Everyone loves memes, especially those funny out-of-context anime scenes that are floating around. Sometimes, a meme can outgrow the popularity of the source material (or the community that spawned it). Here are some of the most popular animemes and their origins.
1Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru/You Are Already Dead
This is a popular meme that comes from the ’80s anime Fist of the North Star where the manly hero, Kenishiro, is beating the life out of people so fast it takes them a few minutes to realize that they are dead.
2Anime was a Mistake
This popular troll quote is used ironically and non-ironically to start flamewars. You’ve definitely seen this before when people talk about anime they don’t like! While popular, the line is from a pair of fake gifsets that shows Hayao Miyazaki lamenting anime’s existence. In reality, he was saying how otaku fail to make human connections, which is leading to watered-down stories.
3Dinner with Waifu
Every Christmas and Valentine’s Day is filled with amusing “Otaku Date” pics, where self-deprecating fans take their waifu out to dinner. Enjoy as people share food with a dakimakura or a picture of their true love.
4Shall We Do It?/Yaranaika?
This expression is lifted from a yaoi called Kuso Miso Technique or Shit Soup Technique. A college boy is walking along until he sees a mechanic in the park. He thinks ‘Uh oh, hot guy” and the mechanic flops out his junk and asks “Shall we do it?”
Then yes, they do it.
5I Herd U Liek Mudkips
Anyone who has been on the internet since 2004 has heard this catchphrase. It all began on DeviantArt, when a fan made the -MudKipClub art group, which is a place for Pokémon fanart. A year later, the account host would comment “so i herd u liek mudkips” on user walls as an invitation to join the group.
Things snowballed as the phrase popped up on 4chan, Fark, Facebook, and various YTMNDs. The phrase is now a common way for 4channers to identify themselves in the wild.
The mascot people associate with FAKKU actually got its start on 4chan! A lewd doujin by Shiden Akira made it’s way across the boards and into people’s hearts.
7Virgin Killing Sweater
This sexy halter neck sweater is loved by doujin artists and erotic fans around the world. Cosplayer Noraneko first rocked the sweater in June 2016, dubbing it the “Erotic Knit.”
Artists pounced and quickly began to draw various characters wearing it. Popularity began to wane until interest was revived by @Magane4989, who simply Tweeted, “This sweater is so…erotic. The Virgin Killing Sweater.”
— 凶音（まがね） (@magane4989) January 25, 2017
This new name led to an explosion of fan art and model shoots — including buff guys rocking the knit.
Yes, the former-frontman of Queen is an anime icon. This is thanks to Cromartie High School, a comedy series from the mid-2000s about world-weary teen hanging out with delinquents.
Most of the delinquents are sweet and misunderstood — except for Freddie. This rugged “high schooler” stares into your soul while flexing his ‘stache. His quiet and recurring appearance made Freddie a fan-favorite and introduced the real Freddie Mercury to a new generation of anime fans.
“Desu” is a commonly used Japanese word that can approximately mean “I like X.” It’s also used to mock weebs.
In the mid-2000s, 4chan users would use spam “desu, desu, desu” as a way to derail the conversation and to drown-out anime fans. It would get linked to Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden, since she ALWAYS says “desu” — just like a true weeb would.
10Is this a pigeon?
This meme jumped in popularity in 2018 and even spread outside of the anime fandom. Many people think that it’s a translation error but it’s not. The scene is from the ’90s anime The Brave Fighter of Sun Fighbird and shows the glasses-wearing android stepping outside and misidentifying a butterfly as a pigeon. It’s not a bad translation, it’s just a funny scene!