Jun 5, 2020

How Many Times Do We Have to Teach You …

Anthony Balogne

How Many Times Do We Have to Teach You This Lesson, Old Man? is a memorable quote from the American animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants. Online, a screen capture of the line being said has been used as a joke about having to repeat one’s self aggressively.

How Many Times Do We have to Teach You This Lesson Old Man: Where did it Originate?

On October 5th, 2001, the SpongeBob SquarePants episode “The Bully” premiered in the United States. In the episode, a new character bullies SpongeBob. During the episode, as SpongeBob flees the bully’s threats, an angry crowd mistakes an old man for the bully. When this happens a second time, a character says, “How many times do we have to teach you the same lesson, old man?”

What is a Meme?

Confused by memes? That’s normal. It’s a cultural shorthand, like all forms of communication. At this point, there are too many and can often be too personal to explain. Still, many memes share common elements. They all tend to have a similar quality that aptly defines the way a person feels or a particular message that is trying to be conveyed.

Memes often have a photo, caption. Over time, a meme evolves with different captions and distorted photos. If you don’t catch the original meme, the following iterations become ever more confusing.

Even if memes seem impossible to understand, chances are you’ve come across at least one over the years that’s made sense to you. Whether you partook in the Ice Bucket Challenge, or used the words “Fail” or “Winning,” ironically, then you’ve participated in a meme. You heard of it through the grapevine, you understood it, you changed its context, and you distributed it for your own usage. Those are the key components of what makes a meme a meme.

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