A more precise FAIL: “You Had One Job!”

by Hannah Rudow. 0 Comments

By now most of the internet is accused to “FAIL”, particularly in all caps, being used to denote particularly obvious situations of failure and conversely and “WIN” being used to caption brilliant triumphs. Since tragedy is inherently interesting, there are several other meme phrases that have the same implied meaning as FAIL. “You Had One Job” which implies that the way that the person or object only had one purpose or assigned task which they have in turn made into a huge FAIL. Most of the things captioned with “You Had One Job” could just be captioned as FAIL instead but get this for emphasis that it is a painful obvious FAIL which could have very easily been avoided if the person who flubbed it had been paying any attention at all.

“You Had One Job” became popular in use on memes on the site Reddit in 2011 according to Know Your Meme, and I happen to know that it has become part of common Meme language and is still in used in new memes. Commonly this caption involves messed up packaging or products, food, instillation of something, or the general ineptitude of an object or person.

I used to think that the origin of the phrase “You Had One Job” was from the TV show Drake and Josh (Season 4 Episode 10, “Tree House“) which came out in 2004. But now I know that the first mention of the phrase came in 2001 from the movie Ocean’s 11:

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In no particular order, here are my 15 favorite “You Had One Job” Memes:

1)  Shirts Hung the Wrong Way

2) Squiggly Road Line

3) Improperly Filled Taco

4) Toilet Seat Installed Wrong

5) Panel Put Back In the Sidewalk Sideways

6) Paper Plate + Pasta

7) Messed up Spout

8) What the Heck, Sink?

9) Unusable Remote

10) Corn in Peas Can

11) Not Really On Sale (there are a bunch of versions of this)

12) Seriously, Milk? What?

13) SoftDrinks Mixup1 / SoftDrinks Mixup2 (also different versions of this, though these represent the main two kinds)

14) Superman on Spiderman Lighter

15) Improperly Applied Bus Decal

I didn’t include any of the “label is upside-down” ones since honestly those are pretty boring to me. Check out more “You Had One Job” and “FAIL” at YouHadOneJob.org and FAILBLOG (another Cheezburger sub-site).


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