the missile knows where it is copypasta

The Missile Knows Where It Is

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Updated Jul 10, 2024 at 04:33PM EDT by Adam.

Added Jun 09, 2017 at 02:38AM EDT by malhela.

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Related Explainer: What Is 'The Missile Knows Where It Is?' The Copypasta And Meme Explained


The Missile Knows Where It Is is a copypasta based on an audio segment from a 1997 Air Force training video. Due to the lengthy and repetitive nature of the copypasta, it is popularly used in musical remixes.


Discussion of the "Missile" copypasta can be found on the internet as early as 2003, according to the Wayback Machine archive for an obscure page on the University of Wyoming website, titled "Missile Guidance for Dummies."[1] The page links to a pdf called “Association of Air Force Missileers,” with the original text for the Missile copypasta found on page 5.[2] As well as the text, the website links to an audio recording reading the specific passage.

The transcription for the audio is as follows:

The missile knows where it is at all times. It knows this because it knows where it isn't. By subtracting where it is from where it isn't, or where it isn't from where it is (whichever is greater), it obtains a difference, or deviation. The guidance subsystem uses deviations to generate corrective commands to drive the missile from a position where it is to a position where it isn't, and arriving at a position where it wasn't, it now is. Consequently, the position where it is, is now the position that it wasn't, and it follows that the position that it was, is now the position that it isn't.
In the event that the position that it is in is not the position that it wasn't, the system has acquired a variation, the variation being the difference between where the missile is, and where it wasn't. If variation is considered to be a significant factor, it too may be corrected by the GEA. However, the missile must also know where it was.
The missile guidance computer scenario works as follows. Because a variation has modified some of the information the missile has obtained, it is not sure just where it is. However, it is sure where it isn't, within reason, and it knows where it was. It now subtracts where it should be from where it wasn't, or vice-versa, and by differentiating this from the algebraic sum of where it shouldn't be, and where it was, it is able to obtain the deviation and its variation, which is called error.


The Missile Meme first appeared on YouTube in 2007 in the video “The missile knows where it is (portfolio length)” by Inimicu, where a student appears to be listening to the missile meme for a school project.[3] The raw audio itself was posted to YouTube on August 11th, 2012, by Jeff7181, where it has since amassed over 360,000 views.[4]

The Missile copypasta was posted to Reddit’s r/copypasta subreddit on September 4th, 2016.[5] Since then, various remixes have been created on 4chan, with the most well-known version using the instrumental from Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.” On YouTube, one such remix was uploaded by Krasniye, where it has amassed 112,000 views since its posting on March 12th, 2017[6].

Starting in early 2019, the Missile meme started seeing a resurgence on Twitch via media-sharing on various people’s streams. It appeared several times in different remixes on Asmongold’s livestream in January 2019.[7]

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] University of Wyoming – Missile Guidance for Dummies / May 5 2003

[2] Association of Air Force Missileers, Volume 5 Number 4 – GLCM GUIDANCE SYSTEM / Published December 1997

[3] Youtube – The missile knows where it is

[4] Youtube – The Missile Knows Where It Is… / August 11, 2011

[5] Reddit – the missile knows where it is / September 4 2016

[6] Youtube – The Missile Knows Where It Is / March 12, 2017

[7] Youtube – Asmongolds BRAIN EXPLODES Letting Stream Decide Videos / January 3 2018

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