Girl: Robot ninja! Pirate doctor laser monkey! Narwhal zombie badger hobo bacon kitty captain penguin raptor jesus!
Scientist (to guy): We'd been seeing this brain damage for years, but only recently did our linguists identify the pattern behind it.
Scientist: The patients fixate on animals and types of people whose names are trochees (two syllables, with the accent on the first).
The malfunction causes a rush of dopamine whenever these trocheese are heard or spoken.
[Chart shows "internet" and "brain," with arrows marked "trochees" traveling both ways between them. An arrow marked "dopamine" loops from the brain back to the brain.]
The warning signs appear in childhood:
[Child sits in front of TV.]
Child: Yeah! Mighty teenage morphin' ninja power mutant turtle rangers!
Social reinforcement focuses the fixation on a few dozen words.
Guy (off-panel): Is there a cure?
[Girl is reclining under a big machine pointed at her face.]
Scientist: We're about to try a radical trocheeotomy.
Guy: Rip out her vocal chords? I'm in favor.
Scientist: No, we're modifying her vocabulary* to erase the words she's fixated on.
*Digitoneurolinguistic hacking! It's totally real! Ask Neal Stephenson.
Scientist: Either the gap will be filled by normal words, or she'll just generate a new set of trochees.
Scientist: Here goes.
[She pulls the lever on a large panel.]
[Girl is waking up.]
Girl: ... GzZhRmPh ...
Girl ... banjo turtle!
Girl: Jetpack ferret pizza lawyer! Dentist hamster wombat plumber turkey jester hindu cowboy hooker bobcat scrapple!
Scientist (off-panel): Sigh.
Scientist: Time for plan B.
Scientist: Someone get a brick.
If you Huffman-coded all the 'random' things everyone on the internet has said over the years, you'd wind up with, like, 30 or 40 bytes *tops*.