Article Lead Image

Driver Photographer/Flickr Anna Maria Ward

Americans keep joking about North Korea bombing them for Christmas—and it’s only kind of funny

Kim Jong-un promised the U.S. a 'Christmas gift' at the beginning of December—and Americans turned the threat into Christmas Day memes.


Anna María

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 25, 2019   Updated on May 19, 2021, 7:33 pm CDT

In early December 2019, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ominously promised to give the U.S. a “Christmas gift.” While North Korea made this thinly-veiled threat amidst tension-filled nuclear talks, it’s still unclear as to what this “gift” might be. However, North Americans are making the best of the circumstances by turning their impending doom into Christmas gift memes. After all, what better time to morbidly meme than the holidays?

Starting in the wee hours of Christmas morning, Twitter users in the U.S. and Canada started joking about North Korea bombing them. Everyone who woke up to scores of tweets about a nuclear attack was as horrified as they were amused. Needless to say, some people erred more on the side of paranoia.

As “North Korea,” “Kim Jong Un,” and the hashtag #NorthKoreaChristmasGift all began to trend on Twitter, several users were consumed by one question: What on earth does Jong-un think about all these Christmas gift memes?

Is he bummed because he actually wants to give the U.S. a wholesome present? Are the jokes provoking him to nuke us? Is he embarrassed by the memes? The world may never know.

Regardless, it seems that North Korea might have seriously overestimated people’s will to live. Some Twitter users were more than ready for Jong-un’s Christmas gift. After all, who doesn’t long for the sweet release of death these days?

However, the majority of Christmas gift memes were pretty cheeky. Some Twitter users were sitting back in anticipation of America retaliating.

Moreover, some Twitter users blatantly dared Jong-un to send the damn thing. Where’s the Christmas gift, Kim?

Still others were ready to throw hands with Kim Jong-un in an all-out brawl. Say what you want about Americans, but they’re bold.


However, less combative members were more interested in diffusing any possible conflict. This Twitter demographic brainstormed a variety of ways to prevent Jong-un from sending the Christmas gift altogether. Their methods ranged from creative distractions to outright begging, and some were more compelling than others.

Bombing memes aside, perhaps the Christmas day gift isn’t nuke-related after all. President Trump recently speculated that maybe Kim Jong-un intended to send a “nice present” like “a beautiful vase, as opposed to a missile test.” While few were convinced that a decorative vase is in store, some Twitter users began guessing at the nature of a non-nuclear gift. Might it be a Rihanna album? A new hairstyle? NSFW content on Twitter?

What about that priceless photoshoot Jong-un already graced us with? No other gift could possibly compare.

Of course, some folks were just happy to get a Christmas gift at all.

While this is certainly an optimistic take on the situation, hopefully North Korea’s threat remains just that—a threat. Surely we can all do without one more present this holiday season.


Share this article
*First Published: Dec 25, 2019, 12:40 pm CST