Why Memes Stop Being Funny

Let's face it: if you're on the internet for any amount of time, you probably get plastered with all sorts of memes. It can be tiring and frustrating — and it's not entirely because you're overexposed to the same thing over and over again (though obviously, that doesn't help).

PBS Idea Channel takes the time to intelligently dissect why people get sick of memes, and it's a fascinating watch. My take on why memes can suck: in-jokes keep people out from enjoying the media and culture. Memes also don't require much creativity/are formulaic, which actively works against something being funny. And finally, some memes aren't even funny to begin with — which makes their reproduction that much more excruciating.

Of course there can be smart usage of joke frameworks — which is essentially what memes provide people — but generally, that's not what you see when someone is just reproducing a joke.

I will say that the internet is rather clever and is good about finding ways to keep a meme feeling fresh, but you might have to wade through a bunch of lame attempts to find the good stuff.

How do you feel about memes?

When Do Memes Stop Being Funny? | Idea Channel | [PBS Digital Studios]




      Generally I figure it depends on whether the crutch of the meme is the meme itself, or the message attached to it.
      For example, the 'mudkips' meme was funny just based on the meme alone. Success kid, awkward penguin etc continue to be funny because there are many ways that they can still be applied.

    Memes weren't funny to begin with.

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