Sanctuary Guardian

Sanctuary Guardian

Part of a series on EarthBound / Mother. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 25, 2021 at 08:44PM EDT by Philipp.

Added May 01, 2020 at 03:35AM EDT by Glycentrix.

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Sanctuary Guardian is a soundtrack composition from the 1994 video game Earthbound (Mother 2: Giygas Strikes Back) which plays during the boss battles. Starting in late February 2020, the composition gained popularity in ironic demotivational poster edits, usually playing when something weird is being said or something unusual happens, accompanied by captions such as "WHAT," "HOW", etc. In late October of 2020, an extension of the format, Witch Turns Dog Into Wood, became popular particularly on YouTube and Reddit.


On August 27th, 1994, role-playing video game Mother 2: Gyigas Strikes Back was released in Japan.[1] On June 5th, 1995, the game was released in North America as EarthBound. During the battles with six out of eight Sanctuary Guardians, the boss enemies of the game, music track Sanctuary Guardian plays (music video shown below). The composition is a remix of "Battle With a Dangerous Foe," the boss music from the original Mother game released in 1989.

Prior to February 25th, 2020, an unknown user posted an ironic demotivational poster meme based on a clip of Martin Cabello III saying "you're fucking dead," which used the composition. On February 25th, YouTube[2] user boto reuploaded the video. On February 26th, the clip was uploaded by Twitter[3] account @StrangestMp4, gaining over 312,500 views, 6,700 retweets and 29,500 likes in three months (shown below).

On the same day, Twitter[4] user @Diram290 posted an uncropped version of the meme, with the full caption being "WHAT, you are actually dead."


On March 7th, 2020, Instagram[5] user succc.exe posted the earliest known derivative meme based on the format, editing a viral clip of cat named Comet walking on its hind paws (shown below, left). The edit received over 65,300 views and 17,300 likes in three months. On March 16th, Instagram[6] user cinemaparamount posted an edit of Sonic the Hedgehog clip in which character Dr. Robotnik saying, "look what came out of my egg sac." The post received over 7,600 views and 1,200 likes. In mid-March 2020, both succc.exe's and cinemaparamount's edits received viral spread online with multiple reuploads on Twitter, YouTube and Reddit.

On March 16th, 2020, MaxMoeFoe retweeted[7] the original Martin Cabello edit, gaining over 2,700 retweets and 17,100 likes. The format gained further traction in late March 2020; for example, on March 25th, YouTuber[8] IceyPino posted a STFU I'm Listening to meme based on the song (shown below).

The format maintained its popularity through April 2020, with multiple viral edits being posted online on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. For example, on April 10th, Instagram[9] user rikkasmywaifu posted a Rikka Takanashi meme which was widely circulated online. On April 27th, 2020, Twitter[10] account @TomAndIsabelle2 posted an Animal Crossing version of the meme which received over 1,500 retweets and 5,300 likes in one month. On April 30th, 2020, YouTuber[11] Glycentrix posted a version of the meme which received over 14,400 views.

Awesome, He Finally / Scatman's World

Scatman's World is a song by American musician and singer Scatman John. First released as a second single from 1995 album of the same name, the song has since appeared in multiple memes and gained significant popularity in meme edits on iFunny and Instagram in July 2019, particularly of ironic Awesome, He Finally genre.

Witch Turns Dog Into Wood

Witch Turns Dog Into Wood refers to an animation by Louie Zong that depicts a witch tapping a barking dog with her wand and turning it into a piece of wood with what looks like a dog's face on it, based on a real piece of wood that went viral on January 29th, 2017, when it was posted to /r/funny by user Fulmario.[12] The animation was posted on Zong's Twitter on February 8th, 2017 (shown below). It gained over 14 thousand retweets and 25 thousand likes in 3 years.

On June 17th, 2020, YouTuber Lil Wateru uploaded a Sanctuary Guardian version of Zong's animation to his channel, garnering over 3.9 million views in 4 months (shown below, left). This inspired a number of new Sanctuary Guardian memes based on Zong's animation, including one uploaded on July 10th, 2020 by YouTuber Gaming with Shao, featuring Tom from Tom & Jerry turning a dog into wood (shown below, right). The video gained over 38 thousand views in 3 months.

Various Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – EarthBound

[2] YouTube – you’re fucking dead

[3] Twitter – @StrangestMp4

[4] Twitter – @Diram290

[5] Instagram – succc.exe

[6] Instagram – cinemaparamount

[7] Twitter – @maxmoefoe

[8] YouTube – STFU IM LISTENING TO Earthbound – 53 – Sanctuary Guardian

[9] Instagram – rikkasmywaifu

[10] Twitter – @TomAndIsabelle2

[11] YouTube – Run boy Run ft.1886 – Earthbound Sanctuary Guardian Meme

[12] Reddit – "Unsure Doggo"

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