Also referred to as "In Soviet Russia..." the Russian Reversal was a famous component of the comedian Yakov Smirnoff's stand-up routine. The joke is very easy to use in nearly any context, which is likely part of the reason why it has become a popular Internet Meme in recent years.


The Russian Reversal is most commonly used as a response to a statement that implies an action.

  • For example: "I walked my dog."
  • Response: "In Soviet Russia, dog walks you."

Originally, however, the joke was used in the following format:

  • For example: "In America, we skydive off buildings."
  • Response: "In Soviet Russia, buildings skydive you."
  • For example "in America, you elect your president"
  • Response "in Soviet Russia, your president elects you"
  • For example "in America, you watch TV
  • Response "in Soviet Russia, the TV watches you"

Essentially, the initial America statement starts with the used action. The response is just a reverse of subject and action.

It can be combined with other memes in ways such as:

  • "In Soviet Russia, leek spin you."
  • "In Soviet Russia, lazor fire you."


  • The Russian Reversal is essentially an antimetabole.
  • A card from the now defunct TCG Magi-Nation Duel, Shattering Wind, alludes to the Russian Reversal.
  • The YouTube channel Yo Mama, along with YouTuber Taras Kul, AKA CrazyRussianHacker, uploaded a bunch of Russian Reversal jokes under the name "In Soviet Russia".
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