The Universal S

People from all over the world have been drawing this S-shaped symbol for decades yet no one seem to know anything about it. In this video I explore some of the popular origin theories and showcase my own findings after five years of on and off searching.

Patreon: www.patreon.com/lemmino
Subreddit: www.reddit.com/r/lemmino
Twitter: twitter.com/lemmin0

Jazz Spastiks - Bananas Instrumental
Fabien Tell - Never Before
Jazz Spastiks - Fresh Oranges Instrumental
Grant Newman - Last March of Heroes
Jazz Spastiks - Apples Instrumentals
Jon Björk - Divisive Alliance
Charles Holme - Informal Parameters
Fabien Tell - The Farmer

[Credits & References]


  1. Lingrui Xie

    Lingrui Xie

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  2. Argentum 9

    Argentum 9

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    Never seen anyone draw this thing and I have no clue where it came from either.

  3. tiddy


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    i used to think it was an s in the spiderman font

  4. Christian Martinez

    Christian Martinez

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    Here in Philippines, we used it as a puzzle for us to solve, just like what you said

  5. Jacob Böös

    Jacob Böös

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  6. JustOrdinaryDay


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    Bro I thought you are dead

  7. Ikki


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    S stands for simulation, it's a code for us to scape our simulation, the code is in our minds to make us remember we're being tested. That's my theory.

  8. Ask to seduce Miss

    Ask to seduce Miss

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    Thank you so much for this video!!!?

  9. Xengoku


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    I thought this was just a symbol the Kyles used to call to arms.

  10. _owen______


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    I can't get over that his like theme color is almost the same as the youtube dark I absolutely love it

  11. Arda Özcan

    Arda Özcan

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    It means hope, in my home planet.

  12. AwesomeMediaify


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    For the further research, i did this when i was in elementary school when i saw a classroom mate doing this symbol. I am from Serbia so map it down.

    • Ask to seduce Miss

      Ask to seduce Miss

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      Legend says that Fred Willson goes to primary schools to teach this symbol.

  13. Zombieweasel3000


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    I found this symbol dented on a door to a mall i went to

  14. Light to Love Productions

    Light to Love Productions

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    33... All about the ss's

  15. Diamond Tiara

    Diamond Tiara

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    oh for fucks sake. Conspiracy, pseudoscience, graffiti... it's basic drawing, you have a blank page with lines and columns, you will draw things with dots. geometry, it's natural and comes to you. You have a thousand things like that anyone else will draw. does bats and birds and butterflies have a common gene or ancestor? no! but they have wings. Same thing here.

  16. Thomas Busse

    Thomas Busse

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    I have a theory about the universal tetrachord: Do-re-me-te-so. It fits with all music. Also, the Universal S fits in the really strange typography used in Koyannisquasti, although it's pretty obviously fraktur, and I'm sure you could find it in the Merserberger Zauberspruche.

  17. Mark Puente

    Mark Puente

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    It was me

  18. Nathan Spencer

    Nathan Spencer

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    Your editing is incredible dude

  19. Jude Sherwood

    Jude Sherwood

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    what keyboard are you using?

  20. Stewart Pidaso

    Stewart Pidaso

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    the meme theory is spot on.

  21. King SwAvvY

    King SwAvvY

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    Dude this was something I did in early primary school because it looked cool🤷‍♂️ didn't know there was so much more to look into

  22. IG: Akira.MadeThat

    IG: Akira.MadeThat

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    I like your vocabulary。

  23. Alix Thompson

    Alix Thompson

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    I always thought it was a gem

  24. neighbor . - J -

    neighbor . - J -

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    And and so I returned to my Alphabet Shovel, and resumed digging...

  25. Markz1337


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    I remember calling it an 8 to F with people

  26. Sky Sevastian

    Sky Sevastian

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    Its a chain if you don’t close it

  27. Sky Sevastian

    Sky Sevastian

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    I learned this in a smal town in Mexico lol

  28. JC B

    JC B

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    Legend says that Fred Willson goes to primary schools to teach this symbol.

  29. John’s Plushyverse

    John’s Plushyverse

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    Judging by the map of country’s, its most likely Europen

  30. Jasper Riley

    Jasper Riley

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    I was taught how to draw this in grade 2 in 2008. As a chain or as an S

  31. Mohit Rahaman

    Mohit Rahaman

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    Just to let you know, this is close enough to the logo of the audio software company called Slate Digital

  32. Boiled Egg

    Boiled Egg

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  33. JC B

    JC B

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    I drew this back in elementary school. Not sure where it came from. Lol

  34. Case Sheep

    Case Sheep

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    Who remembers back in 4th grade when the kids who drew this were "cool"

  35. Tanner Mirasty

    Tanner Mirasty

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    Southern Ontarians ain’t the only ones Who drew “The Superman”. Elementary students from Saskatchewan during the 2000’s drew that too.

  36. Bryce Hamm

    Bryce Hamm

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    By definition does that mean the first "meme" was cave paintings like stick men or hand prints, is our whole human evolution based on a meme?

  37. Rival Valkyrie

    Rival Valkyrie

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    Plot twist: that was the first iteration of the letter S, meaning our current S is wrong

  38. Not Worth

    Not Worth

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    holy cow i drew this today just cuz

  39. Aw Seeogaan

    Aw Seeogaan

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    Chances are that its is common only because it is a unique doodle and fun to draw. Unlikely that there is a single original source as it is not particularly complex and there have been a lot of people with pens for a long time. This was a common doodle and featured as graphetti in the 80s and 90s. In otherwords the examples were just chance events and others vague coincidences.

  40. Anonymous Player

    Anonymous Player

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    I need the script for this video. It's just amazingly scripted

  41. Otaku Pencil

    Otaku Pencil

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    I'm crying and I don't know why.

  42. Alex Marchand

    Alex Marchand

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    At this point it could come from outer space and we wouldn't be surprised.

  43. Paul TheSkeptic

    Paul TheSkeptic

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    Reminds me of one of the projects I was going to do but was forced to abandon. My work had me traveling a lot at one point. I ended up in a lot of truck stop stalls. You would not believe the kind of bathroom graffiti you can find in truck stops. Large pieces of lude art. A lot of penises. A lot of racism and homophobia mixed with phone numbers and invitations to covert rendezvous. Repeating phrases and art by the same drivers. One gentleman wanted everyone to know that he prefered sex with his dog to sex with humans. To this day you may still find work from the very prolific "Dog sex #1". Anyway, the idea was to take a lot of pictures and put them all in a book called "The Worst of American Literature". But unfortunately I don't travel anymore. If anyone wishes to steal the idea you're welcome to it.

  44. ETERNITY _


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    i can feel the effort from this video



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    It means south side lmao

  46. v15hy


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    When I heard the pop at the start i heard a "what's poppin" by jschlatt lmao

  47. Donovan


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    I love the penguin S at 5:57

  48. Paul TheSkeptic

    Paul TheSkeptic

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    When you think about it, kids are meme machines, even without an internet. Especially girl children. Things spread among children even without any kind of internet. Think about it. Ms. Mary Mack, all dressed in black... Had silver buttons all down her back...The complicated slapping pattern that the female of the species seemed inexplicably adept at were beyond me. I couldn't tell you if it's really an easy repeating pattern or if it's a long sequence of slaps. Our games were much simpler. They usually involved hurting each other as much as possible. We had a slapping game but it involved slapping your opponent's hand as hard as possible. Then there was mercy which was a bit like inflicting medieval torture on your opponent's fingers until they said "mercy". But those silly games were just when we were really young and stupid. Yeah, eventually we graduated to even stupider games. First slap boxing and eventually we just started fighting each other in good faith. So like, you'd knock your friends teeth out then you'd help him up because he was your friend. Then you'd spend hours talking about the bout. The odd compliment mixed in with mainly a lot of bragging. Our species is fucked isn't it. We're barely separated from the apes.

  49. ListlessCraving


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    I’m just imagining an archeological discovery happening in the wake of the melting glaciers in the Arctic: An ancient cyclopian monolith etched with strange runes, and at the very top, the universal S. *queue the Bloodborne Theme*

  50. DocWolph


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    I learned the symbol in the mid-1980s in Hawaii.

  51. Clover Voice Over

    Clover Voice Over

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    Man I missed this guy

  52. June Twenty

    June Twenty

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    Was a thing in India too. Weird.

  53. 2ez4tobi


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    2ez, in cebu, we call this "shakoy"

  54. İsmail Altay Ataman

    İsmail Altay Ataman

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    Rock band Sabaton's "S" is really looks like universal S. You have to check it.

  55. Spec


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    This is what we want. Random research about stuff we normally don’t care too much about. Keep doing what your doing Lemmino.

  56. Sanket Gadhvi

    Sanket Gadhvi

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    S in the chat

  57. NoobMaster 420

    NoobMaster 420

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  58. MajorGaming


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    We all simply know this symbol because it is the logo for the company that runs the simulation that we are all in.

  59. Nick Nicholas

    Nick Nicholas

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    we all all Called it a Stussy symbol , fist started drawing it when I was very young , a friend showed me in school , must have been in 1989-1991, never thought it was strange and had no idea it was this widespread , I would scribble this on binders and homework all the time , less and less as the years went on , something to think on for sure.

  60. Jake Lan

    Jake Lan

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    When learning math and numbers in kindergarten we use lines to count if our fingers aren’t enough, and during idleness where a kid just doodle on it and by coincidence the kid connected the lines and the S symbol appeared. It look cool so the kid show off to other kindergarteners and it spread. Basically u will draw this symbol when u idle by doodling in your notebook.

  61. Robin


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    my mom was born in the late 60s and she remembered drawing it as a kid. i drew it in school when i was a kid in the early 2000s and now my nephew whos 10 has been drawing it for years. its kind of cool just how long this symbol has been around and i wish we could pin down a direct origin for it but theres probably not enough documentation of it and it could always have more than one origin

  62. Dogependence The Foo Fighters Fan

    Dogependence The Foo Fighters Fan

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    Was popular in 2nd grade in Chicago too.

  63. Facu Gimenez

    Facu Gimenez

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    vfo, feels so great to hear your voice again after a long time

  64. Sherlock Bones

    Sherlock Bones

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    I started to become very threatening around 4:40 what the hecc

  65. darkySp


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    I won't be surprised if this is as close as we get to a huge Illuminati "calling card" of sorts. I mean, the exact same shape is seen in paintings that go as far back as 1533 and maybe earlier. This is actually a very interesting mystery!

  66. MajorGaming


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    It is so weird to see 17th st surf shop in the list of dead ends as i used to think it came from that as i am a Virginia beach native.

  67. Morning Star

    Morning Star

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    My friends and siblings used to draw that symbol in elementary school. I don't remember how we learned to do it or where we first saw it. It's so weird,,,it's like everyone knew about it somehow,,even today kids in elementary school STILL draw that S...

  68. Siff n Suke n Stuff

    Siff n Suke n Stuff

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    The Infinity Stones should have been kept in a Universal S

  69. im bored

    im bored

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    Wtf I used to see these shits on school desks back in 6th grade

  70. sonyviva308


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    Never have drawn this in my school, but I have at least seen this symbol at my friend's shoes in High school. From Malaysia here. Aaand you did not highlight Malaysia in the map >:(

  71. Priam


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    It looks like an 8.

  72. Airbet


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    It was god. God said let there be a mysterious S and God said it was good

  73. Prometheus Hippopotimi

    Prometheus Hippopotimi

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    people in my elementary school used to call it a super s.



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  75. asphyxia. re

    asphyxia. re

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    my teacher said it was a gang sign

  76. The Beyonder

    The Beyonder

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    I remember learning this letter from a book called "the lettering book" back in the early 80's in primary school in New Zealand. Our teacher brought one and we used to have to ask to borrow it to make our projects look flasier. It contained numbers 0-10 and every letter in the alphabet in lower and upper case in heaps of different fonts styles drop shadows etc just like word and clip art etc today. It was like an almanac of cool for us kids who just liked to draw all day instead of do work.

  77. Ed White

    Ed White

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    I honestly thought it was from Wu Tang

  78. Ocelot Eleven

    Ocelot Eleven

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    The “S” really is a perfect example of how memes and ideas spread. They just become universally recognized by everyone (just like what you said about ‘Killroy was here’ and the ‘SATOR Square’). I’ve always seen people draw the “S”, and for some reason, they always associated it with Superman. Everyone recognizes the “S” and “Killroy Was Here” and the “SATOR Square”, and I believe that we may never know their true origins or intentions. We can only speculate. I just think it’s fascinating how we can transcend ideas like this.

  79. Efe Berk

    Efe Berk

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    The rug on which the pattern appeared in the painting (The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein) looked really familiar so I looked it up a bit: The "S" is a very common Turkish kilim motif, known as the "hook pattern" or "çengel motifi". While I don't know much about kilim or motifs, it probably puts the symbol's history in the range of thousands of years now.

  80. 6ix8eight5ive ?

    6ix8eight5ive ?

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    when i was a kid there was a tutorial on how to draw it on a social media outlet called bebo