If you don’t know where it came from, this one can be a real head-scratcher. When someone on a forum says something like “Drink ALL the coffee!” or “Fix ALL the typos!” or any permutation of the phrase [verb] ALL the [nouns], you could be forgiven for thinking, Hmm. That’s oddly specific, and I’m slightly uncomfortable.
Let me explain.
This explanation is short, sweet and pretty basic: Writer, comic-maker and all-around Internet famous person Allie Brosh runs a webcomic called Hyperbole and a Half. One of her most popular strips, first published in 2010, is an ode to extended adolescence titled, “This Is Why I’ll Never Be an Adult.”
In this comic, Allie explains her short spurts of motivation to do things, like go to the bank, answer email, and most notably, clean house. The phrase [verb] ALL the [nouns] comes from one panel in that clean-house section of the webcomic, in which Allie’s cartoon version of herself declares that she will CLEAN ALL THE THINGS while holding a mop (pictured).
Pretty soon, as memes are wont to do, the phrase and its permutations spread. There were many, many VERBing ALL the NOUNs popping up all over the Internet. That phrase went viral. Even people who never saw the original strip decided to co-opt the phrase. And out of a webcomic, a true Internet original was born.
There. I just explained ALL the things.
Like Hyperbole and a Half? (You should.) Allie Brosh just released a book. Get it here.