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Family Guy's World of Warcraft Tribute Revives Leeroy Jenkins Meme

Leeroy Jenkins!


This April Fools' Day surprise was no prank. After teasing that it would incorporate a World of Warcraft joke into its April 1 episode, Family Guy fully embraced the MMORPG and the most famous meme it ever spawned.

After being forced to join the Coast Guard, Peter, Cleveland, and Joe find themselves in a gunfight with a bunch of terrorist frat boys--because, of course. It's then that Cleveland suggests they try "what's referred to as a Leeroy Jenkins." He's speaking, of course, of the 2003 World of Warcraft staged viral video in which a player named Leeroy Jenkins ran into a very difficult battle with little warning, causing the rest of his clan to follow behind and get slaughtered.

And, naturally, that's exactly what Cleveland does next. He rushes in, guns blazing and screaming "Leeroy Jenkins," as Peter and Joe follow him. Family Guy doesn't stop there, though. The show also temporarily drops its animation style and becomes a 3D-rendered World of Warcraft-style view, complete with health bars and potions, of the three.

In the ensuing fire, our heroes are quickly outgunned and retreat, only to run into dragons. "Where did they get dragons? These guys have magic," Peter says. Just like it played out in Warcraft, the plan leaves all three men dead as Cleveland explains, "This episode has a lot of internet things."

There's no doubt that the Leeroy Jenkins joke has been done to death over the last 15 years. However, Family Guy harnesses it in a pretty funny way and it's the commitment to detail that makes it work so well. Having Joe and Peter plan out their attack and crunch the numbers, just as Leeroy's clanmates did in the original video, is a great touch. Of course, it's still not as impressive as the World of Warcraft episode South Park did in 2006, but that would be quite a feat to top.

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