Rule 34

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See also: Brain Bleach, SurveyFail
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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, anthropomorphic animal or a inanimate object, 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 video, leading to revelations such as chalain'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. All we have are various references to it after the fact:

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.[2]

  • 'geek quotes' listing which Google notes as January 31, 2001[3]
  • 2002 signature of a post on a German board-game forum.[4]
  • In 2003, Peter Morley-Souter created a Rule 34 webcomic 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

The comic was paired with the launch of a website for rule34 of the comic itself, known as[9]

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.[10]

Wikipedia and Rule 34

For quite some time, Rule 34 was considered to be non-notable for the purposes of Wikipedia (being not recorded in reliable, third-party sources at the time) such that edits trying to add it would be deleted; the page about the US legal procedure known as Rule 34 was protected so that only logged-in users could change it; a page for the meme was speedily-deleted several times. Eventually press coverage caught up to the subject, and the page Rule 34 (Internet Meme) was created, with a disambiguation page (Rule 34) to present the legal and memetic articles.[11]

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."[12]

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 Suzette Haden "Ozarque" Elgin's LiveJournal, accessed 4 Oct 2008
  2. ^ Channel 4 Archive, misdated 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 (licensed CC-BY-NC-SA, reposting explicitly allowed)
  9. ^
  10. ^ linked by krid on Charlie Stross's discussion forum, 2008-12-19, accessed 2010-06-28
  11. ^ 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
  12. ^ Charles Stross, Crib Sheet: 419/Rule 34 posted 2013-07-19 accessed 2014-08-10