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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.
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.
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!
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.