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“Nod to the Rhythm,” a dance track by Das Anders that dropped in January, came with a very peculiar music video. Through the magic of photo warping and animation, an elderly man appeared to be singing along and … well, nodding to the rhythm. Along with the song, there’s a website where you can upload any face and make your own “nod to the rhythm” video, and it’s quickly becoming a meme. At this point, it’s more like the song is a promotion for the video creator site than the other way around.
“This song is dedicated to you who prefer a stationary method of dancing,” writes Das Anders on the website. “I also made this little web app to demonstrate how to do it. Hope you’ll enjoy it.”
Here’s the original video:
And here are some of the memes people have made from it.
There’s Pipimi from the insane, avant-garde anime series Pop Team Epic:
There’s Pope John Paul II:
There’s Sonic the Hedgehog… kind of:
And, uhh … this guy?
These are just the ones people have recorded and uploaded to YouTube, though. The primary way of sharing Nod to the Rhythm memes is by linking to the site itself. It doesn’t actually create videos, it just warps a photo in time to the music to create the “minimal dance” effect.
On Reddit, some of the most popular nodders include:
- A Titan from the anime Attack on Titan
- King and Orochi from the manga series One Punch Man (the One Punch Man fandom loves this meme)
- Thanos, the new big baddie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- YouTube sensation Filthy Frank
- Popular video game streamers Forsen and LolTyler
- Monika and Yuri, characters from the game Doki Doki Literature Club
Although the animation works better with real people’s faces—as in the original video—the Reddit consensus is that using it on animated characters is a lot funnier.
It’s not clear who found it first, but the video creator site seems to be making the rounds on online geek spaces, infecting fandoms one by one. Looks like Das Anders’ meme-based marketing strategy is working. Even if you don’t like the song (especially if you don’t like the song?), you have to admit it’s hard to get it out of your head.
The rhythm is the boss.
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.