Leeroy Jenkins

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Leeroy Jenkins is a player character created by Ben Schulz in Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG World of Warcraft. The character became popular in 2005 from his role in a viral video of game footage where, having been absent during his group's discussion of a meticulous plan, Leeroy returns and ruins it by charging straight into combat while shouting his own name as a battle cry. The video capturing the character's behavior became an Internet meme. As a result of positive reception to the meme, Blizzard subsequently added Leeroy Jenkins into World of Warcraft as an official non-player character and as a minion card and later as a hero in the online card game Hearthstone.

Video[edit]

The original video was released by the World of Warcraft player guild "Pals for Life"[1] to video-sharing site Warcraftmovies on May 11, 2005.[2] The video features a group of players discussing a detailed battle plan for their next encounter while Leeroy is away from his computer, preparing a plate of chicken. This plan is intended to help Leeroy obtain a piece of armor from the boss monsters, but is ruined when Leeroy himself returns and, ignorant of the strategy, immediately rushes headlong into battle shouting his own name in a stylized battle cry. His companions rush to help, but Leeroy's actions ruin the detailed plan and all the members of the group are killed.

The Internet meme started with the release of the video clip called A Rough Go[3] to the World of Warcraft game forum in a thread titled "UBRS (vid) Rookery Overpowered! blue plz.", which presented the video in a serious context.[4] The thread requested that other players provide help with strategy and that Blizzard reduce the difficulty of the encounter. The video spread as an Internet meme, and Leeroy's response to the other players' chastisements, "at least I have chicken",[3] was also much mimicked.

Origin[edit]

Ben Schulz, player of Leeroy Jenkins, at the 2007 BlizzCon

When in April 2008 he was asked about his actions in the video by National Public Radio, Ben Schulz said the players "were drinking 40s and just yelling at each other."[5] As time went on, some began suggesting that the video may have been staged. Schulz had refused to confirm or deny whether the video was staged.[3] Later, in December 2017, Schulz, along with Ben "Anfrony" Vinson, the cameraman of the video, released what he described as a first take/dry run of the video.[6] Regarding the video, Vinson stated, "We didn’t think anyone would believe it was real, we thought it was so obviously satire."[7]

Merchandise[edit]

The character was included as a card within the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game released on October 25, 2006, with art by Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade fame.[8] A "Leeroy Jenkins" Legendary card was later released in Blizzard's online card game Hearthstone, as part of the game's base ("Classic") set,[9][10] using the same art as that of the WoW Trading Card Game.[11]

Upper Deck Entertainment released a World of Warcraft Miniatures game in fall 2008, which included a Leeroy Jenkins figurine.[12]

Reaction[edit]

The May 2005 issue of PC Gamer UK featured an article on the video, titled "The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins". The article took the position that the video was designed as a negative commentary on the kind of "nerd-guilds" whose members fastidiously plan raids with all the seriousness of actual military tacticians. They added that they felt Leeroy is the hero acting against the geekiness of his guild.[13]

Blizzard eventually paid tribute to Leeroy within World of Warcraft itself creating the achievement "Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy!", which awards the title of "Jenkins" to players who kill 50 of the rookery whelps from the video within 15 seconds.[14] Also, in the new expansion Warlords of Draenor, Leeroy returns as a non-player character and will join the player's garrison if they help him find the Devout Shoulders he was seeking in the video.[15] Blizzard also added a "Leeroy Jenkins" card to their popular online card game Hearthstone.[16] When entering the battlefield, Leeroy gives his famous battle cry. While attacking, he says "Time's up, let's do this!" And when he dies, he says, "At least I have chicken." In addition, the adventure mode "Blackrock Mountain" added a new game board themed on the mountain. In the bottom right section, there is a pink tabard with a white heart lying on the ground, a reference to the guild Leeroy was in, <PALS FOR LIFE>. In March 2022, Leeroy Jenkins debuted as a playable mercenary character in Hearthstone's Mercenaries game mode.[17]

Leeroy Jenkins was mentioned as part of a clue on the November 16, 2005, episode of the game show Jeopardy! as part of their college week tournament, though no contestant rang in.[18] The meme spread further in 2009 when the Armed Forces Journal published an article titled "Let's Do This!: Leeroy Jenkins and the American Way of Advising". The article, by Capt. Robert M Chamberlain links Jenkins to the American approach to advising the indigenous armed forces in Iraq.[19] Although Leeroy Jenkins is not an official character created by Blizzard, IGN acknowledged the character's iconic status and ranked him 10th place on their list of best Blizzard characters in 2017, and noted that he represents the crossing of a line which typically separates a game’s content and its community.[20]

Other appearances[edit]

  • In the episode "Little Bad Voodoo Brother" of My Name Is Earl in 2008, Randy charges out to "fight thirty people at once" while shouting "Leeroy Jenkins!"[21][failed verification]
  • In the episode "Murtaugh" of How I Met Your Mother in 2009, Barney uses the quote using his name instead of Leeroy Jenkins.[22][23]
  • The home media release of the 2009 film Year One includes a bonus feature titled Leeroy Jenkins: The Gates of Sodom, featuring the cast recreating the video.[24][failed verification]
  • In the episode "Last Night Gus" of Psych in 2011, protagonist Shawn affirms one Leeroy Jenkins to be their new prime suspect by yelling the name.[25][failed verification]
  • The United States Air Force Pararescue (PJs) use this sound bite to notify them of an upcoming medevac mission on the show Inside Combat Rescue in 2013.[26][self-published source]
  • In several episodes of Heroes Reborn (2015-2016), Miko and Ren shout out "Leeroy Jenkins!" as going into battle.[27][failed verification]
  • In the episode "Chapter 5: Do Your Job" of the TV show Barry (2018), an ex-Marine named Taylor jumps into a firefight while yelling "Leeroy Jenkins".[28]
  • In the episode "Veteran Guy" of Family Guy, several characters find themselves in a gunfight with terrorists, when Cleveland suggests "what's referred to as a Leeroy Jenkins" and runs in shooting while shouting "Leeroy Jenkins".[29]
  • In the fifth season episode "Back From the Future—Part Two" of Supergirl, the character Brainy utters the Leeroy Jenkins battle-cry to distract the Lexosuits.
  • In the season two episode "Rupture" of The Flash, the superhero Cisco shouts "Leeroy!" while helping Barry Allen apprehend two enemies.
  • The video game Guild Wars features a character named "Kilroy Stonekin" who charges headlong into battle while shouting his own name.[30]
  • In the season one, episode six of The Terminal List, a trap is set by James Reece. When the trap is triggered can be heard "Ok let's do this. Leeroy Jenkins!".
  • In season four of "Phineas and Ferb" in the 25th episode named "The Klimpaloon Ultimatum" the kids make a plan to enter a building, Buford starts rushing in while screaming his name and Phineas say the same "stick to the plan" as in the video. After being caught Buford said "I used gamer strategy"
  • In chapter six of the Japanese manga "Isekai Yakkyoku" on the final page, Empress Elizabeth II challenges Falma de Medici to a duel for the throne once he masters the devine arts, to which he declares "AARGH! The Empress is a total Leeroy Jenkins!"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Messner, Steven (May 11, 2020). "Leeroy Jenkins, World of Warcraft's greatest meme, turns 15 today". PC Gamer. Retrieved August 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Warcraftmovies user "Leeroy" (May 11, 2005). "Leeroy!!". Retrieved May 11, 2017. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ a b c Joel Warner (March 8, 2007). "The Legend of Leeroy Jenkins". Archived from the original on January 18, 2015. Retrieved December 10, 2010.
  4. ^ Abduhl (May 10, 2005). "WoW BlueTracker: UBRS (vid) Rookery Overpowered! blue please". Retrieved September 18, 2009.
  5. ^ "My ROFLCon Weekend: Breakfast with Tron Guy". The Bryant Park Project. National Public Radio.
  6. ^ Anf Pal (December 22, 2017), Leeroy Jenkins First Take/Dry Run (NEW), archived from the original on December 19, 2021, retrieved December 26, 2017
  7. ^ Schreier, Jason (December 25, 2017). "The Makers Of 'Leeroy Jenkins' Didn't Think Anyone Would Believe It Was Real". Kotaku. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  8. ^ Ziebart, Alex (June 28, 2011). "WoW Archivist: The legacy of Leeroy Jenkins". Engadget. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021.
  9. ^ Marshall, Cass (March 25, 2021). "Hearthstone's 2014-era Classic mode is now live". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 25, 2021.
  10. ^ Mejia, Ozzie (March 17, 2020). "Hearthstone sends Leeroy to Hall of Fame, reworks Priest class". Shacknews. Archived from the original on October 24, 2020.
  11. ^ Deschamps, Marc (May 11, 2020). "World of Warcraft's Leeroy Jenkins Video Celebrates 15th Anniversary". ComicBook. ViacomCBS. Archived from the original on May 19, 2020.
  12. ^ Miller, Amanda (February 8, 2008). "A closer look at the WoW miniatures". Engadget. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021.
  13. ^ Pearson, Craig (August 2005). "The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins". PC Gamer UK.
  14. ^ Amanda Miller (October 14, 2008). "Five easy achievements you can snag right now". WoWInsider. Retrieved October 16, 2008.
  15. ^ "Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy...?". Wowhead.
  16. ^ Clark, Tim (November 12, 2014). "Time's up for Leeroy Jenkins as Blizzard finally nerf him and Starving Buzzard". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
  17. ^ "22.6 Patch Notes".
  18. ^ Jeopardy! November 16, 2005. Jeopary! round: Computer gaming category - 1000$. J! Archive. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  19. ^ Chamberlain, Robert (June 19, 2009). "Let's Do This! Leeroy Jenkins and the American way of advising". Archived from the original on June 10, 2020. Retrieved June 19, 2009. (registration required)
  20. ^ "Top 25 Best Blizzard Characters". IGN. November 3, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2021.
  21. ^ Ziebart, Alex (June 28, 2011). "WoW Archivist: The legacy of Leeroy Jenkins". Engadget. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021.
  22. ^ "How I Met Your Mother - "Murtaugh" (Trivia)".
  23. ^ Leroy Jenkins - Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother – via YouTube.
  24. ^ Perkins, Robert. "Year One". Game Vortex. Archived from the original on October 10, 2009. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  25. ^ Crecente, Brian (October 25, 2011). "Leeroy Jenkins, Yes That Leeroy Jenkins Gets a Prime Time Name Check". Kotaku. Archived from the original on July 10, 2020.
  26. ^ "Inside Combat Rescue with Leeroy Jenkins". Slightly Qualified. March 29, 2013. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017.
  27. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (September 24, 2015). "Review: 'Heroes Reborn' Feels Like NBC Drunk-Dialing an Old Ex". ScrenCrush. Townsquare Media. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015.
  28. ^ Bramesco, Charles (April 22, 2018). "Barry Recap: Shakespeare's Whiff". Vulture. Archived from the original on April 23, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  29. ^ Hayner, Chris (April 2, 2018). "Family Guy Goes Full World Of Warcraft With Leeroy Jenkins Scene". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  30. ^ Guild Wars: Eye of the North Manuscript (PDF). ArenaNet and NC Interactive. 2007. p. 4.

External links[edit]