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Meme Acknowledgment

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Memes happen. Whether it's a catchphrase that catches on, an intentionally or unintentionally funny moment, or an unfortunate coincidence, these things spread throughout the Internet like a virus. Sometimes crew members catch on and reference them.

It can be anything—a line at a convention, a YouTube video, even a piece of supplementary material. To qualify for this trope, it just has to be outside the show.

Often, this takes the form of a "lesser" worker (as in, not the creator or showrunner himself) referencing it, as trying to get it put into the script could potentially cause an uproar. Also, a lot of memes are OOC, risqué, or just plain random, which wouldn't fit at all in Canon. The Expanded Universe gets more leeway in this department.

A Sister Trope to Ascended Meme, which is when the show itself references the meme. See Approval of God if they enthusiastically support the meme, not just know of its existence.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Wayne Grayson, voice of Joey in Yu-Gi-Oh!, said "Brooklyn Rage!" several times at a 2008 convention. He referred to it as "his favorite line" even though "It's not even a line my character says, but I've been saying it all weekend".
  • Christopher Sabat frequently acknowledges the "OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAND!!!!" meme, though he does find it odd that people ask him to say it when it was a line from the older dub that he had no involvement in.
    • He intentionally trolls anyone who asks him to say it by stringing them along in the conversation until they figure out that they're being trolled.
    • In the censored TV version of Dragon Ball Z Kai, his "Over 8,000!" linenote  from the DVD release is changed to 9,000, complete with the hammy delivery.
  • The Funimation announcement of Nagisa's VA for the English dub of Free! referred to him as "the cute, hilarious, definitely-not-a-thug Nagisa Hazuki", referencing 50% OFF's version of the character.
  • Attack on Titan: The parody Spoof on Titan, made by Hajime Isayama himself, pokes fun at some of the fandom's memes and shipping pairs.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is (in)famous for its dramatic, stylish poses, and the fan tendency to recreate them in real life. Not only has the author/artist, Hirohiko Araki, done it himself (see here), but the posing made it into an ad for one of the video game adaptations!
  • In Japan a meme surfaced in 2017 that briefly crossed Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and The Promised Neverland over, an image edit of Zenitsu, a Demon Slayer character, being scared witless of Sister Krone, a Promised Neverland character, made its rounds in Japanese imageboards, to the point Zenitsu somehow was voted the 29th most popular character in The Promised Neverland for its first official poll, while Sister Krone was voted the 59th most popular character in Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba for its first official poll. Going even further the meme was in fact recognized by Shueisha itself in 2019, as they made a gigantic mural with hundreds of Shonen Jump characters being all over a school building, Zenitsu and Krone were paired together alone, creating the same effect of Zenitsu being scared of Krone as she looms behind him.
  • The Demon Girl Next Door meme "It's all Shamiko's fault" comes from a fanart, yet it became trending in 2019, to the point of being named number 1 in Nico Nico Douga's top 100 memes of the year. Nico Nico presented a trophy to Izumo Ito, the creator of this series, and Ito responded with art of a puzzled (because they didn't say that in canon) Yuko and Momo receiving the trophy.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the DVD Commentary of Turning Red, director Domee Shi acknowledges that Riley's dad from Inside Out is memed and wonders if Mei's dad, Jin, will be as well which she wants.

    Film — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • "Bear" Grylls of Man vs. Wild has occasionally made jokes about reacting to events with "better drink my own piss" just like the meme parodying this trait of his.
  • When Elizabeth Berkley, best known as Jessie Spano on Saved by the Bell, appeared on Dancing with the Stars, she and her partner Val had some fun before they had to do a jive routine by recreating one of the most iconic (and infamous) memetic moments from the series: Jessie's caffeine-pill fueled breakdown while singing "I'M SO EXCITED!" The Internet rejoiced.
    • Similarly, Alfonso Ribeiro's jazz routine to "It's Not Unusual" in Season 19 included the Carlton Dance. Even the song choice counted, as Carlton's love of Tom Jones was a Running Gag on the show, to the point where Jones appeared As Himself as Carlton's guardian angel in one episode.
  • Oprah Winfrey famously gave away cars to everyone in her audience in a 2004 episode of her show. Her screams—particularly "YOU GET A CAR!"—quickly reached meme status. Nine years later, when Oprah appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, she was in the middle of talking about her new film The Butler when she suddenly stopped the interview and declared "I just got that feeling again." She called a random woman from the audience down to the set and abruptly screamed "YOU GET A CAR!," giving her the keys to a brand-new Ford Fusion that was outside. The whole thing was played as a joke, with Oprah describing her "problem" of giving away new cars as a compulsion that she tries to keep under control—in this case, she apparently skipped lunch, which made her condition flare up.
  • James May remarked in an interview with motoring YouTuber Jimmy Broadbent that he was aware of the "Bottom Gear" meme and had actually watched the video himself.
  • When MasterChef presenter Gregg Wallace appeared on short-lived British TV show The Magicians (not that one), he went out of his way to reference the memetic MasterChef Synesthesia tune, loudly proclaiming his love for the "buttery biscuit bass".
  • In The Sopranos, a second-season episode has Livia Soprano watching Emeril Lagasse's cooking show, Emeril Live, on television, and complaining that he doesn't wash his hands at all before preparing food. Due to the popularity of the series and fan amusement with this comment, Emeril himself would make a point of washing his hands before making anything afterwards, and turned the comment into a Running Gag about how he hoped "the woman from Sopranos doesn't bug me."
  • In the UK comedy Wasted, Chronically Killed Actor Sean Bean appears as the spirit guide of one of the protagonists, frantically Adam Westing the whole time, while dressed as Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. The first season ends with him delivering the line "One does not simply kill Sean Bean".
  • After the LazyTown song "We Are Number One" became the subject of a number of parodies (usually titled "We Are Number One but [description of the changes]"), the official YouTube channel went ahead with "We Are Number One but it's the original and it's 1 hour long...."
    • In addition, the original actors performed a live version of "We Are Number One" and also released a video of all the individual components making up the song. All of this was done to keep the memes flowing.
    • One of the unlikelier mashups from the show was a combination of "Cooking by the Book" and the Lil Jon song "A Little Bigger." Chloe Lang, the second actress for Stephanie on the show, later recreated the mashup on TikTok for a laugh.
  • People getting disturbed by the world, specially technology-related news, often inspires "This is so Black Mirror" responses. Twice, it warranted the show to respond, once when Life Imitates Art, and another when the 2016 election led the phrase to be used too many times.
  • During the run of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, the web-exclusive Poppy Pipopapo's Room video series had an episode where Poppy and Emu try some gummies and scream "JUICY!", parodying the "Juicy Kid" from the Kamen Rider-branded gummy advertisements.
  • The Doctor Who Twitch marathon spawned a meme from Ian Chesterton's excited reaction to returning home to "London 1965!"
    • As a result, the official Doctor Who YouTube channel changed the title of the clip where this happens to "London 1965".
    • The 2018 Doctor Who Magazine Christmas Quiz, had a section of questions about "The Chase", in reference to Bradley Walsh hosting The Chase. The first one is when and where Ian and Barbara arrive, and the answer is given in the following issue as "London, 1965!"
  • Once a screencap out of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills became half the meme known as "Woman screaming at cat", said woman, Taylor Armstrong, became a fan of said meme (even if the image was originally her having a heated argument related to possible domestic abuse, she has no problem seeing it twisted into a joke).
  • Alex Trebek appeared As Himself in the 1990 Cheers episode "What is... Cliff Clavin", in which Cliff goes on Jeopardy!, but blows it all in "Final Jeopardy!" by writing "Who are three people who have never been in my kitchen?" as his answer to a tough clue (having wagered everything, too, despite having a runaway lead). In the 1990 College Tournament, when the eventual tournament winner Michael Thayer wrote "Who is someone I have never met?" in "Final Jeopardy!", Alex quipped, "Michael, looks like you were watching that episode of Cheers!". In the years that followed, Alex would warn players not to "pull a Cliff Clavin" in "Final Jeopardy!", and Cliff's answer also serves as a stock answer for tough clues among players.
  • Sex/Life: The announcement for Season 2 directly mentioned how many people specifically watched the scene in episode 3 where Brad's Male Frontal Nudity happens. They specify that 20 million people watched that scene, and they even put a few reaction clips in the announcement.
  • People trying to guess who Sauron is in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, spawned a lot of memes, which were acknowledged on Twitter by both the official accounts of the show and Prime Video.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Late 2014 saw a meme on Vine featuring Randy Orton using his signature RKO finishing move on people who were falling or in accidents, making it appear as if Orton had caused them to fall. WWE eventually acknowledged it on their front page, and even posted a few vines of their own.
  • Botchamania created "The Cornette Face", a screenshot of Jim Cornette with his mouth agape, looking like he just saw the most ridiculous thing he's ever seen. Cornette loved the concept so much that he enthusiastically agreed to the usage and even had merchandise made with the face on it (and proudly wears the t-shirt regularly).
  • For a while, when the WWE has fired or released a wrestler from their contract, the announcements almost always ended with the phrase "We wish him/her the best in all his/her future endeavors." The term "future endeavored" became a meme among the Smart Mark crowd as a means of talking about someone being fired. In The New '10s, WWE actually started selling shirts with "Future Endeavored" on them.
    • For a short time, they also started selling shirts with other common smart mark lingo, such as "I'm So Over," "I Get Heat," etc. However, the shirts quickly fizzled out of production.
  • John Cena has publicly acknowledged the meme surrounding him (and how annoying it is), and teamed up with Cricket Wireless to perform his own take on it.
" Speaking of Cena, another meme of his is him being invisible due to his "You Can't See Me!" catchphrase. WWE would acknowledge this on a September 2023 edition of RAW where The Miz decides to talk smack with John...when really it's him talking to air as if he was invisible.

    Video Games 
  • Garland's Dissidia Final Fantasy voice actor, Christopher Sabat, said "I, Garland, will knock you all down!" on request at Another Anime Convention.
  • At Comic-Con 2011, a panel featuring the voice directors for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had Taliesin Jaffe (the English VA for Blanka and Adon in Street Fighter IV) belting out "Would anybody like... SOME POUND CAKE?!" and "JAGUAR SLEEPOVER!" The former is a meme originating from one of Egoraptor's sketches from the Street Fighter Collab on Newgrounds and the latter is an oft-quoted Mondegreen of Adon's Jaguar Revolver Ultra in IV.
  • Metal Gear:
  • BioWare sells "Enchantment!" and "Morrigan Disapproves" t-shirts, based on popular phrases from Dragon Age, as well as "Isaac Newton is the deadliest sonofabitch in space!" and "favorite store on the Citadel" memes from Mass Effect. For a while, they also sold a t-shirt of Mass Effect's "I should go."
  • The Touhou character Hong Meiling. No-one could decide what to call her (she's Chinese, yet her name in Chinese characters could very well be a Japanese name), so everyone decided to call her China. It became a Discredited Meme... until ZUN said that he also calls her China. Poor Meiling...
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: On Xbox 360, you can get an "Arrow in the Knee" accessory for your Avatar.
    • Additionally, at E3 2018, Todd Howard jokingly announced a very special edition of Skyrim, as a reference to the meme that it gets released on pretty much every system.
  • Nintendo has a history of doing this at their E3 shows:
    • At E3 2012, Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime came out and said "Yes, my body was ready."
    • In a Nintendo Direct after E3 2012, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata held a bunch of bananas for a few seconds, for seemingly no reason. This quickly turned into a meme, and the very next E3 Nintendo posted a picture of Iwata holding bananas with the caption "Bananas @ E3" on Facebook.
    • In Nintendo's show for E3 2014, when talking about the success of Mario Kart 8, they edited in the memetic "Luigi Death Stare," wherein Luigi gives off a Death Glare when he passes an opponent. Keep in mind this meme was less than a week old when they did this.
    • Nintendo's show for E3 2015 was a fountain of this, all with Iwata, Miyamoto, and Fils-amie as muppets. Of course, there was Reggie's "My (puppet) body is ready" and a brief scene where puppet Iwata stares at a bunch of bananas for several seconds. Iwata also acknowledged his Character Tic a few times, first when his puppet self was first revealed ("I will go directly to the stage"), and another brief scene where he does it repeatedly for no apparent reason, then somehow knocks puppet-Reggie over by directing the gesture at him.
    • E3 2016 saw the release of a new wave of Mario amiibo being released, including Ensemble Dark Horse Waluigi. Due to the semi-facetious demand for him to be made into an amiibo, Nintendo's official Tumblr announced it with a post reading "All your dreams are coming true!" (Note that they don't make any mention of any of the other characters, showing how strong the meme had become.)
    • During the 2017 Nintendo World Championships, though not at E3, one announcer noted in the Mario Party 2 round that Luigi couldn't win just by doing nothing.
  • Charles Martinet said "Too bad. Waluigi time!" in Waluigi's voice on request note .
  • Blizzard Entertainment has been using the phrase "the rush begins" (changed to "has begun" after release day) in some of the advertising for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
  • The last 24 hours of the Star Citizen crowdfunding campaign were streamed from lent office space in Austin, TX. For about two hours, the team went out for dinner and left an IKEA table lamp with a paper sign taped to it perched in front of a camera as a makeshift, "We'll be right back" sign. The team returned to find that, in their absence, the silly, sleep-deprived fan community had begun building all sorts of weird lore around the lamp, jokingly deifying it, naming squadrons or guilds for it, giving it an imagined personality, addressing direct questions to it in the chat threads, and so forth. Some members of the development team joined in on the joke, and at least for the foreseeable future, the Lamp will continue to make appearances in some of the development team webcasts.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • "Nintendo of Europe supports the No Coin Left Behind movement!"
  • Focus Home Interactive, who produce Sherlock Holmes video games, had Watson teleporting in Sherlock Holmes Versus Arsène Lupin due to the developers being pressed for time, forcing them to not implement pathfinder A.I. for Watson, and Watson's mad teleportation skills were widely seen as creepy. In March, they produced a video based off of this small "Creepy Watson" meme.
  • One of the songs in Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F is the song from the once-popular Nyan Cat meme, since the original, rather limited, vocals belonged to Hatsune Miku!
  • Cryptic Studios' James "Borticus" Randall, part of the dev team for Star Trek Online, voiced Captain James Kurland, C.O. of Deep Space 9, in the featured episode "The 2800". After complaints about Kurland's constant spamming of the line "KURLAND HERE" in "Boldly They Rode" went memetic, Borticus commented on the forums that it was "not my best work, I'm afraid" and even added it to his forum signature.
  • At Gamescom 2014, Masuda says Hoenn Confirmed in his message to fans awaiting the upcoming Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire games.
  • When a new regional form of Wooper was revealed to be appearing in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, the official Pokémon account tweeted a picture of one simply captioned "This", refencing a meme that originated all the way back in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
    • Legends Arceus acknowledges the meme of Bidoof, Shinx, and Starly being on every Sinnoh playthrough team by specifically forcing you to catch those three Pokemon.
  • During the second day of the EUIC 2023, Wo-Chien ended up being the only Ruinous Legendary not in the top 12 most used Pokemon. The official Twitter account for Play Pokémon posted a picture of an empty chair at the tournament captionned "Wo-Chien Live Reaction", referencing the meme itself derived from the "Live Slug Reaction" meme.
  • Nintendo UK's website once had an Error screen saying I AM ERROR. As of Sept. 2017, only the title bar/tab name says that, and it's a page where the visitor can make the screen "do a barrel roll".
  • The official Super Smash Bros. Facebook page indulges in this on occasion when uploading character card photos that give info such as their first appearance and Final Smash. Ike's for instance was uploaded with the caption: "For Fun? For Glory? No. For Friends," referencing a memetic victory phrase of Ike's from Brawl. (It also references a meme to have an alternative to "For Fun" or "For Glory" modes — like For Freedom.)
  • Byleth's trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate pokes a little fun at the series's seeming propensity for adding "anime sword fighters" to the roster.
    Sothis: I see. Too many swordsmen, are there?
  • One of Masahiro Sakurai's screenshot posts for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate shows a Mii wearing the Sans costume and Ness from EarthBound together, which many have interpreted as a nod to Game Theory's infamous joke video that Sans is an undead Ness.
  • The Boxing Ring stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has the fighters appear on the background screen with special titles for them. The Inklings get a nod to the memetic "You're a kid, you're a squid" commercial with their title being "Half-kid, half-squid".
  • The reveal trailer for the 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask really played up the creepiness of Termina, and at one point the camera lingers over Link's Elegy of Emptiness statue (the face behind "Ben Drowned") for longer than the other scenes.
  • Link's catchphrase of "Well, excuse me, princess!" uttered in The Legend of Zelda (1989) animated series is used by an NPC in a sidequest in Xenoblade Chronicles 1. (Monolith Soft was the developer of that game, but Monolith is owned by Nintendo.) This line actually works, because the character on which this line is spoken to is actually a princess.
  • Street Fighter X Mega Man has a track called "Goes With Everything." Once the appropriate code is activated, all the music in the game is replaced with this one. This track is, as you might expect, Guile's theme.
  • The Villain Protagonist of Hatred earned the Fan Nickname "Not Important" from the trailer, where he stated "My name is not important." The creators themselves have taken to referring to him as Not Important as well.
  • Splatoon:
    • A Splatoon update added a bit of stage announcement chatter for Callie and Marie that references the infamous "YOU'RE A KID YOU'RE A SQUID" meme.
    • The Squid Research Laboratory Tumblr page has also acknowledged a number of in-jokes and memes that regularly cropped up on the player-made Miiverse graffiti.
    • In Splatoon 2 Marina references the "I wish squids were real" meme with "I wish humans were real". Note that Marina does know humans are real as they're an extinct species whose fossils are everywhere, so it's clearly just a joke.
  • The box art of Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call (the PAL version of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne) had, on the cover, the phrase "Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series." The line became massively popular, to the point where Atlus mentioned it twice in the buildup to Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse — once in a blog post about naming the game, and once in a joke video about the game's name.
  • Adam Croasdell acknowledges the memetic status of his character Ignis's line "I've come up with a new recipe!" from Final Fantasy XV.
  • Tabata himself even acknowledged the "car driving" meme - he thought it was Actually Pretty Funny and even released high quality image templates for people to use.
  • This video of Doom (2016)'s original soundtrack, uploaded by Bethesda themselves, includes a brief appearance by the "Doot Revenant."
    • The game itself acknowledges the "Rip and Tear" meme literally seconds into the tutorial.
  • Many of the voice actors in Overwatch are known to reference and tease the Shipping of their characters.
  • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia has had a couple of the voice actors reference some of the fandom jokes.
    • Gray's early line of "Shut up, Tobin" quickly became a meme due to its delivery. Max Mittelman, Gray's voice actor, has brought up the line at at least one con.
    • Chris Hackney, Boey's English VA, has acknowledged a number of Boey-related jokes on his Twitter. Most notable are the ones regarding his strange liking of flour and the infamous scream he makes in Act 4.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, the fandom quickly latched onto tomatoes being Leo's Trademark Favorite Food. The above-linked video also features Max Mittelman (who is also the English voice of Leo) referencing all of the tomato jokes.
  • An announcer pack for Dota 2 has Gabe Newell, founder and CEO of Valve, calling out your killing sprees, and many lines in the pack have Newell acknowledging many memes and jokes about him and his company.
  • The Director's Cut commentary for Deus Ex: Human Revolution has the staff acknowledging the memetic videos involving Adam Jensen, such as Safety Dance, Adam Jensen Walks Into A Bar, and Punch Punch Revolution.
  • League of Legends: Most of the community's memes have gone straight into the game itself, but some have been kept in supplementary material and on the website:
    • Riot Game's periodic Q&A session posted on their website is named 'Rito Pls', a common gag used in-game for when you want to complain about the developers making the game the way it is (usually in the vein of 'why is this character so broken').
    • In one of their website posts explaining about new use of smart pings, the developers' chosen image was of the '?' ping over a dead player character - a common site in-game when players are demanding to know what someone thought they were doing when they got themselves killed.
    • In a 2018 run of the One For All mode, where everyone on each team plays the same character, the devs pointed out that in this version buffs can stack on top of each other when they wouldn't normally. Among the examples they gave for this was that Sivir, with five stacks of Sivir's ultimate ability stacked at once, is the fastest thing in the game. They highlighted this by saying she has won the title of The Fast from Jhin, after a notorious Jhin movespeed build of that name that became popular on YouTube.
  • Persona 5:
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • One meme that circulated in the fandom involving Claude being depicted upside-down in reference to his depiction on the box art. His voice actor, Joe Zieja, made his announcement for the role while hanging upside down.
    • Seteth's quests for Byleth have been edited into all kinds of silly requests. His voice actor, Mark Whitten, voiced a few of them in character.
  • PAYDAY 2 generated lots of memes. Some of the most notable examples are:
    • Drills are a common tool to open doors and similar objects and they are infamously known for always breaking down at the worst possible time and multiple times at that. When the developers did a Twelve Days of Christmas parody, the first day of Christmas has Chains gifted with a broke dick piece of shit drill.
    • One of Huston's lines towards hostages is "Don't act dumb!", which is said in a very deadpan manner. Overkill took that one line and made a whole song out of it. It's even selectable in game as track to play during an assault wave.
    • When Chains get incapacitated, Bain is very likely say "Chains is in a pickle!", which lead to fans making fan art of Chains being in an actual pickle. The devs took it to the next level by making a wearable pickle mask and then having Chains's voice actor rapping to a song about Chains getting into all sorts of trouble, which leads to him being in a pickle.
  • Total Distortion writer/composer Joe Sparks has made clear he's amazed at how memetic the song "You Are Dead" became. He'll probably show up in the comments of videos about the song (or the game) too.
  • Orion is often called "Mel Gibson" by fans of the Total War: Warhammer games, due to a percieved ressemblance with the actor, and Creative Assembly mentionned the meme in a patch notes, notign that Orion "denies any ressemblances with the human actor Mel Gibson".
  • Civilization:
    • Update announcements for Civilization VI's New Frontier DLC packs are often signed off with '...and thank you, for taking one. More. Turn.'
    • In the introduction for their developer livestream to showcase Ethiopia's introduction as DLC in VI, the three commentators were presented on-screen as if they were in-game Governor units. The host's apparent Governor ability is 'Trade deal with England', referencing the memetic voice clip from V.
  • The game Vine Realms was largely created as this, being roughly half this and half Mythology Gags from the Vinesauce community. Many, many community in-jokes are mentioned or referenced in-game.
  • Gabe Newell made a cameo in a music video for The Chalkeaters, where he said "Is this what you’ve been waiting for? Say "One, two....and four"!"
  • The official Final Fantasy Facebook page made a post that celebrated the 27th anniversary of Final Fantasy VI. The post recapped memorable moments from the game, including suplexing trains.
  • Following the announcement of the last content update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Nintendo conducted a poll on its YouTube channel asking what new/returning content coming to the game that players were most excited about. The options for said poll were the addition of an expanded version of the wildly popular Happy Home Designer mode from New Leaf, the return of many beloved but conspicuously absent NPCs such as Brewster and Kapp'n, the new decorating and customization options, and...the Froggy Chair.
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl: In the official moveset showcase video for Garfield, the narrator explains his regular light attack is a simple kick before saying "It's time to kick Odie off the table." This is quoted verbatim from the notorious YouTube parody Garfielf.
    • Hugh Neutron being added to the game (before his son, no less) can be seen as a public acknowledgment of the way the man has been a source of memes on the internet.
  • MultiVersus all but makes Ultra Instinct Shaggy canon, with the game's first trailer having Shaggy, after being upset at other characters picking on him for no reason, scream out of his lungs and having an aura around him in a similar fashion to a Dragon Ball character powering up. One of Shaggy's entrance lines also references Ultra Instinct Shaggy when he says he needs to use 2% of his power.
  • The devs behind Final Fantasy XIV knows about the memes the game makes and have taken notice in various ways:
    • When Yotsuyu was introduced in the Stormblood expansion, one of her memorable scenes was her stomping her heel onto Gosetsu's head. This led to a lot of "Step on me!" memes from the community who were enamored by Yotsuyu for obvious reasons. One of the dev blogs that talked about an upcoming fan festival showed a picture of several paper cutout figurines on a stand. One of them showed Yotsuyu's figure standing on top of Gosetsu's, whose figurine is knocked over.
    • The Dragoon job used to be unwieldy and was infamous for its lengthy animation lock after using Jump, which could get the player killed from an enemy attack if used at the wrong time. This had many players using the LOLDRG memenote  whenever a player playing as a Dragoon died. The devs joined on the fun by mocking the job in several ways, such as the Dragoon's job pin being knocked off the table or the Dragoon face planting in the ground in some sprite art.
    • When fighting Omega, its theme plays during the fight and is accompanied by lyrics. Due to everyone constantly mishearing the lyrics, fans often heard "A chicken tender, get ready to fry!" Actual lyrics  A 2019 April Fool's gag from the devs showed a mother frying chicken tenders while Omega's own theme song plays in the background.
    • In the music fighting Ruby Weapon, a common mondegreen is to hear the lyrics as saying "big fat tacos, so big" Actual Lyrics . A separate meme is common image edits of a moment when the character G'raha Tia is chomping down on a cheeseburger. The first trailer for Dawntrail combines them, showing G'raha Tia eating, yes, a big fat taco.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3:
    • Eunie's voice actress, Kitty Archer, changed her Twitter profile to reference the oft-quoted "Hear that, Noah? Lanz wants something a bit meatier!" along with retweeting a "Eunie's the bus!" meme.
    • Noah's voice actor, Harry McEntire, referenced and/or quoted a number of fandom memes while livestreaming his playthrough of the game, including "It's Mwambin' Time", "WOTAH", and "Lanz wants something a bit meatier."
  • Toby Fox, creator of Undertale, acknowledged Sans' popularity in Tumblr as a "sexyman" by writing a short fanfic where Sans beats Arataka Reigen by one vote in a "Tumblr Sexyman" contest.
  • The Undertale meme about Sans being an acronym for Steven After Not Surviving was referenced in the Spamton Sweepstakes charity fundraiser for Deltarune, where one of the prizes was "Spamton After Not Surviving", a jar of white sand (doubling as a Stealth Pun — Sands, Sans) and a pair of balls representing Spamton's eyes. Another prize is a poster Spamton calls a "Fungible Token", referencing memes about Spamton and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
  • Dwarf Fortress: "Koganusan," one of the tracks on the soundtrack for the Steam release, is the dwarven name of the infamous fortress of Boatmurdered.
  • In the early days since the release of Resident Evil 4 (Remake), Twitter user Agrimmora posted fanart of Ashley Graham (the game's rescuee) as a tiny cartoon mouse. "Moushley" caught on like wildfire and eventually, the official Resident Evil twitter would appear to subtly catch on, as a few days later they posted a single post consisting of two emoticons: a mouse and a block of cheese.
  • Upon taking over as the English VA of Tighnari in Genshin Impact, Zachary Gordon endorsed memes depicting Tighnari as Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, made as an Actor Allusion to Gordon's big role as Greg in the film adaptations. Later, in response to a challenge in which actors would share two roles showing off their range, Gordon's own contribution compared Greg Heffley to Tighnari.
  • In the leadup to Street Fighter 6's release, Luke's voice actor Aleks Le created his own version of the memetic "Ryu from Streets™" video.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Shrapnel: In an unusual stay-one-step-ahead-of-the-comment-section kind of way for KILL CONTRACT 2: Once Upon a Time in Uganda, where the viewers were encouraged at the end of the episode to add #deadmeme to their comments to get a response from the creator about questions they may have, in acknowledgement that the meme that the Ugandan Knuckles characters featured in the episode came from, was already a Discredited Meme by the time the episode came out.


    Web Original 
  • Epic Rap Battles of History did a rap battle between Donald Trump vs. Ebenezer Scrooge. The very next day after the video was released, Donald Trump himself tweeted about the video, understandably confused and asking "What's with this rap stuff between me and Ebenezer Scrooge?"
  • The creator of quiz site Sporcle decided to answer a question to the site's Ascended Meme (Kyrgyzstan, the hard to spell country the fanbase loves) with another comment section Running Gag: "Mike Krzyzewski could have been our inside joke, but he's too U.S. centric."
  • Legendary stop-motion animator Phil Tippett has apparently gotten sick and tired with people telling him, "You had one job, Phil! One job!" in response to his official job on the set of Jurassic Park being "Dinosaur Supervisor" and uploaded a rebuttal to his YouTube channel.
    YOU WEREN'T THERE! Enough with the meme.
  • One of the earliest and most popular stories on Not Always Right involves a customer who is attempting to edit a video and tells tech support that it's "blue and blue on de ting". Readers have kept the phrase alive in the comments section for years, the site printed it on a T-shirt, and even the editors themselves have worked references to "de ting" into just about any story that involves the color blue in some way.
  • In late 2022, Tumblr-users rediscovered a long lost mafia movie named Goncharov, supposedly created by Martin Scorsese, as a Play-Along Meme. When asked about it by his daughter, Scorsese confirmed that he did, in fact, create Goncharov.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a lot of these.
    • This season 2 promo acknowledges acknowledged the fan terms "brony" (term for fans of the show, usually defined as the older male ones) and "DJ Pon-3" (for the DJ pony seen in "Suited for Success").
    • At the January 2012 Bronycon, Ashleigh Ball was asked to say one of Jappleack's lines from APPLE.MOV. She settled for "Uh... Fu... Forget you! Ah can eat all these apples!" Hotdiggedydemon, the maker of the .MOV series, posted a response.
    • May 30, 2012 saw the announcement of a special edition toy for Comic-con. The toy packaging is nameless, but contains a gray pegasus pony with blond hair, bubbles cutie mark, and yellow walleyes. The package is complete with muffins on the box art.
    • Speaking of, even in the show itself pretty much everything owing to Derpy Hooves' character, from her status as a lovable good-natured ditz, her job as a postal worker and mail carrier, and her (potentially romantic) relationship with Doctor Whooves all come from memes created by fans.
    • The nature of Lyra and Bon Bon's friendship being so overtly romantic (though stopping just short of admitting it, or insisting they're "best friends") is a response to their now memetic standing as a very popular One True Pairing among fans. Coming full circle, the term "best friends" has become a meme in the fandom that refers to characters who are in love.
    • WeLoveFine's officially licensed My Little Pony line of shirts is at least half ascended memes.
    • Also inverted in a way: Ghost of True Capitalist Radio would often describe himself as "Melting Pot of Friendship" to deflect accusations of racism. He also hates the show and its fandom. So a "fan" recorded Tara Strong saying in her Twilight Sparkle voice that she's a Melting Pot of Friendship. Ghost took it well.
    • A DVD box set featured a "Now 20% cooler!" sticker.
    • The official extended version of the song "Awesome As I Wanna Be" includes the line "You wish you could be 20% cooler."
    • The song "My Little Pony Friends," a song originally written as the end credits song for the My Little Pony Equestria Girls movie, includes the lyrics "Love and Tolerate".
    • The 100th episode, "Slice of Life", was effectively written as a thank-you to the fans for supporting the series for so long - as such, it's a near-constant barrage of references to fandom memes, most notably canonizing "Steven Magnet"note  as the name of the campy purple serpent from "Friendship is Magic, Part 2."
  • The Legend of Korra fandom managed to get Steve Blum to read out some "Comedy Amon" jokes at a convention.
  • Comedy Central's bumpers promoting the 2012 season of Futurama were based off of several popular memes, including Fry's "Not Sure If..." and "Why Not Zoidberg?", with Billy West providing the voiceovers.
  • An ad for the 2014 Kids Choice Awards on Nickelodeon makes use of the Surprised Patrick meme.
  • An arguable case, since the meme referenced isn't related to the work itself, but The Lion Guard character Bunga, known for extreme bravery and and not being bothered by anything, is a Honey Badger. The creators even admit that the character was partially influenced by the "honey badger don't care" meme.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven Universe has the incredibly well-known meme known as ""Pearl's secret rap career" note . The meme features Pearl singing and dancing to the song "LA" by The Party, but only the verse sung by Deedee Magno Hall, Pearl's voice actress. Hilarious, especially since the final installment of this meme features footage of Deedee herself REACTING to it.
    • For a while there was a meme of portraying Peridot as very stereotypically Canadian. This was because some fans speculated she had landed in Canada, however it was later shown that she didn't. Still, Peridot becomes obsessed with a very Canadian Show Within a Show called "Camp Pining Hearts".
  • The creators of Voltron: Legendary Defender have acknowledged Shiro as being the "Space Dad." Shiro's voice actor, Josh Keaton, seems to be especially fond of using it on social media.
  • After the series finale of Samurai Jack, Aku's voice actor Greg Baldwin had this to say.
  • The Special Edition Title of Season 30 of The Simpsons had a very brief clip of an episode from the previous 29 seasons play in reverse chronological order. The clip that represents Season 7 was Superintendent Chalmers saying "steamed hams" from the episode 22 Short Films About Springfield, specifically Principal Skinner's segment of the episode. That segment was a rather popular meme during the year of the Season 30 premier, flying under the name "Steamed Hams".
  • Dan Povenmire acknowledged the meme depicting Re-Destro as Doofenshmirtz.
    Dan: (as Doofenshmirtz) I can finally give Huge Hands Hans a run for his money!


    Real Life 
  • Laura Dern was surprised to learn in an interview that her "cry face", seen in films such as Blue Velvet, became a meme, and was so delighted she wore "cry face" shirts and made videos of her doing the face.
  • Ryan Gosling has been asked in interviews about and has read out some of the captions of the images on that site.
  • After Chicago Blackhawks fans adopted Lindsey Buckingham's "Holiday Road" as their unofficial anthem for the team's run through The Stanley Cup playoffs, the NHL Network used the title of the song when noting that five of the last six Stanley Cup winners have won the Cup on the road.
  • The NBA YouTube account acknowledged Memetic Badass Brian Scalabrine by making a mixtape of his best moments, something usually reserved for superstars of the game.
  • Chuck Norris and his public acknowledgment of Chuck Norris Facts in TV interviews. For the most part, he finds them very amusing. He even wrote a book compiling some of his favorites!
  • Barack Obama used the popular "Thanks, Obama" meme while he was still in office by posting a video of himself trying to dunk a large cookie into a glass of milk that was clearly too small for the cookie. The "Thanks Obama" subreddit promptly shut down, noting that there was no way anyone else could ever top that.
  • Similarly, a photo of Hillary Clinton on her cell phone spawned the "Texts from Hillary" tumblr. They decided to retire the blog when they realized they couldn't really top a submission from Hillary herself.
  • Joe Biden's 2024 presidential campaign decided to use he "Dark Brandon" by using it on its 404 page. The graphic, which uses a filtered version of the President's official portrait, is also available as a t-shirt and color-changing coffee mug.
    • He took it a step further joking about having the Dark Brandon personality at the 2023 White House Correspondents Dinner.
  • A 2008 video of a lecture by law professor James Duane became a meme within legal circles as "Don't Talk to the Police." In 2014, an episode of Chicago P.D. directly acknowledged this video, and in 2016 Duane himself wrote a book based on the video, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent.
  • Football manager Neil Warnock, then at Cardiff City, went viral in 2019 after staring down and chasing away a TV camera that got a little too close to him during a match against Crystal Palace. When Warnock joined Twitter in May 2022, his very first tweet was a video him replicating the clip.
  • Trivago has some played-to-the-point-of-overkill ads. In Brazil, not only they brought back the "Mr. Trivago" to read some comments, but the website also listed their favorite memes inspired by the commercial.
  • Augusto Pinochet Molina, the grandson of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, frequently shares the American "free helicopter ride" memes.
  • Someone tweeted in Febuary 2017 that "John Legend look like Arthur lowkey" which quickly caught on. His wife, Chrissy Teigen, used the Arthur fist meme to tease him about it [1] and posted a picture to Instagram of their daughter holding an Arthur doll captioned "Luna and Daddy". He would later acknowledge the meme himself in an ad for Google Home where he dressed like Arthur and recreated the fist meme. [2]
  • After the death of Kobe Bryant, a tribute was held in Bryant's honor at the Staples Center (now Arena) in Los Angeles, where Bryant spent his entire career playing for the Lakers. While giving a tribute speech, Michael Jordan referenced the "Crying Jordan" meme, saying that now he'll have to look at another one.
  • Senator Ted Cruz has seemingly embraced the "Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer" meme.
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was known to find the “Notorious RBG” meme about herself hilarious and gave merch of it to her staff/interns when they left her office. Her granddaughter says she drew the line at tattoos though like any Jewish grandmother would.
  • Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson has been permanently associated with a bright blue Patagonia vest he wore during the 2014 Ferguson, MO protests. The vest even has its own parody Twitter account, @deraysvest, which he's had to remind people at work that he doesn't actually control.
  • In 2018, the phrase "Funds are safu" became a meme among users of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, due to a Youtube video that parodied a tweet by Binance's CEO. Since then, Binance has embraced the meme: when they created an emergency insurance fund for Binance users, they called it... the Secure Asset Fund for Users. The meme also appeared in later tweets by Binance's CEO.
  • At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, photographer Brian Snyder captured U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney's scowl on the medal stand, and a Tumblr blog quickly popped up captioning the image as "McKayla is not impressed," which spawned a massive meme. Not only did Maroney take the joke in stride, but when she and the other U.S. gymnasts got to meet then-President Obama at the White House that November, the two recreated the image in the Oval Office, much to the delight of fans everywhere. A 2022 GEICO "So What Are You Waiting For?" ad would later feature her retrieving a lost Frisbee off a roof for two guys ("So what are you waiting for? McKayla Maroney to get your Frisbee off the roof for you?"), only for her to react with the iconic scowl when they immediately lose it again on a different roof.
  • During every home game, the Cleveland Browns have fans in their famously rowdy end-zone section, the Dawg Pound, unfurl a series of three banners that span the section, reading "DAWG POUND" in very large lettering. During the Browns' loss to the New York Jets in Week 8 of the 2016 season (in which they ended up 1–15), the fans messed up the banners, instead spelling out GPODAWUND. This became a metaphor for the Browns' futility in that season (and, for that matter, most of the current century). Fast-forward to 2022. The Browns officially released that season's schedule via a video that opened with a replay of the GPODAWUND incident, followed by an unveiling of all 17 games with similar out-of-order banner graphics for each team. On top of that, their bye week was announced with a GPODAWUND replica.
  • McDonalds's McChicken and McDouble are often featured with each other in advertising, a nod to the notorious "McGangbang" sandwich created by combining the two together.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Meme Acknowledgement


Michael Jordan

While delivering a tear-jerking eulogy in the wake of Kobe Bryant's death, Michael Jordan soon acknowledges the fact that he's now given the world a new version of the "Crying Jordan" meme.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / MemeAcknowledgment

Media sources: