Let's play a MetaFilter search game February 10, 2022 11:39 AM   Subscribe

The rules are simple:
1. Think of something—a notable person, tech product, cultural phenomenon, et cetera—that has attained fame, achieved prominence within the zeitgeist, and/or become a normal, everyday part of our lives at some point over the course of the past 20 some-odd years.
2. Plug your word or phrase into an All Sites search (sorted by date) and scroll down to find the earliest on-site mention of that concept—via comment or post.
3. Post any interesting results to this thread. posted by Atom Eyes to MetaFilter-Related at 11:39 AM (65 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I want you all to know I was veryveryveryveryvery tempted to "innocently" choose "cats" as my search term......
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:45 AM on February 10, 2022 [7 favorites]

Nice job, except Fabregas is better than Messi.
posted by wfc123 at 1:11 on March 23, 2006

That's one for the "aged well" bucket.
posted by Kattullus at 12:34 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

August 19, 2002 2:39 AM - posted by alms
"Apple is at work on the iPhone"
posted by alchemist at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2022 [11 favorites]

The Segway, seems to be first mentioned by name Dec 2, 2001.
'It', or 'Ginger' is finally here.
But first reference to "IT" seems to be Jan. 9, 2001:
What is "IT"?
posted by chococat at 1:00 PM on February 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

This wasn't quite the first mention of this person, but the date it was posted makes it particularly noteworthy:

'bin Laden'
posted by geoff. at 6:30 PM on September 10, 2001
Really, you know I hear Bin Laden sends secret, covert messages over boards like this...
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:34 PM on February 10, 2022 [6 favorites]

(not sure I'm doing this right)
posted by dg at 2:04 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh just noticed the beans comment was actually by plinth oops!
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 2:19 PM on February 10, 2022

I know this has been highlighted other times. It's one of my favorites -

Gotye , who most of us know from 2011's Somebody That I Used to Know
Check out Gotye (pronounced like Gaultier the designer) he's an up and coming aussie artist, a little like portishead, but really very good... his song "Hearts a mess" has a great new filmclip too.
myspace: www.myspace.com/gotye
posted by jonathanstrange at 23:11 on January 29, 2007
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:32 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

If you're in college, The Facebook opened this year and is pretty much awesome. It lets you look at people in your school, search via classes, etc...
posted by swank6 at 2:18 on July 21, 2004
posted by knapah at 2:54 PM on February 10, 2022 [10 favorites]


Money doesn't grow on trees.
May 18, 2011

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency. Trading at eight dollars this week—and being used to pay for everything from freelance programming jobs to magic mushrooms—it has been described as “the most dangerous open-source project ever created” and “an unambiguous challenge to the government monopoly on the power to print money.” Estimated at over 20 petaFLOPS the Bitcoin network is currently the fastest virtual supercomputer in the world.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:54 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

The first comment mentioning coronavirus is something...

"The other really scary thing about SARS is that it seems to be transmitted very easily. The thinking now is that it might be a coronavirus, one family of viruses that causes the common cold. Think how easy it is to catch a cold from someone. Hell, most people get colds once or twice a year. Now, imagine that instead of being a trivial illness, that cold can kill you...

The public health authorities, IMO, seriously underestimated the transmissibility of this bug in the early stages, and I said so, here, two weeks ago. Cases in Hong Kong are still rising rapidly; cases in the US are still rising, but more slowly. This outbreak has not yet been contained.

We may have to undergo some draconian measures to contain this thing: mass home quarantines; locked-down hospitals.

I don't think we can predict right now whether the toll of SARS is going to be worse than that of the Iraq war. But it definitely has the potential to be. This is one bad, bad, BAD bug. Don't underestimate it."
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:27 on April 1, 2003

posted by knapah at 2:59 PM on February 10, 2022 [20 favorites]

The first occurrence of “dumpster fire” in its current idiomatic usage seems to be, appropriately, in a dumpster fire of a thread about gender bias.
I don't think anyone from G4 is funny...the entire channel is a dumpster fire.
posted by GavinR at 10:27 AM on July 7, 2010
posted by mubba at 3:15 PM on February 10, 2022

First result for Joe Biden, October 2001: Did Biden just kill his chance to run for president in 2004?

Amused by this comment from the thread: “Biden's name looks too much like Bin Laden for him to win.”
posted by mbrubeck at 3:42 PM on February 10, 2022 [10 favorites]

First mention of Netflix, from April 2001: Post Office May End Saturday Delivery. “A week ago it might not have seemed important, but now... do they really expect me to wait all weekend for my netflix?”
posted by mbrubeck at 3:46 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

June 2009: Minecraft
  • I dug down until I hit water and now I'm stuck in an underground lake. Help!
  • I was hoping that you'd have to mine for gold or other resources to build stuff, but this turned out not to be the case. This game should be called Digcraft (or Digcruft) instead of Minecraft.
  • Why not just use Sauerbraten? If it seems to complex, you can use Cube. Both are more capable and robust.
  • its not the fanciest of games, and i dont know if ill pay for it when the time comes for that, but it is strangely satisfying to build stuff.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:00 PM on February 10, 2022

Mocata struck early with a Boris Johnson FPP way back in June 2001.
posted by biffa at 4:04 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

March 31, 2004: gmail

“hopefully it's not just an April Fools prank”
posted by mbrubeck at 4:12 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

I remember I looked up YouTube this way years ago but nowadays I get this message:

Your query used a very common word or phrase that appears across hundreds of thousands of posts and comments on the site. You might try searching again by adding a few more words to your query. If you're looking for a specific phrase, you might try your search at Yahoo! or Google.
posted by cgc373 at 4:52 PM on February 10, 2022

March 31, 2004: gmail
“hopefully it's not just an April Fools prank”

Man, I remember this and the resulting trading of invitations early adopters had been given for various 'favours'. It seems like a lifetime ago.
posted by dg at 5:18 PM on February 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

Tumblr was founded in February 2007, and MeFi was ready with the first snark in April.

(That rabbithole led to learning about the term tumblelogs, which predates Tumblr by a few years.)
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:23 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Also, the term FOMO was popularized starting in 2004, but we didn't see it around these parts until 2009 or so. Guess we missed out on it there.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 5:32 PM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]


First overt use (where it's put in quotation marks): August 13, 2013
Is it possible 2 have 2 much fun?

Pre-dated by an appearance in a linked URL: January 5, 2013
When is a unicorn like a garden?"
posted by bixfrankonis at 5:45 PM on February 10, 2022

Metafilter: Trump breaks the search engine.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:25 PM on February 10, 2022

An Aphex Twin video with an argumentative MeTa about doubles might be the earliest YouTube link.
posted by cgc373 at 6:42 PM on February 10, 2022

The first use of "Game of Thrones" was in September 2001, in a thread on a Harry Potter book winning the Hugo.

On the other hand, immediately after, I plowed through the first book in the Song of Fire and Ice series. It wasn`t bad, but it just didn`t leave me with a motivation to read any more. So if Storm of Swords is like Game of Thrones, give me Harry Potter any day.
posted by mark k at 7:52 PM on February 10, 2022


If you're in college, The Facebook opened this year and is pretty much awesome. It lets you look at people in your school, search via classes, etc...
posted by swank6 at 9:18 PM on July 20, 2004
posted by clavdivs at 10:09 PM on February 10, 2022

I chose Sesame Street because I want to work for Sesame Workshop so badly.

Egyptian Sesame Street Gender Relations "Khokha, the program’s star, is a very curious pink and fluffy Muppet with dark hair. She wants to become a pilot, a doctor and an engineer — all at the same time."

posted to MeFi by Zosia Blue at 8:46 AM on June 7, 2000 (!)
posted by The Adventure Begins at 12:14 AM on February 11, 2022

I'm afraid that MeFi was slow to get on board with the cultural phenom that was the fidget spinner. Its first mention being right at the peak of its May 2017 moment in the sunshine.
posted by biffa at 1:57 AM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

posted by h00py at 3:27 AM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

The rules are simple:
1. Think of something—

woah, Woah, WOAH!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:21 AM on February 11, 2022 [6 favorites]

A streaming music application that provides full on demand playing. Available in ad-supported (30s twice per hour) free mode or premium mode (~$15 per month).

And it wouldn't be a proper startup if you didn't get the mandatory "this is going to change the world" video
Spotify October 7 2008

there's no way joe can ever escape being the guy who makes his own duct tape.
Joe Rogan December 13 2000
posted by donnagirl at 5:25 AM on February 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

First mention of emoji, from an AskMe comment in 2008:

"...The Japanese version of emoticons (kaomoji or "face-marks") does seem to be more popular, particularly with some population groups (interestingly they get used a lot by older Japanese!). Also, emoticons on cell phones (emoji) tend to be quite popular in Japan..." — posted by DiscourseMarker at 6:26 PM on May 28, 2008
posted by oulipian at 5:47 AM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

The first mention of Napster is a mathowie post from October 29, 1999:

"If you haven't heard of Napster yet, check it out. This is a killer tool, a combination mp3 player and file transfer client/server. While you play mp3s, other users can download songs from your library, while you do the same from their libraries. This is a great idea but must be a nightmare for the recording industry. This could be a really cool community tool, if everyone is generous with their music." — posted by mathowie

(The single comment on that post is also great!)
posted by oulipian at 5:55 AM on February 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

Not to mention, all puns intended, by whom.
posted by y2karl at 6:55 AM on February 11, 2022



Can anyone remember a sexy scene at a Metafilter party?
posted to MetaTalk by MiguelCardoso at 9:00 PM on August 30, 2006 - 48 comments
posted by michaelh at 9:40 AM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

WOW - some of the comments on the first iPhone post. A lot has changed in 20 years...
posted by davidmsc at 11:29 AM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah I appreciate the spirit of the contest but, yikes, so many of these I wish I had never seen.
posted by curious nu at 11:33 AM on February 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh, man! I wrote a similar (but less creative) MeTa on this in 2019 and I have a half-constructed FPP in my drafts folder about it for Doubles Jubilee. A good lesson on procrastination.

My favorite: "You want a health related hero making real change? I may be a trifle early, but try Elizabeth Holmes."
posted by AgentRocket at 11:53 AM on February 11, 2022 [9 favorites]

My favorite: "You want a health related hero making real change? I may be a trifle early, but try Elizabeth Holmes."

That's great. Especially in the context of an Ebola discussion, as she was at that time trying to convince the FDA she could detect Ebola at less than 5 copies / mL in a sample of .1 mL--which is to say, detect half a virus, which is not how viral detection works. (No disrespect to the commenter; she was still flying high then of course.)

How we react to 'tech entrepeneurs' has definitely chanced. We're more likely to view them as fraudsters by default. Made me look up Elon Musk, the first comments are anodynely positive but the first FPP (2007) is more compelling, with basically just "Elon for president" and "this is why private industry is great!" comments.
posted by mark k at 12:12 PM on February 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

Sarah Palin:

From a broader political perspective, Alaska is tacking hard blue this cycle. Stevens was already losing to Anchorage mayor Mark Begich by 9 points in his re-election campaign. The once-unstoppable Governor Sarah Palin, who was a leading candidate for McCain's veep, fired the state police commissioner for refusing to fire her sister's ex-husband. Rep. Don Young (AK-At large) belongs in the same jail cell as Stevens, the dude is as dirty as they come. He'll be ousted by House minority leader Ethan Berkowitz (D) if he doesn't get primaried first.

And Obama is within 5 points of McCain in this typically deep-red state. Add Barr's name to the ballot and it's a tied ballgame.

(Obama would go on to lose Alaska to McCain by 22 points)
(And Don Young is still in Congress)
posted by General Malaise at 12:55 PM on February 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

A lot of people who first learned about TikTok in, oh, 2019 or 2020 might be surprised to learn that the first compilation of TikToks (then knows as musical.lys) on metafilter was posted way back in 2017. As nicwolff put it,
I got turned on to musical.ly a year ago by my 12-year-old niece and I've been wondering when the first muser would get recognized outside the platform for mastery of its limited but weirdly liberating cinematographic tools.
posted by mosst at 1:15 PM on February 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

The iPhone discussion is delightful. I hope those Mefites of yore are still out there enjoying their Hiptops and legal pads.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:43 PM on February 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

I tried "mashup."

Apparently, "it's some schmuck taking credit for mixing two songs together."
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:32 PM on February 11, 2022

Dammit, There Is No Cabal.
posted by harmful at 11:37 AM on May 16, 2000
posted by clavdivs at 7:44 PM on February 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

A search for "sanitizer" brought up this very strange AskMeta question.

I'm having a gathering, and a really strange woman has declared that she'll be there wearing a face mask, rubber gloves, and wielding hand sanitizers. How can I politely tell her I don't want her there?

It gives me cognitive dissonance reading the answers from today's perspective. Also. Was this a time traveling guest?
posted by Zumbador at 5:38 AM on February 12, 2022 [12 favorites]

The first mention of Kanye West is a very 2004 comment in which someone brags about their diverse taste in music.

The first post about him is 'George Bush doesn't care about Black people.'
posted by box at 7:17 AM on February 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

first mention of Satan comes from the appropriately titled Metafilter => Hellfilter? ;-) from April-15-2000, which links to something no longer found ....


(Begone, Satan! Tempt me not with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poisoned cup yourself!).

First mention of Jesus predates that by exactly five months and comes from Matthowie himself

'Jesus Christ! How much is that new DVD player? Ok, just put it on my VISA card'

Also goes to a dead link. Should we be reading something into this?
posted by philip-random at 8:25 AM on February 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Looking at the final tags on a search that has too many results is strangely satisfying.
posted by Zumbador at 9:18 AM on February 12, 2022

I think loquacious is the first one to use the expression "overthinking a plate of beans", in April 2007.

This can't be true. Someone please tell me this isn't true.

I don't remember that post or comment at all but on re-reading it reads a lot like I'm doing that thing where I'm taking a known phrase and adding to it or bending it slightly in wordplay.

If it is true that's a hell of a weird place for the mefi "plate of beans" meme to originate from.
posted by loquacious at 9:33 AM on February 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

Don't worry, loquacious. The plate of beans came a week or so earlier and you were riffing.
posted by cgc373 at 9:58 AM on February 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh good, I don't want to be responsible for that one at all. That would be too weird, especially if I didn't remember coining it. I was experiencing some kind of serious Berenstein Bears Mandala Effect internet nostalgia whiplash for a few moments, there.
posted by loquacious at 10:05 AM on February 12, 2022

The first mention of Mike Pence was way back in 2003 (spoiler: he was already stupid).
posted by box at 11:33 AM on February 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

The first mention of Ghostface Killah comes late in a 2001 post about rap that... isn't great, but longtime user Big Fat Tycoon seems to be recommending Bulletproof Wallets on its release date.
posted by box at 11:46 AM on February 12, 2022

The Hamilton Mixtape
Tony Award nominated actor Lin-Manuel Miranda presents a rap about Alexander Hamilton from the perspective of Aaron Burr titled "The Hamilton Mixtape." This was performed at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word last May with Obama in the audience.
posted to MeFi by America at 7:14 PM on November 18, 2009 - 31 comments
posted by eirias at 4:22 AM on February 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

"Biden's name looks too much like Bin Laden for him to win.”

Can't find the headline now, but it involved a Chicago SWAT team sealing off a whole floor of Macy's Department Store after someone misheard someone else saying Macy's had a Sale On Bed Linen.

[I'll let myself out]
posted by mule98J at 6:30 AM on February 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

I request a pony by trox in the original longboat thread 9622.
posted by zenon at 11:52 AM on February 13, 2022 [1 favorite]


Earliest [Feb 5 2001]
Ending racism? This site contains several "exhibits" about race and racism. It makes a pretty non-controversial argument, that racism is evil. But what is racism? Ageism, sexism, ableism, "geneism" and classism all fit the bill put forth here. Can't putting all of these causes under one umbrella be counter productive? [more inside]
posted by [metafilter poster] (19 comments total) [add to favorites] [!]
[First comment] First off, let me say that I hope this thread does not turn into an argument about whether racism exists or not and whether or not white people should feel guilty. My issues with the [Ending Racism] site don't have much to do with what it says about skin color.

My biggest problem, of course, is the fact that it wants me to have IE 5.5 and the latest version of Flash. It's tough to fight any sort of battle if you don't let most of your potential audience see your message.
Next [8 Nov 2002]
"The oldest profession in the world". "The oldest profession in the world" gains a whole new meaning with this 57-year-old woman's spirited account, in The Spectator (est. 1858) no less, of her successful new career as a prostitute. I must admit a part of me said "Hooray! There's hope for us thirtysomethings yet" but the rest remained highly suspicious or (to be honest) whispered "How pathetic!" Is this ageism or are (much) older women really more attractive nowadays?
posted by [Metafilter Poster] (29 comments total) [add to favorites] 1 user marked this as a favorite [!]
[Second comment] ...
... Helen Mirren still looks great, by the way. I'd pay to have sex with her. Same for Susan Sarandon. :-) ...
posted by Thella at 1:08 AM on February 14, 2022

Cats in Scanners
posted by Oyéah at 4:21 PM on February 17, 2022


"...is anyone else a bit twitchily nervous that after the TV press hammered Russian President Vladimir Putin over his handling of the Kursk disaster, now the TV just happens to be knocked out? Oh, and that Putin is saying how this incident shows that the whole economy needs more "security"? Hmm..."

GYOB, aurelian!

Date/Time: August 28, 2000 4:04 AM
posted by symbioid at 3:05 PM on February 19, 2022

« Older [MeFi Site Update] February 9th   |   Food Blogs! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments