uses a loophole in the game design in the next move to avoid triggering the revenge mode of the brigand AI - with the effect of allowing the bnavver to continually LSM without suffering the consequences of revenge mode.

Not a saint

Several people have avatars of one of their pirates' portraits with the phrase "Not a saint" above the pirate. Other nouns are also used. The fad originates from a combination of the "What are you not?"[14] thread and Attesmythe's wonder at being continually used as an example of both good and bad forum behaviour.[15] Llama created the first of these avatars for various people including Homullus, Indeed, Kivo and Gothmog. Whitefire's avatar followed the original theme of having his character's head placed on a holy image, but with the acronym of "WTFWWFD?" instead.[16] Several imitation avatars cropped up after Llama stopped making them

O rly

"Oh really?" with as few letters as possible, mimicking 1337 (or leet) speak. Other words abbreviated by missing letters exist within the posts of the forums. This is often used as a harshly sarcastic response to a poorly spelled or uninformed post. Thematically consistent replies include, "ya rly," or just "rly." This fad can be found in other places.

Post New Thread Strikes Again

This phrase is used to reply to users who mistakenly post a new thread instead of replying to the appropriate thread.

Post of the Day

An image that someone posts to show that they really like (in most cases) a certain post. It includes the avatar of the user that made the post and is usually made by Piplicus, although a spoof Meow123_456 Post of the Day award has been used before.

A full list of the Post of the Day awards can be seen on Piplicus' User Page.

Postcount ++

An expression referring to a meaningless post, which simply increases one's post count. It comes from the operator ++, found in many programming languages (e.g. C, C++, Java, etc...), which increases a variable's value by 1 (in this case, Postcount). This fad can be found in other places.

Pulling a Cybr

This phrase originated on Cobalt and described the situation by which a navver would enter a flotilla/atlantis board and, within a minute, would come up against the segment break. This would give a very short time for the puzzlers onboard to be working and then receive a quick break usually resulting in silly comments like "Whew, I needed that break after all that hard puzzling for 1 minute". Cybrpyro from Static Before the Storm was famous for doing this with uncanny accuracy, often hitting the break within less than 10 seconds, hence the phrase was named after him.


Various misspellings of "revolution" are sometimes used as exaggeration or emphasis; Notorious Fandango has this fad in their public statement. This originated with a thread by a user named "Fandango" who made a post about revolting against "Cleaver and his lackeys", with several spelling errors.[17]

In September 2005, "Fandango" returned to the forums briefly to post about his pleasant surprise in seeing a crew and flag named after him.[18]

Ruining the game

Every time there is a major release, someone will post a thread in the forums saying that the new features are ruining the game since more people will be trying out the new features instead of pillaging. The thread may contain capitalized, boldface, or italicized text to emphasize the amount of ruining. Also see Hand-Waving freakoutery (HWFO).

Rusty, Bloody Spikes(TM)

Rusty, Bloody Spikes(TM) is something that people have said (after Homullus first did so) that they wanted to have so they could deal with annoying greenies.

Sad Panda

Sometimes when folks see something they disapprove of, they will say, "that makes me a sad panda". This originally refers to series 3, episode 6 of the coarse animated television show South Park, where a man in a panda suit instructed the third-grade students on how not to commit sexual harassment in the classroom. After describing an act of harassment, he would tell the children, "that makes me a sad panda".


A term that refers to someone's searching skills. Generalized from the name of the martial art "Kung-Fu". A widely admired master with a standing of Ultimate in art of Search-Fu is the moderator of Game Design forum, Faulkston.

Skull & Crossbone Avatars

These avatars consist of a white skull & crossbones on a black background, along with a forum username or pirate name in various font styles and colours. They can be made using the Skull and Crossbones Avatar Maker - created by Thespian. The forum discussion can be found here.

Social Puzzle

A term that refers to the politics of Puzzle Pirates. While most areas of the game are affected by one of more puzzles, the "Social Puzzle" refers to the aspects that are not correlated with any game. This can encompass hearty networks, flag-level politics, and trust built between players. For example, a greenie asking for someone to lend them a familiar might be told to "Get an Ult in the social puzzle first."


When two people reply to the same post with a similar response, the earlier person has "sniped" the latter. This usually happens when one of the people is writing a long response.

To avoid being sniped, preview your post and review the discussion to see if someone else has already made a similar one before replying.

Technique or Exploit?

This originated from a post by Pandalink[19] entitled "LSM: Technique or Exploit?, which was followed by two similar threads with "Technique or Exploit" in their thread titles. Soon after, various users began posting parodies of this in Parley, including "Dock Tarting: Technique or Exploit", "Rum and Cannonballs, Technique or Exploit", "Using ships for blockades, Technique or Exploit", and several others.

The New Corner Fries

In classic drinking, the strategy of placing the first fries in the corner was employed by well-known players such as Robertdonald; it was seen as an acceptable tactic by some, but unskilled and even rude by others. Heygabe used this phrase when people turned his thread about difficult/impossible bilge screenshots into a discussion of sea battle tips and jobber arrangement. Muroni equated abandoning a difficult puzzle to cheating, and when KingGoob asked if that opinion also applied to "board shopping" in gunning, Heygabe claimed "Gunners Shopping for Boards are the New Corner Fries"[20], accompanied by its own thread in Parley[21]. Since that time, it has turned into a tongue-in-cheek satire, where the object described is considered a cheap, unskilled and hackneyed way to play the game.


An acronym meaning "Take it to Shore Leave," in reference to any discussion which has become unfit for the forum in which it resides. It was first used by Demeter[22].


This expression comes from computer programming slang. "X!=Y" expression is interpreted as "X is not equal to Y", meaning that the poster wants to, sarcastically or otherwise, emphasize the distinctions between two subjects. This expression is used typically in real life vs. game play discussions. (For example: "Realism != Fun" and "Your personal playing habits != The Rest of the World.")

Like Postcount++, this notation comes from the computer programming language C (and the many programming languages influenced by C: C++, Java, Pascal, Perl, Ruby, etc.). It can also be written X<>Y. Many computer programmers use the word "bang" as a nickname for the exclamation mark and would pronounce "Realism != Fun" as "Realism bang equals fun."

What you're looking for are Adventure Islands

The infamous quote.
Mofeta's variation on the infamous comeback.

In the Game Design forum, this quote[23] from Nemo was used to convey that the idea (usually an idea for the inclusion of other activities or themes outside the piratey spectrum) falls within the realm of the small features and plots termed Adventure Islands. Optionally, a screenshot of a post by Nemo was used instead of typing the quote itself. Starting on September 2005, a drawing by Mofeta started to supplant the original screenshot.


When someone thinks another person is wrong, they will respond with the word "Wrong", which is hyperlinked to a thread called "This thread makes you a saaaaad panda. Sing along."[24]. This fad was started by Kivo.

Also see Sad Panda

Retired Fads and In-Jokes

Advance Wars Avatars

Showcased in a thread later titled "The War Room", certain forum posters began using avatars depicting characters and vehicles from Advance Wars 2, many of which were sprites from the game itself. The first wave was created by Potato and was soon followed by efforts from Llama and other artists. Those created by Potato can be seen here, along with the names of the pirates who used them.

Avatars Made By Stevedave


At one point, Stevedave went into the business of making free avatars of low quality. They turned out to be quite popular, with many of the forum regulars getting one.[25]


A word, coined by Cellophane, which was posted in response to any new topic suggesting something which had been suggested before and not searched for. It was disallowed by the Ringers when it was determined that the response was too harsh on new forum members. Sometimes no links were provided, unlike Faulkstoning a thread.

Button Avatars

The first avatar in the fad.

These avatars, which consist of a (usually) red button with some text on it, were started by Scupperer in the thread titled Smiley Faces and Hearts offensive!, after Crooktooth responded to it by saying "Next ye'll be wantin' a jihad dec button"[26].

Everyone is Thanos

People would claim they were Thanos. This started happening after the player Parthanos posted a thread to let people know that he wasn't Thanos, as people kept mistaking him to be. Other people started saying that they were Thanos, until it was concluded that everyone except Thanos was Thanos. This conclusion was repeated in several threads.[27]


This fad was started by Heksubah and Robbinson. After she showed him a picture with photoshopped recolorings of her eye, Robbinson decided to make one into his avatar, and Heksubah followed suit. Soon, a lot of other avatars using her eye and other people's eyes began popping up.

His Noodly Appendage

A reference to Pastafarianism, a satirical parody religion centered around the worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Awareness of this internet fad came to the forums because in the original open letter, the author asserts that there is an inverse correlation between the number of pirates in the world and the global temperature. (Cleverly and subtly part of the satire of the letter itself.)

It has been used in several contexts. "May you be touched by His noodly appendage," (roughly corresponding to the Christian, "God bless you.") and "You have been touched by His noodly appendage," ("You have been blessed.") are the most common, but at one point, Homullus suggested to Jacquilynne that she might "...change the results with your Noodly Appendage...", a tongue-in-cheek suggestion of how she might manipulate the results of the Poetry Death Match.

I agree with Parthanos Avatars

The original avatar.

These avatars usually take the form of a name tag that says "Hello. My name is <Name> and I agree with Parthanos". It also has a disclaimer of the pirate's choosing on the bottom of the name tag.

This fad started when Parthanos inquired about a tax rise on Epsilon Island. This initiated a string of posts jokingly agreeing with Parthanos that taxes on Ringer controlled islands are too low, even though that's not what Parthanos actually said. Eventually, Llama started making the avatars for people to show their agreement with Parthanos.[28]


For a short period after Phade (under the account name DragonRage), a prominent forum member, was banned from the forums, quite a few posts were made about him and the ban. There was also a mini-fad with people using avatars and signatures saying "I am Phade" with another name crossed out.

Phade is also occasionally seen used as a verb that means to verbally eviscerate someone for making a poorly written or stupid post, usually in a blunt manner. Ex: "You gave that greenie a good Phading for his 'teh gam is 2 hard' post."

"Posse" and "obey" Avatars

Obey Giant

People used black and white avatars with the word "posse" or "obey" somewhere on them. Posse avatars are a homage to the Obey Giant Campaign[29], described by the originators as a study in "Phenomenology." The original avatars were created by Attesmythe.

Quote Pyramids

Sometimes, people kept quoting other posts with quotes, eventually creating a "quote pyramid". One of the most extreme cases of this is the thread now titled More Pyramids then Giza. This fad ended when the official forum rules were changed to make intentional quote pyramiding a bannable offense.

Ramirojr is the Forums

Ramirojr was a mysterious character. No one really knows who he/she is, but people have said that he/she is the forums (or something to that effect). Also of note is that there was much discussion and many polls in an effort to determine Ramirojr's gender as well as the name of his/her in-game character. Ramirojr him/herself claimed to be "Forum Ether".

Robot Avatars

This fad started when Llama bumped one of Dora's old threads with an image of his robot avatar[30]. Other people then started following suit with robot avatars of their own.

Sea Cucumber

A poll option that means "I don't know/care". The first poll that featured this option was made by Cleaver. The sea cucumber has become a craze, which includes entire threads dedicated to it (back when there were polls on the forums) and a picture of Cynestria with a sea cucumber for a body. This fad was retired after the implementation of the mvnForum, since it does not allow polls like the old forums did.

Seal of Approval

This fad is very similar to the "I heartily endorse this product and/or service" fad, but it involves posting a picture of a seal with the words "Seal of Approval" on it.


At one point, Shuranthae's gender was in question.

Tedv avatars

Otherwise known as Tedvatars. People used avatars of themselves with the name Tedv on them, after Indeed purchased an avatar from Rubby with the name Tedv on it. They also changed the Tedv avatar to display their own names, or personalised it in other ways.

This joke came from a forum thread in Shore Leave where shockedfrog argued that most people like Indeed because her name is a commonly used word for "Hmm. Yes." To make things fair for others, he created a poll for which pirate's name people should use when they want to mean "Hmm. Yes." Some of the poll options were: Robertdonald, Tedv, and Bieyen. Tedv was the most popular choice.[31]


The Vast Alpha Tester Conspiracy. Rumours abound of the perks granted to players who joined during Alpha Testing. It was believed that they had access to unreleased content such as doubloons[32]. Such rumours became less frequent as alpha and beta players retired from playing and the Ice ocean opened for testing new content pre-release. Some players who jokingly perpetuated the myth are: Fronsac, Indeed, Homullus, and Thusnelda.

Unicorn Avatars

This fad started when Whitefire used an avatar of what appeared to be two unicorns humping. It was removed by a forum moderator due to the nature of the image; others started including unicorns in their avatars, often blatantly manipulated to show one at a forty-five degree angle.[33]

Ur Mom!

Usually accompanied by a photograph of a Mesopotamian female figurine (originally posted by Homullus); the joke hinges on 1) the myriad juvenile retorts about somebody's mother, 2) the common internet abbreviation "ur" for "your", and 3) the long time in-game joke about people who type "ur" being ziggurat enthusiasts (since the ancient Sumerian city Ur is famous for its ziggurat). The joke was made obsolete by the advent of the chat filter, because it automatically changes "ur" to a more piratey "yer."