Me watching vs me recommending meme old boy and fleabag

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Me watching vs. me recommending: A meme for the stories that hurt us

When you want to share the pain of your favorite film with friends.

 

Lindsey Weedston

Memes

Me watching vs. me recommending is an image meme showing the difference in attitude between these two actions in reference to popular media. The image macro displays two women with drastically different postures and expressions when viewing a film or TV show, reading a book or graphic novel, or playing a video game, as opposed to when they recommend it to others.

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@nanaxfish/X

The meme began in early June 2024 on Twitter and is spreading rapidly through social media channels.

What is the “me watching vs. me recommending” meme?

The me watching vs. me recommending meme consists of a woman looking at the cover of a movie or other piece of fiction with her hands in a claw position in her hair and a pained look on her face over another woman next to the same cover who is cupping her hands to form a heart while smiling.

This format took off as a way for people to show off their favorite media entries that are known to be difficult to get through, as excellent as they may be. All it takes to use the meme is the ability to replace one book cover or film poster with another.

Me watching vs. me recommending meme origin

The watching vs. recommending trend began on June 9, 2024 when Twitter user @nanaxfish posted the first meme using this format to her page in reference to the Japanese manga and anime series Banana Fish. The books depict a 1980s New York gang leader as he uncovers a criminal conspiracy around a street drug called, as you may have guessed, banana fish.

The manga contains emotionally intense content that includes subjects like war trauma, child sex trafficking, brainwashing, and addiction. With this context, it makes sense that even if a reader enjoyed the story and would recommend it to others, they may have had a difficult time getting through to the end.

Some of the best-loved works of fiction contain the very subjects we try hardest not to think about and cause us to want to tear our hair out when confronted with them.

This tweet by @nanaxfish received over 1.6 million views and over 63,000 likes as of June 12, 2024.

Watching vs. recommending meme spread

From the post about the oddly named manga, the me watching vs. me recommending meme spread across the social media platform as others shared their favorite hard-to-swallow pieces of fiction.

Popular entries have promoted films like the 2003 South Korean action-thriller hit Oldboy, which is best known for its horrifying twist ending, and the heart-wrenching 2020 romantic Hulu miniseries Normal People. This meme has already undergone one alteration, with a fan of the Netflix anime series Dungeon Meshi replacing the pained woman with a clone of the one doing heart hands.

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@tanijrou/X

The meme became seriously popular in the space of only a couple days and seems likely to be a brief trend — the kind of meme that burns bright before burning itself out. For now, interest continues, but there are only so many works of fiction that tear your heart out or leave you staring into the middle distance.

Meme examples

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@tanijrou/X
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@fleabagreact/X
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@fleabagreact/X
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@fleabagreact/X
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@flynnslick/X
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@flynnslick/X

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