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‘It’s sodium chloride.’
The Jimmy Neutron franchise, which consists of a movie and three TV seasons about a computer-animated kid genius, is one of the hottest commodities in the meme world. It’s spawned enough jokes and surrealistic YouTube remixes that it’s approaching Shrek or LazyTown levels of meme-ability (although it still can’t touch the all-time great, Spongebob Squarepants). Recently, one particular scene from the Jimmy Neutron TV show has caught meme creators’ attention: it involves Jimmy confusing the hell out of his dumb boss at the fast food chain McSpanky’s.
In this chain of events from the episode “Men at Work,” Jimmy gets continually demoted at the restaurant for being too smart. He adds the change and tax in his head instead of “pushing the buttons with pictures of food on them,” which angers his boss, Skeet. When he’s put on mop duty, he wipes up some salt from the floor, saying “It’s just a little sodium chloride!” Skeet is confused and angry because he only knows the compound as “salt,” so he sends Jimmy to stand outside in a costume.
The most famous remix of the scene, by YouTuber “Saucy Postal,” appeared in October 2016:
A year later, the video has blown up and put the “sodium chloride” scene on the map. In mid-August, it was submitted to the Reddit forum r/deepintoyoutube, which is dedicated to surfacing and promoting weird and obscure YouTube finds. At the time, it only had 60,000 views. Now it has more than 3 million.
Throughout September and October, dozens of new Sodium Chloride remixes have hit YouTube, making this the latest and greatest Jimmy Neutron meme. Let’s take a look at some of the best examples:
Here’s the original scene, visually distorted and run through a Vocoder. The dialogue remains the same, though:
Here’s the Russian version:
Here’s a version where Jimmy refuses to do anything and just keeps saying “Don’t need to, Skeet!”
And here’s one where “Skeet is smart,” by which the creator means that Skeet and Jimmy’s lines have been swapped.
This is a surprisingly funny edit where every word starting with “S” has been replaced with “Spanky.” There’s no reason this should be as much of a riot as it is.
It gets more absurd though. Most of the nouns in this version have been replaced with “sodium chloride.”
And these are perhaps the most elaborate edits of all, the version where the characters’ lines have been dubbed over scenes from Spongebob Squarepants and Pulp Fiction.
It’s the nature of YouTube memes like these that once a scene becomes popular, creators will push it to its limits. We first started to see this phenomenon with remixes of the Bee Movie trailer, but the same elaborate treatment can be applied to any popular animation. Distorting the audio, auto-tuning, cutting up the dialogue to rewrite the scene, and replacing every instance of a word are just some of the techniques prevalent in the genre.
This isn’t the first time a Jimmy Neutron scene has been so thoroughly explored by memers, though. Previously, they fixated on a clip where Jimmy’s friend Carl Wheezer asks, “Are you going to finish that croissant?”
There’s still no mashup of “sodium chloride” and “croissant,” but it’s only a matter of time.
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.