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.
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Anime and Manga
- Wayne Grayson, voice of Joey in Yu-Gi-Oh!, has said "Brooklyn Rage!!" several times at a 2008 convention. He referred to it as "his favorite line" even though:
"It's not even a line my character says, but I've been saying it all weekend".
- Christopher Sabat frequently acknowledges the "OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!" meme, though he does find it odd that people ask him to say it when it was a line from the older dub that he had no involvement in.
- It took them 8 years to catch on, but Peter Jackson actually got Orlando Bloom to sing his famous Stupid Statement Dance Mix "They're taking the hobbits to Isengard!"
- Thanks to a particularly popular mashup of "Guren no Yumiya" with a dance number from a Bollywood movie starring screen idol NTR Jr., the Japanese release of a new Bollywood movie with the same lead actor actually promotes him as the Shingeki no Indian.
- Top promote their airing of Downfall, SBS made a Hitler Rants video.
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.
- 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.
- Garland's Dissidia: Final Fantasy voice actor, Christopher Sabat, gave us this little gem.
- At Comic-Con 2011, a panel featuring the voice directors for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had Taliesin Jaffe (the English VA for Blanka and Adon in Street Fighter IV) belting out "Would anybody like... SOME POUND CAKE?!" and "JAGUAR SLEEPOVER!" The former is a meme originating from one of Egoraptor's sketches from the Street Fighter Collab on Newgrounds and the latter is an oft-quoted Mondegreen of Adon's Jaguar Revolver Ultra in IV.
- David Hayter, English voice of Solid Snake, has been known to spend a lot of time saying "OhmyGodhotnessIwannaBANGYOU" and "CRAB...BATTLE...", references to two popular Metal Gear Solid Flash parody shorts. (He also claimed that the voice over director on the games brought in Metal Gear Awesome for the cast to watch together during the recording of Metal Gear Solid 4.)
- BioWare sells "Enchantment!" and "Morrigan Disapproves" t-shirts, based on popular phrases from Dragon Age, as well as "Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest sonofabitch in space!" and "favorite store on the Citadel" memes from Mass Effect. For a while, they also sold a t-shirt of Mass Effect's "I should go."
- The Touhou character Hong Meiling. No-one could decide what to call her (she's Chinese, yet her name in Chinese characters could very well be a Japanese name), so everyone decided to call her China. It became a Discredited Meme... until ZUN said that he also calls her China. Poor Meiling...
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: On Xbox 360, you can get an "Arrow in the Knee" accessory for your Avatar.
- At E3 2012, Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime came out and said "Yes, my body was ready."
- Blizzard Entertainment has been using the phrase "the rush begins" (changed to "has begun" after release day) in some of the advertising for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
- The last 24 hours of the Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign were streamed from lent office space in Austin, TX. For about two hours, the team went out for dinner and left an IKEA table lamp with a paper sign taped to it perched in front of a camera as a makeshift, "We'll be right back" sign. The team returned to find that, in their absence, the silly, sleep-deprived fan community had begun building all sorts of weird lore around the lamp, jokingly deifying it, naming squadrons or guilds for it, giving it an imagined personality, addressing direct questions to it in the chat threads, and so forth. Some members of the development team joined in on the joke, and at least for the foreseeable future, the Lamp will continue to make appearances in some of the development team webcasts.
- The voice actor for Sonic the Hedgehog Dr. Eggman was once asked to say "Snooping as usual, I see!" in his Eggman voice. Once he learned why he was given the request, he stated that he would never take requests from fans again.
- "Nintendo of Europe supports the No Coin Left Behind movement!"
- In a Nintendo Direct after E3 2012, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata held a bunch of bananas for a few seconds, for seemingly no reason. This quickly turned into a meme, and the very next E3 Nintendo posted a picture of Iwata holding bananas with the caption "Bananas @ E3" on Facebook.
- Focus Interactive, who produce Sherlock Holmes video games, had Watson teleporting due to the developers being pressed for time, forcing them to not animate Watson walking, and Watson's mad teleportation skills were widely seen as creepy. In March, they produced a video based off of this small "Creepy Watson" meme.
- In Nintendo's show for E3 2014, when talking about the success of Mario Kart 8, they edited in the memetic "Luigi Death Stare," wherein Luigi gives off a Death Glare when he passes an opponent. Keep in mind this meme was less than a week old when they did this.
- One of the songs in Project Diva F is the song from the once-popular Nyan Cat meme, since the original, rather limited, vocals belonged to Hatsune Miku!
- Cryptic Studios' James "Borticus" Randall, part of the dev team for Star Trek Online, voiced Captain James Kurland, C.O. of Deep Space 9, in the featured episode "The 2800". After complaints about Kurland's constant spamming of the line "KURLAND HERE" in "Boldly They Rode" went memetic, Borticus commented on the forums that it was "not my best work, I'm afraid" and even added it to his forum signature.
- At Gamescom 2014, Masuda says Hoenn Confirmed in his message to fans awaiting the upcoming Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games.
- Nintendo UK's website's Error screen is I AM ERROR.
- The official Super Smash Bros.. Facebook page indulges in this on occasion when uploading character card photos that give info such as their first appearance and Final Smash. Ike's for instance was uploaded with the caption: "For Fun? For Glory? No. For Friends," referencing a memetic victory phrase of Ike's from Brawl.
- The reveal trailer for the Updated Re-release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask really played up the creepiness of Termina, and at one point the camera lingers over Link's Elegy of Emptiness statue (the face behind "Ben Drowned") for longer than the other scenes.
- Link's Catch Phrase of "Well, excuse me, princess!" uttered in The Legend of Zelda animated series is used by an NPC in a sidequest in Xenoblade Chronicles (Monolith Soft was the developer of that game, but Monolith is owned by Nintendo).
- This line actually works, because the character on which this line is spoken to is actually a princess.
- Street Fighter X Mega Man has a track called "Goes With Everything". Once the appropriate code is activated, all the music in the game is replaced with this one. This track is, as you might expect, Guile's theme.
- At one particular Comiket, 0verflow named their booth "Nice Boat".
- After "The miracle never happen" in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All, Janet Hsu mentioned in an update for the 3DS Ace Attorney Trilogy that "the miracle did happen!" as they're proofreading the text again for the new release.
- 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."
- 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.
- Ryan Gosling has been asked in interviews about fuckyeahryangosling.tumblr.com and has read out some of the captions of the images on that site.
- After Chicago Blackhawks fans adopted Lindsey Buckingham's "Holiday Road" as their unofficial anthem for the team's run through the Stanley Cup playoffs, the NHL Network used the title of the song◊ when noting that five of the last six Stanley Cup winners have won the Cup on the road.
- Chuck Norris and his public acknowledgement of Chuck Norris Facts in tv interviews.