The Rise of the Sound Meme

You probably have used a trending sound to convey some emotion on Tic Rok or Reels. It’s the next generation of the meme.

By Yvette E

Memes as photo images of someone being reused to define a situation that is personal to the individual or a universal truth.

The original meme before the actually definition was possibly the dancing baby (dancing the cha cha) in 1996. The dancing baby went on a media carousal rather than the internet and was used to convey a host of excitable or celebratory events.

The comic was reposted in a 1921 edition of satirical magazine The Judge, published by the University of Iowa from a mag called the Wisconsin Octopus

Some say it dates back to a cartoon in 1921 that was related to the ‘expectations vs. Reality’ joke (

Today, the meme has gone beyond photos and now, due to the rise of video, is sound based. Now, a sound meme has some distinctions from its orginal photo based cousin.

It has more options in its creation. You can either create a monologue, a mini play (where you play both rolls) or head to the more tradition meme and lace it over a pre-recorded video.

Secondly, the original video in which the sound was featured is not always the source of the meme material.

Here are some common sound memes (sometimes labeled a trading sound) that you may know.

For example, cartoon based sounds like the She-Ra’s techno fairy ‘You are interest in my theories’ was never intended to convey sharing interests that no one else seemed to be as invested in as you.

Then we have various introduction songs that allows the singer to convey personal information about themselves. From Jeffrey Bezos by Bo Burnham to “this is my age” trend. This one seems to be a long running sound meme and are currently referred to as song memes. Possibly, because it allows someone to feel less akward during a first impression.

Finally, we have sound memes that are actually created on purpose or by request. These sounds are intentionally created and the message they convey are pre-determined. These are the more rarer sound memes.

So are sound memes and dance memes the same? Possibly could be under the same umbrella. What do you think?

Happy Monday,



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