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Top 10: Memes of 2018, #6: Johny Johny Yes Papa

In this top 10, our writer breaks down their favourite memes that came out of 2018. Pray for them and their sanity.

I hate children’s content on YouTube.

It’s surreal and mass-manufactured. It’s soulless, driven purely by the YouTube algorithms. It shamelessly exploits the system, lacking the cloak of spectacle that daily vloggers such as Jake Paul use to hide their gaming of the system. It feels me with a deep sense of dread which sometimes makes me feel nauseous.

It’s from this bleak, mechanistic sphere that “Johny Jonhy Yes Papa” arrived to take the internet by storm.

There are hundreds of variations of the Johny Johny video, all using slightly different versions of Johny, his papa, and other side characters that exist solely to add more verses and subsequently more runtime for ad revenue to the videos.

Infuse this soulless trash with some irony, and you get some of the biggest meme hits of 2018.

The remixability of this meme shocked me. It’s been mashed up with Thanos, Gangnam Style, and others, creating a whole host of disastrous, world-ending videos. Most noteworthy, of course, is the mashup with Baby Shark, which sickens me still whenever I hear the first three seconds of it.

Why were people so obsessed with shoehorning this video into so many fucking memes? I think it has to do with its surrealness. The video is just off on so many levels; its stiff animation style, obnoxious stock sound effects, and bizarre voice acting… they all make it truly something to behold.

We’re compelled to gawk at its spectacle, pulled in by some sick, morbid curiosity. We’re horrified that this could even exist, and perhaps the best way of dealing with that, evidently, is through memeing the ever-loving shit out of it.

I have a complex love-hate relationship with this meme. It’s so awful, and yet, so powerful. Hence why it’s made it into my top ten memes of 2018.

Andrew McWhinney

Andrew McWhinney is a fifth-year English and political science combined honors student, as well as The Gateway's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. He was previously The Gateway's 2018-19 Opinion Editor. An aspiring journalist with too many opinions, he's a big fan of political theory, hip-hop, and being alive.

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