Behind The Meme
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Behind The Meme was a YouTube webseries launched by Kyle Bryce that explains the origins of and offers analysis on trending memes. Since its launch in August 2016, the series has grown into a popular meme explainer on the video-sharing platform, garnering over 600,000 subscribers and 50 million channel views within the first six months. Despite its active presence on YouTube, the series has been the target of derision in certain meme communities due to its tone, unoriginal content, and the perception that he kills memes after he reviews them by making them accessible to normies. The channel ceased activity in December 2018 following several fake suicide vlogs.
Behind the Meme's YouTube channel launched on August 12th, 2016. The channel is run by Kyle Bryce. On his channel, he lists a California PO Box. His first video was uploaded on August 13th, explaining Dicks Out For Harambe (shown below).
As of March 8th, 2017, the channel has accrued over 646,000 subscribers. Some of his most popular episodes have acquired over one million views, including his videos for Cash Me Ousside, The Dab, We Are Number One, and Yee.
Anthony Fantano Parody
On November 12th, 2016, thatistheplan, the meme-explainer channel of Anthony Fantano, released a video on Rickrolling parodying the style of Behind The Meme. Fantano criticizes Behind the Meme's scripts by reading the entry in broken english. He also says the channel talks down to its audience like its full of 6 year olds and accuses the channel of regurgitating information on Know Your Meme.
The following day, Behind The Meme responded to Fantano's video by posting a video where he addressed some of the criticisms Fantano lobbed and got his mom to roast him by calling him a geek.
Though popular, Behind the Meme is despised in certain meme communities. Often, he is accused of being a normie and cancer in comments on his videos (ex: shown below).
The channel is particularly loathed on meme-focused subreddits such as /r/dankmemes and /r/MemeEconomy. For example, on March 8th, 2017, an image of a Behind The Meme comments section asking the channel to review Expanding Brain caused a stir in both subreddits. In /r/dankmemes, the screenshot was posted with the title, "Behind the meme, if you're out there, on Reddit, I'm begging you, don't do this to us. This meme is only a boy, it has so much to live for" (shown below).
On /r/MemeEconomy, the subreddit responds to Behind the Meme actions by crying "Sell!" whenever he reviews or is encouraged to review a meme.
On February 19th, 2017, an anonymous 4chan user took to /r9k/ to complain about Behind the Meme and ask how 4chan could take it down. In response, another user suggested that in every video, 4chan commenters demand he cover "Zenzi," a meme that doesn't exist, and downvote every video in which he doesn't cover Zenzi, which they thought would result in Behind The Meme getting frustrated and quitting (screenshot shown below). It appears the original thread has been deleted, though a similar thread has been archived.
Behind The Meme quickly discovered what was going on and thwarted the attempted 4chan raid by creating an explainer video for Zenzi the same day as the raid. The video turned into less of an explainer and more of an extended riff on the elitism of some meme communities. Behind The Meme's quick and accurate response to Zenzi resulted in the Zenzi raid being deemed a failure.
Behind the Meme has been accused in the past for allegedly plagiarizing Know Your Meme. In Anthony Fantano's parody of Behind the Meme, he sarcastically says "This is the part where I regurgitate information I found on Know Your Meme, but you're so stupid, you think I researched it." The channel's tendency to steal Know Your Meme information has been a noticeable trend for its followers. For example, in his episode for What in Tarnation, he says:
“What in Tarnation?” is an older saying that is often associated with the Southern states of America.
The "About" section for the Know Your Meme entry for the meme reads:
“What in Tarnation?” is a rhetorical question meaning “what in damnation?”, which is often associated with Americans living in the Southern United States expressing incredulous bewilderment.
On June 3rd, 2017, Behind The Meme uploaded a "Draw My Life" episode to his channel in which he admitted his name was Kyle Bryce (shown below). On August 4th, 2017, he uploaded a since-deleted video explaining Crash Bandicoot Woah. This led to him being doxxed.
On August 5th, 2017, Bryce was doxxed by user Jaxon Richardson of Hollaforums, who posted links to Bryce's social media profiles and his address. A thread was posted to /r/OutOftheLoop about the doxxing the next day. This led to increased criticism of the channel and another wave of harsh criticism, particularly on /r/memeeconomy and 4chan, though it is currently unclear the extent to which the doxxing has affected Bryce's personal life.
Suicide Vlog Series
On September 20th, 2018, the Behind the Meme channel uploaded a video titled "1. The Beginning," featuring first-person perspective footage of a man picking up a bottle of vodka in a supermarket (shown below, left). On September 22nd, a video titled "2. The Future" was uploaded to the channel, in which the show's creator discusses how the negative reaction to the Behind the Meme series led him to depression and shows his personal living space on camera (shown below, right).
On September 24th, the channel released a video titled "3. The Middle," in which the channel creator drives to a lookout to observe traffic at night while musing about the nature of humanity (shown below, left). On September 26th, he posted a video titled "4. The Past" in which he returns home, drinks more vodka and can be heard sobbing while saying "everybody hates me," that he has no "family or friends" and how the YouTube channel brought him both joy and negativity (shown below, right).
That day, Polygon published an article reporting that "sources within the YouTube community" claimed that authorities were contacted about the videos.
Fake Suicide Video
On September 28th, Bryce uploaded a final video in which he is shown shooting himself in the head with a pistol before collapsing to the ground. The video was subsequently removed from YouTube from YouTube for violating community guidelines but was reuploaded by YouTuber cobrasrock (shown below).
That day, Bryce uploaded another version of the final video, featuring a clip of a puppy as he reads the script for the fake suicide video (shown below, left). Meanwhile, a video explaining the five-part series was posted to the channel (shown below, right). In the video, Bryce apologizes for tricking viewers into thinking he had committed suicide but admitted that the videos were an "accurate portrayal" of his past reactions to negative feedback on YouTube. Additionally, Bryce claimed that the videos were created to "kill" his channel.
On September 30th, Bryce uploaded a video titled "The Cops Came To My House Because Of My Videos!", in which he discussed how he was visited by the authorities for his fake suicide video (shown below).
 YouTube – About Behind The Meme
 YouTube – Behind the Meme Discussion
 Reddit – /r/dankmemes post
 Reddit – /r/memeeconomy behind the meme search
 Twitter – @BehindTheMeme
 YouTube – Behind the Meme
 /r/OutOfTheLoop – reddit thread
 Polygon – YouTube community concerned over disturbing new series from divisive creator Behind The Meme
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