Dancing badly to your favorite jam is even more fun with the ‘don’t start’ meme

Friend 1 and Friend 2 can't stop you.

Jul 6, 2016, 2:52 pm

Internet Culture

Jay Hathaway 

Jay Hathaway

Illustration by Max Fleishman

When your favorite song comes on in public, you’re gonna wild out or sing along emotively as the situation dictates. You know it, and your friends—Friend 1 and Friend 2—know it. 

Unfortunately for those friends, you will not be stopped. There’s nothing they can do.


The “Friend 1, Friend 2” meme is on the rise recently as a newer, more internet way of declaring “this is my jam.” The punchline is always a completely ridiculous GIF.




At a time when many meme enthusiasts are mining for deeper levels of irony, “relatable” is stubbornly hanging in there as a form of meme currency. And what’s more relatable than liking a pop song? 

Bad dancing is a way of acknowledging the uncoolness of, ugh, liking stuff, and countering it with the coolness of expressing what you like while giving zero fucks. Who cares if Friend 1 and Friend 2 are embarrassed?

Of course, every meme mutates, and even something this sincere can be co-opted. “Friend 1, Friend 2” is pretty new, but variations are already emerging. Where were you when the Chilcot Report—investigating Britain’s role in the Iraq War—dropped? 

I expect poor, overworked Friend 1 and Friend 2 will soon be put in charge of holding people back from every embarrassing public display of emotion, music-related or not. Good luck with that! 

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Last updated Feb 29, 2020, 4:11 am