The internet phenomenon “fandom” has created significant influence on modern digital communications, creating unique online communities centered around a tv show, book series, or other pop culture spectacle. Certain blogging sites, like Tumblr, are largely controlled by various fandoms, each with their own methods of communication and meme circulation.
A favorite pastime of online fandoms is to capture a moment in time for a particular video. The GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is a particularly effective meme for the doing just that with the preposterous one-liners from the TV show Glee. With the GIFs above, Tumblr user Glee Gifs has taken one line from the show that is as peculiar out-of-context as it is with context. Via GIFs like this these, Glee fandom creates a shared social phenomenon surrounding the absurd humor of the show.
One recent trend for viewers of the show was been compilations of GIFs of quotes of Glee’s meta-humor, in which characters of the show make fun of the show itself. The one above captures the show’s reference to the fandom’s disapproval of the sub-par representation of dynamic female characters. With the show completing its last season, fans of the show are caucusing around the show’s failing humor for the final home stretch.
Following Richard Dawkins’ definition of meme (The Selfish Gene 1979), these GIFs reflect all 3 properties of a meme. Even with several years past, the show’s greatest one-liners are revived in a compilation posts on Tumblr, demonstrating great longevity. Although limited in total popularity, such posts have great Fecundity within the shrinking Glee fandom. And lastly, the varying fidelity of each meme and the original quote the one-liner appropriately represents reflect the varying and inconsistent humor of this quirky show.
Dawkins, Richard. The Selfish Gene. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989. Print.