Digital

I Told You About Stairs Bro, I Warned You Dog

Homestuck is a complicated topic to breach when it comes to cyberlore and memetic mutations. It at one point held the title of longest webcomic in existence, and as of 4/30.2015 totals over 9000 pages and nearly 18000 panels, and includes 158 animated movies that total 3 and a half hours of animation. The most notable part about the comic is the ease with which a fandom can spring up around it. It features many reused frames that call back to each other, lines said by completely unrelated characters with tweaked phrasing, and incorporation of memes originating from the fanbase in the canon material. In fact, much of the art used in the later parts webcomic and all of the music were not actually created by the writer, Andrew Hussie, but by fans of the comic who he later hired to work officially on Homestuck. It’s a classic example of the lines of authorship being blurred between creator and audience.

Early in the comic’s running, Hussie created a side comic that was written by one of the main characters in-universe, called Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. It is intentionally written to be “so bad it’s good.” with intentionally bad drawing, grammar, and nonsensical plot. The comic became a huge hit on the internet, and has contributed to the popularity of “meme comics.”

At one point in the story, one of the characters falls down some stairs while carrying a stack of video games, and the other yells the phrase, “i told you about stairs bro! i warned you dog!” after which the comic consists only of the first character continuously rolling down neverending stairs while the second shouts more warnings from off-panel. The second character never actually issued the initial warning as he claims, however.

Later, whenever anyone falls down anything, they yell out some mispelled variation of “IT KEEPS HAPPENING”.

This has since been referenced in countless other webcomics, memes, and regular communication among internet communities. Initially, this phrase was used exclusively as referencing someone falling down stairs, especially in unexpected situations, but later the phrasing came to encompass any kind of negative consequence resulting from not heeding another’s warning.

This phrasing has since infiltrated the vocabulary in the real world, even among people who had never known about the origin of the phrase. In the collection recorded here, BD and GT were having a conversation, and GT complained about having an issue with the notoriously buggy digital drawing tablet. GT said, “it keeps happening,” not intending to invoke the meme, but BD follows up with “I told you about tablet drivers, bro.”

When asked, BD admitted that he had heard of Homestuck, but never knew it had any relevance to the phrase or its origin, which he had seen in the context of reaction images on forums about completely unrelated subject matter.

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