crazy i was crazy once

Scarlet Grunt/Youtube durantelallera/ShutterStock (Licensed)

“Crazy? I was crazy once”: History of a meme

Crazy? I was crazy once. They put me in a room…a rubber room.

 

Lindsey Weedston

Memes

“Crazy? I was crazy once” is a poem dating back to the early modern internet that became one of the first known online memes. It is also considered one of the earliest examples of “copypasta,” or a block of text often considered rambling, somewhere between odd and frighteningly incoherent, that people copy and paste into various situations for comedic effect.

Crazy? I was crazy once.
They put me in a room.
A rubber room.
A rubber room with rats.
They put me in a rubber room with rubber rats.
Rubber rats? I hate rubber rats.
They make me crazy.
Crazy? I was crazy once.
They put me in a room….

The poem, first spotted on the website Everything2.com (which is still operational), invokes a circular rant by someone who claims to have been put into inpatient mental health care with a number of rubber rats.

Original I was crazy once meme post.
3Suns/Everything2
A comic referencing the I was crazy once meme.
Ikimonopoly/Reddit

“Crazy? I was crazy once” origins

The first known citing of the poetic meme was way back in March 2002, months before the launch of MySpace. Some memes predate social media or even the internet itself, such as the Kilroy Doodle that proliferated during World War II. It was posted by a user of Everything2, a simple and open website in which anyone can submit any form of writing they wish, under the subsection titled “songs designed to annoy.”

Two cartoon characters with the I was crazy once poem in text over and over in the background.
SaintedDemon69/Reddit

“Everyone seems to have their own variation on this silly little annoyance,” the author commented. “Akin to The song that never ends.”

The original post can still be viewed to this day, and still has just one vote of “I find this cool” by a fellow Everything2 user.

While this is generally considered to be its origin, there have been claims of earlier online sightings. A Reddit user replied to a post on the meme in 2018 claiming that it was first seen in 1996 on alt.support.depression in a longer form that went into more detail about the mentally ill person’s stay in the “rubber room.”

Reddit comment claiming an earlier origin of the I was crazy once meme.
Faremir/Reddit

The poem itself likely existed before the internet, or at least in its modern form. Many people have examples of similar circular poems that they were taught as young children as they spread by word of mouth, the way memes used to.

Comment
byu/whatsabee from discussion
inOutOfTheLoop
Comment
byu/whatsabee from discussion
inOutOfTheLoop
Variation of the I was crazy once poem
briegonda/WordPress

“Crazy? I was crazy once” copypasta and spread

The “crazy? I was crazy once” poem may not have been widely considered an example of a meme until 2007, when a YouTuber by the name of Scarlet Grunt published a video of himself in a raccoon cap reciting the poem over and over, switching from bats to rats to mats as he circled, twitching and fidgeting in a stereotypical imitation of a “crazy” person.

The video has gained 2.9 million views in over 16 years, which isn’t a huge deal today, but it was considered quite popular in the early days of YouTube.

The term “copypasta” originated on 4chan in 2006, so the “I was crazy once” meme likely wasn’t referred to as such until after the YouTube video started to spread in 2007. Since then, the poem and its variations have surfaced randomly throughout the 2010s and in instances where people began to feel mentally unsettled.

The I was crazy once poem made out of songs on Spotify.
Squilliam/Spotify
I was crazy once Reddit post with a photo of Batman
Sillyguymanduder/Reddit
Gay version of the I was crazy once poem
ThisIsMyPassword100/Reddit
Magic the Gathering card for the I was crazy once meme
ill_MAGNITUDE/Reddit
Reddit post 'I was crazy once' meme with a screenshot of a room in a video game full of rats
Omega_kiwi204/Reddit

The meme has made its way from pre-social media days to early YouTube all the way to TikTok, where Generation Z is using it as an example of how to confuse and scare older generations.

@nightwingser

My first skit wow thats crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me in a room. A rubber room with rats. And rats make me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once. They locked me i #dc #dccomics #comic #comics #comictok #detectivecomics #skit #batman #brucewayne #batmanfamily #batfamily #batkids #richardgrayson #dckgrayson #nightwing #nightwingdc #jasontodd #redhood #redhooddc #timdrake #redrobin #redrobindc #stephaniebrown #spoilerdc #dukethomas #thesignaldc #batgirl #robin #robindc #crazyiwascrazyonce

♬ original sound – Finn
web_crawlr
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article

*First Published:

 
The Daily Dot