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Discredited Meme

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A must for fantasy Tabletop Gamers.
($1 for a standard Monty Python reference, $2 for a Holy Grail reference, $3 for a Life of Brian reference).

"My own suggestion for the 4.0 edition rules: Anyone who quotes Holy Grail during a session should be made to eat their own character sheet."

Any meme that has fallen out of favor with pop culture, or at least the segment it was popular in. Either the meme was simply forgotten over time, it was one of many Advertising Campaigns that got discontinued, it was associated with something that fell victim to changing politics or someone who had a Role-Ending Misdemeanor, it was a Catchphrase that got repeated too much, it was associated to the plot of a work that got outdated by new releases, or something else.

One of the better ways for this to come about is from a meme finally coming full circle by reaching its source (e.g. Chuck Norris himself dropping his personal favorite memetic "Chuck Norris Fact" in The Expendables 2, or Rick Astley popping out of a parade float and Rickrolling an entire country), at which point there's really nowhere else to go with the meme and it can be safely retired. Another common way to see if a meme is discredited is if it is featured on Family Guy (referred to as the "Family Guy Effect", which ironically may itself be an overused meme of its own).

Note this is not about whether the meme was any good or not. Most appealed to enough people in the first place to become memes. It's just that some aren't looked on too fondly after the fact. Until and unless the Nostalgia Filter sets in, some of these memes are forgotten or even hated. A meme appearing on any of the old media is generally considered its dying breath, at least to the internet-at-large.

Now the internet allows memes to propagate faster than ever, but then get discredited faster than ever, usually thanks to the repetition reason. Some unlucky memes are discredited the moment they proliferate beyond their original niche audience: their prospects aren't optimistic if the greater internet community's initial response is groaning with dread. Alternatively, these memes can survive anyway as a form of trolling, especially if the negative responses to these memes become memetic in themselves.

This can also use Hypocritical Humor, with someone complaining about a meme, but in the form of the meme.

Compare Discredited Trope, Dead Horse Trope, Condemned by History, Never Heard That One Before, Totally Radical, "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny, Popularity Polynomial, Forced Meme, Defied Trope, Hype Backlash, and Running Gagged.

Contrast Cliché (what some memes settle into).

Since nearly every meme gets discredited to at least some degree over time, In-Universe and Creator-Acknowledged Examples Only.


    open/close all folders 

  • A Geico commercial mocks how one of their own running gags (the "Hump Day" camel) has gotten so overused and exposed that it's not funny anymore. It demonstrates this by depicting a pair of exasperated camels getting the notorious Hump Day line shouted at them over and over again by obnoxious zoo-goers.
  • Christopher Knight's first ad when he went for school board (for the Rockingham County Board of Education in 2006) became viral for the wrong reason. A week and a half after the ad aired, he made a more serious "library talk" and then an ad he was proud of a week before election rolled in (he only placed at 8th out of 16).

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Issue 81 of Sonic Universe has a very annoyed Silver telling Gold the Tenrac that he's "getting really sick of people saying 'It's No Use'." In context, it seemed that everyone was using that phrase to tell Silver to give up; readers have also taken it as a stealth Take That! towards Silver's repeated phrase from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)
  • From Larry Gonick's The Cartoon History of the Universe, in which he illustrates the origin of language, which soon led to the first jokes:
    First Caveman: Why chicken cross road? Yuk yuk
    Second Caveman: Hmph. That one old already.
  • The Wicked + The Divine had "Fucking Tara" in reference to how the protagonist Laura referenced Pantheon member Tara and the various complaints we heard about her from other people in the story. Issue 13 is Tara's spotlight issue, and shows she became hated for trying to be recognized for her own talents instead of the insta-rave powers the gods have, to the point where "Fucking Tara" is one of the nicer things said about her when compared to the rape and death threats, and the harassment and hate eventually makes her commit suicide after which the meme died very fast.
  • Transformers:

  • At one of his concerts, Dave Chappelle finally chewed out fans for endlessly repeating "I'm Rick James, Bitch!" from Chappelle's Show. At one point someone came up to him and said it while he was at Disneyland with his family! This is one of the bigger reasons for his Creator Breakdown.
    Chappelle: Would you please not call me bitch in front of my kids?

    Fan Works 
  • Sophistication and Betrayal has the protagonist comment on the tendency for people to mock The Twilight Saga whenever sparkling is mentioned and opines that it "stopped being funny two years ago".
  • On August 14 2013, YouTube user seinfeldspitstain uploaded the bizarre Jimmy Neutron Happy Family Happy Hour, which became his most popular video with over one million views. Two months later, the joke was declared dead by the author when a sequel was uploaded where Jimmy Neutron/Nutrin is lying in a grave surrounded by characters, ending with the camera flying backwards and revealing that Jimmy is being buried in the "Dead Joke Cemetery". Even the Facebook page Why helo it is i jimbles notronbo is tired of it after having the video repeatedly posted onto their page.
  • The infamous Minecraft Creepypasta Herobrine has been deemed not-scary and way overused by many creepypasta community members, and, in spite of Notch's recurring mentions of the ghostly NPC (including an explicit statement that it's fake, which may have also contributed to the popularity downfall), Notch's ex-wife ezchili made this tweet regarding the character's overbearing prominence, a statement with which a good amount of members of both communities seem to agree.
  • LittleKuriboh:
    • In a moment of Self-Deprecation, he discredited his "Card Games on Motorcycles" meme by having Lector destroy it in order to demonstrate Jinzo's special ability. Lector then laughs and says "I've been waiting a whole year for that!"
    • He promoted the possibility of a Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds Abridged for charity and specifically said that it won't involve the phrase.
    • This episode features Jack trying to find a new catchphrase. He's told that his paycheck will be doubled if he never says the old one again.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged: As a walking, talking caricature of the stereotypical Tumblr user, Rip Van Winkle spouts those like there's no tomorrow.
    Rip Van Winkle: Ze Game~!
    Commander Violet: What game?
    Rip Van Winkle: You lose! Lol I so random!
    (Rip Van Winkle sings the infamous Rickroll)
    Millennium Officer 1: The hell is she singing now?
    Millennium Officer 2: I have no idea. I think it was popular a couple years back.
    Millennium Soldier: At least she's no longer going on about the ponies and the friendship and the wrapping up of winter!
    • Even Team Four Star regrets their characterization of her, as seen in the Twitch marathon before the premiere of the finale.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged invokes this trope with the "Power Levels" meme:
    Sailor Venus: Okay... no. Maybe there's enough underage kids here that you thought this was 4chan, but it's not and that shit hasn't been funny since 2007, anyway, so I don't even wanna hear it. Venus Meteor Shower!
  • Team Four Star knew that the "Goku is a bad father" and "Piccolo is Gohan's real dad" memes existed in the fandom before they ever got a hand on them. And while they understand that Dragon Ball Z Abridged helped perpetuate, especially the former, even they have been dunking on it.

    Films — Animation 
  • One trailer for The Grinch (2018) sees the titular character groan in despair and throw his alarm clock away when it plays Happy, a song that was made for Despicable Me 2 and became a runaway hit (In the movie proper, it plays Christmas songs).
  • Frozen II contains two references to "Let It Go"'s overexposure, both showing even Elsa's embarrassed by it. Notably, when she hears a snippet of it, her response is to groan, cover her ears, and shake her head while smiling sheepishly.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail has been quoted so much, it's now a joke to mock the fact that it's quoted so much.
    • Part of the lyrics of "White and Nerdy" by "Weird Al" Yankovic downright say "I know Holy Grail really well, I can recite it right now, and make you ROTFLOL".
    • DM of the Rings had a strip where the players started quoting it. The author's note stated the next Dungeons & Dragons edition should have the option to punish players for quoting the movie.
      • 7th Sea actually has this enshrined in the rules.
      • White Wolf's The World of Darkness games mention this in many of their Storyteller handbooks. In fact, they even tell you how to deal with a player who is an obsessive quoter.
    • xkcd had an old strip encouraging Python fans to celebrate the group by making up their own surreal, Pythonesque jokes rather than endlessly parroting their lines.
    • An episode of LoadingReadyRun's commodoreHUSTLE involved a D&D group with a "no Monty Python" rule.
    • Anyone who's been in a LARP group knows that inevitably a newcomer to the group will quote the movie. The stigma isn't just that Holy Grail has been quoted to death, it's the fact that no matter how taboo it is, once one person quotes it everyone in the group will begin doing so as well. Including the ones that were just whining about someone having started it.
    • Minecraft introduced the original Killer Rabbit in an update as a rare spawn, but then reduced it to not spawning naturally at all (only through commands) because of it being an overused joke.
  • The United States Navy really hates it when its staff and trainees reference Top Gun. An apocryphal story claims the United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program (aka TOPGUN) will fine anyone who quotes or references this movie. Another apocryphal story states that anyone caught singing "Danger Zone" in an F-14 was to be considered a hostile and shot down on sight, while those who sang "Take My Breath Away" were to be shot at more if they ejected. Considering the F-14 has been retired from service for more than a decade due to wear on the airframe, it's likely moot at this point.
  • Aliens - Carrie Henn, who played Newt, has denounced the jokes she got from the line "they mostly come at night, mostly". A lot of which were made into innuendos that were incredibly disturbing in context, given that she was only eight.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Avengers: Infinity War: A lot of fans hoping there'd be a "No shit, Sherlock" joke, in reference to both Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) having both played Sherlock. The directors refused, saying it'd be too obvious of a joke, and Cumberbatch thought such a joke would be too corny.
    • Dave Bautista, who played Drax in Infinity War and the Guardians movies grew rather tired of people making "invisible Drax" jokes on social media. James Gunn is also getting really tired of it.
    • The cast members from Black Panther (2018) are getting fed up with doing the Wakandan salute. Michael B. Jordan (whose character never even performs the action in the film in the first place) refused to entertain it, whereas the main star Chadwick Boseman quickly got tired of doing it at fans' requests, as shown by his increasingly deflated looking expression in each of those photos. Jordan also (somewhat) jokingly told the crowd at the 2018 MTV Movie Awards to stop requesting cast members to say "Wakanda Forever".
    • Avengers: Endgame: In response to the popular fan theory about Ant-Man entering into Thanos' anus and then expanding himself to make Thanos explode, writer Christopher Markus revealed in an interview that it wouldn't work. Due to the strong physiology of the Titan species, Ant-Man would be unable to expand himself and get simply crushed to death inside Thanos' body.
  • Many residents of New York's Bronx district (including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) have condemned the memetic scene of Joker dancing on the stairs in Joker (2019), as it resulted in many random tourists visiting them for the sake of trying to replicate said dance, take a selfie, and leave. It got to an especially annoying point for the locals after the address was briefly named "Joker Stairs" on Google Maps, and categorized as a religious destination. Many Bronx residents insist people at least spend some money to support the community if they want to visit the stairs.
  • Mara Wilson on her website's FAQ had a section detailing that she found the video of Mrs. Doubtfire recut as a horror movie trailer funny the first time she saw it, but less so "now that someone sends it to me at least twice a day".
  • "Die Hard is the best Christmas movie!" was originally a fringe joke about how the film may technically qualify as one (given how it takes place during Christmas Eve), but as it became a ubiquitous go-to "unconventional" answer and people started to seriously argue over whether it legitimately was a "Christmas movie", the backlash of it being unfunny and overdone has only grown. Even the movie's star, Bruce Willis, firmly stated in 2018 that it's not a Christmas movie in response to the joke.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow star Stephen Amell has become critical of the meme showing people doing a selfie in front of Oliver Queen's grave, telling people to stop using the meme.
  • Game of Thrones fans frequently joked about Jon Snow's status as Mr. Fanservice, and his tendency to do a Shirtless Scene. Kit Harrington eventually said around Season 6 he'd be happy if people stopped talking about his hair and shirtlessness in interviews.
  • A running joke in one episode of How I Met Your Mother is that immediately after an exchange like this...
    Barney: By the way guys, this is Lisa. You'll be seeing a lot more of Lisa. (closes the door) And they never saw her again. Whassup!!!
    • ...Barney, when asked to envision his life in three years, would describe the exact same thing happening with a different girl. This would then come to pass three years later. After describing 2009 in this manner:
      Ted: Seriously? Please tell me you will at least change what will then be a nine-year-old beer commercial reference.
  • In Seinfeld, Jerry (Seinfeld) jokes about his current girlfriend's belly as if it speaks in a funny voice. She tells him he has to choose between the joke or her. He chooses the joke, only to find out his friends think the voice is 'played out'. He quickly reconciles with the girlfriend.
  • Quotes from The Inbetweeners became so memetic in the UK that one of the lead actors, Simon Bird, got sick of them before the series ended its run.
    Things gameshow audiences do not do: Shout out quotes from The Inbetweeners such as: Clunge. Bus Wankers. Football Friend. Right, that's all you're getting.
  • The entire concept is embodied in a The Man Show sketch of their "Museum of Annoying Guys" (faux Latinate name: "Jokus Repeatus Shut the F Up-us"). "It's the beat a Catchphrase to death guy."
  • In an early episode of Community, Jeff takes a pottery class. One of the first rules the teacher imposes is that due to somebody in class always referencing the scene from Ghost (1990), nobody is allowed to do it anymore. Likewise, a similar gag happens at the end of the episode's B-plot, where Shirley and Pierce's boating class instructor reveals nobody is allowed to go to the mast and yell out "I'm the king of the world!" from Titanic when Pierce attempts do so.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus:
    • John Cleese remembers performing the "Dead Parrot Sketch" live, and, as a laugh, Michael Palin changed the script in order to try to get Cleese to start Corpsing. He succeeded (rather than, when asked if a slug can talk, answering "not really", he said "well, it mutters a bit"), and Cleese laughed so hard he forgot where they were. He asked the audience, all of whom shouted the next lines back at him, making him think "what's the point?" This wasn't the last time Palin tried this; another performance had him respond with "why yes it does!" Cleese was prepared this time and responded with "well then I'll take it!" and then he walked off the stage, to the roar of the audience's laughter.
    • Fans would constantly ask John Cleese to do "silly walks", which he outright refused. Particularly since that's not the point of the scene. And the fact that due to age, he's no longer capable of doing the silly walk anymore.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Wil Wheaton has joked that people have put their kids through college with how much money the fans made selling homemade t-shirts emblazoned with "Shut up, Wesley!" from the episode "Datalore". However, in 2016, Wil said that he insta-bans people who write "Shut up, Wesley!", even if it's done ironically.
  • An episode of The Big Bang Theory has the boys taking up fencing for exercise. Though warned it's a serious sport and to take it seriously, Raj and Howard immediately start acting out the dialog from Inigo Montoya.
  • Jennifer Aniston has disowned the infamous 'Rachel' haircut she sported during Season 2 of Friends - and to this day can't believe it was even a fashion trend. The haircut was something done either when the stylist was drunk, made a mistake, or got experimental (depending on who you ask) and she grew it back out as quickly as she could.
    • In one episode, Ross attempts to quote "Whassup?" to Chandler. Chandler simply replies "Seriously dude? Three years ago."

  • After creator of Minecraft Notch fell out of favor for various controversial statements, a Vocaloid roleplay Twitter account responded to one of his posts by claiming, in-character, that Hatsune Miku had created Minecraft. This became popular quickly, as people saw it as absolving their love of the game and loved the absurdity of the game having been created by a fictional Japanese pop star robot, and it even became something of an Ascended Meme, with Mojang sticking a few Easter eggs in the code. However, it also became widely applied to other media with creators who had fallen out of favor with the fanbase for similar claims—with the biggest being Harry Potter, due to Rowling's many statements on social media that were seen as transphobic. The creator of the meme would go on to disavow it heavily, arguing that many of the Unfortunate Implications in Harry Potter are already baked into the narrative, and unlike Notch, Rowling still largely owns the franchise and receives money from consumers—separating the art from the artist doesn't work if you're still giving the artist your money.
  • A pet hate for Hawkwind are gig-attenders who loudly and continually demand their 1972 hit Silver Machine. The band are keen to point out that while that might have been their only single hit and concede that it was a good song, they have done a lot of other stuff since, and they'd quite like to play a few of those, if you don't mind. Hawkwind has even used a set of parody lyrics about a washing machine to get it out of the way and to point out that the song belongs a long way in their past when the vast majority of current band members weren't even there.
  • "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green Day spawned a meme where the internet community joked about "waking Green Day up" come October 1. Green Day has pointed out the insensitivity of this meme; the song is about Billie Joe Armstrong losing his father at the age of 10 and how he coped with the death by locking himself in his room and telling his mother he won't come out until the end of September. It came to the point where Green Day had to tell people to stop doing it, which most of their fans eventually did.
  • Ben Folds stopped doing his live cover of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" because he didn't appreciate people yelling the title at him while he was out with his kids. He later had the studio version removed from streaming services following the George Floyd protests in 2020.
  • Neil Young's song "My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)" from his 1979 album Rust Never Sleeps included the line "It's better to burn out than to fade away", which soon turned into a popular stock Shout-Out. However, that ended after getting quoted in Kurt Cobain's suicide note in 1994. Since then, Neil emphasizes the line "Once you're gone, you can never come back" instead.
  • The Rickrolling meme. This is to the point where Rick Astley himself has stated at least once that he's tired of it. Because of its polarizing nature and debates over whether or not it's a "dead meme" or a "timeless meme", it's not uncommon for works to mock the meme:
    • Bumblebee has a scene where "Never Gonna Give You Up" is played, only for Bumblebee to destroy the cassette it's on after being forced to play just a second or two of it.
    • In The LEGO Batman Movie, Robin plays "Never Gonna Give You Up" while cycling through music to use for the film's climactic battle, which Batman simply groans at.
  • For quite a long time, it was popular to use the Linkin Park song "Crawling" ("Crawling in my skin/These wounds they will not heal") as the ultimate example of pampered-white-boy Wangst, alongside a significant portion of the rest of the Meteora album. Then Chester Bennington hanged himself in 2017, and a re-examination of Linkin Park's discography made it clear how much of their music was essentially a slow-motion suicide note. The joke rapidly stopped being funny, and these days, while not exactly respected, most of those songs are seen in a more somber light rather than being the punchlines they once were.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The "you screwed Matt!" taunts aimed at Lita based off an affair she had with Edge while seeing Matt Hardy got shut down around The New '10s when Lita admitted the main reason she left WWE was the attacks she was getting over it. They started in the arenas, WWE even turning her heel to capitalise on the real-life heat and she said she eventually "couldn't even walk the dog" without someone taunting it at her. Matt later clarified he rekindled his friendship with her soon after, and the parties involved are now better remembered for their in-ring achievements than the affair scandal.
  • Molly Holly was often made fun of for having a big ass on TV. Despite being fine with the jokes initially, it soon affected her mental health to be constantly told she was overweight or "looked pregnant" (not helping matters was her battling an eating disorder around the time). In a shoot interview, she bluntly said that playing such a gimmick was what began to sour her on wrestling.
  • The Unexpected John Cena meme appears to be the wrestling fandom's equivalent to Chuck Norris Facts - the meme gained heavy overexposure and became annoying very quickly. Most fans agree that the only good thing it did was help John Cena ride the meme's popularity into a successful acting career. Even John Cena himself has made fun of it, notably performing his own piss take on the meme in a Cricket Wireless ad.


    Video Games 
  • Star Trek Online:
    • The game took a potshot at one of its own memes during the two-year anniversary celebration. Previously a lot of newbies got confused about where to find Captain Sulu, leading to "Where's Sulu?" meme. During the celebration, you could ask Q Junior where Sulu was, and he would complain about your use of an ancient meme.
    • They took another potshot at "KURLAND HERE", which had players driven up the wall when the aforementioned (James) Kurland would constantly pop up and utter "KURLAND HERE". His voice actor, dev Jeremy "Borticus" Randall added it to his forum signature and has gone on to mention that it wasn't his best.
    • When the second expansion, Delta Rising, dropped, players took satirical glee in attacking a number of statements made by the devs and then-Executive Producer Stephen D'Angelo, the most noticeable one being "Delta Rising is the BEST Expansion ever and the players LOVE it!" (the statement was even taken out of context). At least one dev has spoken up about it and the players at r/sto will most likely downvote you to oblivion if you post anything like that.
  • Animal Crossing: The meme about Tom Nook being an evil, greedy slumlord that takes advantage of the player in order to become rich and that is seemingly involved in shady business started to die down in New Leaf, where he is given a kinder characterization and where he makes all his loans opt-in with no deadlines or interest fees added to them. New Horizons has killed off the meme once and for all, with many players jumping into Tom Nook's defense, as he helps the player establish a town in a deserted island right from scratch, all the things mentioned earlier, and even allows you to use his Nook Miles system (which constantly reward you for fulfilling deeds around the island) to pay off your first home upgrade loan among other things. Even New Horizons Producer, Hisashi Nogami, claims that Tom Nook is a good guy. Ironically enough, though, Nook himself says in Happy Home Designer that being inaccurately seen as a villain doesn't really bother him personally, especially if it gets people to be responsible about their bills.
  • Portal's The Cake Is a Lie meme got discredited by the time the sequel rolled around, through massive overuse. The following media has mentioned that:
    • Cracked pretty much demonstrates how a meme gets discredited (using The Cake Is a Lie as an example).
    • Gamesradar was one of the first to declare this, and Valve agreed, stating in commentaries and interviews that they were so sick of it that they excluded it from Portal 2 for that very reason. They were unable to help themselves entirely, however, as there are two specific references in the game. One is in Rattman's mural depicting Chell's victory over GLaDOS and the other is Schmuck Bait that serves as a Take That! from both GLaDOS to Chell and Valve to the player. There's also a bit of binary code in Chell's file in the "Lab Rat" tie-in comic that translates to "the cake is a lie".
    • Just in time for people to start referencing "Nicolas Cage Wants Cake" instead. Apparently it is a meme now.
    • Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation is similarly heartily sick of The Cake Is a Lie meme. He generally refers to it as "a Portal reference," but it's always the same one. He's so sick of it that he completely trashed Castlevania: Lords of Shadow just for containing the reference (in spite of other given reasons) long after the meme had stopped being funny. He also bashes anyone who dares to use the cake reference in their webcomic for the same reason: "And if that doesn't work then just go on about the cake being a lie."
      Yahtzee: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow contains a Portal reference. That is literally all you need to know. It's attempting to jump on a bandwagon so late that the band has completed three sell-out world tours and sold their wagon to a scrap dealer. It's not even a clever reference, a note found on a dead character ends with the words "the cake is a lie". There's no contextual sense, it's just thrown in there like a random zombie wearing Groucho Marx glasses. [...] If a game has a Portal reference, whatever purpose it serves, it tells you everything you need to know about the absolute wankers who had creative control of the thing.
    • In this xkcd strip (from 2009), the downside to buying games on a five-year lag is that in 2013 you'd suddenly break out Portal memes well after everyone else had gotten sick of them.
    • In the Portal reveal trailer for LEGO Dimensions, Gandalf requests to GLaDOS that they (they being he, Wyldstyle and Batman) want to buy a cake, the AI responding exasperatingly "Why do they always want the cake?"note 
    • In Poker Night 2, if the player wins GLaDOS' bounty item, she says, "I hope you weren't expecting baked desserts because I don't do that anymore."
  • In Crash: Mind Over Mutant, Cortex says over an intercom at one point "No, you can't haz cheezburger. It's a stupid meme anyway..."
  • The Left 4 Dead custom map "I Hate Mountains" has some (custom-made) graffiti where someone asks "What Would Chuck Norris Do?" about the Zombie Apocalypse. After a couple of lines of banter, the exchange is ended with four words: "Seriously, he's fucking dead."
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
  • YandereDev, the developer of Yandere Simulator has gotten tired of the "WHOA TECHNOLOGY!" meme that went viral after a video he released in mid-January 2017. The reason he said that in the first place was because he was amazed that the developers of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty put in the time and effort to program a minor detail like ice cubes melting in real time. It has gotten to the point that he has banned people from his Twitch streams for saying it.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth featured an invasion of Nazi zombies. One character notes that he hates Nazi zombies because they're so cliché.
  • Downplayed in Dragon Age: Inquisition: As soon as the game was announced, the inevitable Spanish Inquisition memes began to sprout among the fans. However, BioWare came out and said that during the developing process, they made so many of these jokes themselves that they grew tired of the reference. They still managed to sneak in some subtle ones such as a scout reporting to the Inquisitor party when entering Redcliffe that "they weren't expecting us," or when a Drill Sergeant Nasty asks the recruits what is the Inquisition's main weapons and one of them replies, "Surprise and fear".
  • Heroes of the Storm: Poking ETC will have him start referencing "we need more cowbell" before throwing the script to the ground, complaining about how old the joke is and mumbling that they need better writers.
  • That the Crusader Kings-fandom would pick up on the "remove kebab"-meme from Polandball was quite unsurprising, given the title and theme of the game. However, Paradox have been very open about how they think making jokes about a genocide that happened in living memory is in extremely poor taste, and making "remove kebab"-references is one of the few things which will get you an instant perma-ban on the official forums.
  • In early January of 2019, the official New Super Mario Bros U. Deluxe website confirmed that the Super Crown power-up can only work canonically with Toadette, not only disconfirming the possibility of the Super Crown working on Bowser, but at the same time, the possibility of working on any other character. It seems that Nintendo has had enough of the Super Crown meme.
  • Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai has stated in Katsuhiro Harada (Tekken producer)'s podcast that he does not like the (obviously misquoted) meme of him telling people to "Never ask [him] for anything ever again", because it gives off the impression that people are trying to put their words into his mouth.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Strong Bad complains about this in "Trogday '08".
    Strong Bad: You Internet types ruined Trogdor! Just like you did zombies, pirates, ninjas and Strong Bad! Er, wait, no. Yeah!
    • Strong Bad also doesn't take kindly to his early obsession with the word "crap". It got to a point where in Strong Bad Email, he told people to stop sending him emails signed "Crapfully yours" or other variants.
    • The site once had a message board that fans used to post Easter Eggs they discovered while watching toons. The one reported most frequently was on the board's very own banner; the "O" in the word "Bored" can be clicked to access three secret games. The Brothers Chaps made fun of this by having Strong Bad's oldest computer, the Tandy 400, divulge this "secret". The now-defunct board has a page title of "Remember What the Tandy Told You", and the "O" is still clickable.
  • On Sonic for Hire, Sonic goes back in time to try to make sure that he doesn't squander his money. The event that he goes back to is when he and Knuckles battle Robotnik at the Death Egg Zone. Since the battle takes place in the 90s, Knuckles says a bunch of '90s lingo. Sonic gets really annoyed by it and quickly tells him "Now the novelty's worn off" when Knuckles says "Don't go there beyotch!"
  • Lampshaded in The Frollo Show among some of Hell's rules. (Ironic for that last one as Gwonam appears as a major antagonist of the series, and that the Anarchy Sisters are two of the main characters.)
    Thou shall not use memes from 9gag.
    Thou shall not make Soviet Russia jokes.
    Thou shall not rely on mainstream sources like
    CD-I Zelda and use very obscure ones like Panty and Stocking.
  • One meme ("“Are you a man or a woman?” “I’m a villain.” “What gender are you?” “Evil.” “Yeah, but what’s in your pants?” “Doom.”) was combined with a scene of Red vs. Blue where Doc talks with evil split personality O'Malley, and this made it even popular. The RVB fandom has a problem with that dialogue being attributed to show, to the point reposting it is banned from their sub-Reddit.
  • It didn't take very long after the end of RWBY Volume 3 for Black Comedy jokes about Yang losing an arm to induce more groaning than laughter, due to sheer overuse. It had become so widespread that the Volume 4 finale's end credits song is a 5-minute long example of this, titled Armed and Ready.
  • Many memes featured in YouTube Poops can particularly age like milk, and that also includes inside jokes shared with the pooper and their audience.
    • Pooper Durhamrockerz posted "Hank of the Hill" which had a running gag of Hank Hill saying "Boggle!?" in a confused voice. DurhamRockerZ got so tired of being spammed with constant "Boggle!?" comments on his videos that he stopped making references to the gag.
    • Spadinner jokes (jokes that involved lines from the infamous Phillips CD-I games) eventually were phased out once The New '10s rolled in.
    • Former pooper CamHead would consistently make "Brain Drain" jokes (in which a certain character forgets their lines, and Tigger from The Book of Pooh would proclaim that they had a brain drain) that his fans seemed to love, and that outsiders seemed to be either neutral, or critical of its repetitive, forced nature. Eventually, in April of 2022, Cam got exposed after allegations stating he participated in the grooming of minors were confirmed. Eventually, the entire YTP community detested and dunked on the Brain Drain jokes as a whole, and eventually became nonexistent in poops proceeding Cam's exposure.

    Web Comics 
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Walter has an "overused reference jar", which he treats more seriously than the swear jar.
  • Gunshow had the infamous "On Fire" strip, but near the end of 2016, the author posted this.
  • xkcd:
    • Old memes don't die, they just become undead, and get recycled on Twitter.
    • Similarly, with some Nostalgia Filter tossed in for the hell of it. The comic, posted in June 2007, predicts 2021 as the year of the meme's triumphant return.
    • In strip #1212 he lays out a few dozen stars within about 100 light-years of Earth, and the corresponding meme "they just learned about and are currently repeating way too much."
      Alt Text: The strongest incentive we have to develop Faster-Than-Light Travel is that it would let us apologize in advance.
    • In this strip, Star Wars (specifically "May the Force be with you") is quoted for the last time.
  • According to Dork Tower, a meme is 'officially' dead whenever Matt Groening adopts it. The case in point that led to this observation was "All your base are belong to us!"
  • Nodwick drove the new swearword "krutz" out of fashion by getting henchmen to adopt it en masse. A good thing, as a group of villains had created the new swearword as a means of accumulating mystical power.
  • Gigi Digi has stated that she's been tired of Hiimdaisy and its memes, which continue to see use amongst fans of Persona, Metal Gear, Ace Attorney, and the like, for years.
  • Dumbing of Age: Eventually, David Willis got fed up with people using the But for Me, It Was Tuesday meme all the time, and set the filter to block any use of the word Tuesday.
  • Full Frontal Nerdity instructs the reader to knock it off with the jokes about Call of Cthulhu's lethality.
  • In his comic book Boy's Club, Matt Furie killed off Pepe the Frog (who had outstripped the comic in popularity via Pop-Cultural Osmosis) after various far-right factions in Real Life adopted the character as their emblem. Furie only changed his mind upon the discovery of an (at the time) upcoming for-profit children's book which was a thinly veiled "Pepe vs Islam" message, and then reasserted his copyright to kill the book before it could be sold.

    Web Original 
  • SF Debris started his review of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "In the Pale Moonlight" by playing the clip of Senator Vreenak saying "It's a FAAAAAAAAAKE!", then saying "There, you got that out of your system?"
  • Survival of the Fittest: According to one of the administrators, Kenny the bear's appearance was done mainly to make people shut up about the "inactivity bear" meme.
  • Know Your Meme, a website dedicated to... well, memes, has a dictionary term called "The Family Guy Effect." To wit: "when Internet memes are showcased on the animated television show Family Guy, the meme will see a brief burst in popularity, followed by an immediate sharp decline." Oddly enough, their use of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" may have been too early (depending on how long episodes take to produce) to have been a reference to Rickrolling.
    • This very page gets a mention — hi there! note 
  • TV Tropes:
    • This Very Wiki enforces this from time to time when a Pothole Magnet results in Trope Decay.
    • On this very website, Candle Jack is loathed by many. note 
    • According to the image and caption for Fauxtivational Poster, this wiki has declared Demotivators to be unnecessary.
  • The trend of predicting a post number ending in doubles on 4chan got old to mods rather sooner than it did to posters. On boards such as /b/ and /v/, the final three digits of the post number were blocked out by X's as to make it harder to ascertain whether doubles were achieved (and to prevent the server from crashing so badly the next time the board hit another hundred million posts). When this did not hinder posters attempting to predict their post number, over the years it was removed. In another zig-zag, the mods eventually got so fed up with /v/ and /vg/'s dubs that every post that would have ended in the last two numbers matching skipped to the nearest set of numbers that didn't. It seemed to have finally worked...until browsers began predicting the final number of their post only. While the meme died down a bit, it's still common to watch anons try to get to secure their post ends in a number, especially with those that repeat themselves more than 5 times.
    • On slower boards, certain combinations of numbers can become a meme, and thus a discredited meme. One example is "92" or "1992" on the pro wrestling board, due to a Black Comedy meme involving Kevin Nash that the wrestler eventually had to personally discredit on Twitter.
  • Chuck Norris has fallen out of favor with Cracked, even though they had an article idolizing him. They worship Theodore Roosevelt and Nikola Tesla now.
  • This video jokingly addresses the age-old question of "Why Doesn't MTV Play Music Video Anymore?", rightfully pointing out that the question itself is old enough to drive.
  • On Two Best Friends Play, Matt and/or Pat tend to get sick of any of their running gags that catch on as fandom memes. In particular, after people started posting "[X] is the Origami Killer!" under every video they uploaded, Matt said that the joke was no longer funny.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The Critic admitted in his Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog review that his use of M. Bison exclaiming, "Of course!" in response to world domination plans was no longer funny. The clip has made a handful of NC-related appearances since then, but the buildup in each instance deviated from that past reviews (NC simply saying, "He has an evil plan to, you guessed it, take over the world") in order to make the gag less stale (e.g., a character announces world domination plans himself, NC notices a character looks like M. Bison, or someone says "Of course").
    • In the commentary for the same video, he mentioned that he did not include the infamous "bad touch" clip because of this trope while mentioning that it was good advice and that it was pretty bold of the show to make it.
    • He ran out of Lord of the Rings jokes during the Star Trek Generations review.
    • He also stated in his commentary for "Top 11 Batman the Animated Series Episodes" that he's really gotten sick of the "Bat-Credit Card" joke, to the point where if someone says it to him at a convention, he'll only respond once. Luckily, with enough reasoning to actually justify the Bat-Credit Card's existence, it seems that Linkara has successfully killed it since 2016.
    • In his Christmas with the Kranks review, he discredits almost all his memes (including "Of Course", "That's a lot of Fish", "Elephant", "Big-Lipped Alligator Moment"...)
    • When Doug and Rob do real thoughts on older reviews, they'll usually complain about a meme they got tired of, like "timing", "of course" and Rob's Goldblum impressions.
    • During his review for Sidekicks, he generally notes how Chuck Norris Facts have been overdone.
  • For an omnipresent meme, numerous sites have rules about not saying "First" in comments.
    • Fark has turned it into a new meme: its filter replaces "first (to) post" with "Boobies" and "first comment" with "Weeners", and if the post actually was first, adds twelve hours to its time stamp, thus pretty much guaranteeing it will be the minimum post (last post in Fark filter).
    • The Escapist, home of Zero Punctuation has a rule that comments in a thread about one of Yahtzee's videos are automatically deleted if they appear less than X minutes after the video is posted (X being the length of the video itself).
    • About two-thirds of the way through DM of the Rings, author Shamus Young started preemptively posting "first" in various snarky ways (e.g. an image of Steven Furst).
    • ScrewAttack has made a clip of the week stating to stop this or a "first monster" will come and delete the post.
  • The creators of Marble Hornets have said that they are sick of the "Gimme 20 Dollars" joke (which in their opinion bordered on a Forced Meme when it was new).
    • Referencing it on SlenderNation will get you mocked. Mercilessly.
    • The meme got a temporary new lease on life with the game Slender, which had an unlockable "$20 Mode", though due to copyright concerns the creator of the game removed the mode from version 0.9.7 on.
  • Saying "I'm 12 and what is this" is a bad idea in places where the terms of service explicitly state that you must be at least 13 years old. The Rule 34 site explicitly bans this meme as well as any other jokes about being underage, since the moderators don't want to risk the repercussions of actual minors viewing pornographic content.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged referenced the "over 9000" meme by having a bored Vegeta say the line (and this is after he ended up having his scouter on upside down and reading the power level as 1006, leading to Goku kicking Nappa's ass) and Nappa being disappointed by it. A later video celebrating Team Four Star's YouTube account passing 9000 subscribers did it again, with Vegeta using the original "Over 8000" line with an annoyed Nappa telling him he didn't do it right.
  • Zany VG Quotes's Zero Wing page says, "It's dead, Jim," and has a link to the infamous intro that simply says "Oh hell, you already know what this one is." At one point there was a snarky comment about it being time to stop wearing the AYB t-shirts and repeating it all the time. Notable because the entire All Your Base fad can be traced back to a Zany VG project.
  • Chuggaaconroy has completely disavowed Steve the Trooper, a red leaf Pikmin. Originally a throwaway gag, as Chugga often names characters, the fans picked up Steve and made fanart, videos, Facebook pages, and more. Throughout his Pikmin 2 Let's Play, he has specifically avoided the name Steve, sometimes stating "You know what that Pikmin's name is". Still, this being YouTube, most comments on his videos relate to Steve in some way. When Pikmin 3 was announced and all the trailers were flooded with "Steve" comments, this actually caused a large amount of ire to be turned on Chuggaa, despite his attempts to make the joke die.
  • Whenever RedLetterMedia introduced a new series or person on their channel, people would always ask if the new one was replacing an old one. This blew up into becoming a Mad Libs meme, with people asking "Is X replacing Y?" for everything. When this happened again with their new Plinketto show, host Rich Evans called them out.
    Rich: Hi! And welcome to the least creative comments section on YouTube! Check it out! (points to comments section below video) That's the same shit they've been saying for five years.
    Mike: Is this comments section replacing the Plinketto board?
    Rich: Is the Plinketto board replacing the comments section? Is Jay replacing Susan? Is Josh replacing the Plinketto board? Is Star Wars replacing Rich Evans? (to the camera) IT'S NOT FUNNY! STOP!
  • JonTron takes a shot at the "Mario on Mushrooms" joke, at first merely labeling it "OBLIGATORY MUSHROOM JOKE" in big rainbow letters. He then goes a step further by dressing as Luigi "struggling" with his mushroom problem, throwing away his bag of mushrooms, and ending on a message about how Mario mushroom jokes kill 6 million a year and to help find the cure.
  • Call Me Kevin has grown increasingly disdainful towards a meme started in one of his Comedy Night videos: "[insert anything here]? More like Bore: Ragnarok!" He seemed to enjoy it at first, but made his stance on it a bit clearer in "Animated Movies made in VR", which features two parts dedicated to mocking the people who just parrot it at any instance.
    CallMeKevin: Ah, another masterpiece! Leaves ya on a bit of a cliffhanger, like "did he kill the guy who said 'Bore: Ragnarok'? Is 'Bore: Ragnarok' funny?" Who knows, at this point? Most likely, no! *laughs*
  • Part of the reason that pannenkoek2012 stopped uploading commentated videos on his main channel is that people were still making references to his commentated "Watch for Rolling Rocks in 0.5 A Presses" video months after the fact, so he knew that any more commentated videos he made would be highly scrutinized, and the fact that all most people took away from the video were the various memes that spawned from it "really didn't sit well" with him.
  • YouTuber Dan Howell has had several weird jokes and images associated with his content note , which he originally played up. However, in 2016, he decided to rebrand, dropping the old username "danisnotonfire" for myriad reasons and officially declaring that the jokes no longer represent him or his content. He's aware that people will still know him as "danisnotonfire" (including this very wiki), but he wanted to make an official change.
  • Vinny from Vinesauce has pretty much gotten sick of memes in general, but he has a particular distaste for people who still think "It's Hip to Fuck Bees" is funny. Even the creator of the original remix hated the attention he got from it and put a spoiler for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the description to spitefully troll people who sought out the remix because of Vinesauce.
  • In one early installment of Google Translate Sings, the lyrics to the song "Shape of You" suddenly translate the lyrics "Come on, be my baby, come on" as "gradually watermelon", becoming a meme overnight. However, after a few run-ins with the meme, by the time of "Google Translate Makes Dinner *FAIL*", the word "gradually" causes the series creator Malinda to look at the camera with the word "Don't." hovering beside her.
  • Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg originally started the "Subscribe to PewDiePie" meme in October 2018 as a way to get more subscribers than his YouTube arch-nemesis T-Series. However, he later ended the meme after months of unsavory folks, most notably the Christchurch mosque shooter, misappropriating the phrase to promote hate and violence.
  • The Screaming Goat/Sheep meme spawned by YouTuber AjQ2891 was practically one of the most popular memes of the early-to-mid-2010s but died down in popularity around 2014-2015 after a few uses by mainstream sources such as a Sprint Super Bowl commercial. Nowadays, most uses of it are usually met with groans as opposed to laughter.
  • Internet Historian:
    • The idea of the 9gag meme rock was to preserve 2017 meme culture for the future by carving the best memes from that onto a 27-ton limestone slab. The problem is that a lot of the memes were already approaching, or exceeding, a decade at that point (none of the ones IH specifically points out are more recent than 2008). The IH has nothing but contempt for the stone, saying it's just "lying there, under the sand. Waiting for future generations to find it, then cringe at." He then "subtly" encourages the viewer to finish what 4chan started by going to Spain and melting the stone with vinegar.
    • A few of his videos cover the life and spread of memes, and occasionally this includes their death. The planking video is a good example.
  • The Deez Nuts meme spawned by Vine user WelvenDaGreat has been disowned by those who loved to use it, having become annoying and repetitive after a while.
  • The Nutters:
    • Adam Douglas had to endure many of his classmates at school throwing the "organise a sesh" line at him and now hates his own joke.
    • Greg Young likewise with people telling him "put down the fucking suitcase" (referring to a gag early on where Eoin nearly goes out while carrying his suitcase).
  • Aaron - Thomas Fitzgerald got incredibly annoyed at people making fun of the Ho Yay between Adam and Chris, finding it creepy and nonsensical that people shipped two brothers and getting freaked out when perverts tried to flirt with him online.
  • Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall considers "I'm the goddamn Batman" to be this after Frank Miller included several allusions to it in ASBAR to the point of being an Overused Running Gag.
  • Twitch briefly removed their famous PogChamp emote, which depicted the face of streamer Ryan "Gootecks" Gutierrez, on January 6th, 2021, after Gutierrez expressed support for the U.S. Capitol insurrection which happened that day. Before that, some users had previously wanted the emote removed because of Gutierrez sharing conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic and the 2020 U.S. election. Twitch initially changed the emote's face daily to that of other streamers before holding a poll that resulted in the emote being merged with the similar KomodoHype emote.
  • After Drew Gooden and Danny Gonzalez read a Real-Person Fic of themselves that wrote Drew's wife Amanda out by saying she was missing in Afghanistan (she has never gone to war or indicated that she would), the fandom made it a Play-Along Meme to claim Amanda was lost in Afghanistan in real life. However, in 2022, Amanda asked users to please stop making these jokes because they make her uncomfortable.
  • Game Grumps: Dan and Arin coined the "Goddammit, Ross" meme in response to Ross's sadistic Super Mario Maker levels, even putting the phrase on merch. They retired it after fans went too far pestering Ross with the meme. Ross now seems okay with his friends and coworkers jokingly calling him a bastard, but not strangers like his fans, and once called Dan and Arin out for using it on him while they were complaining about people saying it.
  • Jerma985 is not fond of the "Evil Jerma" face meme, finding it to be a source of embarrassment since it happens to be the first image of him shown in Google searches. When a Slasher Smile edit of the image called "Jerma Sus" became popular for its usage in Among Us shitposts, Jerma was initially relieved that it would overtake Evil Jerma in popularity. He ended up growing equally tired of it due to it making people think he was "the sus guy".
  • Invoked by Tony Zaret, who's playing an out-of-touch Gen-X guy who's trying to make meme content for young adults. He released a song about the Big Chungus meme in 2021, and still gushes about Chuck Norris and "Epic Bacon".
  • You Tuber JonnyRazer posted a YouTube short asking his viewers to "gaslight" the internet by picking a spam comment tu use on social media. In the same video, he says he'll reveal said comment on January 31st, but it was revealed on January 14th instead as "The Waffle House Has Found Its New Host" after support from the previous video. He told the viewers only to spam the comment until January 31st, and it worked, as the meme became discredited since February, having its search interest go down to about 12% of what it was in the previous month.
  • Zach Hazard has expressed irritation with the "Pancor Jackhammer is Zach's Berserk Button" meme in an episode of the Fallout 4 series, and proclaims people approaching him and going "ooh, a Pancor Jackhammer, are you annoyed?" are more frustrating than the gun itself.

    Western Animation 
  • On Danny Phantom, Danny makes a joke about "Who let the dogs in!", obviously in reference to Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" song that was everywhere during the early 2000s. He briefly tries to explain the joke while his friends just look at him like he's an idiot.
  • From the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Bloooo" (where Bloo gets sick, turning white, and being mistaken for a ghost by his friends), Coco picks up the phone, and we get this exchange.
    Coco: Co-co.
    Wilt: Who You Gonna Call?
    Coco: Co-coco!
    Wilt: (disappointed look) They've been out of business for years!
  • Similarly, there's this dialogue from the Futurama episode "Ghost in the Machines":
    Fry: All I know is, I've got a ghost that needs busting.
    Hermes: Who You Gonna Call?
    Fry: Gho
    Answering Machine: The number you have dialed has been lame since 1989.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Simpson Tide", Bart sings a short ditty of his '90s song "Do the Bartman" - even Ralph Wiggum comments "That is so 1991."
    • Likewise, in "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star", when Bart goes to a Catholic school, he introduces himself by rattling off one of his old catchphrases ("I'm Bart Simpson, who the hell are you,") in a very bored voice, ending in saying "yadda-yadda-yadda."
    • Also in "Bart Gets Famous" when Bart briefly gains 15 Minutes of Fame on the Krusty the Klown Show as the 'I Didn't Do It Boy'.
    • By about season 5 or so, it seemed they could only use "Ay caramba," "Don't have a cow, man," and "Eat my shorts" if they were making fun of them.
    • Mentioned in the episode "Skinner's Sense of Snow", where Bart found his permanent record: "'Underachiever and proud of it.' How old is this thing?"
    • Lampshaded in the "Treehouse of Horror VI" story "Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores", as giant advertising mascots running amok. The solution was to start ignoring them as ads go away if no one watches them. "Like that old woman who couldn't find the beef?'" Lisa observes.
    • In "The Blunder Years", when the Simpsons family tries to find out why Homer cannot stop screaming after being hypnotized, Homer starts flashing back to his greatest moment: the clip of Homer (almost) jumping across Springfield Gorge in "Bart the Daredevil", when Lisa interrupts him, saying "Everybody's sick of that memory!"
    • The beginning of "Gump Roast" has Homer parodying the opening of Forrest Gump when Chief Wiggum informs him that Springfield Police has been cracking down on people imitating movie characters, as Moe is immediately arrested after imitating Austin Powers.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Nicole Oliver has made it clear that she does not tolerate Princess Celestia being portrayed as a tyrant (especially of the Those Wacky Nazis variety) or molester. This came to a head when a fan at a convention infamously asked her for her opinion on the latter. Oliver reacted exactly how you'd expect. The jokes were revived nonetheless by Celestia's line "There is no wrong way to fantasize" from the season seven premiere being taken out of context.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Old Meme


Dead Eagle Joke

MatPat talks about how it's been a while since he discussed Lord of the Rings, bringing up the last theory about how Gandalf wanted the Fellowship to use the Eagles to fly to Mordor, a popular theory. He theorized that the show runners behind its prequel show, the Rings of Power, were so annoyed at the theory that they subjected an eagle to not only death by a Fell Beast, but also is set on fire and crashes into the middle of a battlefield within the first five minutes of the show.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / DiscreditedMeme

Media sources: