Bait and Switch; What you need to know about Rick-rolling.

Rodrigo Silva
Nov 3, 2017 · 2 min read

When creating his hit single “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Rick Astley would have never guessed that his song would be one of the biggest “troll” songs in the world for decades to come. Released in 1987, this hit song “was a worldwide number-one hit, initially in the singer’s native United Kingdom in 1987, where it stayed at the top of the chart for five weeks and was the best-selling single of that year.”

3 DECADES later, the hit song is still relevant and almost as popular as ever, but now in a different way. For those who have never been “Rick-rolled”, count your blessings.

Heres how it works:

“Rick-rolling” is perhaps the most famous “bait and switch” meme on the internet today.” Someone will send you a link with a interesting title, or perhaps disguised as your favourite song and you will be more excited than ever to open that link. This is where the plot twist occurs.

Once you click on that link, it will re-direct you to the Youtube page for “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and this is when you will feel as dumb as ever because you just got Rick-rolled!!! So instead of watching a video of perhaps your favourite song or “cute puppies” that you thought your friend was nice enough to send you, instead all you get is Rick Astley.

How did this trend begin?

It is said that “Rick-rolling” first began on an online message board called “4Chan.” Users would post click-bait titles in attempts to draw people into their sites, but when clicked, it would lead to the user getting Rick-rolled. What made it so popular was when “a poster on 4chan claimed to have a link to a trailer for the still unreleased video game, ‘Grand Theft Auto 4,’ but it instead turned out to be a link to the music video for Rick Astley’s beautiful tune.” Given the fact that this game was so highly anticipated, it became a worldwide trend and trolled millions around the world.

30 Years later and the trend still continues and doest look like its going to stop anytime soon. For those interested in learning more on the history of “Rick-rolling” check out the following link….


You can find the actual link here.

Rodrigo Silva

Written by

Ryerson University | EID 100 |

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