A quick scroll down any of our Instagram explore pages and it’s clear to see that regardless of how much our interests and personalities may differ, memes have transcended time and space to become the universal language of Millennials.
When you’re sitting in class and your lecturer clicks onto the next slide only to reveal one of those early 00’s rage comic monstrosities, one fact becomes clearer than ever: we are the only generation that fully understands the ever-shifting entity that is the meme economy. When to invest in yee-haw’s and haw-yee’s, whether we’re truly experiencing a Shrek meme renaissance and where to find the spiciest new reaction pic. With social media being almost universally accessible, why is it that it’s so hard to explain to your parents why you’re nose breathing loudly at something you just saw on your phone?
I present to you my theory; that the state of children’s television in the ’90s and ’00s has conditioned the millennial sense of humour to be ruthless, sarcastic and dumb as shit.
1. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody
These two savage lil dinguses gave us a rundown in being ruthlessly hilarious at the expense of those we love the most. Mr Moseby couldn’t go by a single day at the Tipton Hotel without copping their crap. Yet when push really came to shove Moseby was a quintessential part of the fam. I feel like our generation’s relationship with something like the Star Wars prequels is quite similar. We grew up with them in cinema and they hold a pretty solid significance in most of our childhoods as Sunday afternoon viewing, but we’re still going to put them on a constant spitfire roast and keep churning out prequel memes.
2. The Amanda Show
For those of us too young to remember All That this was our taster of prime short-form sketch comedy. The Amanda Show gave us small tidbits of slapstick comedy, an onslaught of different wigs and false teeth and I think it harkens to our generations love of Vine (RIP in peace sweet prince) and Instagram videos. Short, sweet and over the top; three defining features of the millennial sense of humour and exactly what this show brought us on a daily basis (if u got that sweet Foxtel hookup that is).
3. Round the Twist
Have you ever… ever felt like this? Just try and pose that question that to a group of Aussie millennials and see what happens, I BLOODY DARE YA. Look, the show in itself exemplifies Aussie meme culture in the fact that we have to describe it to an outsider by explaining that the plot of one episode is that one kid got pregnant from peeing on a tree and another episode is about his little brother getting a fish stuck in his penis. Need I say any more?
For those of y’all like myself who were not blessed with a Foxtel connection during their childhood and spent a lot of their time sneaking Nickelodeon in at their neighbour's place, you probably got on your sarcastic bs by watching Arthur. I watched a few episodes of this show the other day and it legitimately holds up. Like a lot of meme culture, it’s super cynical, way too self-aware for its own good and has some hilarious jokes hidden for the parents which probably seeped into our frontal lobes and destroyed our innocence. Not to mention that Arthur fist of rage meme was the stuff of legend like a year and a half ago.
5. Spongebob Squarepants
Last but not least, the obvious answer Spongebob Squarepants. This show genuinely feels as if it’s programmed to turn children into tiny cynical adults. Just look at the Superbowl that halftime show that aired a couple of weeks ago and you can see how much of an impact the Bikini Bottom gang have had on our generation. The fallout that ensued from the fact that they snubbed the iconic Squarepants ballad “Sweet Victory” in favour of the shirtless potato sack of human flesh that is Adam Levine was gargantuan and the impetus for so much top-notch online content.
Whether you were a Foxtel kid or an ABC kid, you cannot deny the impact that these shows had on us back in the day. Whether the writers' rooms were full of memelords or it’s our interpretation of them that is pure gold, they draw some crazy parallels to the humour that we consume scrolling through our socials every day of our lives.
Image credit: https://www.kqed.org/pop/10769...