Kiryu has never killed anyone. Explanation Although Kiryu has Thou Shalt Not Kill as part of his moral code, fans have a field day pointing out the many things he does that should prove otherwise, such as using a gun in the car chase shooting sequences, using a waiter as a human shield in the first game, or heat actions that would easily kill someone in real life, such as throwing people off buildings, shoving nails into their mouths and many more. This meme is often coupled with the infamous twist in Yakuza 4 and you get people talking about "rubber nails", "rubber knives", and "rubber explosions" to explain away his definitely-not-lethal escapades.
KIRYU-CHAN! Explanation A phrase Majima says whenever he encounters Kiryu. This reached a peak with Yakuza Kiwami, with the Majima Everywhere system basically making this Majimas catchphrase.
Waiting for localizations Explanation It usually takes a while for Western releases of the Yakuza games to release. The Remastered Collection was a big example of this, with the remaster of 3 releasing in the West after the whole trilogy was released in Japan. Up to Eleven with the Kenzan and Ishin games, which have received the No Export for You treatment for years.
Kiryu will never get into Tekken 7Explanation Kiryu has been a big fan request for Tekken 7 as a Guest Fighter. Sadly, that has not happened. This meme reached a all time high when Negan was announced as a DLC fighter.
DAME DA NE Explanation From the series staple karaoke song Bakamitai (as can be performed by Kiryu, Akiyama, Saejima, and Namba). Roughly translating to, "I'm no good" or "I'm such a mess", it's basically said whenever there's something sad or when something doesn't quite go as planned. Negan making it into Tekken 7 over Kiryu as mentioned above? Dame da ne. Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan and Ishinnot receiving an export? Dame da ne. New Game+ being locked behind a paywall in Yakuza: Like a Dragon? Dame da ne. And so on.
Millennium Tower Explanation In almost all the games, the Millennium Tower always serves as the final battleground for Kiryu and his friends against the final boss. This turns into a joke by some players that the building suffered too much (eg. being blown up) from the characters.
"TEN YEARS IN THE JOINT MADE YOU A FUCKING PUSSY!"
"WERE YOU SOMEONE'S PRISON BITCH?!"Explanation All three of these are yelled out by Nishiki during the final boss battle.
"I'd fuck anything with two legs."
Majima Everywhere Explanation People had a field day with the announcement of the "Majima Everywhere" system and photoshopping him into other completely unrelated series. When you consider the kinds of places Majima will actually show up in Kiwami...
Kiryu kicking the door open Explanation Just before fighting Shota and rescuing Date from him, Kiryu kicks the door open which sends a mook flying. It really caught on, due to the whole ridiculousness of the whole scene. Kiwami kept the entire scene in, ragdolling and all.
Kiryu slamming the desk Explanation A video clip of Kiryu banging his fist against a table in frustration after learning that Sayama is going after Ryuji on her own, which got a life of it's own, with people using it to convey shock upon learning about sex or racism.
Ibuchi is Dio Brando.Explanation The Jojo References came flooding in once fans learned that Kei Ibuchi and DIO shared the same voice actor, Takehito Koyasu
"I peacocked your mom." Explanation Early on in the game a thug comes to threaten Kiryu with "Quit struttin' like a damn peacock!" This is the second response.
MINEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Explanation Daigo's Say My Name moment to Mine at the end of the game, combined with some over the top Narm voicework.
Beautiful Eyes Explanation Joji Kazama commenting on Kiryu's appearance caught on with fans because, well, Kiryu is pretty damn handsome.
Mine's Engrish Explanation At one point, Mine gets a phonecall from Richardson and replies in heavily accented but perfectly legible English. Of course it got memed similarly to Jin Kazama speaking English in Tekken 4
Andre Richardson Explanation He's become an infamous meme in the community for his bizarre pronunciation of certain words and sentences, his absurdly Ham and Cheese and Narm voice acting, that he's only character in the entire series to speak American English, and the fact that he looks likeAlbert Wesker.
"ARE YOU NUTS!?"
"Die, goddamn you! DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE"
"This is the end of the line for you... Kazuma Kilryu!"
RUBBER BULLETS Spoilers It's revealed that Saejima actually didn't kill anyone in the Ueno Seiwa hit because his guns were actually filled with rubber riot bullets. Considered one of if not the biggest Ass Pull in Yakuza history, it's become a two-word summary of the goofier aspects of Yakuza 4's story. It's also invoked as a tongue-in-cheek explanation for the more nonsensical aspects of other completely unrelated plots in Yakuza or the surprisingly low canon killcount of the protagonists. Sometimes substituted with other words (e.g. "plastic projectiles" or "elastic munitions", or with "bullets" replaced with other things like "fists" or "helicopters" as appropriate).
"You gotta go balls out." Explanation A line said by Saejima to Kido at one point in the game.
Majima putting an object on a table. Explanation Majima putting a watermelon on the table during his flashback in Saejima's chapter, which is often replaced with other round objects, became an easily explotable meme.
Exhausted Akiyama falling on the couch Explanation After a rough day fighting Shibata goons and evading the police, Akiyama returns to his office in a completely wiped out state. This clip's usually used for those exhausted by current events.
"Yume"explanation The giant amount of times that they say the word yume, which means dream in japanese, and how the whole game is almost absurdly centered around dreams and aspirations, definitely has gotten a giggle out of fans.
"I've been screwed over by Vietnamese Dong!" Explanation Shinada said this exact line in a substory when he realizes what currency he's being paid to play bodyguard for a music artist. Of course, with the rather risque nature of the word "dong", the fans naturally ran wild with it.
24 Hour Cinderella Explanation One of Majima's karaoke songs, which became popular due to how absurd the Imagine Spot sequence is compared to the rest of the gane. The scene got many people hooked on the game. From quoting the lyrics (SUNAO NI I LOVE YOU) to proposing it as appealing to the male fantasy in response to an already memetic Buzzfeed clip, the song itself became a meme just as much as its cinematic.
MASSIVE MAN Explanation Not long after Majima is introduced as the secondary protagonist of 0, he is tasked by Sagawa to kill a man named Makoto Makimura in order to rejoin the Tojo Clan. When we finally meet the man that Majima thinks is Makimura, rather than being greeted either by the latter name or by "God Hands" (being his title as a masseuse), the game decides to have "MASSIVE MAN" as the title card of the character. Which is somewhat justified since Makoto is actually revealed to be the young blind girl that gave Majima a massage beforehand.
Nugget Explanation In another instance of a meme scene having a big part in getting people to try out the game, Kiyru winning a chicken in a bowling game, choosing to make it one of his managers and naming it Nugget helped emphasize the crazy nature of Yakuza's side quests. So much so that he's been a Ensemble Dark Horse that's made appearances in other Yakuza and related games.
Sagawa drinks piss Explanation Sagawa at one point makes a off-hand comment that he drank urine. Yakuza fans had a field day with this one.
Japanese Man Attempts to Quit Job. Explanation In order to try to find out who framed him, Kiryu, at this point in his career just a rank-and-file errand boy for the Dojima clan, decides to quit the Yakuza so he is free to demand answers and investigate as he pleases without worrying about rank-related repercussions. What follows is an entire building worth of Yakuza toughs getting brutalized as Kiryu battles his way through them, intent on beating information out of Kuze. The sheer titanium balls it took to pull a stunt like this immediately made this scene a meme.
Ryuji Goda wants your pants. Explanation During one of Majima's Substories, he can run into none other than a much younger version of Yakuza 2's main antagonist, Ryuji Goda... And his sub-story is about stealing bontan pants. This naturally has become a Never Live It Down moment for the future antagonist due to the absurdity of it (granted despite his size, he was very young back then.) and has been memed to hell and back.
"It's Free Real Estate." Explanation A very obvious joke to make especially considering the real estate part of Kiryu's Story.
Friday NightExplanation The intensely catchy first song of the Disco Dancing minigame and said minigame itself has proved to be immensely popular among fans. Often accompanied with edits and gifs of Kiryu and Majima dancing together during the non-canon multiplayer version of the minigame as well as being conflated with the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure "It's finally a Friday..." meme comic.
Various memes and jokes about how Kiryu and Majima got their legendary fighting styles through real estate or managing a cabaret club.
Korean VergilExplanation A nickname fans have given to Joon-gi Han to due his resemblance to said Devil May Cry villain.
Little Baby Iwami Explanation A nickname given to the Big Bad of the game, Tsuneo Iwami, by Kiryu, it has clicked a bit too well with fans, and rightfully so, with Iwami being one of the slimiest pieces of shit this series has ever seen to date.
Like A Dragon: Like a DragonExplanation The inclusion of the Japanese title in the English version brought on a few jokes about redundancy.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon QuestExplanation A combination of Dragon Quest getting name dropped in the trailer (complete with the revelation that Sega even got permission from Square Enix to do so,) and the game being a turn-based RPG.
Japanese Eric AndreExplanation More than a few people noted that Ichiban's afro makes him look like a Japanese Eric Andre, and making lots of edits and parodies combining the works with each other.
Yakuza KartExplanation One of the new minigames is a straight up go karting race. Fans had a field day comparing it to Mario Kart.
BreadExplanation During the scene where Ichiban is informed of his extended sentence, he's eating a bread bun. Considering it was shown out of context in the reveal trailer and its remarkable level of detail to the real thing, fans quickly latched onto it.
Ichiban headbutting a goon out of the box Explanation Early on in the game Ichi and Nanba set a trap for the Liumang Loanshark Zheng, and his second-hand goon gets the unfortunate treatment of getting a friendly greeting from Ichi and getting headbutt jumped out of the box immediately afterwards.