O RLY? is an abbreviation for "Oh, really?" and is an Internet phenomenon, typically presented as an image macro featuring a Snowy Owl. The phrase "O RLY?" is typically used in a sarcastic or sardonic manner, often in response to a statement that the speaker feels is obvious, or blatantly false and/or self-contradictory. Some internet forum trolls may also reply "O RLY?" in response to a lengthy or overly detailed post.
The phrase "O RLY?" was used on the Something Awful Forums at least as early as August 2003. The original "O RLY?" Snowy Owl image macro is based on a photo taken by nature photographer John White, which he posted to the newsgroup alt.binaries.pictures.animals in 2001. The snowy owl image was photoshopped on 4chan after the word filtering of the word "repost" to "owl".
Use in commercial worksEdit
- In the Game Boy Advance game Mega Man Battle Network 6, if the player tries the Humor program at Cyber Academy, Lan responds to a certain joke with "O Rly?" and MegaMan.EXE replies with "Ya Rly!". Also, if the player tries it at the Expo site, there is a "No Wai!" joke.
- In the Xbox 360 version of the football game Blitz: The League, one of the hidden gamer achievements is called "O RLY?" It is earned by losing a Campaign Mode game by more than 24 points. The image of this achievement is, appropriately enough, of a snowy owl.
- In Striker 2: USB Laser Guided Missile Launcher game/gun, the O RLY owl appears as a secret character dressed in a Santa's outfit.
- The promotional video announcing the American license of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, "Adventures of the ASOS Brigade Episode 00: Made by Fans for Fans," features a short segment using pictures with the caption "O RLY?" in both English and Japanese. The segment starts with Yuki Nagato making a statement in Japanese, with an "O RLY?" image displayed, and with her replying, in Japanese, "Really." The segment ends with another picture saying "NO WAI!"
- The Australian sketch show The Ronnie Johns Half Hour included a sketch called Ham1337 in which Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy was translated via subtitles into internet abbreviations. At one point, the subtitles read "O RLY?", "YA RLY", "NO WAI!".
- The TV show Totally Viral on the Dave channel features the O Rly owl in its opening titles.
- The English version of the Nintendo DS game Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney features a murder witness named Olga Orly, and from the point she is introduced, the characters in the court begin saying "Oh really?".
- The TV show The IT Crowd features a wall poster in the main room with O RLY?.
- In the MMORPG World of Warcraft, a white owl named "O'Reily" can be found in Steamwheedle Port in northeastern Tanaris. There is also an auctioneer in Booty Bay named O'Reely, and one in the Undercity whose name is Yarly.
- In the webcomic "Erfworld: the Battle for Gobwin Knob", there are white bird-like units called "Orly" who say "Orly" all the time.
On May 10, 2006, anti-virus company Sophos discovered a computer worm known as "W32/Hoots-A", which sends a graphical image of the snowy owl to a print queue when it infects a Windows-based computer.
An English Youtuber Skawo uses this common meme as a counter in his videos whenever a character says the obvious.