Meme Acknowledgment

Memes happen. Whether it's a Catch Phrase that catches on, an intentionally or unintentionally funny moment, or an unfortunate coincidence, these things spread throughout the Internet like a virus. Sometimes crew members catch on and reference them.

It can be anything—a line at a convention, a YouTube video, even a piece of supplementary material. To qualify for this trope, it just has to be outside the show.

Often, this takes the form of a "lesser" worker (as in, not the creator or showrunner himself) referencing it, as trying to get it put into the script could potentially cause an uproar. Also, a lot of memes are OOC, risqué, or just plain random, which wouldn't fit at all in canon. The Expanded Universe gets more leeway in this department.

A Sister Trope to Ascended Meme, which is when the show itself references the meme.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 

     Film 

     Live Action TV 
  • "Bear" Grylls of Man vs. Wild has occasionally made jokes about reacting to events with "better drink my own piss" just like the meme parodying this trait of his.
  • When Elizabeth Berkley, best known as Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell, appeared on Dancing with the Stars, she and her partner Val had some fun before they had to do a jive routine by recreating one of the 90's series most iconic (and infamous) moments that has reached meme status: Jessie's caffeine-pill fueled breakdown while singing "I'M SO EXCITED!" The Internet rejoiced.
  • Oprah Winfrey famously gave away cars to everyone in her audience in a 2004 episode of her show. Her screams—particularly "YOU GET A CAR!"—quickly reached meme status. Nine years later, when Oprah appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, she was in the middle of talking about her new film The Butler when she suddenly stopped the interview and declared "I just got that feeling again." She called a random woman from the audience down to the set and abruptly screamed "YOU GET A CAR!," giving her the keys to a brand-new Ford Fusion that was outside. The whole thing was played as a joke, with Oprah describing her "problem" of giving away new cars as a compulsion that she tries to keep under control—in this case, she apparently skipped lunch, which made her condition flare up.

     Music 

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Late 2014 saw a meme on Vine featuring Randy Orton using his signature RKO finishing move on people who were falling or in accidents, making it appear as if Orton had caused them to fall. WWE eventually acknowledged it on their front page, and even posted a few vines of their own.
  • For a while, when the WWE has fired or released a wrestler from their contract, the announcements almost always ended with the phrase "We wish him/her the best in all his/her future endeavors." The term "future endeavored" became a meme among the Smart Mark crowd as a means of talking about someone being fired. In The New Tens, WWE actually started selling shirts with "Future Endeavored" on them.
    • For a short time, they also started selling shirts with other common smart mark lingo, such as "I'm So Over," "I Get Heat," etc. However, the shirts quickly fizzled out of production.

     Video Games 

     Visual Novels 

     Web Comics 
  • Homestuck: The Betty Crocker corporation has referenced their role as a villain in Homestuck several times on their Twitter account. They were once asked if they were aware that their CEO was an alien troll queen attempting to destroy the universe. Their response was "We can neither confirm nor deny."

     Web Original 
  • Epic Rap Battles of History did a rap battle between Donald Trump vs. Ebeneezer Scrooge. The very next day after the video was released, Donald Trump himself tweeted about the video, understandably confused and asking "What's with this rap stuff between me and Ebeneezer Scrooge?

     Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a lot of these.
    • This season 2 promo acknowledges acknowledged the fan terms "brony" (term for fans of the show, usually defined as the older male ones) and "DJ Pon-3" (for the DJ pony seen in "Suited for Success").
    • At the January 2012 Bronycon, Ashleigh Ball was asked to say one of Jappleack's lines from APPLE.MOV. She settled for "Uh... Fu... Forget you! Ah can eat all these apples!" Hotdiggedydemon, the maker of the .MOV series, posted a response.
    • May 30, 2012 saw the announcement of a special edition toy for Comic-con. The toy packaging is nameless, but contains a gray pegasus pony with blond hair, bubbles cutie mark, and yellow walleyes. The package is complete with muffins on the box art.
    • WeLoveFine's officially licensed My Little Pony line of shirts is at least half ascended memes.
    • Also inverted in a way: Ghost of True Capitalist Radio would often describe himself as "Melting Pot of Friendship" to deflect accusations of racism. He also hates the show and its fandom. So a "fan" recorded Tara Strong saying in her Twilight Sparkle voice that she's a Melting Pot of Friendship. Ghost took it well.
    • A DVD box set featured a "Now 20% cooler!" sticker.
  • The Legend of Korra fandom managed to get Steve Blum to read out some "Comedy Amon" jokes at a convention.
  • For the TV bumpers promoting the 2012 season of Futurama, Comedy Central had Billy West read lines that take off of the "Not Sure If..." meme originated online.
  • A recent ad for the 2014 Kid's choice awards on Nickelodeon makes use of the the Surprised Patrick meme.

     Real Life