Follying around

Movie and TV SCENES that became MEMES

Which famous scenes did Internet users use to create popular memes?

Mary Kosiarz

9 June 2023

A movie doesn’t have to be great to be iconic. On the contrary – more and more, sometimes even mediocre, productions are now famous for this one characteristic scene that immediately causes a sensation on the web, and we see its modifications on all social networking sites. The most outstanding and quite recent example of this is Wednesday’s dance choreographed by the actress herself – Jenna Ortega. When memes became a popular medium of jokes, their main inspirations were films and TV series, which made a given work even more popular, made jokes about its specific scenes or found a second meaning in them. So here they are – staff that, thanks to mocking Internet memes, stayed with us for longer.

"Chrissy, wake up!" - "Stranger Things"

The summer of 2022 was memorable mainly thanks to the boom for the fourth season of Stranger Things, for which the Duffer Brothers made us wait over 3 years. A bunch of friends from Hawkins, as a result of the events at the end of the previous series, were forced to travel around the States, but as we can guess, this did not save them from fighting other monsters – this time the main opponent of Eleven was Vecna. And it is the famous scene in which the new heroine – Chrissy – is attacked by him that was hailed as a real Internet holiday hit. A significant role in its spectacular success was played by Joseph Quinn playing Eddie Munson, who, inviting Chrissy to his apartment to sell her drugs, had no idea how tragic this evening would end. Although the moment Eddie desperately tries to make contact with the hallucinating Chrissy while the lights are raging around her and the girl’s body suddenly contorts unnaturally is undoubtedly traumatic for him, fans of the series from his screams of “Chrissy, wake up! I don’t like this” created a tiktok viral, followed by an avalanche of memes containing his memorable quote.

Harry and Ron on their way to Hogwarts - "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 21 years since the premiere of Chamber of Secrets, and we are still just as amused by the priceless look of resigned Ron every time the Ford England sets off on its Hogwarts tour. Intrigued by the sounds of the Hogwarts Express, the boys realize that the train is right behind them, causing them both to panic, completely losing control of the vehicle. And it was that shot of a frightened Ron giving Harry a hopeless look that spawned hundreds of brilliant memes.

"THIS IS SPARTA!" – "300"

A classic of the genre. The famous phrase uttered by Leonidas in the movie 300 has entered circulation not only as the base of thousands of memes, but also film remakes. Gerard Butler, in order to maximally intensify the sound of this single quote, practiced on the set every day, which ultimately made an electrifying impression on the audience. An impression so memorable and immortalized that to this day the scene from 300 is a cult phenomenon and one of the most common meme inspirations related to the film.

"Winter is coming" - "Game of Thrones"

The motto of the Stark family and the phrase repeated ad nauseam throughout all eight seasons of Game of Thrones apparently did not give the viewers peace and simply had to get its second life. “Winter is coming” has outlasted far longer than Ned Stark, who constantly reminded us of the chill of danger approaching Westeros – whether as a caricature of Donald Trump, poking fun at the Covid restrictions, or making fun of the joke itself about the famous quote. So it’s not hard to say that even those Internet users who have never dealt with Starks, Lannisters and Baratheons in their lives know by heart the image of long-haired Sean Bean dressed in winter fur. Interestingly, the actor playing the main representative of the northern house apparently tends to appear in many online remakes, which he himself jokes about years later – he is, after all, the main character of another recognizable meme, this time from the Lord of the Rings universe: “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

"NO GOD, PLEASE NO!" - "The Office"

The Office, during its 8-year broadcast, became a veritable mine of memes. However, the one that went down in history as unbeatable is a frame from season five, specifically from the episode titled Frame Toby. Michael makes no effort to hide his disappointment when Toby shows up at the office after returning from Costa Rica – Scott loudly and clearly lets his colleague know how “enthusiastic” he welcomes his return to the workplace. Carell’s unmistakable acting is material that meme makers definitely couldn’t ignore, which is why the No God, please no! is the opening credits for images expressing resentment and bitterness, and at the same time one of the most iconic moments of the series.

Calvin Candy - "Django Unchained"

Leonardo DiCaprio, more than applause for the daring role of the sociopathic Calvin Candi, became famous on the Internet as the main character of the wave of memes that flooded the network when Quentin Tarantino’s new film entered the cinemas. Viewers of Django Unchained especially remember Candy’s dinner with Schultz and Django, during which DiCaprio gives the audience one of the characteristic, cynical smiles of his thoroughly antagonistic character. Remakes of the iconic scene began to appear in the media shortly after the premiere, and the racist plantation manager and slave owner became a permanent fixture in memes and gifs, as did many other heroes the actor undertook to portray. An excellent example of this is the equally widespread frame from The Great Gatsby, in which Jay raises a toast against the backdrop of a boisterous party.

Dawson's Cry - "Dawson's Creek"

James Van Der Beek’s dream during the shooting of Dawson’s Creek was certainly not to become such a popular star of internet memes, especially since the pictures with his participation are largely mocking his, to put it mildly, dubious ability to play a believable, uncomplicated dramatic scene. When the actor’s on-series girlfriend, Joey (played by Katie Holmes), confesses to him that their relationship has no future and then leaves, leaving Dawson alone, he unexpectedly provides us with an embarrassing and grotesque attempt to portray despair. Van Der Beek shot himself in the foot with his childlike cry rendition, but 10 years after shooting the memorable scene, he approached the subject with coolness and distance, turning the whole situation into a joke. In the video published on the Internet, the actor parodied himself, re-enacting Dawson’s characteristic emotional states.

"Here's Johnny!" - "The Shining"

The most representative scene of The Shining based on King’s prose, in which Jack Torrance chases his terrified wife, Wendy, around the house with an ax in hand. The woman, looking for a way to escape, hides in the room for a short while, but her possibilities of getting out are very limited or even impossible. Psycho Jack breaks down the door with an axe, and when his work is done, he sticks his face through the hole and utters the eerie “Here’s Johnny!” Jack Nicholson’s sensational acting served as a model for one of the most popular series of memes expressing amazement, something extremely unexpected or, on the other hand, supposed to scare and give goosebumps.

Mary Kosiarz

Mary Kosiarz

Far from keeping her feet firmly on the ground, she has sold her artistic soul to books and cinematography. Fascinated by Meryl Streep and an avid fan of unconventional film endings. In her free time, she educates about mental health and recommends her favorite books and screens.

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