I see a lot of sentences that talk about puppies dying when you do something. For instance, in the CS domain, there's a common quote which says “Every time you log in production, a puppy dies.”. What does this exactly mean ?

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    It's a joke. "A puppy dies" is a sad thing.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 22:16
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    It means don’t log in production (unless a [figurative] puppy’s death on your conscience is worth it)
    – Jim
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 22:18
  • @HotLicks Many thanks for your comment. Got it now Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 22:21
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    @KristinaLopez Many thanks for your comment. Got it now Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 22:21
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    It's a device used to induce guilt to prevent something from happening. It probably evolved from something similar to "when you lie, angels/Jesus cries" - things that parents tell their kids so that develop a sense of moral ethic about certain actions . Now, there are all sorts of similar sayings - usually having to do with cute animals (puppies, kittens, bunnies, pandas etc). For some odd reason, many of the memes are engineering/math related. Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 23:30

1 Answer 1


The specific usage is a dark twist on the often-quoted line from It's a Wonderful Life, "Every time a bell rings / An angel gets his wings". In this case, "every time you do X, something horrible happens".

The horrible consequence of ill-considered action ("a puppy dies") is a fairly common internet meme which probably derives from the cover image of the "Death" issue of National Lampoon magazine (January 1973).

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