The Crying Jordan Meme Is the Worst Thing to Happen to Social Media

‘Imagine being perpetually immortalized in perhaps your most emotional public moment because a bunch of high schoolers keep putting your face on stuff.’

By Imani McGarrell, Texas State University


In the vast absurdity that is the Internet, meme culture sits in the driver’s seat.

It drives conversation and defines pop culture. If used correctly, it can catapult literally anything, no matter how big or small, into the national spotlight. It helped Drake win his beef with Meek Mill.

Meme culture exists on most social media sites but nowhere does it live, breathe and adapt as quickly as it does on Tumblr. I’ve been using Tumblr for almost four years now, and with that comes a heightened sense of how fast memes truly evolve.

Tumblr is a weird and unique place where creative nerds come to make Internet friends and overshare with people they’ve never met. In my experience, when a meme wave happens, it happens on Tumblr first. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re all on our computers so much instead of living real lives, but it does.

Tumblr isn’t for everyone, but it is a source of enough comedic and creative content that there are whole Facebook and Twitter pages dedicated to recycling the jokes. Most people that don’t use Tumblr have probably seen a snapshot of a joke from Tumblr without even realizing that’s what it was. I’m willing to bet that half of y’all’s Twitter all-stars are stealing their jokes from Tumblr.

The point of all of my grandstanding about Tumblr and memes is to say one thing: Funny shit on the Internet comes and goes with a quickness older generations are still trying to figure out.

By the time our parents figure out what the dab is, it’s usually over.

For us, memes are just a funny way to connect and comment on the world around us. For corporations, it’s finding a way to capitalize on the latest thing the teens are into. It changes so fast that the “Damn Daniel” meme that just blew up may be over by the time this gets published.

Almost every other meme rises and falls in a short amount of time. The shooting star model of funny jokes is an unspoken rule we’ve all signed up to help perpetuate. And yet, even while other memes emerge from and then disappear back into the void, one meme still persists.

Guys, I’ve got bad news: The crying Jordan meme is done. It’s over. Lay it to rest peacefully and move on. If I were to ask for one thing for Black History Month, it’d be the official and unequivocal death of this meme.

Continuing to drag out this weird archaic meme is like the antithesis of everything meme culture is. At this point, it’s not even funny. It’s corny at best and often ruins perfectly good social media moments.

In the hierarchy of most played out clichés, this crying meme is flying high at the top of list.

Other notable items include All Lives Matter protestors and forwarding chain emails.

Michael Jordan is one of the greatest athletes of all time. The photo this meme is from was taken when Jordan was being inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Although the legend has taken the viral snapshot of his face with a grain of salt, it’s still utterly corny. Imagine being perpetually immortalized in perhaps your most emotional public moment because a bunch of high schoolers keep putting your face on stuff.

Consider the fact that because of this ridiculous trend there are youths in the world that will only know him from those lame memes. Not because of his standout career or game-changing footwear line. Nope, they know him because of the stupid meme your uncle Ben from Facebook still thinks is hilarious.

Look, I get it. Being funny on the Internet is hard and going viral is a profitable enterprise nowadays. If you have the savvy to capitalize on it, you can ride that gravy train for a few stops before it ends. The Rebecca Black’s of the world know what’s up.

Michael Jordan deserves better, y’all. He retired in peace and it’s time we let him continue to make underwear commercials undisturbed by Internet foolishness. At this point, I’m not sure I even trust anyone that legitimately laughs at that ugly face.

In order to help the problem, instead of just complaining about it I’ve compiled a short list of other memes that would do the same job as Jordan’s crying meme. Literally all of these convey the same basic message without ruining a nice man’s hard-won legacy.

Completely Adequate Substitutions

1. Selena Gomez Crying

Selena is all grown up now and getting her groove back but this meme is still a classic response to anything under the sun. It’s prime material to replace Jordan crying, and BuzzFeed even wrote an article about its good uses.

Internet, Can We Please Retire the Crying Jordan Meme?

2. Little Mama Crying

Little Mama will be forever immortalized with this one. It’s very popular on black Twitter and is often used to clapback at dumb hashtags.

Internet, Can We Please Retire the Crying Jordan Meme?

3. James Van Deer Beek crying on Dawson’s Creek

James is holding it down for the boys on this list. Too many crying memes are just focused around girls. With this one, the Beek is bringing it back to males with a classically terrible face.

Internet, Can We Please Retire the Crying Jordan Meme?

4. Kim Kardashian crying

Kim K probably has one of the world’s worst crying faces. For someone as famous as she is, you’d think she have more control over what they show on public television but alas.

Internet, Can We Please Retire the Crying Jordan Meme?

Despite it’s popularity, if we all make an effort it won’t be hard to let the meme go. Literally anything else will do. I’m sure it will eventually die like all memes do but in the meantime, I think it’s our civic duty to give that flaming hot mess a helping push off the ledge.