Monday, March 3, 2008

memes memes memes MEMES!

Oh my goodness did you know that Randall Munroe is aware of the internet? He is! He knows all the internet jokes and sometimes he even makes his own! Below, we have compiled those comics of his which demonstrate his immense knowledge of Internet Lore & Culture and you will see just what I mean.

The real annoying part about these is that long ago, randall even made a comic, #286, about how constantly referring to old memes is not cool, it's annoying.

In the meantime, you may suggest comics that are based around internet memes for me to include. They don't have to be lame - the point is just he does it a lot. Super-giant thanks to Jay, incidentally, for his comment below that got this whole list started.

the whole fucking secretary series
391 - decide for yourself on this one. It could go either way, I think.
305 - not about a specific meme, at least not a real one, but about the idea in general.
286, as mentioned above
124, times a bajillion
107 - Snakes on a plane was totally more meme than movie

SO - what should I add, what should I drop? the sooner you comment, the more likely I am to listen and not fight back! the list solidifies over time, because i am strange like that.

I can't help but notice the trends over time: the first 250 comics have only 4 meme comics; the last 100 alone have 12, as many as the first 350. It's clearly becoming more of a crutch.

Like all these category posts, this has been backdated a few months to keep it off the front page; I started this post on December 3rd, 2008.


  1. Memes and meme-related humor. Ohh this one is going to be painful. (I like this one)

    This is pretty conservative. There were some that I left off because I wasn't sure they'd be considered 'memes'.


    That was a fun fifteen minutes. It was probably more but I'm going to pretend it wasn't.

  2. This is a great list. I don't know if i'd count 389, because the meme there is really pretty hidden and not a part of the comic. But other than that, yeah, this is a great way to get started. I'm going to actually finish this post and the romance one next week, when I have some more time.

  3. Carl, I'm not sure #289 is about memes being annoying. If it's played straight, maybe Randall thinks the old memes still have potential humor value. This theory gains traction when you consider the number of AYB references contained in XKCD (to say nothing of the myriad other memes).

  4. Adam, I assume you mean 286, not 289, but whatever. I don't see how you can read it as anything other than "references can get old pretty fast, and it takes a long time for them to be funny again." I'll agree that you can read it as "they can still be funny" but the caveat seems to be "...when they are brought back after many many years of being forgotten"

  5. Maybe Randall realizes he's being pathetic and it's self-referential.

    I'm not saying it's probable, but it's possible.

  6. /b/ is angry at Randall for his repeated references.

    "LOLOLOLIKNOWWHAT4CHANIS!!!1111" from the screaming mouth of a six year old is not cool.

  7. this comic basically summarizes every single xkcd strip in two panels. which is really sad.

    (you may need to read the comic before it to get what they're referencing, but the point is still made.)

  8. You used the phrase "common jokes of the internet".

    Emphasis on "jokes". It's a comic. What else do comics do? So now Randall isn't allowed to refer to the very medium in which his comic exists?

  9. Actually I'd say the emphasis is more on "common" as in "these jokes are all over the place and old by now."

    I think you're getting confused between "jokes about the internet" and "jokes that are completely saturating the internet" such as the more popular memes. There is not really anything wrong with the former, as you say, but I think that the latter are extremely tired and lack originality. In this case, there are also a lot of times that the whole comic just seems to be about proving that Randall knows about the memes and little else.

  10. This post is under 9000.

    Haha /meme warriors!

  11. What about 391? The game is clearly a meme, and this comic, with its complete lack of anything resembling a joke is the point where I date XKCD's precipitous decline.

  12. Hm...that's a close call. I think of that as a meme that takes place more offline, and this is really about 4chan style internet memes. But I can add it and tell people I think it's borderline.

  13. of course. How did I miss that? got it added now.

  14. Mr. Aaker, 398 is not on the list. 396 is (rickrolling).

  15. So he once believed that internet jokes were stupid?

    I guess all his base are belong to memes now.

  16. #16 (particularly the alt-text) was a lash out at reliance on referential humor, no? My how the mighty have fallen amirite?

  17. Once again, this is out of 600.

    And it IS part of the Language of xkcd. Memes are an internet language, no matter how old. Memes never tire out.

    I really don't think you can do any better. Prove it to me that you are better than Randall in a competition rather than with sideline insult.

  18. that's dumb, by that logic nearly anything is language.

    If you can set up a competition where we are judged anonymously (to remove preconceived biases from those judging us) and that Randall agrees to, I'd love to participate.

  19. you constantly claim that you used to like xkcd, yet I've seen you criticize comics as early as 44. You don't like the math, sarcasm or science comics and you also don't like the relationship comics. My question is this: what exactly did/do you like about xkcd?

  20. I liked it when it used to be funny, smart, and original. I generally did not like th first 50 or so comics, because they were just random sketches that Randall drew in notebooks and uploaded. After 50 or so and up until around 300, the majority were pretty good. Look around this site for the posts where I talk about my favorite ten comics from 1-200 and 201-400.

  21. After reading this, I suddenly got the urge to go listen to Eminem...

    It was very strange. I don't think I've ever actually listened to an Eminem song all the way through before ...