The Evolution of the Rickroll: The “Never Gonna Give You Up” QR Code Patch

The Evolution of the Rickroll: The "Never Gonna Give You Up" QR Code Patch


The internet is a treasure trove of memes and viral content, but few have endured as long as the classic Rickroll. Originating in the mid-2000s, the Rickroll involves tricking someone into clicking a hyperlink that leads to the music video for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” As technology and culture have evolved, so too have the methods of delivering this iconic prank. One of the most innovative and amusing developments is the “Never Gonna Give You Up” QR code patch. This article delves into the history, creation, and impact of this unique piece of internet culture.

The History of the Rickroll

Before diving into the specifics of the QR code patch, it’s essential to understand the origins and significance of the Rickroll itself.

Origins of the Rickroll

The Rickroll prank began on the imageboard 4chan in 2007, inspired by a similar bait-and-switch prank called “Duckrolling,” where users were tricked into clicking a link to an edited image of a duck on wheels. The Rickroll quickly spread beyond 4chan, becoming a widespread internet phenomenon. The prank’s success lies in its harmless nature and the nostalgic charm of Rick Astley’s catchy tune.

Cultural Impact

Over the years, the Rickroll has become more than just a prank; it’s a piece of internet folklore. It has been referenced in movies, TV shows, and even political campaigns. Rick Astley himself has embraced the meme, performing the song at various events and acknowledging its role in revitalizing his career.

The Birth of the QR Code Patch

As technology advanced, pranksters sought new and creative ways to Rickroll their friends. Enter the QR code patch.

What is a QR Code?

A QR (Quick Response) code is a type of matrix barcode that can store a significant amount of information, such as URLs, text, or other data. When scanned with a smartphone or QR code reader, it quickly directs the user to the encoded content. QR codes have become ubiquitous in modern life, used for everything from event tickets to restaurant menus.

Integrating QR Codes with Rickrolling

The idea of combining QR codes with the Rickroll emerged as a way to modernize the prank. By embedding the URL for the “Never Gonna Give You Up” video into a QR code, pranksters could create a scannable trigger for the meme. This method offered a new layer of subtlety and surprise, as users often scan QR codes without suspicion.

Creating a “Never Gonna Give You Up” QR Code Patch

Making your own QR code patch is a fun and straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Generate the QR Code

  1. Choose a QR Code Generator: Many free QR code generators are available online, such as QRCode Monkey, QR Stuff, and GoQR.
  2. Input the URL: Enter the URL for the “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video (e.g.,
  3. Customize: Some generators allow you to customize the design and color of your QR code. Feel free to add a personal touch.
  4. Generate and Download: Once you’re satisfied with the design, generate the QR code and download the image.

Step 2: Create the Patch

  1. Choose a Medium: Decide whether you want to make an iron-on patch, an embroidered patch, or a sticker patch.
  2. Transfer the QR Code: Use fabric transfer paper for iron-on patches, an embroidery machine for embroidered patches, or a printing service for sticker patches.
  3. Apply the Patch: Follow the application instructions for your chosen medium. Iron-on patches typically require a hot iron, while embroidered patches can be sewn onto fabric.

The Impact of the QR Code Patch

The “Never Gonna Give You Up” QR code patch is more than just a novelty; it represents the blending of traditional pranks with modern technology.

Practical Uses

  1. Clothing and Accessories: QR code patches can be attached to jackets, backpacks, hats, and more, turning everyday items into Rickroll traps.
  2. Events and Gatherings: Hand out QR code patches at parties or conventions for a memorable and amusing icebreaker.
  3. Marketing and Promotions: Some brands have leveraged the QR code Rickroll as a clever marketing gimmick, engaging audiences with humor.

The Future of QR Code Pranks

As technology continues to evolve, so will the methods of pranking and entertainment. The QR code patch is a testament to the creativity and adaptability of internet culture. Who knows what the next iteration of the Rickroll will be?


The “Never Gonna Give You Up” QR code patch is a delightful example of how a classic internet prank can adapt to new technologies. It combines the nostalgia of the original Rickroll with the convenience and surprise factor of QR codes, creating a unique and versatile prank. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the Rickroll or new to the meme, the QR code patch is a fun way to keep the spirit of this internet classic alive. So go ahead, make your own patch, and remember: we’re no strangers to love.

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