Ohio Memes explained

What's Going On In Ohio, And Why Is It A Meme? Let's Explain Ohio Memes

At the center of America is Ohio, not only geographically, but culturally as well. It's like if Breezewood, Pennsylvania was an entire state, comprised of fast food, gas stations and skinwalkers galore. It's no wonder why meme creators on TikTok, Twitter and elsewhere keep saying, "Only in Ohio" within their content.

The history of Ohio memes dates back much further than this most recent Can't Even X in Ohio trend, alluding to a stigma surrounding the Buckeye State that has been prevalent online since 2016 when Ohio vs. the world was a genuine threat.

Don't remember that trend? Don't worry, it's always been Ohio… Let's explain how the state became a meme and how it represents the modern absurdism in America.

"Wait it's all Ohio? Always has been Ohio

Where Do Ohio Memes Come From?

The online fascination with Ohio can be traced back to one Tumblr post from 2016 that showed a broken bus stop reading, "Ohio will be eliminated." The visual went instantly viral because, well, the idea was so funny. It had so much wiggle room, like, what had Ohio done? Why did it have to be eliminated? Some gave their reasons. Others showed contempt, stating, "it's for the best."

FOhio will be elininated. cta arrival times A JCDecaux

The image circulated the interwebs from Reddit to Twitter to Instagram, accumulating more Ohio-based memes that satirically labeled it as a threat. In 2019, the epitome of those memes landed online, being an MS-Paint drawing of two astronauts: one fully aware of Ohio's global reign, and the other dangerously blind to this truth.

This was the "Wait, it's all Ohio? Always has been" meme template, and it's trended in memes going into the 2020s. Even if the "two astronauts" format has become irrelevant, the stigma it created surrounding Ohio has stuck around to the present day.

Always has been. Wait, it's all Ohio? Ohio LIVE ОНО BREAKING NEWS OHIO TOOK OVERAMERICA 8:16 OH GOD OH F--- THEY RE GETTING STRONGER. SAYS CANADA destroy ohio Ohio if they aren't stopped The rest of the world

What's The Meaning Of The 'Only In Ohio' TikTok Trend?

As TikTok became the largest meme platform in 2022, Ohio memes followed the hype train. But of course, a new Ohio-based trend had to emerge and that was Only in Ohio. TikTokers started sharing creepypasta footage, showing giant creatures attacking cities and satirically proclaiming that an event of such magnitude could only happen in Ohio.

Then, TikTokers discovered Lil B, the based God's obsession with Ohio. His 2011 song "Swag Like Ohio" became the primary TikTok sound for all the videos.


What Does The 'Can't Even X In Ohio' Meme Mean?

Inspired by the Can't have shit in Detroit trend that labeled Michigan's metropolis as a lawless place of old, "Can't even X in Ohio" toyed with a similar catchphrase, however, it instead pulled on the creepy aspect of Ohio's aura.

The trend imagines what it'd be like to take a nap in Ohio or eat a meal in Ohio or see a movie in Ohio. Any scenario done in Ohio leads to an obtuse outcome akin to how the state represents the American absurd in pop culture today.


So, Why Are There So Many Memes About Ohio?

Again, the creepy undertone of Ohio’s memetic perception is evident in all of the Ohio trends' signifiers. What really goes on there? The memes ask the viewer. What really goes on in the place that represents America’s epitome of capitalist, wasteland culture?

The memes romanticize it. They want to represent the sublime of Ohio by folding at any further explanation of its aura. Instead, the meme creator turns to the creepy video or image, letting the viewer do all of the heavy lifting and be humorously scared of Ohio’s dark powers, which ultimately represent the dark powers of America’s culture.


For the full history of Ohio memes, be sure to check out our entries on every Ohio trend here for even more information.

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