For as long as there have been “likes” on Facebook, there have been people begging for likes by promising to do something when they reach a specified number—”If this gets 1,000 likes, I’ll delete my account,” and so on. On Reddit this week, that old saw has become a fresh new meme that makes fun of Facebook culture.
“10,000 likes” is a highly flexible meme format with two main parts. First, there’s a fake Facebook post by a character or celebrity that claims “10,000 likes and I’ll do whatever the first comment says” or some variation. Then, the punchline: a comment from the same character. The implication is that the person really wants to do whatever is in that comment. (Oh, and the person is often George W. Bush—probably because the meme emerged in early September, just before the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.)
In 2017, you can’t have a social media screenshot meme without Donald Trump. He’s a popular subject of “10,000 likes,” too.
The two Republican presidents are joined by a bunch of other historical figures and also Peter Griffin from Family Guy. The format is wide open, and any character fits.
And there are also meta versions that refer back to the meme itself:
You might think this meme would be entirely “normie”—too mainstream for hardcore meme snobs—because of its Facebook origins, but the Redditors using the meme have subverted the “if this gets X likes” format to mock Facebook users and insert their own transgressive memes. (Although this trend is on the decline, tasteless humor has traditionally been used to limit a meme format’s spread and keep it “dank,” with creators reasoning that the average Facebook poster won’t share a joke about incest or 9/11.)
Unfortunately, the desire to skewer Facebook like-begging culture has already locked this meme into an “edgy” tone. There are tons of jokes one could make with “10,000 likes,” particularly if you started using past memes or familiar pop culture franchises instead of George W. Bush. Reddit will probably get around to them, but it’ll have to work through the teenage rebellion phase of the meme first.