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The ‘I’m the sheriff’ meme tries to bring law and order to the internet
The sheriffs are in town.
The internet is a typically considered a lawless place, but there’s a new group of Twitter users trying to establish order.
Howdy, the sheriffs are here. But these aren’t normal human sheriffs—no, their bodies are made of emoji, and these pardners saunter into timelines and to let you know who’s in charge.
(Note: some users may not be able to see the top of the body, but it’s an emoji face wearing a cowboy hat.)
They are the sheriffs of nutrition, politics, bees, and memes, and though they may be ineffectual, they aren’t any less enjoyable.
As with most Twitter trends, the “I’m the sheriff” format got off to a slow, innocuous start, with a couple of users creating the meme without getting recognition before it suddenly exploded all over everyone’s feeds.
Interestingly, the first few tweets were highly politicized.
⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🤠
🇮🇱 🇺🇸 🇮🇱
👇🏽 🇺🇸🇺🇸 👇🏽
Howdy. I'm the sheriff of war crimes
— Serj Tankiean (@ChuckyAreLaw) July 7, 2017
With, of course, a poop emoji or two thrown in. Because why wouldn’t you be the sheriff of Pooville?
But two over the weekend exploded, as sheriffs were ready to lay down their absurd laws.
Why, for real, are there so many train emoji? Then there’s the crass sheriff of healthy eating.
Once these two took over everyone’s feeds, it was off to the meme races. Bees were very, very popular.
As were animals.
⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🤠
© ® ™ ® ©
👇🏽 ®® 👇🏽
howdy im the sheriff of copyright. please don't steal content
— Bob Vulfov (@bobvulfov) July 8, 2017
And Twitter’s previous new hot meme, the length of recording meme.
┃┃╱╲ hi im
talking house sheriff
— natural harmonia gropius (@Chainbody) July 9, 2017
As with any good meme, great anti-memes came about.
This meme, though brand new, certainly seems to have staying power. There’s an almost infinite number of emoji combination you can make to put yourself in charge of. “Howdy, I’m the sheriff of Vespas and shrimp.” “I’m the sheriff of birthday cake. Enjoy your party.” It is endless. And as Twitter has a long history of loving ASCII-based memes and taking things well past their welcome, expect the sheriff to be in charge for years to come.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]