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Leeroy Jenkins is a character name for a player character created by Ben Schulz in Blizzard Entertainment's MMORPG World of Warcraft. The character became popular due to his role in a video which became an internet meme. Knowledge of the video has spread beyond the game's community and into other online and mainstream media.
The original video was released by a World of Warcraft player guild to video-sharing site Warcraftmovies on May 11, 2005. 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. (Notably, the plan was already deeply flawed even before Leeroy ruined it, containing several critical misunderstandings of the then-current game mechanics.)
The Internet meme started with the release of the video clip called A Rough Go 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. 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", was also much mimicked.
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." 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. Later, in December 2017, Schulz, along with Ben "Anfrony" Vinson, the cameraperson of the video, released the first take/dry run of the video. Regarding the video, Vinson stated, "We didn’t think anyone would believe it was real, we thought it was so obviously satire."
A "Leeroy Jenkins" Legendary card was later released in Blizzard's online card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, as part of the game's base ("Classic") set, and using the same art as that of the WoW TCG.
Upper Deck Entertainment released a World of Warcraft Miniatures game in late 2008, which included a Leeroy Jenkins figurine. As a reference to Leeroy's famous claim, the figure is seen holding a chicken leg in his left hand.
The August 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.
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. 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. Blizzard also added a "Leeroy Jenkins" card to their popular online card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. 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>.
Leeroy Jenkins went mainstream when he 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. 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.
- In the episode "Little Bad Voodoo Brother" of My Name Is Earl, Randy charges out to "fight thirty people at once" while shouting "Leeroy Jenkins!"
- In several episodes of Heroes Reborn, Miko and Ren shout out "Leeroy Jenkins!" as going into battle.
- In the episode "Last Night Gus" of Psych, protagonist Shawn affirms one Leeroy Jenkins to be their new prime suspect by yelling the name.
- In the episode "Veteran Guy" of Family Guy, Peter Griffin makes a plan to subdue some terrorists on a boat; however, Cleveland opts for a Leeroy Jenkins strategy and shouts "Leeroy Jenkins!" while rushing their foes, resulting in an extended clip that parodies the Jenkins video.
- In the book Armada, by Ernest Cline, the protagonist Zack Lightman is accused of being a Leeroy Jenkins by his friends in video game space dogfights. Later in the book he shouts "Leeroy Jenkins" while committing a headlong assault referencing the same character from the Blizzard universe.
- In the episode "Chapter 5: Do Your Job" of Barry, Tyler ignores Barry's plans and jumps into a room of henchmen while yelling "Leeroy Jenkins!"
- 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.
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- Joel Warner. "The Legend of Leeroy Jenkins".
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- Pearson, Craig (August 2005). "The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins". PC Gamer UK.
- Amanda Miller (2008-10-14). "Five easy achievements you can snag right now". WoWInsider. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy...?". Wowhead.
- 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.
- Jeopardy! November 16, 2005. Jeopary! round: Computer gaming category - 1000$. J! Archive. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- Chamberlain, Robert (June 19, 2009). "Let's Do This! Leeroy Jenkins and the American way of advising". Retrieved 2009-06-19. (registration required)
- "WoW Archivist: The legacy of Leeroy Jenkins". Engadget. AOL.
- "Review: 'Heroes Reborn' Feels Like NBC Drunk-Dialing an Old Ex". ScreenCrush.
- "Leeroy Jenkins, Yes That Leeroy Jenkins Gets a Prime Time Name Check". Kotaku.
- Hayner, Chris (April 2, 2018). "Family Guy Goes Full World Of Warcraft With Leeroy Jenkins Scene". GameSpot. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- "Armada Quotes by Ernest Cline(page may vary as liked)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
- Bramesco, Charles (April 22, 2018). "Barry Recap: Shakespeare's Whiff". Vulture. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- "Inside Combat Rescue with Leeroy Jenkins". Archived from the original on 2017-07-23.
- on YouTube