Rule 34

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Rule 34 refers to the meme that if something exists, then there is porn of it on the Internet.

In fannish terms, this means that any conceivable fictional or real people pairing, inanimate object anthropomorphic, or crossover, no matter how strange, has probably been written (and if not, there's always Rule 35).

Rule 34 does not just apply to the porn being written, but also drawn, or made into a movie, leading to revelations such as Ozarque's:

In 2004, I was forced to admit that, "If you can imagine it, you can find video of people having sex with it on the internet."[1]

Rule 35 (or 34a) states that if porn of something does not exist, making this fact known will inspire someone to create porn of it. This corollary is sometimes used as a warning, reminding people not to mention "impossible to porn" pairings or topics.

Origins of Rule 34

It's not clear where or when Rule 34 was invented. The earliest known use is stored in a compilation of 4chan or Channel4 posts from 1993:

Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it. In the deepest pits of Slashfic Hell, there's an AU where Mestor successfully copped one off with Peri, and their offspring is Chipo Chung. From outer space.(:1993-09-5039 08:39)[2]

Other references appear in a 'geek quotes' listing which Google notes as January 31, 2001 ,[3] and in a 2002 signature of a post on a German board-game forum.[4] In 2003, Peter Morley-Souter created a Rule 34 cartoon to depict his shock at seeing Calvin and Hobbes parody porn[5] According to, Rule 34 appeared in the Encyclopedia Dramatica on October 12, 2006.[6] Google's historical data shows that queries for rule 34 went up from 0 to 60 per day in March 2006[7] In July, 2011, a Time Magazine article on fandom and fanfiction, The Boy Who Lived Forever mentioned Rule 34.

XKCD comic Rule 34

The meme was widely spread by the XKCD web comic, August 2007:[8]

Xkcd rule 34.png

Responses to Rule 34

Drinking Game

The "Home on the Strange" webcomic for September 14, 2007 describes a Drinking Game:

“Celebrity Sex Hunt.” You name a celebrity. If I can find any slash fiction or Photoshopped porn associated with that celebrity, you view it all and then take a drink.[9]

Wikipedia and Rule 34

The dominant Wikipedia editorial group considered Rule 34 to be so non-notable that they not only deleted all information about it, they created an alternate Rule 34 about US legal procedure and made it protected so no one else could change it, and put the Internet Meme version on "Speedy Delete" so it was flagged for deletion whenever anyone created a new page with that name. The Wikipedians eventually gave up, and allowed creation of the page Rule 34 (Internet Meme), and a de-duplication page for Rule 34.[10]

Charles Stross Novel

Charles Stross wrote a novel with the name Rule 34, published in 2010. He "decided to make the book "...a decisively non-heteronormative work."[11]

SurveyFail and Rule 34

In late August, 2009, a pair of post-graduate cognitive scientists sold a book to be called "Rule 34: What Netporn Teaches Us About The Brain". Then they posted an intrusive, badly-designed and biased survey, which was quickly savaged in SurveyFail. The book was eventually published as "A Billion Wicked Thoughts".

External links


  1. ^ Comment about tentacle porn at Ozarque's LiveJournal, accessed 4 Oct 2008
  2. ^ 4chan - Channel 4 Archive dated 1993, accessed September 14, 2009
  3. ^, Google date: Jan 31, 2001, accessed September 14, 2009
  4. ^, thread ID 16032 dated 09.08.2004, accessed September 14, 2009
  5. ^ Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it - no exceptions: accessed 2014-08-10
  6. ^ Rule 34 on Know Your Meme accessed 2011-08-20
  7. ^ Google Insights for Search - rule 34 accessed 2011-08-20
  8. ^ XKCD comic #305, posted August 20, 2007, accessed September 14, 2009 (reposting explicitly allowed)
  9. ^ linked by krid on Charlie Stross's discussion forum, 2008-12-19, accessed 2010-06-28
  10. ^ Wikipedian deletion discussions contained in: wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Rule_34_(Internet_meme), Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rule 34 of the Internet, Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Rule 34, wikipedia:Talk:Rule_34/Archive_1
  11. ^ Charles Stross, Crib Sheet: 419/Rule 34 posted 2013-07-19 accessed 2014-08-10