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5 Memes That Made It Into Anime

It’s not surprising that the creators and even translators of some of our most loved anime are cultured in memes. After all, they are the ones writing all the hilarious moments we can relate to. In fact, there are several instances where memes you’ve likely seen and shared before were referenced in anime. Let’s take a look at 5 memes and 16 times they gloriously appeared!

1. Reaction Guys

We’ll begin with a classic. The Reaction Guys is one of the most well-known meme templates and has been floating around the internet since 2003. It depicts a comparison between the audience’s reactions to something boring in the first panel and something they feel excited about in the second panel. The Reaction Guys have references in multiple anime, the most recent being Komi Can’t Communicate episode 3 when Komi’s classmates feel electrified at the thought of seeing Komi’s kissing face. Previously, the cameo appeared in Bakemonogatari episode 9, iDOLISH7 episode 3, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid episode 10, and Recently, My Sister Is Unusual episode 7. It creates the perfect chance to show a hilarious reaction to something.

 ©西尾維新/講談社・アニプレックス・シャフト, ©アイドリッシュセブン CD:Arina Tanemura, Ⓒクール教信者・双葉社/ドラゴン生活向上委員会, (c)2014 松沢まり・KADOKAWA 富士見書房刊/「妹ちょ。」製作委員会

You can watch Komi Can’t Communicate on Netflix and the others above on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

2. “No thoughts, head empty”

“No thoughts, head empty” is an internet catchphrase and meme template used when someone simply has no brain cells left to use. It makes homage in episode 2 of the anime shorts series BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!☆PICO~OHMORI~ when Rimi Ushigome and the other Girls Band Party members struggle to decide on a new menu item for Saya’s family bakery. I’m sure many of us can relate to this sometimes…

©BanG Dream! Project ©Craft Egg Inc. ©bushiroad

Image via BanG Dream! Girls Band Party! Official Youtube

3. “I think I forgot something.”

Even a meme based on an American TV sitcom has made its way into anime. This part in Gabriel Dropout episode 3 mimics a memorable scene in Two And a Half Men Season 2 episode 16 when character Alan says he believes he forgot something. Charlie then replies “If you forgot it, it must not have been important,” and the camera cuts to Alan’s son Jake who is left at school in the pouring rain. In Gabriel Dropout, Gabriel and Vignette similarly realize too late that they left poor Satania crushed under a door.

Two And a Half Men
© Warner Bros. Entertainment

You can watch Two And a Half Men on Amazon Prime Video.

©2016 うかみ/KADOKAWA アスキー・メディアワークス/ガヴリールドロップアウト製作委員会

Images via Crunchyroll

4. Salt Bae

Ah yes, the Salt Bae meme you may have used to show everyone your inner boujieness. This meme is the most common one found in anime and most recently appeared in The Dungeon of Black Company episode 9. Before, Salt Bae also made cameos in How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom episode 4, Chuubyou Gekihatsu Boy episode 4, Black Clover episode 24, My Girlfriend is a Shobitch episode 7, Dr. Stone episode 13, Tensura episode 20, and Jashin-chan Dropkick season 2 episode 5. What better way to execute a cooking scene? Bottom line: Japan seems to love Salt Bae.

© どぜう丸・オーバーラップ/現国製作委員会, ©2019 れるりり・藤並みなと/KADOKAWA/厨病激発ボーイ製作委員会, © 田畠裕基/集英社・テレビ東京・ブラッククローバー製作委員会, ©2017 松本ナミル/KADOKAWA/マジメ過ぎる製作委員会, ©米スタジオ・Boichi/集英社・Dr.STONE製作委員会, ©川上泰樹・伏瀬・講談社/転スラ製作委員会, ©︎ユキヲ・COMICメテオ/邪神ちゃんドロップキック製作委員会

Images via Crunchyroll and Funimation

5. Rick Roll

Lastly, this one is a true surprise. Steins Gate: 0 makes reference to the famous rickroll meme based on an unexpected appearance by artist Rick Astley in his “Never Gonna Give You Up” official music video. In episode 10, Kurisu becomes frustrated when Rintarou provokes her into reciting the iconic lyrics with him. She totally got rickrolled!

© ️ 2018 MAGES./KADOKAWA/ STEINS; GATE 0 Partners

Images via Crunchyroll

Referencing a meme is probably the most cultured move an anime creator could make, and this has been done several times in anime. Let’s appreciate the creators’ and subbers’ relatable sense of humor and look forward to more fun meme references in the future!

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