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The English lyrics even say "Look at YouTube vids do it."

"Originally, I simply referred to the gentleman as Future Guy. Now that the series is over and all of the secrets have been revealed, we now know that this is...Future Guy. How sad is it that the master villain's name is derived from sarcasm?"
SF Debris on "Future Guy" from Star Trek: Enterprise
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Sometimes a meme about a work, that wasn't in the work before, catches the eye of the people responsible for that work, and they decide to actually put it in the work. Note that this is not about references to unrelated memes, which would just be a Shout-Out.

Can be an in-joke for an Ascended Fanboy character, or a Promoted Fanboy who makes sure it'll be in the show. Can also be a result of Approval of God, where the creator would approve of fanworks and memes derived from the source material.

Now just to tell if an example fits:

  • Not an example: M. Bison (Vega in Japan) saying "Of course!" in any Street Fighter material. It could reference the Running Gag in The Nostalgia Critic, but Bison still actually said it in the 1994 film.
  • Proper example: Bison saying the line in the context of Take Over the World. That's because this was not the context of the original line.
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A Sister Trope of Ascended Fanon, Meme Acknowledgment, Continuity Nod, Mythology Gag (the latter two are references to things that were in the work).

Compare Watch It for the Meme, Appropriated Appellation, Pandering to the Base, Official Fan-Submitted Content.

Not to be confused for a work making a Forced Meme itself.


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Other examples:

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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has an infamous Game-Breakernote  in called Morphling, which was dubbed by fans as "Superman". When the card designers later decided to create an Enchant Creature that granted all of Morphling's abilities, they gave it the name "Pemmin's Aura". How is this an example? Pemmin's Aura is a Significant Anagram for "I am Superman".
    • Morphling's fellow infamously-broken creatures, Masticore and Psychatog, got similar shout-outs: Deep Analysis shows a dissected Masticore with the flavor text "the subject appears to be broken," while a later version of Shock fulfills fan dreams everywhere by having a bolt of lightning zap the Psychatog.
    • Back in the old days, when the Internet was still not widely used and card lists were rare, some people talked about an ultra-rare "Throat Wolf" with, among other abilities, "firstest strike". In Visions the designers, inspired by Throat Wolf, included "Talruum Champion" which has first strike that beats other creatures' first strike.
      • Throat Wolf is also mentioned in the novels.
      • There's a card in Homelands called Heart Wolf. And a cut card in Unglued was going to be called Butt Wolf.
    • Unhinged had a card called "Mise," a reference to M:tG slang meaning "to get a lucky draw." There was also a "real" card called "Savage Beatings", at which point M:tG parody site Misetings accused WotC of trying too hard.
    • Storm Crow is famous for being treated as a Memetic Badass by the MTG community despite it really being just a mediocre creature. Wizards of the Coast first acknowledged this meme by giving the 6th edition of Storm Crow a custom rating of 6 out of 5 on its Gatherer website, then released Crow Storm as an Unstable card that does nothing but make copies of Storm Crow.
    • An Urban Legend says that a player in a championship game was so desperate to win they played a card called "Chaos Orb" with the ability to destroy other cards by being dropped onto the opponents field and destroying any card it touches. If you're lucky you might destroy 3 or 4 cards, but instead of simply dropping the card they shredded it and sprinkled the pieces over the opponents field, wiping it out and the judge ruled it a legal move (incarnations of the story from there vary, some say the player won and other say the opposing player called for a count of cards in the players deck). Regardless of the truth to the story, the Unglued set introduced a card called "Chaos Confetti" with the exact same abilities of "Chaos Orb", except it specifies to tear the card apart and sprinkle the pieces over the field. The Flavor Text even says "And you thought it was an urban legend."
    • Fake CCG cards themselves. They date to 1994, albeit in text-only format, and were the basis of the "Un" sets.
    • At this point, the creators lampshade infinite combos.
    • Back in 2013, they printed a card called Totally Lost that depicted a lost homunculus named Fblthp. Since then, he's become a fan favorite, appearing in the artwork of multiple cards, as well as having fans clamoring for him to have his own card. Six years later, they finally gave him his own card. Appropriately, it shuffles itself back into your library, so you have to go find it again.
    • In late 2019, there was a special booster set called Mystery Boosters, which had a number of fake 'test cards' that riffed on famous in-jokes from the Magic community, such as this card, which makes fun of [1], a famously useless rare card.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic collectible card game references a few memes, such as Doctor Whooves. The Canterlot Nights set introduced a card based on the "Twilicane" seen in "Princess Twilight Sparkle, Part 2".

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield Minus Garfield, the webcomic that made new comedy out of old Garfield strips by removing the title character so it seemed that Jon was a lonely delusional weirdo, was made into a book. One actually endorsed by writer Jim Davis, too, and complete with several Garfield Minus Garfields actually made by Davis himself. Turns out he's quite good at it. And shortly after, he seemed to realize that Jon did seem depressed and hopeless, so Jon/Liz was finally made canon and he was able to interact with more other human characters regularly, while the animals had their own strips — making new strips harder to convert for the webcomic, but responding well to the issues it brought up.
  • After Josh Fruhlinger of The Comics Curmudgeon began making jokes about the Archie newspaper comic strip being written by an antiquated mainframe computer called the "Archie Joke-Generating Laugh Unit 3000" (AJGLU-3000 for short), AJGLU-3000 references began cropping up in the strip.
  • One series of early Dilbert strips featured a nameless cat who showed up at Dilbert's house, harassing that character and trying to eat Ratbert. Scott Adams soon started receiving emails demanding "more Catbert," and ultimately made him a regular character.
  • One comic of The Far Side had a caveman teacher explaining to a class that the spikes on a stegosaurus's tail are "called the 'thagomizer'... after the late Thag Simmons". Years later, the scientific community realized they didn't have a name for the spikes on a stegosaurus's tail, and adopted "thagomizer".

    Fan Works 
  • Age of Strife: The players often joked that whenever the dice rolled a 99, the resulting critical success was the result of Tzeentch intervening as part of a plot.(The sacred number of tzeentch being 9). This impression picked up speed when a number of 99 rolls ended up giving the protagonists forbidden knowledge and mutations. In the final battle of the pilgrimage arc, which takes place in an expanding warp rift, Tzeentch blatantly assists Mirande by amplifying her Burning Blood mutation to cover the battlefield in mutagenic flames whenever her biomancy construct is cut.
  • Newer versions of the Pokémon romhack Moémon have switched the Charmander line's shiny palette from black (like the canon shinies) to white in reference to the starter from Twitch Plays Moémon.

    Films — Animation 

    Pinball 

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Fantasy Flight Games seems to love ascending memes in its line of 40K spin-off Role Playing Games. Dark Heresy acknowledged the fanfic Love Can Bloom by featuring a quote from one of its main characters and a picture of a Vindicare Assassin watching a Farseer, Adept Castus Grendel (a scholar character who killed several Daemons and an Ork Warboss through luck of the dice) was referenced in one of the same game's supplements by an Inquisitor's document discussing his exploits. Then they acknowledged a fan story about a psyker who escaped being fuel for the Golden Throne by becoming a commissar's assistant, and to cap it off, they featured a quote from a Commissar Daniel Sterne ordering the crew of a Basilisk Artillery Tank to ram the enemy in Only War, a reference to fan character Commissar Dan whose quirk is the same thing (the quote even ends with a Curse Cut Short of Dan's Catchphrase).
    • "The Regimental Standard", a tie-in website written in the style of an Imperial propaganda piece, references the meme of referring to Lasguns being flashlights, and thus being "twin-linked" if given a flashlight attachment, in one article. According to it, referring to a Lasgun as such in-universe is punishable by flogging.
    • Another one to use the "lasguns are useless" joke, which was written in-character as an Ork, has the Ork propose bolting a lasgun to your regular gun so you can use it as a laser sight. Not that it would necessarily do much good.
    • Orks wearing purple camouflage "becoz you've neva seen a purpul Ork" was a common meme among Ork players. On the release of the 2018 Codex, the official Warhammer Youtube channel did a painting tutorial for purple Ork camouflage.
  • In the February 2017 issue of White Dwarf, the conclusion of a Warhammer: Age of Sigmar battle report where the Tzeench player won was titled "Just As Planned!", referencing the Death Note meme which was adopted into Warhammer, especially in reference to Tzeench.
  • Mage: The Ascension has the infamous "Vampire Lawn Chair" combination from first edition; since Vampires were not considered "living material" it was possible to use low level magic to turn them into any substance, though the meme was lawn furniture. Come the release of the 20th anniversary edition, and the combination is now clearly outlined for players to use - but with clear advice on, if you're powerful enough to be able to do this, you should be wise enough not to.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the localized version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, which definitely doesn't take place in Japan, Maya begins talking about how her favorite food is burgers, only for her to then debate with herself over whether it's actually burgers or ramen. When she can't decide when she wants to eat when she eventually gets released, she decides to just go for "a burger topped with ramen".
    • A bit of subtle one occurs in the fifth episode of Spirit of Justice. Armie Buff, via her "Sergeant Buff" drone, presents Apollo and Dhurke with a meal in commemoration of their newly founded bonds. The meal in question is a tray of what could be taken as either burgers or dorayoki. It's designed in a way where it could realistically be seen as either despite leaning slightly towards the thinner dorayoki, complete with a side that's supposed to be a side for a dorayoki but is also designed in a way that makes it resembles the kind of designed drink cartons typically gotten with kid burger meals.Note  Although it's not exactly confirmed, it's a safe bet to say this was done on purpose by the developers, either as a way to aid the localization, poke fun at it, or probably both.
    • Another similar reference, as well as a subversion of sorts, actually occurs in the same case as well. The meal that Dhurke has prepared for Apollo is a plate of sushi, which the localization keeps as is, and it's also revealed that Apollo used to quite regularly eat sushi during his childhood. This is mainly due to him having actually lived for most of his childhood since birth with his Asian adopted family, in the Asian country, The Kingdom of Khura'in which means that he isn't your entirely 100% American-home-and-breed attorney, and actually has an Eastern background of sorts. Moreover, at the end of Spirit of Justice, Apollo actually begins living in Khura'in, to run his own law office.Note 
    • At the time of the release of the game, the official Ace Attorney Twitter tweeted... their celebration with ramen.
    • In the original game, the case "Rise From the Ashes" contains a sequence where, if Phoenix fails to provide the correct evidence to the judge, he penalizes him and threatens to throw a shoe at Phoenix. For the 3DS rerelease, the line was changed to include "boot to the head", referencing a fan video of Ace Attorney characters reenacting a famous Frantics routine.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • The entire game is based on an image by the artist Raita (proposing many of the female main characters) that became memetic on the /a/ board of 4chan before 4 Leaf Studios decided to make it a reality.
    • Rin (a girl who has no arms) "hugs" Hisao by moving right next to him and declaring "I'm hugging you, Hisao". This had previously been a meme originating in a fan-sketch. Towards the end of her route, in her bad ending, it becomes a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment.
    • However in her good ending this meme takes another meaning as she randomly stretches her arms which Hisao interprets it as her hugging the world.
    • Toward the end of Lilly's route, the meme in which she asks "Who's there? No answer, it must be that deaf bitch"note  gets referenced when she asks Misha, Shizune's interpreter, to get something for her. Shizune does so instead, but there's a twist; the two have put aside their differences.
    Lilly: (as Shizune hands her the folder) Thank you, Misha.
    Hisao narrating: No reply. No reply, that is, save for an odd grin... no... smile... on Shizune's face. A couple of seconds pass before Lilly clicks that it isn't Misha behind her, but Shizune. Her momentary look of surprise is replaced by a slightly bashful smile.
  • Super Star Wars: One of the achievements in the 2016 Playstation 4 and PlayStation Vita versions is, of course, "Han Shot First" which requires Han Solo to kill one of the many Greedo enemies in the Cantina level. Somehow. Bear in mind, you need to beat the Cantina to unlock Han in the first place so the only way this can be done is via cheating.
  • Mystic Messenger: The memetic phrase "Does Jumin Han Is Gay?" ascended in the Christmas DLC, where it appears at the bottom of a fake news report Seven whipped up to troll Yoosung.
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: One bonus mode allows for characters across the three main games to interact with one another. The second game's Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu acquired the name Boss Baby before the third game's release for his youthful appearance and fiery temper. In this mode's English localization, Kokichi Oma (who, incidentally, is voiced by the same actor as Fuyuhiko) calls Fuyuhiko exactly that, much to the latter's anger.

    Webcomics 
  • When a particular bit of Insane Troll Logic took off like a rocket in the 8-Bit Theater forums, the author decided to honor it in-comic with the only character suited for the job.
  • Homestuck embraces this trope. Like its predecessor Problem Sleuth, the author listens to his fans and goes out of his way to support and/or mock the most popular fan theories.
    • One of the more popular AUs is Trollcops, depicting Sollux and Terezi as, well, troll cops. When the AlterniaBound album came out, there were two tracks themed around the AU, both called Trollcops.
    • In one panel, a faraway Karkat is drawn with less detail and no visible arms, making him look like he's wearing pants up to his neck. Fans referred to him as Pantskat and began drawing fanart of him in his long pants. This made its way back into the comic: when fedorafreak combines a shirt and pair of pants in the Alchemiter, he gets a pair of absurdly long pants. And at another point, Karkat self-deprecates spectacularly about wearing pants hiked up to his armpits as punishment. And then, when Karkat's ancestor is finally shown, he is indeed wearing pants hiked up to his armpits as punishment. Said pants become holy relics of his followers.
      • And the original Pantskat pixel of him has been inserted into at least two later flash animations.
      • And the Beforan version of Kankri wears a red sweater because Porrim got tired of looking at his "stupid hiked-up pants".
      • Which is itself a reference to the fan depiction of Karkat wearing a sweater or turtleneck in a lot of fan art.
    • A fan animation on YouTube that lip-synced Gamzee up to the Double Rainbow song became enormously popular in the fandom and cemented Gamzee as the Ensemble Dark Horse amongst the trolls. So, later on, Gamzee mentions a 'double metaphor all the way, across Skaia :o)'.
    • Early in the comic, there's a short scene of Gamzee and Tavros chatting to each other like close friends, using each others's emoticons and rapping together (although we don't actually see the rap). This acted as enough Ho Yay to make Gamzee/Tavros a popular ship in the fandom, and it picked up the Idiosyncratic Ship Name "Peanut Butter and Jelly-shipping" or just "PBJ" (since Tavros is associated with the colour brown and Gamzee with purple). Later on, we see the second half of their conversation, in which Gamzee is flirting obviously with Tavros, and he affectionately calls Tavros the 'emotional peanut butter to [Gamzee's] royal jelly'.
      • This also served as Andrew's constant Running Gag of referencing gay pornography in most of his works.
      • The second Easter Egg joke flash called [S] Ride has a Shout-Out to "Cotton Candy," the fan nickname for Roxy/Jane which is based on their pink and light blue chat colors.
    • Also, pretty much everything concerning fedorafreak's role in anything since his first brief mention.
    • Several of the walkaround flash games had an Easter Egg called "Trickster Mode" that did assorted weird things. From this, fans came up with the idea of Trickster versions of the characters, usually depicted in pastels and bright colors, covered in candy, and generally Sickeningly Sweet. Then along came "[S] Jane: Engage," and now it's a rather terrifying Super Mode.
    • A popular fan voice-actor popularized the word "nyeh" in association with Eridan, to the point where some fans think it's something he actually says in canon. When the dancestors, who partly exist to lampoon fandom's stereotypes/misconceptions of the characters, rolled along, of course Eridan's dancestor Cronus used the word.
    • The silly nicknames "Homosuck" and "Hamsteak" were used by Caliborn and Karkat respectively.
    • This Mind Screw of a fandom secret got a reference in the form of a recurring alternate Vriska referred to for clarity as (Vriska), in parentheses.
    • A common joke line spread by fans was "Homestuck is my favorite anime." The final animation is a fully-animated anime-style short film.
  • At the floor meeting in QUILTBAG, Lisa makes a joke about her disembodied head walking on her pigtails, which had been seen in several Penny and Aggie fanarts.
  • A typo in a discussion about Blade Bunny and her phobia of tentacles ultimately led, via the normal Memetic Mutation, to an official illustration of when Bunny meets the Octobus.
  • College Roomies from Hell!!!: Hazel Green's Maximum Fun Chamber (and hence the trope of the same name) was initially named as a Shout-Out to a comment made by Darren Bleuel to Maritza Campos in the fan forums.

    Miscellaneous 
  • Rick Astley Rickrolls the entire United States. (Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2008). Quite possibly THE most epic ascended meme ever.
    • Rick Astley loves Rickrolling and even did the article in Time Magazine's Most Influential People on "moot" (founder of 4chan) to thank him for creating people who start things like this.
    • The float itself was chosen due to being quite punny.
      • The first video uploaded to Nancy Pelosi's official government YouTube account ended up being a Rickroll. Likely a staff member's idea.
  • The YMCA website uses the Dance Sensation from the Village People song about them in the "About Us" tab.
  • Charlie Sheen has embraced the internet memes spawned from interviews on his drug abuse and firing from Two and a Half Men, such as "Tiger blood" and "Winning!" He even got the word "Winning!" tattooed on his wrist.
    • On an episode of Two and a Half Men, when Alan starts thinking he's Charlie, he exclaims "Winning!" at one point.
  • Honda, in its sporty Civic Si model, decided for the 2012 model year to add an indicator light that lets the driver know when VTEC kicks in. Yo.
  • Dave Silverman, whose face was used to make the "Are you serious?" face, has a sticker of said face attached to the front door of his office.
  • Former NASA flight director Gene Kranz never said "Failure is not an option!" during the Apollo 13 mission, but he liked it so much, feeling it perfectly captured the spirit of NASA, that he used it for the title of his memoirs.
  • Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is an infamous film trivia game started by a group of college students while they were watching films Kevin Bacon appeared in. The game had penetrated pop culture enough to be referenced by Kevin Bacon himself in commercials and in a charity website that he created.
  • Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has embraced the "watch out, we have a badass over here" meme, coming from a certain video of his recorded years ago.
  • Blake Boston A.K.A. "Scumbag Steve" also embraced his meme and even made a song about it.
  • At the London 2012 Summer Olympics, an image of American gymnast McKayla Maroney scowling on the podium became a meme called McKayla Is Not Impressed. Near the end of the games she tweeted this.
  • It became a mild Facebook meme for a while to ask Applebee's's page for Battletoads. Then this happened.
  • Consumer reporter Ric Romero of Los Angeles' KABC TV gained notoriety on Fark.com when he reported on the "new" phenomenon of blogging - a year after bloggers started a campaign to get Dan Rather fired from CBS over the authenticity of the Killian documents. After that, any time a reporter reported something incredibly obvious, it was, "Ric Romero reporting", and follow-up reports such as "in other news, water is wet" would be attributed to him. Ric found out about his notoriety in 2009 and challenged Fark.com to donate to his favorite charity, the LA County Fire Dept. "Spark of Love" toy drive. After Farkers donated over $13,000, Romero thanked the Fark community on the air for their donations, and then also reported the "breaking news" that "Water is Wet."
  • The face behind the "Bad Luck Brian" meme uploaded a photo of himself wearing a shirt with the meme on it to the internet.
  • After Iron Man, the characters of Tony Stark and Pepper Potts garnered the nickname "Pepperony," and after a while, it started being used to refer to the actors themselves (who have been good friends for years.) Somewhere along the line, actors Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow started calling themselves "Pepperony."
    • RDJ encourages his fans in creating memes of him. He uploads them directly to his social media, giving due credit of course.
  • Tom Stoppard's radio play Darkside—a licensed dramatic adaptation of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, incorporating the album in its entirety—includes numerous Shout Outs to The Wizard of Oz (ultimately building up to an Off to See the Wizard plot), acknowledging the persistent urban legend about Dark Side of the Moon synching up with The Wizard of Oz.
  • In Australian Rules Football, the interjection "Yellow and Black!" in the Richmond Tigers' theme song "Tigerland" used to be just something the fans yelled out. It's now included in the official version.
  • Around the time the legalization of marijuana started gaining real traction in some states, someone made a Facebook post featuring a picture of a woman named "Becky" with a claim that she died from overdosing on marijuana. A few responses pointed out that the pictured woman was obviously Taylor Swift, which drew the simple and terse response "No it's Becky." This phrase instantly became a meme, culminating with being printed on a t-shirt worn by - yes, Taylor Swift herself.
  • The 1980s Atlanta Hawks logo was known as "Pac-Man" because the negative space besides the hawk head looks like him. Once the team revived it in 2014, it was announced with #PacIsBack.
  • The Adele Dazeem gaffe got turned around its head the following Academy Awards: host Neil Patrick Harris joked Benedict Cumberbatch was "what you get when John Travolta tries pronouncing 'Ben Affleck'" right before calling the original misnamed, Idina Menzel. She in turn brought Travolta on stage calling him "Glom Gazingo" (and thankfully he then said her name right!). And the name even had been on the playbill for Menzel's play If/Then.
  • Nichols Electronics' Omni music box for ice cream trucks used a version of the Japanese folk tune "The Picnic" as one of its songs, which included a voice sample of a young girl saying "Hello". As a result, it became well-known among many a generation of children as the "Hello song". Nichols' website now lists it in the song lists for the Omni 2 and Mark IV music boxes as "Picnic (Hello)" and ""Hello" song (Picnic from the Omni)" respectively.
  • In LEGO Tower, a LEGO-sponsored reskin of Tiny Tower, a few possible BrickBook posts reference LEGO-related Internet memes:
    "Is this place up to code? I think I found an illegal building technique."
    "I step on LEGOnote  all the time... It's really not that bad."
    "Looking for an Orange Transparent Chainsaw."
  • A Brazilian meme is reacting to hurtful responses by posting an announcer and an on-pitch reporter doing an injury report ("-Galvão? -Say it, Tino. - Felt it."). Then Twitter of the network that employs both men used it regarding a salty sore loser... (Galvão and Tino also did on a show a variant of the meme - "-Galvão? -Say it, Tino. - He'll change.")
  • The University of Central Florida, known to one and all as UCF, opened a new football stadium in 2007. As is customary for modern American sports venues, it had a corporate name—originally Bright House Networks Stadium, later Spectrum Stadium. Shortly after it opened, it got the nickname "The Bounce House" because it was found to noticeably shake when the crowd jumped in unison. When the naming rights contract expired in 2020, UCF was unable to secure a new sponsorship deal, and decided to officially call the stadium Bounce House.


 
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The best memetic song from the Star Wars Kinect Game, combined with an official movie of the character. A Fanmade Trailer match made in memetic heaven!

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