We know that the only pastime people on the internet love more than “grinding” is telling social media all about how hard they work and how richly rewarded they are for their hustle. That’s what fueled the rise of emoji-laden Student Athlete memes earlier this month, and now it’s also behind a good new meme called “I had to grind for this view.”
The meme mocks the amateur rappers and Instagram personalities who try to portray an opulent lifestyle and frequently brag about working hard to get it. “I had to grind for this” is the common refrain of people posting photos of their nice houses, cars, and watches on social media. But here’s the meme version: He had to grind for that sweet Minecraft scenery.
The meme seems to have taken off when Instagram user mrgiveyogirlback posted the Minecraft version, which quickly spread to Reddit and Twitter. Variations are now all over Reddit’s meme communities, and speculators on r/MemeEconomy say the meme is “EXPLODING! BUY BUY BUY!”
A lot of takes on the meme employ the video-game scenery element:
But not all of them. Here’s a Star Wars prequel meme, playing on Obi-Wan Kenobi’s line, “It’s over, Anakin! I have the high ground!”
Here’s the pope DJing a sweet party:
And here are the obligatory Hitler versions, because memers always have to be edgy:
Perhaps the best version is the anti-meme, where the view has been replaced with the words “this view.”
Later variations subverted the original meme by flipping the “grinding” character and the scenery. Now the view is real, and the person is Minecraft:
The meme really took off in March, but the basic joke seems to have popped up as far back as 2015, when people were making it about the iconic Windows ’95 desktop landscape:
And about various first-person shooter games:
Now this meme is finally mainstream, and it’s well deserved. It had to grind for this view.