Occasionally I've seen "itadakimasu" translated as Rub a dub dub, Thanks for the grub.

Most often it's used as an joking example of subbing/dubbing that doesn't stick strictly to the original Japanese script.

Where does it come from though? Was there a show that actually translated it as such?

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  • I doubt it. This may be more of a language thing than a meme really, since that phrase is commonplace [enough] in America, but itadakimasu has entirely different connotations. – Makoto Oct 8 '15 at 14:53
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    If I'm remembering right, "Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub" comes from a deliberate trollsub circa the late '00s. Don't remember the details off-hand, though; I'll go internet-spelunking later. – senshin Oct 8 '15 at 16:12

HamtaroWarrior's claims that it doesn't have much to do with anime and that "It just seems to be a way to translate "Itadakimsu"." [sic] miss the point.

There is, in fact, a clear anime-related reason that "rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub" has become emblematic of over-localized translation: the abortive [gg] fansub of Toradora!! back in 2008 featured this very line as a translation of Minori's "itadakimasu" in episode 4 (around 08:52). This is an absurdly over-the-top translation choice, as any American could attest - Minori is certainly a cheerful and quirky character, but this goes well beyond that.

This was widely hailed as an innovation in trollsubbing on [gg]'s part, and was one of the factors that cemented their reputation as the leading trollsubbers of their time. I mentioned that the fansub was abortive - indeed, [gg] stopped subbing Toradora!! after episode 4, and I guess they decided to go out with a bang (all of the relevant blog posts I'd like to cite appear to have bitrotted out of existence, unfortunately). I emphasize this again - almost surely nobody actually thought that "rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub" was a good choice here. Rather, it was presumably chosen to get a rise out of its viewers (and succeeded quite well at it!).

It is as a result of this particular incident that images like this one exist (the "gg" column, at least). Likewise, the Sasami-san@Ganbaranai image in the question is a deliberate "homage" (if you can call it that) to [gg]'s Toradora!! subs of auld.

  • Well this is my bad, didn't find those details in 3 hours of net digginng :\ – Ikaros Oct 8 '15 at 23:44
  • I could swear Tomo says it in the official English dub of Azumanga Daioh, but am not having luck tracking down a clip..... – Clockwork-Muse Oct 10 '15 at 14:36

Im very sorry that I accidentally tripped over this strand because now I feel obligated to contribute. When I was a pre-medical undergraduate at a small United Methodist liberal arts college in the late 1970's, I competed in intercollegiate athletics. We were obligated to "say grace" before a team meal, so this line was part of our team prayer. The full blessing was:

"Rub a dub dub, Thanks for the grub, Yea God! Amen!"

I hope this contribution rgarging the linguistic history of this irreverent ritual is helpful to this most fascinating discussion.

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