What Does Sauce Mean In Anime? Detailed Explanation

The word “sauce” is used in the anime community as a slang version of “source”. It is mostly used to request the original source of a video clip, picture, claim, or any interesting anime piece that has been posted. Although it started as an unintended pun, a series of events following the first appearances of “sauce” in anime has made it one of the most used slangs amongst fans.

Outside of anime, the word sauce has a couple of meanings associated with it. While it is mostly seen as a flavored thick liquid used to enhance the taste of food, the “sauce” of the anime world is a totally different kind of sauce. Read on for more information on the origin and use of this popular slang.

What is Sauce in Anime?

Scrolling through the comments of an anime picture or video clip post, one of the most predominant words that one is most likely to see is “sauce”. While most amateur anime fans might see it as an in-circle code that needs to be cracked, the meaning of the world sauce in the anime word is pretty common and non-mysterious.

“Sauce” actually refers to the word “source” and is mostly used by anime fans when they’re trying to know the origin of an anime video clip or photo whose original source wasn’t shared by the poster.

Where Does Sauce Originate From in Anime?

Sauce is one of the oldest living anime slang, dating as far back as 24 years ago. It originated from a popular 2000 anime series, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. It was birthed in episode 9 of the futuristic series entitled “The Man Who Dwells in the Shadows- Chat! Chat! Chat!”.

In a scene that was set in a virtual reality chat room, two characters were in a serious conversation. One of the avatars says that he had received information from one of his sources. However, the second avatar mistakes the word “source” for “sauce” and proceeds to ask him which sauce gave the information- pork cutlet or oyster sauce.

Although it seemed like a pretty innocent mistake, this conversation led to the inception of one of the most epic anime slang.

What Does Sauce Mean In Anime? Detailed Explanation
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How Did Sauce Become Popular?

Although Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was a pretty popular anime, it doesn’t hold the credit for how sauce became a viral slang. The first usage of the word sauce as slang began in the online discussion forum 4Chan. While most fans had forgotten all about the cheeky series from the Ghost in the Shell series, a 4Chan series creator named Moot immortalized “sauce” as slang.

While most 4chan users were asking for the sources of several anime excerpts by typing “Source”, Moot thought that it would be cooler to use “sauce” instead of “source”. In 2004, Moot was the first to use “sauce” as slang and then made it viral after he used a filter to replace every “Source” on the site with “Sauce”. Even though the filter was later removed, the damage had already been done, and the use of “Sauce” for “Source” has continued ever since then. It is currently recognized as slang in the Urban Dictionary.

Does Sauce Have a Japanese Meaning?

Just like in English, Sauce in Japan also means the sauce used in food. Some popular ones include the Tonkatsu Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, and the all-purpose Miso Sauce. Furthermore, ‘sauce” in Japan also has the same pronunciation as “source”. They are both pronounced as Sōsu (ソース).

Example Usage of Sauce in Anime

“Sauce” is usually used in the comment sections of different unsourced anime posts. It is often used in a pleading tone to request the sources of different manga. Some examples of sauce being used in anime include

  • Sauce, Plz?
  • Can I get the sauce, please?
  • What’s the sauce, bro?


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