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‘I had to grind for this view’ meme shows the value of hard work

mrgiveyogirlback/Instagram

Get that hustle.

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.

I had to grind for this view meme mrgiveyogirlback/Instagram

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:

minecraft grind for this view car meme joshua_dun/Reddit

https://twitter.com/Wiz_Kela/status/843209666578411520

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!”

star wars grind for this view meme dionstabber/Reddit

Here’s the pope DJing a sweet party:

pope I had to grind for this view meme Know Your Meme

And here are the obligatory Hitler versions, because memers always have to be edgy:

hitler i had to grind for this view meme theraymon/Reddit

Perhaps the best version is the anti-meme, where the view has been replaced with the words “this view.”

I had to grind for this view : the words 'this view' meme dogteam232/Reddit

Later variations subverted the original meme by flipping the “grinding” character and the scenery. Now the view is real, and the person is Minecraft: 

minecraft steve i had to grind for this view meme kallejoki/Reddit

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:

https://twitter.com/ReflectsTheGr8/status/675125440504340480

And about various first-person shooter games:

https://twitter.com/Bxcon/status/679493315847401473

Now this meme is finally mainstream, and it’s well deserved. It had to grind for this view.

Jay Hathaway

Jay Hathaway

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.