What is the Rickrolling Meme and how do Play this Prank on others | DigitalRise

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What is the Rickrolling Meme and how do Play this Prank on others

To “Rickroll” someone involves playing a silly prank on them, usually using the internet.  It utilizes the classic “bait and switch” technique in a harmless way, by getting the person to click on a hyperlink embedded in an email, webpage or forum post by misrepresenting the link as leading to useful or entertaining information.  When the link is clicked, instead of the expected content, the user is treated to a surprise showing of the music video of 80’s pop star Rick Astley’s catchy but corny love song, “Never Gonna Give You Up.” 

~ Rickrolling Variations

If you want to get in on the fun of Rickrolling your friends, family, coworkers or innocent strangers, you have quite a few options to choose from now, thanks to the evolution of this running gag.  Variations or spin-offs of this practical joke include: redirecting clickers to some other goofy, unrelated content; imbedding an Astley clip in the middle of an unrelated, otherwise serious video; unexpectedly playing Rick Astley’s trademark song at public events or gatherings; and sending pals the now-infamous song as a phone message.  Of course, for any of these jokes, you’ll need to consider whether the people and authorities involved have a sense of humor that will allow them to respond favorably.  If not, consider the possible consequences to you before you decide to Rickroll!

~ How to Rickroll Online

To fool somebody into clicking on links to irrelevant material in email or instant messages, or other online formats, the process is simple.  You will only need to perform a small act of misdirection, like a magician does, to pull off this practical joke popular in the internet culture.  This will allow you to hide the true title and nature of the page the people will be accessing, and substitute an innocent-sounding title in its place. 

The first option is to copy the address of the official youtube Astley video, then go to the trustworthy Tiny URL website, which will convert the address into a shorter, nonidentifiable one.  Then copy and paste the new, shorter address into the text of your forum post, instant message, email, or webpage.  Be sure to give misleading information about where the link leads, such as: “Here are some fascinating news stories about this subject,” or “Here are the photos from our recent vacation.”  For some forms of communication, such as email and some website postings, you also have the even easier option of using the “insert hyperlink” button or command.  Merely highlight or select the (deceptive) text that will be seen by the prank victim, click to insert the hidden hyperlink, and type in the web address for the Astley video.

~ How to Rickroll at Live Events

The Rickrolling variation of interrupting a public or private gathering by playing “Never Gonna Give You Up” can also be suitable for many informal or even semi-formal events.  However, think first about the appropriateness of the gag in a particular setting, and the potential reactions of others. You probably wouldn’t want to break in with Astley’s song during an important business meeting or your best friend’s wedding, for example, unless you’re very confident that your boss or friend would see the humor.  If the bride and groom and wedding guests have the proper fun-loving attitude, however, and it wouldn’t spoil their special serious day, it could be hilarious to interrupt the wedding procession or bride-and-groom’s first dance with “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Rickrolling could be a fun part of school gatherings like pep rallies, awards ceremonies, sports events or club meetings, though it may be wise to check with the adult sponsor to get permission beforehand.  Informal work meetings, local celebrations, and private parties could all be enlivened by an impromptu sing-along to “Never Gonna Give You Up.”  The options are endless.  Just remember to maintain the element of surprise by leading the audience to anticipate the presentation of something entirely different, preferably a topic that is serious or boring.

~ How to Send a Rickroll Phone Message

You can send Rick Astley’s song as a surprise message to someone’s phone using the Prank Dialer website, which has sent nearly six and a half million prank calls to date.  The message does play a short ad in addition to the song, according to the website.  Just click on this link to go to the website and Rickroll your friends or family by phone.

~ Conclusion

Now that you know what Rickrolling is, and how to do it, you may want to join in on the fun.  The appeal of this “internet meme,” or popular online fad, is that it is good, old-fashioned, light-hearted fun appropriate for all ages.  There is no mean-spirited intent when you Rickroll someone, just a silly surprise that will have everyone laughing.


Rickrolling, Retrieved 09 02 10