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:
- 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".