Call Me Maybe: Meme (Death) Watch

by | Sep 25, 2012 | Uncategorized

Call Me Maybe Memes

Last weekend, I was minding my business and scrolling through my news feed on Facebook. Then I stumbled upon a post by my fellow TJP editor Sam Sawyer, and my life hasn’t been the same since. Quoth Sam:

So does this full orchestral treatment mean that this meme has sort of swallowed its tail? It’s like the race to lowest-common-denominator culture has been turned inside out.


I confess: I’m a latecomer to the “Call Me Maybe” meme. This will be an unsurprising revelation to our Michael Rossmann, who not only introduced the song to TJP back in May, but who also seems to think I view all pop music as “cloying, vapid, trashy, vacuous.” 1

But once I was in, I was in, registering my own respectable portion of the video’s almost two million views. The orchestral version became my gateway drug of sorts; I watched it once, and took no time with the fall.

So I became acquainted with the original Bieber & Co. dance party, the USA Olympic Swim team’s summer contribution, last week’s Rosh Hashanah remix in French, and even The President of the United States chiming in. Kinda.

Still, this particular meme isn’t limited to the 2,060,000 hits you get searching “Call Me Maybe” on Youtube. No, this is a full-service meme, and we’re still seeing a steady diet of things like this all over the internet:

Call Me Maybe Memes via Know Your Meme.

After my exhaustive research, the question remains. Has this meme jumped the shark?

Maybe, but then maybe not. Time will tell, I guess.

For me, though, I keep returning to the orchestral version, which is still tops in my book. There’s just something about the intensity on their faces, the fact that they’re clearly having fun, and the fact that they actually pronounce the letter “g” at the end of words. They had me at hello.

Sure, it’s possible that this meme is on the way out. For my money, though, it seems to be getting better with age.

— — — — —

  1. That’s not really true, of course. But I understand. A good lede is hard to find, right Michael?

Timothy O'Brien, SJ   /   @tob_sj   /   All posts by Timothy