The Undertaker Threw Mankind Off Hell in a Cell is a copypasta often seen on Reddit and Facebook, which is typically altered to fit the context of the post it is responding to. Redditor shittymorph is often credited with popularizing the message within various subreddits.
The exact origin of the copypasta is unknown. While many cite Redditor shittymorph with creating the copypasta, the earliest examples were found in a post on the NFL Memes Facebook page published on January 8th, 2017.
On January 19th, 2017, Redditor shittymorph replied to a post on /r/pics highlighting a portrait of Salt Bae made out of salt, urging readers:
“don’t let this man distract you from the fact that in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer’s table.”
On February 6th, 2017, Redditor ScienceLivesInsideMe replied to a photograph of a dog on the /r/aww subreddit with Scooby Doo-themed variation of the copypasta. In response, Redditor shittymorph replied explaining that the message was something he had been posting for weeks:
It is something I have been posting for a few weeks – I usually adjust the statement to whatever the post is related to. I have been getting a laugh out of doing it and other people have seemed to enjoy it too – Anyway – since this is my post and I have been going around making variations of this comment people are now showing up here on my post with their own variations of the comment. I hope that clarifies things…. but please do not let this extensive clarification distract you from the fact that in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer’s table.”
The following day, Redditor pujolsrox11 submitted a post asking about the copypasta meme to /r/OutOfTheLoop.
On Februrary 11th, shittymorph replied with a “Cash Me Ousside” variation of the copypasta in response to a post highlighting her second appearance on Dr. Phil submitted to /r/videos. On February 15th, Redditor MadDrewOB submitted video of The Undertaker throwing Mankind off the top of the Hell in a Cell from WWE to /r/videos (shown below).
On February 12th, a subreddit dedicated to the copypasta was created, gaining over 1,500 subscribers in less than two months. On March 28th, shittymorph posted on r/shittymorph a gif version of a man reacting to the copypasta, originally created by reddit user ohyouresilly, gaining over 490 points in less than two days. The next day, an edited version of the gif was uploaded to Imgur, gaining over 2.3 million views in less than 24 hours (shown below).
On May 14th, 2018, Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy did an Ask Me Anything for Reddit /r/ama subreddit about the show. Responding to the question, “Oh, hi, Lisa. With the show renewed for a third season, how far ahead have you already planned the story? Do you work on it one season at a time or is there a general idea you are slowly developing? Thanks!”, Joy gave a long answer which culminated in her recreating the copypasta (answer, which features spoilers for Westworld, below). The reply gained over 9,300 points.
Our philosophy from the beginning was to lay out the major tentpole moments — Ford’s death, Dolores’s transformation, Bernard’s ‘discovery’, and all the moments coming down the line — while working on the pilot. We needed to plan out the journey for several seasons in order to know where to begin. But obviously you can’t — and wouldn’t want to — plan everything. But then you don’t want to be dogmatic about it. If you find a storyline or a character situation that you didn’t expect you want to have the latitude to lean into that. This is especially true with character pairings, which are really where it gets fun with such a large ensemble. You take two great flavors and add them together to make a new dish. So Maeve and Lee in season 2, Dolores and Hector season 3, MIB and Akecheta season 4, etc. But you have to start at the beginning. And for us, the ultimate meaning of this story, the destination our path has always been leading started back in nineteen ninety-eight when the Undertaker threw Mankind off hеll in a cell, and plummeted sixteen feet through an announcer’s table.
Uproxx’s pro-wrestling section covered the use of the copypasta, writing a humorous article investigating the implications of if professional wrestler Mick Foley and his various different characters were tied to the plot of the series.