Let People Enjoy Things

Let People Enjoy Things

Part of a series on Adam Ellis. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 21, 2019 at 08:23AM EST by Y F.

Added May 06, 2019 at 04:52PM EDT by Matt.

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Let People Enjoy Things is a reaction image series that uses a webcomic by Adam Ellis. The image has been used to refute negative criticism about a piece of culture.


On February 3rd, 2016, Adam Ellis published the webcomic "shhh" on Facebook. The comic features one character bothering another with a series of mocking questions about sports. The annoyed person responds by holding their friend's mouth shut and saying "Let people enjoy things."[1] The post received more than 8,200 reactions, 440 comments and 100 shares (shown below).



Following the release of the comic, the final two panels began to be used as a reaction image, primarily describing a rebuttal to someone's criticism. For example, on July 13th, 2016, Twitter[2] user @evanjaquez tweeted the images in response to the expressions, "'hey wear too much make-' 'Those clothes are too ti--' 'They eat too mu-.'" The post received more than 840 retweets and 870 likes in three years (shown below, left).

Over the next several years, the image became a commonly used reaction for a variety of posts, whether it be a critical opinion or the punchline to a joke (shown below, center and right).

"They wear too much make-" "Those clothes are too ti--" "They eat too mu--" Me: LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH 11:58 PM -13 Jul 2016 Marques Brownlee @MKBHD Every time I see someone on the internet trying to trash someone for buying a prebuilt PC when "you could've build one way better for less bro" LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH ET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH

On May 2nd, 2019, Medium[3] user Esther Rosenfield published an essay about the reaction image and the sentiment of "let people enjoy things." She refutes that having a critical opinion about a piece of culture does not, in fact, ruin anyone's fun so much as it exposes one's insecurities about the thing they like, particularly when those pieces of culture are among the world's most popular and owned by one of the world's most powerful companies. She writes:

So we see the comic posted everywhere. “Let people enjoy things.” What it really means is “You’re not allowed to not enjoy things.” It’s a fundamentally broken way to look at art. Why do so many people perceive a dissenting opinion as a literal attack on affirmative ones? Especially in a case where the affirmative opinions are in such overwhelming majority? People are so threatened by the existence of disagreement, or even just of abstinence. In this new pop culture landscape, to merely opt out of these massive events is considered snobbish and uppity.


It lets a company like Disney, nearing monopolistic status in the film industry, pretend to be victimized by minor dissent. And their fans are such obsessives that they weaponize themselves in its defense. Disney doesn’t need to pay critics to give their films good reviews. Critics will do it for free, because who wants to be the one guy who isn’t on board? Who wants to be the bully?

Adam Ellis' "It's Over" Comic

On October 28th, 2019, Adam Ellis tweeted a comic depicting him shooting the two-panel meme with a shotgun, with the tweet receiving over 8,500 retweets and 44,100 likes in one day (shown below, left).[4] On the same day, Ellis tweeted that "he will kill as many comics as he has to" (shown below, rigth).[5]

adam ellis @moby_dickhead It's over. MAD.. I DON'T HAVE A CHOICE... WAIT! YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO TH I'M SORRY FOR WHAT I'M ABOUT TO DO.. LETPEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHH BLAM! IM..SORR.. 5:39 PM - 28 Oct 2019 Spookxelise @PixeliseGame 11h You know this is going to be a meme too at some point? 3 224 adam ellis @moby_dickhead Replying to @PixeliseGame 'll kill as many comics as I have to 10:58 PM 28 Oct 2019

Various Examples

"Yall chasing pokemon, im chasing my dreams" Yall watchin Empire, im building one" Me: LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH "Why is it so low? lt's not practical." LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH "All you do is suck c--- and post memes on instagram" LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH
Matahashi > Luke Plunkett 7/10/16 8:10pm Dont get me wrong. the game is entertaining. but the amount of sperging is just annoying at this point. Im a delivery driver and the amount of people walking around staring at their phones looking the idiots is getting slightly out of control Reply | 6 replies Luke Plunkett Matahashi 41 710/16 8:16pm LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH "You guys are posers. I liked this BEFORE it was popular!" LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS SHHH When thought policing backfires ADAM ELLIS edit by @borrowedmemes LET PEOPLE NJOY THI_ SHHH LET PEOPLE NOT ENJOY THINGS



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