Loss Meme – Where does it originate from?

Loss, also called CADbortion, Loss.jpg and | || || |_, describes an iconic cartoon strip from the video sport -themed webcomic series Ctrl+Alt+Del[1] where the female lead suffers a miscarriage. The dramatic tonal shift for the series was unexpected, and for many readers, unsuccessful, leading to the strip being widely mocked online. In the decade since its release, it became the subject of widespread mockery among its subscribers, and has since been widely parodied in minimalist interpretations of the strip’s four panels, represented as”| || || |_”.


On June 2nd, 2008, Buckley published a strip titled”reduction,”[two ] in which the female lead Lilah suffers a miscarriage. The strip marked a substantial change in tone by the usually comedic comedian, and also the poorly-executed play of this comic lacked Ctrl+Alt+Del’s important anti-fandom to mockery.


[9] Other noteworthy internet persona to mock the comic included as Ben’Yahtzee’ Croshaw of Zero Punctuation[10] and Shmorky from Something Awful’s Flash Tub.

On 4chan, the /v/ board became overrun with parodies to such an extent that moderators started banning individuals who opened fresh”Loss” threads. Something Awful users were particularly unkind to the comic book, creating mock threads[12][13] (among which is more than 350 pages long), two whole (now closed) wikis and an interactive graph of this comic. [14] Someone moved to the extent of making a random CAD comic generator,[15] subtly realising that disjointed, mismatched panels of this comic strip are still funnier than the originals.

El Santo[16] (the webcomic overlook), The Bad Webcomic Wiki[17] and many others have also mentioned the infamous comic in negative testimonials of the webcomic also. On July 25th, 2009, YouTuber KennylovesArin uploaded a musical tribute depending on the comic followed by friends Skraggy and Arin (popular animator called Egoraptor), with lyrical references to the miscarriage strip.

Alternative/Minimalist Interpretations

Alongside the mockery of this strip, a trend arose on /v/ which entailed taking the Loss strip and representing it in various ways. Usually, these would try to be slippery, portraying the characters as dots, lines, or just having four vacant panels. Similar to how anything with purple and green could be recognized as Daily Dose, some similar-looking four pane comic could be recognized as Reduction.

Edits such as these continued to propagate across the internet over the subsequent decade. The propagation of those parodies became ubiquitous to the point that people were unsure whether any four-panel image they saw online was actually a”reduction” parody. This directed the question”Is This reduction?” To turn into a meme itself.

The comic life as a meme has led several news organizations to publish articles dedicated to this meme. In 2015, Select All[17] interviewed Buckley about the comic impact. From the interview, Buckley admitted that he found the meme sometimes frustrating as he’d misjudged his audience’s potential result of the strip in the time of publishing, and in otherĀ 

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