There are some phrases that just don’t make sense. They get printed on shirts, billboards, and street signs, and if you encounter one, you’ll know it. Looking thrice and turning your head upside down won’t help. Asking for a friend’s help in deciphering the message won’t do much either.
You may call these phrases cursed and you wouldn’t be wrong. But there is an online group that’s not only entirely dedicated to these nonsensical phrases, but has also defined them as a phenomenon worthy of our attention on its own. Powered by 603k members, the Don't Dead Open Inside subreddit is a place for “signs and media that read as nonsense if read normally: from left to right.”
It may sound tricky, but bear with me. Below are some of the funniest signs that require 0% common sense and to throw everything you know about sentence structure out the window. Who knew that there could be so much sense in such nonsense?!
Will There Be Blood Or Not!?
Just like most things on the internet, the subreddit Don't Dead Open Inside wasn’t created out of nowhere. The trope first came to internet users' attention when its name was used in a promotional poster for the TV series The Walking Dead. To this day, the Don't Dead Open Inside poster, revealed on July 2nd, 2010, stands as one of the most recognized examples of the trope in popular culture that caused the cult following on Reddit.
According to Know Your Meme, the infamous poster featured a photograph of a double door with the words "Don't Open" written on the left side and "Dead Inside" written on the right, which should be interpreted "Don't open, dead inside" if read in the correct order. The whole fun of the trope is revealed when the reader reads the phrase line by line instead, which sounds like "Don't dead open inside."
Knowing the speed things surf around social media, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a couple of users on Twitter shared their reactions to the unusual poster on social media. In the following years, “the memes based on the joke were made, with Know Your Meme user irish_swede archiving one such example on March 12, 2013,” reported Know Your Meme.
On May 17th, 2014, the subreddit r/dontdeadopeninside was created, where the community collected cases of the trope found in popular culture, design, advertising, etc. Today, it’s home to 603k members that follow a strict set of rules for submissions.
The first and most important rule is that all posts have to comply to DDOI format. “Signs must be read correctly top to bottom, and incorrectly left to right, like any text, usually. Though it does not matter how easily you can read them, it is highly encouraged to only post images with little separation or spacing between the columns of words.”
The community doesn’t allow both reposts and memes, and encourages users to “put the 'correctly read' way in the title, like 'DONT DEAD OPEN INSIDE.'”