Pepe the Frog, normies and the doggos

Regardless of the mainstream media’s complete and total lack of understanding memes, they aren’t serious movements or revolutions.


Meme is defined as, “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture,” via Merriam Webster.

By Clayton Keeling, Copy Editor

Memes are an intriguing social phenomena. The advancement and spread of common jokes into easily understood and communicated language is a massive achievement of human language thus far in history.

Without a word being said, you can show someone a picture of a blurry dog and they will say “bork” or “doggo does an incredibly fast run”. It might sound like just a stupid gag, but it creates an intimate sense of closeness to other people that many jokes and trends cannot.

Bailor Erdeljac, a senior and self pronounced “enthusiast of memes”, believes that “[memes] show feelings that people cannot describe through abstract pictures and weird things people make on the internet.”

Many memes do more than communicate to other people, they reflect the feelings of the person. One of the most popular is the notorious Pepe the Frog. Pepe is a popular meme that originates from the comic series Boy’s Club by Matt Furie. It was originally written in 2005, however Pepe wasn’t used to express emotions to other people until 2008 when 4chan popularized its use.

But what’s different about Pepe is that he isn’t inherently his own meme and certainly is not a hate symbol in terms of humor.

Pepe communicates to other people through a joke how we are feeling or who we see ourselves as.”

When we send someone a variation of Pepe, he becomes us, and represents the sender. He embodies what we cannot. Pepe communicates to other people through a joke how we are feeling or who we see ourselves as.

In speaking terms this can be quite difficult, but through Pepe it is surprisingly simplified and effective, as well as funny; to those of us who aren’t normies at least.

Erdeljac was not familiar with the term “normies”, but thought “they’re not cool. They need to get with the program.”

“Normies” might have a hard time understanding explanations of memes and may feel confused about that tea frog and all this “dogger” business. That’s because normies are people outside the meme world who don’t understand the concepts or the humor. At first, the term “normies” was yet another meme started by the 4chan community (4chan, you will find, is the source of many memes and trends and is one of the best communities at trolling the rest of the world through social media).

The term normies has ironically stuck, and almost become a real word with meaning thanks to the sensationalized mainstream media who can’t see a joke right in front of their noses.

Erdeljac thinks that “people just know memes, and if they don’t they’re just like ‘oh yeah I get that.’ So they seem not a normie so they’re cool.”

Beneath the laughter and dumb jokes, memes have a level of understanding that is deeper than what most people who even use them realize.

“I don’t feel like there is a pressure [to enter the meme world], but if you know memes you’ll be more adept at understanding social media, and if you don’t, you’ll be confused, like that kid doesn’t know memes, ie. a normie,” Erdeljac said.