1. Bill Gates will (not) give you $245
Citing your not-at-all-fake-sounding attorney Pearlas Sandborn is a nice touch.
This little hoax has also circulated on Facebook in recent years, complete with an altered photo of Gates from his Reddit AMA.
2. Save Jessica Mydeck
This one tugged at our heartstrings, but it was quickly debunked. The American Cancer Society even released a statement denouncing the message. Jessica Mydeck — at least
this Jessica Mydeck — didn’t exist.
3. Mother Teresa wrote this just for you
This chain letter claimed readers who didn’t immediately recite the attached prayer would lose a loved one. Mother Teresa drives a hard bargain.
4. Heeeeeeeere’s Clarissa!
You knew Clarissa wouldn’t
really slice you up while you slept, but you were scared and forwarded it anyway. Shame on you.
5. Death by Bloody Mary (and not even the good kind of Bloody Mary)
Betcha didn’t know emails could carry curses!
6. How does HTML work, exactly?
Remember the days before you knew the terms “JPEG” and “GIF” — when you thought images could magically change, based on email forwards?
Don’t you feel silly now.
7. Forward this or your crush will DIE!
Apparently adults like Cynthia still use the word “crush” well out of high school. Seems legit.
8. OMG you guys a virus!
Amid the panic over Y2K and the “ILOVEYOU” worm, forwarding this helpful note seemed like a no-brainer. Whoops.
9. We’re tracking your emails, and we’re not even the NSA
Nobody can track how many times you forward an email, okay? Maybe the government. We don’t really know.
10. Hotmail is overloading, so we sent you this email
Chain letters didn’t begin with the Internet, and they didn’t die with AOL mail. But back in the early days of the Internet — before anybody but programmers knew what pixels were, and “search engine optimization” just wasn’t a thing — chain emails saw their golden age.
These exclamation-heavy missives, riddled with typos, infiltrated our inboxes and haunted our dreams. We wondered, would Bloody Mary come after us because we hit “