Few things have brought us reprieve throughout the dumpster-fire that has been the year 2020— the leaked phone call between Kanye West and Taylor Swift, the rise and fall of the Hype House, the utter insanity of Tiger King, and now, possibly most helpful of all, Gossip Girl memes.
Gossip Girl memes, which began popping up during the COVID-19 lockdown, have received a powerful response from users across the internet. Open Twitter and you’ll find thousands of people posting about their bewilderment over this new trend— some confused, some delighted, but all undeniably entertained.
While most of us interact with internet humour every single day, these viral memes have somehow pierced through all the noise, causing a collective visceral reaction we haven’t seen online in what feels like years. (Albeit, months feel like years in lockdown.)
Simply put, the Gossip Girl memes are so funny. Like, laugh-out-loud-send-to-everyone-you-know funny.
But why are they so funny? And how is it possible that an entire generation of online users is in agreement over these irreverent yet oddly pertinent memes?
Memes play a major role in defining internet culture. And internet culture is inherently a shared experience between users across the world— from language to humour to grievances to celebrations, those who consider themselves apart of internet culture live authentic experiences online, even if they don’t translate to the real world.
But for the first time in history, everyone, both on and off the internet, is living through the same experience.
And these Gossip Girl memes are giving us a moment to escape from that. Essentially, they’re giving us a collective mental health break.
The humour itself is in their absurdity— Serena asks an incredibly specific question and Blair responds with an equally specific, yet somehow vague, answer that is spelled out using letters from the show’s title ‘Gossip Girl.’ It doesn’t really make sense, and that’s totally the point.
The graphic design aspect of these memes (or lack thereof) also adds to their effectiveness. The photos of Serena and Blair are grainy and pixelated, while creators sloppily paste a white box over the letters they wish to ‘delete.’ The whole thing looks like it was made in Microsoft Paint on your parents’ early-2000s desktop.
And it’s this golden combination that gives us a communal sense of nostalgia for a simpler time.
It takes us back to the OG meme days, long before regular people had access to Photoshop and digital creation was in its infancy. It takes us back to that straight-to-the-point absurdist humour that helped form internet culture as we know it. It takes us back to before social media became toxic, before meme accounts stole content, and before we couldn’t escape our phones.
A time before COVID-19 existed.
And together, we find these memes so funny because we can all relate to this nostalgia.
The Gossip Girl memes are so absurdly silly that they border genius, and their simplicity is in sharp contrast to everything else we’re seeing online during the pandemic.
Living through COVID-19 is a shared experience. And enjoying foolish content during this traumatic time has also become a shared experience.
It’s in these fleeting moments of solace— like laughing at a totally bizarre yet surprisingly relatable Gossip Girl meme— that will help get us through.
So until next time, you know you love them.
XOXO, Gossip Girl (Memes)