By now, anyone who has a minimum of familiarity with social media knows that – as soon as something of a certain hype happens – there are two ways to comment on it and spread it. The first and most institutional is to find information from the press that we believe to be reliable. The second, if we feel the desire to play down what happened, is to search on social networks for the funniest memes accompanying that event, and pass them on to our friends (who in the meantime will have done the same with us).
For a few days, however, Instagram and Twitter users will have noticed the existence of a different type of meme. Which no longer arises as a comment on a specific event that has occurred, but is recognizable by a specific technical characteristic. These are images – of well-known and lesser-known characters – in negative, almost always with two captions. If the second is more explanatory, the first (usually the one placed at the top) reaffirms the catchphrase of the moment, “Evil be like”. Where, always in most cases, the name of the person depicted is inserted between “Evil” and “be like”.
Let’s find out more about Evil be like memes. Where do they come from, what they are and also how they can be created.
Birth and meaning of the Evil be like meme
Evil be like memes originate in the United States. Really hard to tell who started the chain. Although the first meme of this type appears to have appeared on a Facebook page last September 12. In which the negative of Martin Luther King was depicted with the two now typical captions. The first read “Evil MLK be like” (therefore with the acronym MLK instead of the full name), and the second with “I have a nightmare” written on it. All too clear that this was the reverse of the historic phrase “I have a dream”, which the historic leader of the civil rights movement of African Americans pronounced in Washington on August 28, 1963, during the march for work and freedom.
From there, the success was sensational and very fast: avalanche of likes, “plagiarism” of the way the joke is triggered, passage from social to social (from iFunny to Reddit) and landing in Europe.
How Evil be like memes work
The humorous spark at the base of the Evil be like memes can be well explained with the example of Martin Luther King. Exactly as in the visual game, i.e. the image rendered in negative, the sentence made to pronounce by the character in question must also say the opposite of what the person depicted said, or would say.
And usually, the reversal of perspective creates ambiguous, disturbing or sulphurous mottos. Hence the name “Evil be like”, which can be translated more or less with “That evil is like …”
A few examples
The type of game is clear. It is then up to the imagination, culture and comic verve of each to create more or less insightful Evil be like memes.
Let’s say that there are two categories. Let’s see for each of them some examples understandable to the Italian public.
I meme with vip
The first category includes all the Evil be like memes that, as in the case of Martin Luther King, make fun of (or inspiration from) famous people. Of which the general public should know typical habits and phrases.
Here is an example from the world of local music: the negative image of Eros Ramazzotti who sings “The ugliest thing there is, the ugliest thing than you” (reversal of “The most beautiful thing there is, the most beautiful thing you”).
Let’s go up a few steps and mention a more subtle meme, which depicts the image of the Molise region accompanied by the proud caption “I exist”. Here the joke is of the opposite sign, it becomes, so to speak, positive. And it means that a small Italian region often excluded from the news proudly claims its belonging to the Belpaese.
Memes with specific human types
But not all Evil be like memes are inspired by VIPs. There are also hilarious ones that exploit commonplaces rooted in specific human typologies. For example, who hasn’t had a grandmother who – seeing us thin and gaunt – cooked us wedding lunches every time we went to visit her? Well, the aforementioned grandmother in the Evil be like meme will say instead: “You got fat ‘to grandma, go on a diet”.
Come creare i meme Evil be like
Now that we have become expert connoisseurs of Evil be like memes, we just have to know how to create them ourselves.
There are two steps: first you will have to prepare the negative of an image and then add the writings.
For the negative, simply use the retouching options integrated in the photo gallery of your Android or iPhone, for example by increasing the contrast. To create a perfect negative on the fly, you can use free apps like Snapseed.
What about adding captions? For example, you can use Imgflip Meme Generator, which can be downloaded from a browser for both iPhone and Android, and as an app only for Android. Click on Upload new template, select the modified photo and add the writings. Finally, a click on Generate Meme and that’s it.