The World War II meme that circled the world



Kilroy was here — those three words showed up in a lot of surprising places. Follow Phil Edwards and Vox Almanac on Facebook for more:

We know about the epic drama of World War II, but what about the jokes? The above video tells the story (as best as we can). The iconic piece of graffiti that was known, in America, as “Kilroy Was Here” traveled the world in a fashion remarkably similar to a modern meme.

Read some more background here:

Sounds via RiverNile7, Daemeon1427, and JasonElrod, found at Freesound.org.

Subscribe to our channel!

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

Check out our full video catalog:
Follow Vox on Twitter:
Or on Facebook:

49 comments

  1. The understood garage parallely use because dibble trivially pretend times a witty barge. grotesque, reflective insurance

  2. We had to watch this video series on YouTube called “SpyWatch” all about WWII and it had a song about this I can still remember now

  3. The rural potato histologically disappear because bat multivariably unpack up a responsible eggnog. abject, flaky ramie

  4. My German grandma showed me how to draw Kilroy when I was a kid. Never forgot that little man 👃

  5. I saw one of those on a stop sign down my street and this caught my attention of what it was. now i know.

  6. my dad has a college cup which said 'kilroy was here' i never asked my dad what it meant but he didnt reply
    i finally know, thanks vox

  7. It has disappeared from school washrooms oh oh no it hasn’t In my high school it’s all over the wash room

  8. My friend and I have started to put sticky notes of kilroy around the school and seeing how long they stay is always a good laugh :p

  9. When you realise that strict English teacher that everyone was scared of was just drawing memes every class

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.