If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you’ve probably seen the phrase do a barrel roll at least once. This meme originated from the Nintendo 64 games Star Fox 64 and Star Fox Zero, but it has taken on new life online as users take to their keyboards to type out commands that tell their Internet browser to rotate 90 degrees before moving down the page or switching tabs, instead of following the typical scroll function in a web browser. Learn more about this meme and how you can do your own barrel roll below!
Not many people know this but…
A barrel roll is an aerial maneuver used by jet fighter and bomber pilots during dogfights. When executed properly, it allows you to quickly evade incoming attacks. It can also confuse your attacker and provide you with an opportunity for escape. The term barrel roll comes from when aircraft would do a loop (also known as rolling) of 360 degrees after takeoff or landing in order to prevent runway collisions at small airports without radar systems.
How do you get started?
You’ll need four things: A horizontal surface, one sheet of paper, some tape and access to a printer. You’ll start by putting your sheet of paper face-down on top of your table or other flat surface. Make sure it stays firmly in place with your hands or tape as you move around, because you can roll all over that baby. With pen in hand and do a barrel roll burning within you, trace around yourself onto your piece of paper.
Why Do A Barrel Roll?
Do A Barrel Roll was created by Chris Torres in 1997. For some reason, it took off in 2004, and has been around ever since. The purpose of Do A Barrel Roll is to annoy people at work or school by making them do things that are impossible for them to avoid. It will come up when you least expect it, and ruin your day! If you say Do A Barrel Roll out loud, someone else probably says it back at you!
Do you have to be online to do a barrel roll?
No, you don’t need to be online. You can turn your computer on, do a barrel roll and capture it on video (or just hold up your phone and let it record). Upload that video anywhere that allows you to post text with it (such as an image-sharing site or YouTube) and then use that URL in your tweet.
Can I do a barrel roll from my phone?
To do a barrel roll, first turn your phone onto its side. Then flick it upwards like you’re flicking something away with your finger. You can also see how long you’ve been able to do a barrel roll by looking at your phone’s clock. If you can do it while viewing on both sides of your screen, try flipping your phone from one end of a room to another and back again! See how far across or high up in the air you can go!
What is it like being known on the internet for doing a barrel roll?
People sometimes ask me if it’s weird being known for doing a barrel roll, and my answer is no. The thing that is weird is not getting to do a barrel roll. I love barrel rolls! So much so that I named my daughter after them.
Where can I find more information?
The Do a Barrel Roll website is a pretty comprehensive resource for all things related to do a barrel roll. The website’s FAQ page contains most of what you need in order to fully understand and appreciate do a barrel roll.