Reddit’s me_irl subreddit, an incubator for memes that often spread to the wider internet, was dominated on Monday by visual puns on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Get ready to meet “The Doc,” “The Sock,” “The Stock,” and dozens more.
Some of the earliest examples of the meme include “The Wok,” “The Spock” and “The Bach”:
The joke is simple and kind of dumb, but that’s what makes it fun. The meme is a game and a challenge: come up with a rhyme for “Rock” and throw together some terrible Photoshop. It’s tricky to Rocka rhyme that hasn’t already been done, but me_irl-ers are up to the task. Look at some of these clever takes on the meme:
Fun fact: Chipotle was participating in this meme about a year ago.
Dwayne The Guac Johnson is the worlds highest paid avocado.
— Chipotle (@ChipotleTweets) August 4, 2016
Typically, any association with #brands will kill a meme. But this one is so silly, and so obvious, that there was nothing to appropriate. It’s obviously a case of mutual discovery that “Rock” rhymes with several other words. The sheer simplicity of the jokemeans it’s instantly accessible to any “normie” on Facebook, and will never been the kind of “dank” property that meme aficionados tend to hoard for themselves.
It’s also unlikely to ever become “edgy.” The format is fairly rigid, and it’s tough to work in suicide, school shootings, misogyny, or racial hatred using only words that rhyme (or near-rhyme)with “rock.” The Rock meme will probably remain wholesome for life.
That doesn’t mean there’s no room for creativity, though. Meta-memes and anti-memes have already popped up in response to the popularity of Rock rhymes.
The Rock puns should run their course in a few days, with the best case scenario for the meme being that The Rock himself discovers and loves them. If that should happen, they’ll probably stick around until the end of the week.