loss meme


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Updated Apr 22, 2024 at 12:28PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 02, 2011 at 05:02PM EDT by oddguy.

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Related Explainer: What Is 'Loss?' The Classic Ctrl+Alt+Del Webcomic And Meme Explained

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Loss, also known as CADbortion, Loss.jpg and | || || |_, refers to an iconic cartoon strip from the video game-themed webcomic series Ctrl+Alt+Del[1] in which the female lead suffers a miscarriage. The dramatic tonal shift for the series was unexpected, and for many readers, unsuccessful, leading to the strip being widely mocked online. In the decade since its release, it became the subject of widespread mockery among its readers, and has since been widely parodied in minimalist interpretations of the strip's four panels, represented as "| || || |_".


On June 2nd, 2008, Buckley posted a strip titled "Loss,"[2] in which the female lead Lilah suffers a miscarriage. The strip marked a significant change in tone from the usually comedic comic, and the poorly-executed drama of the comic spurred Ctrl+Alt+Del's significant anti-fandom to mockery.

cadbortion loss edits meme original that sparked the greatest meme ever


After the strip was posted, many notable webcomics began parodying the comic and its final panel in particular, including HijiNKS Ensue,[3] Cyanide and Happiness,[4] Bigger then Cheeses,[5] EEGRA hilarity comics,[6][7] Fanboys,[8] and Slackerz.[9] Other notable internet persona to mock the comic included as Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw of Zero Punctuation[10] and Shmorky from Something Awful's Flash Tub.[11]

On 4chan, the /v/ board became overrun with parodies to such an extent that moderators began banning people who opened new "Loss" threads. Something Awful users were particularly unkind to the comic, creating mock threads[12][13] (one of which is over 350 pages long), two entire (now closed) wikis and an interactive graph of the comic.[14] Someone went to the extent of making a random CAD comic generator,[15] subtly mocking that even disjointed, mismatched panels of the comic are still funnier than the originals.

El Santo[16] (the webcomic overlook), The Bad Webcomic Wiki[17] and others have also mentioned the infamous comic in negative reviews of the webcomic as well. On July 25th, 2009, YouTuber KennylovesArin uploaded a musical tribute based on the comic accompanied by friends Skraggy and Arin (popular animator known as Egoraptor), with lyrical references to the miscarriage strip.

Alternative/Minimalist Interpretations

Alongside the outright mockery of the strip, a trend arose on /v/ which involved taking the Loss strip and representing it in different ways. Usually, these would attempt to be minimalistic, portraying the characters as lines, dots, or just having four empty panels.

chinese characters version of CADbortion loss edits meme musical notes version of the meme CADbortion weaponized meme version of CADbortion loss edits
emoji version of the CADbortion meme indiana jones version of the CADbortion meme

Edits such as these continued to spread throughout the internet over the following decade. The propagation of these parodies became ubiquitous to the point that people were unsure if any four-panel image they saw online was in fact a "Loss" parody. This led the question "Is This Loss?" to become a meme itself.

Is this loss.jpg? I. し3 pg?


The comic's long life as a meme has led multiple news organizations to publish articles devoted to the meme. In 2015, Select All[17] interviewed Buckley about the comic's impact. In the interview, Buckley admitted that he found the meme at times frustrating as he'd misjudged his audience's potential response to the strip at the time of publishing, and at other times he admitted he found the memes "quite amusing." KnowYourMeme published an article about Loss in 2017 calling it "The Internet's Greatest Meme."[18]

When the strip's publication had its ten-year anniversary on June 2nd, 2018, Buckley briefly changed the page to show a parody of his own creation which shows the comic's main character breaking the fourth wall (shown below).


Multiple publications, including Polygon[19] and io9[20] published articles about the change while also discussing the strip's impact.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Ctrl+Alt+Del – CAD-Comic posted on 10/23/2002

[2] Ctrl+Alt+Del – Loss / posted on 6/02/2008

[3] HijiNKS Ensue – Cmd-Opt-Z

[4] Explosm – Cyanide and Happiness posted on 6/12/2008

[5] Bigger Than Cheese – Miscarry On Abroad

[6] EEGRA (via Wayback Machine) – Gamer Comic posted on 05/06/2008

[7] EEGRA (via Wayback Machine) – Hilarity Comic posted on 22/12/2008

[8] F@nb0y$ (via Wayback Machine) – Seriously posted on 10/12/2008

[9] Encyclopedia Dramatica (via Wayback Machine) – Slackerz CADbortion

[10] The Escapist – Webcomics via Archive.org

[11] Something Awful – Flash Tub: Gameing Guyz 3 posted on 23/06/2008

[12] SA forums – CAD joke thread posted on 11/01/2011 (require archives upgrade)

[13] SA forums (via Wayback Machine) – additional buckley bashing thread

[14] SA forums – EvelynPoor's CAD stats interactive graph (page unavailable)

[15] Something Awful – CAD Random Generator for Download (note: this download link wasn't tested)

[16] The Webcomic Overlook (via Wayback Machine) – Ctrl+Alt+Del

[17] Select All – Talking to the Man Behind ‘Loss,’ the Internet’s Longest-Running Miscarriage ‘Joke’

[18] KnowYourMeme – Here's to Loss, the Internet's Greatest Meme

[19] Polygon – Ctrl+Alt+Del’s ‘Loss’ and ‘Found’ comics prove artists still struggle with meme-ified work

[20] io9 – One of the 'Net's Longest-Running Webcomics Has Done Something Weird to Its Most Memed Strip [Updated]

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Top Comments


in reply to Keltapina

Well you go from this

To above. Its ok I use to read it when I was 15 but the serious sub plots are so out of place compared to the rest of the comic. Having a comic about video game jokes having a miscarriage side plot was just fucking weird.

(Spoilers I guess) The comic ends with some type of robot invasion and the main character sacrifices himself or some shit and the entire thing is played super seriously with no jokes, its like what? What happened?

And then it will whip lash back to this


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