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- Twitter unites in collective confusion over ‘Democrats for Trump’ trending Saturday 2:28 PM
- YouTube star tweets and deletes video of his Black cousin ‘Peanut’ acting as a stool Saturday 1:04 PM
- The ‘Do you wash your legs in the shower’ debate has now escalated to feet Saturday 12:20 PM
- Donald Trump posted a world-class golf score, and the internet laughs at him Saturday 10:46 AM
- Lili Reinhart dragged the ‘Game of Thrones’ petition, sparking debate about TV and ‘fan service’ Saturday 9:42 AM
- How to stream UFC Fight Night 152 for free Saturday 8:00 AM
- People keep calling the ‘Game of Thrones’ creators by their initials—and it’s confusing D&D players Saturday 8:00 AM
- After infidelity and abuse accusations, ProJared said his wife wanted an open marriage Saturday 7:40 AM
- ‘Jailbirds’ prioritizes petty drama over insight Saturday 7:30 AM
- How to stream Deontay Wilder vs. Dominic Breazeale for free Saturday 7:00 AM
- How to live stream Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk on DAZN Saturday 6:00 AM
- Kim Kardashian West reveals her and Kanye’s 4th child is named Psalm Friday 6:38 PM
- Tan France and Alexa Chung are hosting Netflix’s first fashion show Friday 5:42 PM
- Nonprofit groups express concern with pop-up abortion networks Friday 5:06 PM
We could all use a lesson from a master.
The best new meme on Twitter is all about legendary experts getting schooled in their respective fields by someone even better than themselves. Iron Maiden and Metallica may be iconic metal bands, but they tremble before … Löded Diper? Hmm …
“Are you ready to become a successful heavy metal band?”
Iron Maiden gulped.
Judas Priest blinked nervously.
“Yes Löded Diper” they said in unison.
— ra (@justllikeheaven) January 7, 2018
Are you ready for your meme lesson?
Most examples of this new “bad teacher” Twitter meme follow the same format: “Are you ready for your lesson?” is followed by famous people gulping, nodding, blinking nervously, and shuddering. Then the punchline, their bad teacher, is revealed.
“Are you ready for your music lessons?”
Freddie Mercury gulped.
Mariah blinked nervously.
“Yes Crazy Frog.” they said in unison.
— hunter (@HndrixLamar) January 7, 2018
When the meme started, though, it was something very different. It seems to have come out of K-Pop fandom as a joke about Korean pop idols and “gay lessons.” (This apparently refers to lessons in being an icon for the gay community.)
“Are you ready for your gay lesson?”
Seulgi blinked nervously
“Yes Sana” they said in unison
— tiny (@itaeye) December 31, 2017
It blew up amongst K-Pop fans, who tend to provide a very good barometer of which new memes are going to be popular. From there, the meme seems to have bifurcated into two different modes. The comedy mode, described above, hits the reader with the “bad teacher” punchline:
“Are you ready for your maths lessons?”
Issac Newton nodded.
Albert Einstein shuddered.
Alan Turing blinks nervously.
“Yes Big Shaq” they said in unison.
— Yomi Adegoke 🇳🇬 (@yomiadegoke) January 7, 2018
“Are you ready for your lesson on writing African literature?"
Chinua Achebe gulped.
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o nodded.
Chimamanda Adichie shuddered.
Ama Ata Aidoo blinks nervously.
“Yes Mr Conrad” they said in unison.
— Mostly Lit Pod (@mostlylit) January 7, 2018
“Are you all ready for your painting lesson?”
Van Gogh gulped.
Caravaggio blinked nervously.
“Yes Britney Spears” they said in unison.
— Miss UniVers (@straightguyy) January 6, 2018
The second mode is pure fandom. Instead of a punchline, it ends with a teacher that the poster sincerely believes is better than the other artists mentioned. It’s being widely used by stans to express their standom.
“Are you ready for a lesson on how to have a unique successful fantasy show that isn’t about love triangles?”
“The Vampire Diaries” gulped.
“Teen Wolf” nodded
“Yes, Supernatural” they said in unison.
— fan acc (@stydestiels) January 9, 2018
“Are you ready for your acting lesson?”
Daniel Day Lewis gulped.
Tom Hanks nodded.
Denzel Washington shuddered.
Gary Oldman blinked nervously.
“Yes, Timothée Chalamet” they said in unison.
— Timothée an intellectual Chalamet (@mysteryoftimmy) January 6, 2018
“Are you ready for a lesson on how to help your fans deal with a long break?”
Taylor Swift gulped.
Fall Out Boy nodded.
twenty one pilots shuddered.
“Yes, My Chemical Romance” they said in unison.
— Joe (@myworstlies) January 6, 2018
Both modes of the meme are valid. Although the comedy version seems to be slightly more common, the format itself came out of fandom, so the sincere expressions of admiration make sense, too.
Of course, you could also blow the whole thing up and deconstruct it, as meme-makers are wont to do:
they said in unison.
— jake™ (@bonjourlapeen) January 8, 2018
Although the meme lacks visual appeal, its value across various hardcore fandoms means that it’s been going strong on Twitter for days, and new examples are being added all the time. If there’s one meme lesson we can take away from this, it’s that there’s a lot of value in memes that let people make jokes and stan for their faves.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.