Degenerates like you belong on a cross refers to a popular line from the dystopian role-playing game, Fallout: New Vegas.
The quote is said by NPCs who belong into the Caesar’s Legion faction, a society which takes inspiration from the Romans of history.
“Degenerates like you belong on a cross” is a reference to one of the most brutal execution methods of the Roman empire, something the in-game faction has also adopted.
Online, people use the phrase as an ironic insult, due to its coarse language and naturalist imagery.
The phrase originates from the post-apocalyptic video game title of Obsidian Entertainment; Fallout: New Vegas, which was released in North America on October 19th, 2010.
New Vegas achieved widely acclaimed success both among fans and critics, allowing widely recognized memes to be created from its content.
While the exact origin of the first memetic use of “degenerates like you belong on a cross” remains shrouded, the trend of using it online began in 2014, as captions, titles and comments, related to the video game.
The phrase would appear online on YouTube videos, with several uploads having the title “degenerates like you belong on a cross”.
It is also popular on meme sites, such as iFunny or me.me.
Following 2017, when the r/NewVegasMemes subreddit began, the occurrence of the phrase surged, as it would be featured in countless memes on Reddit.