Memes: Literature

We saw these memes in a book somewhere... but we really read them for the actual stories, we swear! (Look at that... we're poets and we were unaware of this fact until recently.)

Please add entries in the following format:
  • The name of the book.
    • Meme name: description of meme and how it's used.
      • Source of meme and fandom it relates to in the form of a hot tip.
      • Famous instances (such as the Rick Roll during the Thanksgiving parade).
      • Further mutations and successor memes, if any.

  • fnord
  • Rare poetry example — Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven":
    • Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered weak and weary...
    • Quoth the raven: "Nevermore."
  • Another poetry example, from Beowulf: "So."
    • It should perhaps be noted that only the Seamus Heaney translation begins that way. Others translators have rendered the opening word, "Hwæt!", as quite a range of words and phrases, among them "Lo!", "Listen!", and "Hear me!".
  • ErmahgerdGers Berms! Explanation 
  • Poetry example #3
    T S Eliot's The Hollow Men:
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper
    (not "with a whisper")
  • HP Lovecraft:
    • Phn'glui mgl'wnafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
    • Iä! Iä! The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!
    • The Necronomicon.
    • I am the last. I will tell the audient void.
    • The mad piping of two amorphous flute-players.
    • Tekeli-li? note .
    • We'll be alright as long as no one says Hastur-AAAAUUGH!
    • Whatever you do, never, ever read the name of Y'golonac. (YOU FOOL! YOU'VE DOOMED US ALL!)Explanation 
    • Lovecraft was an adequately excellent lover.
    • "That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons, even death may die."
  • The King in Yellow: The Yellow Sign. Fear it.
  • Pride and Prejudice:
  • The Areas of My Expertise spawned The 700 Hoboes Project.
  • Discworld:
    • That! Is!! Not!!! My!!!! Cow!!!!!
    • I Aten't dead.
    • Buggrit! Millennium hand and shrimp!
    • Ook.
    • It is a pune, or play on words.
    • Writing or typing everything related to Death in the required font.
    • Five exclamation marks!!!!! The sure sign of an insane mind!!!!!
    • The hedgehog can never be buggered at all.
    • Scumble: Made from apples. Well, mostly apples.
    • That was me jumping to what we call a conclusion.Explanation 
  • Thomas Pynchon:
  • Dune:
    • Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    • In the form of the film's version of the Baron, "HE WHO CONTROLS THE SPICE CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE!"
    • Also from the David Lynch film: "The Spice must flow..."
  • 1984:
  • "5. Thus, they at once began to quarrel about the nut." (From McGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader, via the Annals of Improbable Research.)
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude: "Cease, cows! Life is short!"
  • In snarky discussions of anything related to Twilight, copious amounts of Bishie Sparkle must be used. This is also considered a case of Never Live It Down, since beyond the romantic plot between Edward and Bella, the only thing most snarkers (care to) remember is the fact that Their Vampires Are Different... and Extra Shiny.
    • The chagrinning books also suffer from the chagrinning act of shoehorning the word chagrin, no matter how chagrinningly inappropriate, into every chagrinning sentence, much to the chagrin of many.
    • THIS IS THE SKIN OF A KILLERRRRRRRR!!!
    • Edward doubts your commitment to Sparkle Motion.
    • Team Edward and Team Jacob
      • "Sod that, Team Dracula."
      • Team Buffy!
      • Team Edward AND Jacob!
      • Team Tyler's Van.Explanation 
      • Team Orlok
    • Do I dazzle you?
      • You are totally chagrinning my dazzle, dammit!
    • The 108-year-old virgin, courtesy of RPatz himself.
    • Why so sullen, Edward Cullen?
    • "EMMETT CAN YOU KEEP IT DOWN I AM READING PROUST!"
      • SHE SMELLED DELICIOUS. LIKE BACON.
      • NO ONE UNDERSTANDS MEEE HE WOULD SEETHE AS HE PRESSED HIS WILDFLOWERS
      • EMMETT THAT ISNT A WORD TAKE IT OFF THE BOARD
    • UHMAAAAZING BUUUUUUUK!
    • Twilight means never having to say you're kidding.
    • CAUSE OF DEATH: Crushed vagina.
    • Edward watches Bella in her sleep.
    • Renesmee: Demonspawn/Anti-Christ.
      • Albus Severus Potter thinks Renesmee has a dumb name.
    • Real men sparkle.
    • 'Stupid shiny Volvo owner'.
    • Edward is gay for Caustic
    • And there's always the classic: Edward Cullen is Joseph Smith! Based on the idea that the description Stephenie Meyer gives Edward looks suspiciously similar to what Joseph Smith looked like as well.
    • They don't turn into werewolves.
    • Hop on, spider monkey.
    • Rick Mora embraces the loin! Explanation 
    • In Croatian language, Cullen sounds a lot like "kulen" which is a type of spicy salami. So anytime you want to make fun of Twilight in Croatia, just say Edward Kulen.
    • Still a better love story than Twilight. Explanation 
      • Recently came full-circle with the declaration "Still a better love story than Fifty Shades of Grey".
    • "And Buffy staked Edward. The end".
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • It is known.
    • Also to refer to oneself and others as "a girl" or "a boy".
    • Hodor.
    • You know nothing, Jon Snow.
    • A Lannister always repays his debts.
    • Winter is coming.
    • I want to see him fly!
    • Fat pink masts and myrish swamps.Explanation 
    • CLEGANEBOWL CONFIRMED! GET HYPE!
    • X is secretly a Targ. Explanation 
    • X is Azor Ahai. Explanation 
    • Benjen = Daario = Euron. Explanation 
    • Referring to any Essosi character as "Harzoo."
  • John Ringo's Ghost
    • OH JOHN RINGO NO.Explanation 
    • Ringo had the review pointed out to him, and in the journal he replied with praise for it as the most accurate review of the book he had ever seen. Later, the phrase was used as part of a t-shirt design for a garment whose proceeds were to be sent to an organization helping sexually exploited women around the world, many in the situation of pretty much all the prostitutes in the Paladin of Shadows series.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • 42.
    • Don't Panic.
    • ...mostly harmless.
    • You'll be fine as long you have your towel.
    • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
    • "Oh, freddled gruntbuggly/Thy micturations are to me..."
    • "BELGIUM!" (One of the galaxy's strongest curses.)
    • ...has this to say on the subject of alcohol...
    • Life? Don't talk to me about life.
    • Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike this trope.
  • CS Multilaser, author of several multilasers in the Warhammer 40,000 multilaser, is an example of this multilaser. Explanation 
  • "That'th a cock, hey-o!"
    • Women do not rever [sic] the venom cock as men do.
  • Don't like Anne Rice? Clearly, you are interrogating the text from the wrong perspective.
  • The phrase Catch-22 is an interesting example. In the book the expression Catch-22 means an unwritten-yet-applied dumb rule with many uses, but due to memetic mutation it quickly became known as nothing more than the no-win situation it's known as today.
  • Sword of Truth:
  • The Bible:
    • Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass!
    • As for the fate of Dagon... Is The Lord Thy God gonna have to choke a bitch?
    • The Bible is a rip-off... of Neon Genesis Evangelion!!!
    • Due to a translation quirk, "know in the Biblical sense" has become a Memetic Euphemism.
    • Why is Jesus better than Kamina? Because when Jesus came back from the dead, He stayed that way.
    • Doubting Thomas.
    • As one of the key texts of Western culture (and having spread it as far and wide as possible), recounting all the phrases and metaphors from the Bible that have become part of the language could be a wiki all of its own - David and Goliath, Judas, "Render unto Caesar", "Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle", "In the beginning", "Live by the X, die by the X", "Let them be light", the Ark...
    • JOHN 3:16
    • "The number of the Beast is 666".
    • Jesus promised the end of all wicked people. Odin promised the end of all ice giants. I don't see many ice giants around.
    • Where is your god now?
    • The most well-known prayer ever: Psalm 23:4 "Yay, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death".
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • "The yellow face, it burns us, precious!"
    • Gollum Made Me Do It!
    • One does not simply (verb) into (location).
    • Do not meddle in the affairs of X for (they/you) are A and B. (Originally "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.")
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night.
  • The phrase "Yngvi is a louse!" from The Roaring Trumpet became a meme among science fiction fandom before the Internet existed. [1]
  • A common explanation of how Goosebumps books always end: "The kids turn out to be dogs or something".
  • The Butler Did It.
  • For a very small subset of fans who have read the right novels of the New Jedi Order... Blackmoon Eleven is the greatest pilot of all time.
  • The Princess Bride has generated many memes, but they're all under Film. No point in duplicate entries.
  • Good Omens:
    • The point is... the point is... the point that I'm trying to make is... dolphins.
    • Gorillas. They build nests. Saw it in a film.
    • Kids! Bringing about Armageddon may be dangerous. Do not attempt it in your own home.
    • English, intelligent, and gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide.
    • "Making an effort" has become a bit popular with the slashers.
    • God's "ineffable" plans.
    • All tapes left in a car for more than a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.
    • Oh Lord, heal this bike.
      • And its related phrase, "consenting bicycle repairmen".
  • Artemis Fowl:
    • I don't like lollipops.
    • Your elf-kissing days are over, Artemis.
    • My truffles? You took them? That's just mean!
    • Bivouac?
  • Animorphs:
    • My name is
      • We can't tell you who we are, or where we live. It's too risky, and we've got to be careful. Really careful. Because if they find us... Well, we just won't let them find us. The thing you've got to know is that everyone is in really big trouble. Yeah. Even you.
    • IT'S OAT FREAKING MEAL!!!
    • Don't call me 'Prince'.
      • Yes, Prince Jake.
    • They're everyone's minutes.
      • We have X of your minutes left in morph.
    • "Cheer up, Emohawk!"
    • Visser Three is there. Visser Three is always there.
    • The covers, depicting the central character of the book morphing into the book's central animal morph.
  • Maximum Ride:
    • I vill now destroy de Snickuhs bahrs.
    • "You looooooooooove me. You love me thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much."
    • Fnick and Figgy
  • Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?
  • The house from House of Leaves.
    • This is not for you.
    • This XKCD includes most of the popular House of Leaves memes.
  • Harry Turtledove: CONFEDERATES WITH AK47s!
    • Sam Carsten has blonde hair and freckles and burns extremely easily in the sun, which is a very bad trait for a sailor in the Navy. It doesn't matter how much zinc he slathers on, he still gets sunburnt. Also, General Clarence Potter sounds like a Yankee since he went to Yale.
  • The Canterbury Tales: Don't get The Wife of Bath angry.
  • Atlanta Nights. Particularly Chapter 34.
  • Margaret Atwood does not write science fiction. Science Fiction is about talking squids in outer space.
  • The Dresden Files:
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
  • Dorothy Parker told us that "Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses." (Hey, she was an American and she died in The Sixties—she was unfamiliar with the concept of a Meganekko.)
  • Ogden Nash's idea of how to win over a girl: "Candy is dandy, But Liquor Is Quicker."
    • He also mutated Joyce Kilmer's "I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree" into "I think that I shall never see a billboard lovely as a tree. Perhaps, unless the billboards fall, I'll never see a tree at all."
  • Gertrude Stein: A rose is a rose is a rose.
  • Fight Club: The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.
    • Birds ate my face.
    • Fight clubs themselves. Someone even did a mini-Project Mayhem, putting bottle rockets in mailboxes.
  • I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream:
    • HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE.
    • Exploiting the title as "I have no x, and I must y".
  • The Wheel of Time: Sniff.
    • Woolheads.
    • In-universe, Matrim Cauthon's exploits.
  • Vernor Vinge: Hexapodia is the key insight.
  • Don Quixote: This book generated various memes that have survived for more than four hundred years, and even are words recognized by the Spanish Royal Language Academy’s dictionary:
    • "¿Leoncitos a mi?" Could be translated as "Do they want to scare me with those little lions?"
    • Quixote: Man who fight for love of the ideal. Man who fight for noble causes
    • Maritornes: A rude, ugly and mannish maid.
    • Rocinante: Horse thin and weak, almost always full of sores. This one was even documented by Cervantes in the Part II, Chapter III, when Carrasco declares that the first part of the novel got read…
    " by heart by people of all sorts, that the instant they see any lean hack, they say, 'There goes Rocinante.' "
    • Con la iglesia hemos topado: Could be translated as "We have run onto the church". A case of both a meme and Beam Me Up, Scotty!, as the original phrase is actually "Con la iglesia hemos dado, Sancho". In the book it is literal (they examine a stone wall and determine it is a church) but it is always quoted to denote a situation in which the Church, bureaucracy or some other power that be is impeding your progress.
    • Maybe they're just windmills, but They Might Be Giants
  • The Faerie Queene: Malacasta is so sassy!
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: "Two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers..."
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: Anakin Solo had the hots for his aunt?
    • Cliegg: Your son's dead, son. Accept it. Explanation 
      • Your Wookiee's dead, son. Accept it. Explanation 
    • Jimmy Explanation 
    • Destroy your planet. Explanation 
    • Jacen's penis! Explanation 
  • "My god—it's full of stars!" The last thing said by Dave Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey, though not in the film.
  • In the Warrior Cats fandom:
    • Mapleshade eats cats! Explanation 
    • All hail Purdystar!! Explanation .
    • Every last part of the fanfic Starkits Prophecy.
      • The most-quoted line is: And he held out... SOME JEW!
      • The Fan Nickname "Tiggerstar" for Tigerstar originates from one of the numerous typos in this fic.
    • "I must take... the challenge!" Explanation 
    • Firestar Doesn't Like Waffles
    • Sol is trollin'. Explanation 
    • "Why is Lionheart always a beard?" Explanation 
    • Horrifying Graystripe, in some parts of the fandom. It even has its own fanart and tumblr. Explanation 
  • In The Pendragon Adventure fandom:
    • What exactly is a french before it's fried?
    • Hobey ho! Let's go!
      • Hobey lady of the night!!!! Let's go!!!
    • This is the way it was meant to be.
    • THERE ARE FREAKIN' POLAR BEARS AND PENGUINS IN THE DESERT.
    • Everything obscure Bobby says is quoted enough to be considered a meme. Especially anything he has to say about clowns, smilie faces, or his boxers.
  • This trope becomes a lot less funny and gets a rather large serving of terror when Faction Paradox enters the picture. Their beautiful universe has the Celestis, a group of Homeworld agents who foresaw a monstrous Time War, and obsessed with preventing the destruction of their bodies, they destroy them themselves, and leaving their meaning behind, making them sentient ideas, the literal physical incarnation of this trope. After they Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence, it becomes painfully obvious they're still the same fearful, backstabbers they were, and they find about their new cool powers...
  • Maradonia Saga: 2 dislikes. Gloria and her mom have been here. Explanation 
    • "Appolyon's Club of Evil": "The powers of evil believe in teamwork!" Explanation .
    • "[...] But what about poison?" Explanation 
  • Faust:
    • A Faustian pact or bargain as a Deal with the Devil, or anyone else who probably should have been avoided.
    • Forbidden knowledge or diabolical research methods.
  • I Want My Hat Back
    • I HAVE SEEN MY HAT
    • Substituting characters from different fandoms for the characters in the book
  • The Phantom of the Opera has several, mostly originating from the LiveJournal badfic-sporking community, Phanwank:
    • The most ubiquitous is "Roule's Ingenious Plane," which also has a Distaff Counterpart in "Christine's Small Bus" and a modern-day counterpart in "Ryan's Lime Service."note 
    • "Erique would never kill a whale!" and "Erique is one with teh walez!!!11!!"note 
    • "Erik's Wonton Goddess."note 
    • "Bonnie-Marie."note 
    • "KIMMEEEEEEEEEEEEH!"note 
    • "Erik's pink kissable lips."
    • "Erik the hospital."
  • The Art Of Fielding has "X is skilled. We exhort him!" and its variations taking hold in the baseball community.note 
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Plottwistspren Explanation 
    • The Shattering of the Vase Explanation 
    • "I am a stick." Explanation 
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy:
    • "He ate my horse."
    • Catquisitors and the Caton of Inquisition.
    • Kelsier/Marsh being Batman and Spook being Robin.
    • Vin being A boss and The Lord Ruler being THE boss.
  • Les Misérables:
    • "Do you permit it?" Explanation 
      • "THEY DIED HOLDING HANDS!" Explanation 
  • The Hunger Games:
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray:
    • S/he must have a portrait in the attic (said of anyone who looks significantly younger than they are).
  • Infinite Jest:
    • "Year of the (Banal Consumer Product)" Explanation 
    • "Eliminate his own map" Explanation 
  • The Fault in Our Stars:
    • This book (not to mention the author) has a pretty big following on Tumblr, mainly for being a massive Tear Jerker and a major source of feels. A common Running Gag is for newtime readers to document their first readthrough of the book and the progressive regression into a blubbering puddle of tears.
    • "Okay?" "Okay."
    • “My X are Y that I cannot fathom into z.”
    • “I the way you : slowly, then all at once.”
    • “It’s a metaphor; you put the X in between the Y, but don’t give it the power to Z.”
    • More of a meta example but a comment that John Green made on his official Tumblr regarding a gifset of Hazel and Gus, which spawned a meme (largely from the book's critics) about John being the inventor of feminism.
    John Green: I just want to point out one thing here: When was the last time the girl kissed the boy in a teen romance? Ever? Has it happened ever? I seriously think it might not have happened ever.note 
    • The beautiful X is beautiful.
    • Purposefully confusing Augustus Waters with a certain other Augustus.
    • "No...I just want to cry and play video games."
  • Sporewiki Fiction Universe
    • Aww, your so cute! Can we pet you?Explanation 
    • Slurp all the memes available
    • Not the kittens Zillium! Explanation 
    • Peem! Explanation 
    • Fear the Dvotties! Explanation 
    • The true meaning of life itself! Explanation 

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