Back in 2004—ancient history as far as the internet is concerned—a website surfaced with a simple imperative: Say NO to Grandpa Joe.
With the impending 2005 release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory—the Johnny Depp-led remake of 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, based on the classic children’s novel by Roald Dahl—the site’s creator thought it imperative to address the story’s secretly worst character. In an exhaustive analysis, they index every moment that marks Grandpa Joe as perverted, cruel, vindictive, sticky-fingered, misogynist, and rude.
Pretty odd, very funny, and perhaps par for the course where mid-aughts web sensations are concerned. But a decade later, in 2014, the anti-Grandpa Joe sentiment was still going strong, as Neatorama reported. Not only did Say NO to Grandpa Joe still exist—which is to say, someone was still paying to host it—but a new Facebook group, aptly titled The I Hate Grandpa Joe From Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory Page, had arrived.
Somehow, this community is still going strong two years hence; as of April 2016, the page has 14,000 fans. And the numbers keep growing.As if to confirm the recent renaissance of Grandpa Joe hate, an entire subreddit devoted to this position emerged earlier this week, and it already has close to 1,000 subscribers. The memes there are vicious and, like most in this vein, they focus on Grandpa Joe’s selfishness. (Meanwhile, other users have questioned whether Joe is even Charlie’s real grandfather, suggested his talent for fellatio, and condemned his tobacco habit.)