Update 2024-03-27: Greatly expanded the "Samples" page and renamed it to "Glossary".
Update 2024-04-04: Added 5 million mid-2011 posts from the k47 post dump. Browse (mostly) them here.
Update 2024-04-07: Added ~400 October 2003 posts from 4chan.net. Browse them here.

Welcome to Oldfriend Archive, hosting ~170M text-only 2003-2014 4chan posts (mostly 2006-2008).


Glossary of Early 4chan

Updated 2024-03-31

This page lists topics and original content which originated from or were widely discussed on 4chan during the period covered by this archive (2006-2013), with links to relevant posts/threads whenever possible. The vast volume of image-based OC from this period will be missing from this page, since this is a text-only archive. I recommend skipping to "original content". Use this excellent resource for chronological coverage of 4chan's history.

  • Archives: 4chan archiving has an extremely long and complex history. More information about the history of 4chan archiving, especially for newer archives, can be found here.
    • 0chan.org: The earliest dedicated 4chan archive that I'm aware of. This was an image-only archive from the site’s porn-centric early days, started in 2004. I don't think many people around 2003-2005 considered the discussions taking place on 4chan worth saving.
    • 4chanarchive / chanarchive: The earliest dedicated archive site for full threads, dating back to 2006. Transitioned to new custom archive software in 2011 to become chanarchive.org. The old domain hung around for a while afterwards. Shut down in 2013. Most of the threads have been recovered from archive.org and integrated into this archive.
    • /a/rchive / no-info.no-ip.info: The earliest dedicated, fully-automated mass archive site. Archived all of /a/ for a very short time in late 2007 to early 2008. A handful of archive.org snaps remain. Was created by Anonymous of Russian Federation, who wrote the first version of the perl-based Fuuka archiver, which inspired the FoolFuuka/Asagi archiving stack now used by most archives. warosu.org still uses Fuuka to this day.
    • Easymodo: This archive, covering /a/ and /jp/ from 2008 on, and a few others, is the oldest Fuuka/FoolFuuka (automated mass archival) archive with surviving content. It died in late 2011. This content can still be found on desuarchive and archived.moe. Thanks to this site and its descendants, /a/ has been archived with almost no gaps from 2008 to present (mid-2006 to present if we add in the Ten Billion content!)
    • First-party archive: In 2003, with the site not even a month old, moot was already considering a first-party archive as a monetization option. I think the idea was to put deeper paging behind a paywall (e.g. give a paying user extra pages of read-only board history). It’s not clear to me whether moot and the developer, thatdog, ever put out a public demo, but it’s mentioned multiple times in early news posts.
    • Macrochan: An early image-only chan archive oriented around memes/image macros. Started sometime in 2005. Still running!
    • Rapidsearch: This early archive scraped 4chan and other sites for links to file sharing sites like Rapidshare. Running since sometime in 2005 on /r/, with more 4chan boards added over time. It was probably where the Ten Billion dump came from.
    • sup/tg/: The oldest dedicated archive site still running. Custom software. Started in 2007 to store notable /tg/ threads. Link to the archive.
  • Frequently mentioned sites: Contemporary websites, supplementary and rival.
    • Encyclopedia Dramatica: A drama-oriented wiki which came to be dominated by 4chan content. ED opened in late 2004. It's now the only surviving source documenting a lot of old 4chan drama. Apparently the site admin resented the 4chan takeover of her site, which she started to document LiveJournal drama. The admin closed ED in 2011 to start OhInternet, which died within two years. Since then, Encyclopedia Dramatica's data has passed through multiple hands. Like Know Your Meme today, it was a good place to get the full picture on internet-related topics whenever Wikipedia's notability/verifiability guidelines held it back. Unlike Know Your Meme, ED articles tended to be extremely offensive and juvenile, and the website hosted a lot of inane, unfunny attack pages "a-logging" random internet nobodies, in keeping with its conception as an internet drama site.
    • Gaia Online: An extremely popular anime forum in 4chan's early days. Early 4chan users hated them before it was cool to hate Reddit. A 4chan poster was in danger of being called a "gaiafag" if they posted with a tripcode/username or worse, "avatarfagged" with an anime/manga character (consistently "signed" their posts with images of a single character, as if it were their avatar on a traditional forum).
    • LiveJournal: Livejournal was a popular free blogging platform. Chan posters sharing too much personal information might apologize by saying "thank you for reading my livejournal".
    • Rapidshare: The top file sharing platform of 4chan’s early days. This was also the most common platform for archiving threads before 4chanarchive.org came around.
    • Reddit: Started in 2005. In its early days, Reddit was a hangout for IT guys who loved XKCD. By 2007, /prog/ was already telling posters to "go back to reddit". The phrase became commonplace on other boards around 2012, when Reddit surpassed 4chan’s post traffic (it is now much larger than 4chan, and has lost the character of its early days).
    • Something Awful: A ~fringe comedy website with a popular general-purpose paywalled forum, created in 1999. The forum grew to overshadow the "front page" content. A lot of iconic original internet content of the 2000s has its roots here, and a lot of internet comedians and journalists made their bones with front page contributions, or were otherwise active on the forums. Moot was an underage member here when he announced the creation of 4chan on Oct. 1st, 2003, as an alternative place to discuss anime (actually, share hentai). The site's attitude towards 4chan in its early years was largely one of bitter disgust for its acceptance of extra-heinous forms of hentai (see "ADTRW: Pedo Free Since '07") and its often underage, unjaded userbase. The forums had accumulated about 20 million posts by late 2004 and were surpassed by 4chan in total post count around 2007 or 2008. By 2010, SA's biggest hits were in the rearview. The last front page post was in 2020, and although I wouldn't call the forums dead, I'd be surprised if new signups covered the hosting fees.
    • Wikichan: An early 4chan-oriented wiki. First hosted at etherchan.org, then wikichan.org. Died in 2007.
  • Hacktivism: Hacking, live online-organized protests, raids.
    • Chanology: Project Chanology was a massive online pushback against the Church of Scientology which inspired multiple real-life protests, starting in early 2008. The first thread (that I could find) in the archive dates to Jan. 16, with the iconic "Message to Scientology" Youtube video coming a few days later, on Jan. 21. This movement, which was extremely popular on 4chan but mostly coordinated on other sites, drew a massive amount of (generally positive) media attention to 4chan. It built off of many years of opposition to the Church by the Lisa McPherson Trust organization and others (the anti-scientology documentarian Mark Bunker became "Wise Beard Man" on 4chan). The Guy Fawkes masks worn by protesters at the live protests outside regional scientology headquarters became the media’s go-to symbol for hacking in the years that followed. The media attention also made "Anonymous" a household name.
      • Guy Fawkes mask: A mask design inspired by those worn by V in the 1980s graphic novel and 2006 (March 17th United States release) film V for Vendetta. These became one of the most iconic symbols of "hacktivism" to the present day, after seeing widespread use at early 2008 Chanology protests. The movie and mask became the source of multiple memes on 4chan almost from day one. A popular copypasta identifying /b/ with the story (sometimes including an edit of the mask) was first posted on March 24 at the latest, about a week after the film’s release. This meme and others (e.g. "REMEMBER REMEMBER THE FIFTH OF NOVEMBER", as seen in the 6666666 GET) were reposted hundreds of times in the first few months after the film’s release, and cemented the movie’s story/iconography in /b/’s consciousness. Then in September 2006, Epic Fail Guy put on the mask. EFG's popularity was such that by 2007, it had become a minor meme to call the Guy Fawkes mask the "EFG mask". At some point users began to post themselves wearing the mask, licensed versions of which were widely and cheaply available (with printable templates available online). Some apparently even wore V/EFG masks as part of 4chan-themed cosplay at meetups and cons (e.g. with a suit and afro). By November 2007, at least one Guy Fawkes-masked demonstrator had been captured in the wild (wearing the costume as an anti-government message), at a Ron Paul event in Pennsylvania. They probably started appearing at Chanology protests (where most participants wore some kind of mask for anonymity's sake) on day one (or close to it), in mid-January 2008. The choice Chanology protesters made to wear the masks en masse mirrors a scene in the film where thousands of Londoners dressed in V's costume flood the city streets.
    • Habbo Hotel raids: A 2006 trolling of Habbo Hotel users/mods. Probably the earliest widely-publicized "raid" by 4chan users.
    • Sarah Palin email "hack": In September 2008, someone on 4chan guessed Sarah Palin's email credentials and posted screencaps of her inbox on /b/. The "hacker" was quickly identified as the son of a Tennessee politician. Moot testified at his trial in 2010. Original thread here.
  • Original content: Endless. Here are some better-known, or more interesting examples.
    • ARGs: Alternate Reality Games, a genre of social puzzle games, sometimes taking the form of "interactive creepypastas".
      • Cicada 3301: This famous puzzle-solving game (or recruiting stunt, reminiscent of this) probably began on /b/ on January 4th/5th of 2012. A second set of threads was posted on /b/ and /x/ in 2013. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the 2012 or 2013 threads made it to chanarchive, but they were screencapped and pastebinned (2012 thread here, 2013 /b/ thread here).
      • Project 905 / Basin Hills Project / Operation Falcon Punch: A 2008 geohunt started on /b/, documented in detail on ED. Initial thread here, 1st package recovered in this post. Every post under the ARG organizer "Oversight"'s tripcode can be found here.
    • Creepypastas: See here for more. A lot of creepypastas are falsely or unverifiably attributed to 4chan (e.g. Herobrine, The Rake), the same way parody songs would be misattributed to Weird Al on music sharing sites back in the day.
      • Ben Drowned: At least the first thread of Jadusable’s famous 2010 serial creepypasta about a haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge was saved on 4chanarchive/chanarchive.
      • "God is dead" post: This post about the Soviets literally killing God  inspired the SCP universe’s "GOC".
      • The Grifter: A proto-suicidemouse.avi pasta about a spooky video that makes you go insane. Posted by user the_solipsist on /x/ on August 10, 2009.
      • The Holders: A numbered list of anomalous objects - proto-SCPs. For more information, see this article covering the topic in great detail. The earliest Holders post the author found was this.
      • Iodine Room Guy: A serial first-person narrative about weird nightmare monsters in anon’s trailer. He reports the light changing color to an "iodine brown". First post here, first dedicated thread (of a series) here.
      • Jeff the Killer: One of the best-known creepypastas, based on a much older spooky image. About a week after Sesseur’s original Youtube video was posted in October of 2008, a more detailed version of the pasta, distinct from the better-known 2011 and 2015 versions, was posted on /x/ by username "Killerjeff".
      • The Russian Sleep Experiment: This famous pasta about a sleep deprivation experiment performed on Russian prisoners might have originated from 4chan. An archived 2009 screenshot (predating the 2010 Creepypasta Wiki post) attaching a date, username (Orange Soda) and /x/ post number to the story can be found here (offsite).
      • SCP Foundation: The biggest collaborative creepypasta project, about a massive international organization which collects/imprisons "anomalous" objects and beasties. Began on /x/ in 2007. I’ll list just a few of the ones created on 4chan during the early days. You can go here for a more exhaustive list of SCPs originating from 4chan.
        • SCP-173: The inaugural SCP post. Describes a statue which will attack you if you look away. Probably inspired by the Doctor Who episode Blink, which aired earlier that month. The article used an iconic image of the art project "Untitled 2004" until relatively recently. Posters were already discussing a collaborative project (including the suggestion of a second SCP-398) and had in fact created a forum for discussing further developments under the name "Site 19" by the end of the first SCP thread (though it probably only ever received a handful of posts).
        • SCP-682: An iconic SCP. An unkillable, grumpy zombie lizard thing. Post.
        • SCP Editthis wiki: The first (widely-used?) iteration of an SCP wiki was created in 2008, collecting SCP concepts workshopped on 4chan from mid-2007 on, and was announced in this thread.
      • Smile Dog/smile.jpg/smile.dog/smile.jpeg: The creepypasta associated with this (older) spooky image of a demonic dog might have originated in in this January 2009 thread on /x/. This urban dictionary entry was written shortly after.
      • suicidemouse.avi: A creepypasta preceding the Youtube video, first posted to /x/ on October 22, 2009 by filler2001@gmail.com / Alexander Culafi. Archived on 4chanarchive (offsite link, NSFW ads warning: thread).
      • Troll pastas: Some creepypasta tropes were already so well-trodden by the mid-2000s that a new sub-genre of creepypastas - the troll pasta - was needed to mock them.
        • The Heron: A typical chain letter.
        • The Prince's Fresh Start: Inspired by the proliferation of over-complicated instructional or ritual copypastas (the “Bloody Mary” type). Post.
        • Regarding a place in France: Post.