In 2004, Will Ferrell starred in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and created a veritable meme factory in the process. While many of the Anchorman memes center around Burgundy one-liners featured in the movie, supporting characters get a little bit of the love as well.
By the time that Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues found its way into theaters in 2013, memes from the original movie were already circulating. Though that movie didn’t catch fire in the same way as the original, Burgundy continues to thrive in meme form.
According to Know Your Meme, an Anchorman page appeared on the Meme Generator site as early as 2011, though even before that, in 2008, a YouTube user uploaded a video compiling his top ten lines from the movie, which proved popular.
Here are some of the Anchorman memes inspired by the original Anchorman movie.
The ‘I’m kind of a big deal’ meme
This line was part of Burgundy’s attempt to court female lead Veronica Corningstone (played by Christina Applegate). This sets up the sequence in which Burgundy boasts of having many leather-bound books and an apartment that “smells of rich mahogany.”
But from this scene depicting their rocky romantic start, “I’m kind of a big deal” is the one that best fits the meme mood. Its usefulness is self-apparent.
The ‘that escalated quickly’ meme
In a Daily Dot meme story published in October 2023, author Rachel Kiley noted, “It’s become particularly common among the perpetually online, particularly as commentary on something that truly just jumped from zero to 100 faster than anyone would have expected.” The phrase enjoyed a spike in 2012, possibly due to a YouTube video of the scene being uploaded a year earlier.
Although the scene includes Brick Tamland’s wonderfully surrealist “I killed a guy with a trident line,” the Burgundy scene-starter, “Boy, that escalated quickly” found popularity as one of the best-known Anchorman memes. It’s perfect for those trying to describe anything that got out of hand in a hurry.
The ‘I don’t know what we’re yelling about’ meme
Tamland shines here again, punctuating a headed discussion with Burgundy and the rest of his posse by yelling, “I don’t know what we’re yelling about.”
It’s an Anchorman meme serving, for some, as a dire assessment of the whole internet.
The glass case of emotion meme
One of the funniest lines in Anchorman comes from a moment of deep despair for Burgundy, when one of his concerned friends where he is during a phone call. Burgundy, clinging to the side of the phone booth he’s in, wails, “I’m in a glass case of emotion!”
It later became an Urban Dictionary entry, offering this explanation: “When you have a very hurtful or terrifying feeling that threatens your very moral fiber while you happen to be inside a phone booth.” While some meme users have never been in an actual phone booth, growing up in an age of cell phones, this is still a good meme to discussions that might be, well, confining.
The ‘I’m not even mad; that’s amazing’ meme
Finally, we get to Burgundy’s “conversation” with his dog Baxter, in which he “interprets” the dog to be explaining that he “pooped in the refrigerator” and then “ate a whole wheel of cheese.”
That leads Burgundy to comment. “I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.”
Know Your Meme notes that it’s converged with the hip-hop saying “I ain’t even mad” and as a rejoinder to the online question “U mad?” to be a wide-ranging meme to express what you might feel when you could be mad but opt for a whole different reaction.