Joke: “Yorick walks into a bar. There is no counter”
In the online video game League of Legends, five players play against another team of five players. Players choose a specific character to take into battle before the game starts, Yorick being one of them. The original meaning of this wordplay is that it is impossible to counter Yorick – at least at the time.
The informant is my younger brother. He is an avid player of the game, playing on a daily basis. He said the joke in self-deprecation after a losing a game against a player who used Yorick. When I asked him where the joke was from, he said that he first heard the joke in game back in 2012, when Yorick was a strong character to use. He added that because the joke got very popular around the game’s community, it is still used when complaining about characters that are too strong.
The example presented is pertinent as the joke was powerful enough to create other variants, such as:
“Jax walks into a bar. There is no counter.” (another character that was very strong at one point)
The meaning of the message is quite clear: The performer of this joke acknowledges that a certain character is too powerful through the use of witty language. Unsurprisingly, the joke is now commonly referenced throughout the community whenever something seems too strong. As a joke that has reached idiomatic levels of acceptance in its folk community, its influence is well demonstrated.