|May 21, 2005|
The O RLY? YTMND is the spawn of the "O RLY?" owl of Internet Meme fame. The origins of this particular fad come from 4chan as a response to posts that were difficult to believe, non-sequitur, nonsensical, or drew skepticism. The phrase itself likely originated in the Something Awful FYAD forum, while the snowy owl image originated at 4chan.
Origins and Fad Structure
The original O RLY YTMND was created on May 21, 2005 by limecat402. It is only one of three YTMNDs he has made to date, but it is probably the most prolific YTMND to date due to its cult-status as an internet phenomenon.
A typical, basic O RLY YTMND consists of a wide-eyed Snow Owl with the phrase O RLY? juxtapositioned beneath it.
The phrase O RLY is internet shorthand for oh really, and is typically used to mock AOL users or used as a response to a non-sequitur. This use is very similar to I Love Lamp, which is used when someone adds something particularly useless to a discussion.
Expansions upon the original phenomenon include a Great Horned Owl emblazoned with the words "YA RLY!" in response to the Snowy Owl, and a third owl with the exclamation "NO WAI!".
At this point, there there are hundreds, if not thousands, of permutations of this internet meme. The ease with which this kind of YTMND can be created (read: a quick MSPaint job) cause widespread use and abuse of the O RLY fad.
The most popular song choices for the fad includes "Rock Lobster" by The B-52s and "Popcorn" by the M & H Band, the latter being a remake of the original "Popcorn". Both songs are on the YTMND Soundtrack (Rock Lobster on Volume 4 and Popcorn on Volume 5). Recently, a newer rave version of "Popcorn" by Gucci has become popular.
In the second alternate universe, YesYes, there's three variants.
- "4 RL?" "4 SUR" "GT OWT!" with fishes, accompained by Basement Jaxx' Where's Your Head At?. 
- "how do u no?" "coz i no" "STFUG!" with squirrels, together with TechnoMadness' remixed Tetris theme. 
- "SRSLY?" "YA SRSLY" "WTF!?" with dogs and an edited Popcorn theme. 
Many different universes have been made, but none of them are "official".
-  has got "lol srsly?" "YA SRSLY" "OMGWTFBBQ" with turtles, and music by Gasolina.
-  's version is "SRSLY?" "OF CORZ" "U DONT SAI!" with seals, accompanied with Mark The 45 King's The 900 Number.