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Memes: Music

In the right context, any chorus/hook of a song can be a breeding ground for Memetic Mutation. Many examples here and whole Meme articles have been further mutated through Misheard Lyrics. Just do a YouTube search for them, you can't miss 'em. See also Stupid Statement Dance Mix and Ear Worm.

Just a warning: this page is a bit outdated. YouTube being YouTube, many of these links are broken, private, or removed.

Kanye West has his own section of memes.


  • "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. The "Rick Roll", probably one of the best-known memesnote 
  • Rebecca Black, "Friday"
  • Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). Apparently it started in a harmless YTMND meme, but took a very NSFW turn and gained it's notoriety with the Meatspin meme.
  • Def Leppard, "Rock of Ages"
    • Gunter gleeben rocken rollen! note 
  • Drowning Pool, "Bodies" :let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the...*tsss* *tsss*...FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.note 
  • Fall Out Boy spawned "I'M A LITTLE MAN, I'M ALSO EVIL, ALSO INTO CATS!"note 
  • Foo Fighters, "Best Of You"
  • The Insane Clown Posse's "Miracles", with such charms as "Fucking magnets, how do they work?" and "Theres magic everywhere in this bitch".note 
  • Lost Horizon's "Highlander (The One)" woah-oh-oh-ah-ah-ah-aaaa-ha-ah-ah-ah note 
  • Kendrick Lamar knows you wan' dih dihh.
  • Linkin Park, "Crawling"
    • CRRRRAAAWWWWWLLIIIINGGGG IINNNNN MYYYY SKIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNN! THESE WOOOOOUUUUNNNNDSSS THEY WILLLLLL NOT HEEEAAALLLLLLLL...note 
  • Loituma's cover of the Finnish folk song Ievan Polkka. It got combined with a gif of a scene from Bleach which resulted in the Leek Spin or Loituma Girl meme.
  • My Chemical Romance, "Welcome To The Black Parade": WHEN I WAS...note 
    • An inverted version of this meme often shows up on Tumblr. Users would post the first line to a song and then subsequent reblogs would continue the song... until, inevitably, someone would derail it with "to join the black parade."
  • Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over the Seanote 
    • "I LOVE YOU JESUS CHRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIST!"
    • "SEMEN STAINS THE MOUNTAINTOPS!"note 
      • "Prepare your mountaintops" note 
    • The cover artnote 
      • "It's a potato." note 
  • Napalm Death's "You Suffer".note 
  • *NSYNC: "It's Gonna Be Me", or rather, "It's Gonna Be MAAAAAAAAY".
    • Justin Timberlake's delivery of the song's title line has resulted into a yearly meme that pops up on April 30 with "It's Gonna Be MAY" pasted on top of a picture of him. And yes, they know about it.
    • Hilariously enough, the meme even put the song briefly back on the sales charts.
  • "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond" The song itself. note 
    • Shine on, you crazy shippers...
    • "Another Brick in the Wall": "We don't need no education..." note 
    • If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you eat your pudding if you don't eat your meat?! You! Stand still, laddie! note 
  • Bill Conti, "Gonna Fly Now". No, it's not called "That Rocky Song".
  • PSY, "Gangnam Style"
    • HEYYYYYYYYYYYYY, SEXY LADY! From a line in the song.
    • OPPAN GANGNAM STYLE!note 
  • PSY, "Gentleman" produced MOTHER FATHER GENTLEMAN! from the lyrics. A Mondegreen has this as MOTHERFUCKER GENTLEMAN!
  • Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody"
    • I see a little silhouetto of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango...note 
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Free Bird"note 
    • In Finland the equivalent joke is "Soittakaa Paranoid!" ("Play Paranoid!", requesting the song by Black Sabbath), first orginated as a joke by a reporter for a local music magazine, since then spiraled out of control. At least two notable bands have also recorded songs called "Paranoid" to have something to play if someone cracks the joke.
    • The original memetic joke/heckle request was The Allman Brothers Band's Whipping Post, which is even longer than live performances of Free Bird, and would use one entire side of an LP. Not that it isn't good. The album the Ur Example appears on placed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time at number 49.
    • Guitar Hero 2 uses this song for the Final Boss. "You always knew this would happen. The audience is calling for Free Bird."
  • "Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moonlight" by Tiny Tim is closely associated with Half-Life's G-Man, thanks to popular YTMNDs created with Garry's Mod.
  • Tommy Tutone, "867-5309/Jenny" note 
    • A similar situation occurred in the mid-2000s when rapper Mike Jones decided it was a good idea to put his number (281-330-8004) into all his songs. Fortunately he included the area code, so the only phone that had to be shut off was his own.
  • Trinidad Jame$, "All Gold Everything"
    • "Popped a molly, I'm sweatin' — WOO!"note 
  • "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred produced the "I'm too sexy for my shirt" meme "III'm...too sexy for my shirt, too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it huuurts..." which later became "I'm too sexy for my _____" with any object replacing "shirt."
  • The musician Samwell became momentarily famous for the Camp Gay song "What What, In The Butt?," which led to more slash/yaoi parodies than could be counted generally consisting of the song overlaid on a particularly Ho Yay laden clip compilation or the like, and which itself even appeared on South Park.
  • "Crank That" by Soulja Boy became a memetic Ear Worm for a fair bit of 2007-08. It also produced a lot of "Crank That" parodies, especially "Kosha Boy", ''Crank Dat [1] and "Crank Dat Spiderman".
    • Soulja Boy's foray into odd, rambling songs allegedly inspired by anime produced a couple of others:"Bitch I looklike Goku," "Bitch I look like Gohan, smokin' up that marijuana" with a goofy Gohan face, and the song "Anime", consisting of lyrics like :Lookin' like Death Note" has given us "Anime, Annie-May, I'd fuck dat bitch, any day".
  • Vaporwave, to an extent, especially this song. Once the genre started getting more attention, it didn't take long for people to start making remixes and joke mashups with it.
    • "The aesthetic".note 
    • "It's just Diana Ross slowed down."note 
  • "I Love, I Love, I Love My Wife - But Oh! You Kid!" was "written" by Harry Von Tilzer in 1909.
    • The song immediately became a staple of Vaudeville performers.
    • It soon spawned countless knick-knacks, imitations, parodies, cartoons captioned with the song's hook, and a backlash by both Moral Guardians and people who were just sick of it. The song and phrase turned out to have a long shelf life; H. L. Mencken was complaining about it in 1921, and it's been referenced in works created many years after that. More information.
  • "98 PERCENT COMPLETE" became a meme in the X Japan fandom, as a result of Yoshiki Hayashi repeatedly stating that the first new album by X Japan in more than 20 years is "98 percent complete" on Twitter since 2010.
    • Yoshiki himself produced two minor memes related to him via his twitter: the Fan Community Nickname of "nurses," and many nurse-themed fan creations, and his love for bananas (which even managed to get noticed by Dole to the point that they mailed him several crates of bananas). Before that, there was the "Rice Monster" meme, created from a post he made on his then Myspace blog about a nightmare he'd had of being eaten by a "rice monster" as a result of a special rice diet he was on to get in shape for the band reunion. There's also the meme of him being a vampire.
    • Another related to X Japan is the Heath X Fernandes Cargo Ship, which resulted from Heath seeming to have an orgasm onstage at Lollapalooza 2010 due to the vibrations of his bass.
    • A short-lived meme happened in the '00s, "Lick pens," created by a famous lyrics translations page's attempt to avoid being banned by their ISP or attracting "enlargement" spammers, by removing the "i" from one word in the original lyrics for Stab Me In The Back. This meme is actually a way to tell how long someone's been a fan of the band for real - usually someone who references having heard of the meme has been around since at least 2005, and likely earlier. Unless they just read about it here.
  • Ylvis's The Fox became this within a day or two of the music video being put up on Youtube. The chorus is the most memetic part of the song. note 
  • Tay Zonday, "Chocolate Rain"
    • The whole song.note 
    • ScrewAttack once parodied this in their Shitty-Ass Game of the Year awards to explain just how bad Vampire Rain really was.
      • When nominated for the 360 SAGY: "Vampire Rain...! It's so boring you might kill yourself. Vampire Rain...! It's supposed to be like Splinter Cell. Vampire Rain...! Its gameplay is downright horrible. Vampire Rain...! No redeeming qualities at all!"
      • Winning the 360 SAGY: "Vampire Rain...! Its gameplay is like a bad joke. Vampire Rain...! You gave it over half of the votes. Chocolate Rain...! The song is not half as bad as the game. Vampire Rain...! Will make you want to sell your 360!"
    • Tay Zonday released a spoof of his own song entitled Cherry Chocolate Rain for a Dr. Pepper ad.
      • I move away from the mic to breathe in.note 
  • The Dancing Baby meme: One of the older memes that have since fallen out of favor, a GIF of a CGI dancing baby set to either The Macarena or The Blue Suedes' Hooked on a Feeling (the latter inspired by Ally McBeal). In the old days stuff like that pretty much went around via e-mail or appeared on websites.


Memes not tied to a specific song

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas: "...and a partridge in a pear tree." note 
  • When you download MP3s, you're downloading COMMUNISM!note 
  • Everything except country and rap.note 
  • ONETWOTHREEFOUR!note 
    • Senzuri!note 
  • "I hate how Pavement took music so seriously."note 
  • When Post-Hardcore band Fugazi announced they were releasing a previously unheard album-length demo from 1988, Spin Magazine's twitter account mistakenly announced the demo was from 1888 (due to a typo, of course). Many jokes about the band having been around since the 19th century ensued.
  • "Darude - Sandstorm".Explanation  The Fine Brothers even did a YouTubers React episode on it.