The Meme Renaissance of Me_IRL, otherwise known as The Great Meme War of October 2016, refers to a period marked by a notable increase in in-jokes and pop culture references on the /r/me_irl subreddit in October 2016. Many have attributed the cause of the event to the preceding "Great Meme Drought," during which few new internet memes were embraced by the community.
Beginning of the Meme Renaissance
On October 4th, 2016, redditor Zonemasta8 submitted a post titled [BREAKING NEWS] Bear in the big house meme speculated to be meme of the month during the prolonged meme drought to /r/memeeconomy speculating that Bear In The Big Blue House memes could be the possible solution the the Great Meme Drought of October. The post linked to an Imgur page containing an image titled Me????irl (shown below). The Imgur page also contained a link to the original source of the image uploaded by redditor LYNCHY36 in the subreddit me_irl in a post titled me_irl. LYNCHY36's post has gained 3.3k upvotes and 94 comments as of October 20th, 2016.
Later on October 4th, Reddit user bradfordGT submitted a picture of Bear from Bear In The Big Blue House, along with the caption “Trying to sneak in the new meme of the month like”. Within 72 hours, the post received upwards of 1,500 votes (93% upvoted) on the /r/me_irl subreddit. The Bear reaching the front page is attributed by many, as the end of the Great Meme Drought of October and the start of The Meme Renaissance.
Me_irl is a subreddit on Reddit with a peculiar set of memetic rules on what to post and how it must be posted. The following is an excerpt from the ABOUT US, AND THE FULL RULZ index page for me_irl.
The purpose of this sub is to post "selfies of the soul", images or videos or other links that represent you. Someone who knows you would look at your post and think "yea that's them". Every post is titled "me irl". Posts that aren't are removed automatically.
The subreddit has over 446.5k subscribers (labelled nerds on me_irl) as of October 23rd, 2016. The top post is titled me irl, tagged 'communist overlord,' and links to an image on imgur of a plastic human bones shaped like a dog called 'bony dog man' (shown below). The image has 31.8k upvotes and 214 comments as of October 23rd, 2016.
After the meme of Bear from Bear In The Big Blue House reached the front page of /r/me_irl, several entries followed including Bear. The following day, October 6th, redditors began submitting images of skeletons, in reference to the annual skeleton war, framing Bear as an enemy of the skeleton army and as a horrible meme. Skeletor was commonly used as a symbol of the skeleton army. Some predicted worms on a string to be the eventual crash of the highly volatile meme market at the current time.
- October 7th: The skeleton army were declared victorious over Bear, which ushered in an era of goosebumps memes.
- October 8th: Abundance of crusading and trebuchet memes, which had experienced mild popularity before the beginning of the meme renaissance.
- October 9th: Rise of Bionicle memes.
- October 10th: Still dominated by Bionicle memes, but also featured memes of Ken Bone.
- October 11th: 3rd and final day of Bionicle memes.
- October 12th: Battlefront 2 & Stormtrooper memes, most of which contained the phrase Watch Those Wrist Rockets.
- October 13th: Wallace and Gromit memes.
- October 14th: featured a return in the popularity of Dat Boi and Proletarian Bob the Builder (shown below).
The rapid pace of the meme production has caused posts conflating the various memes and posts expressing total confusion to grow popular on the subreddit.
January 2017 Meme
On January 1st, 2017, various posters on the subreddit tried to post images in an attempt to create the first meme on the subreddit for 2017. Although various attempts were made, the images with the most consistency were those featuring a yellow lawn chair; several posts reached thousands of upvotes in less than 24 hours.
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