You’ve probably heard of the Twilight movies. If you haven’t, you’ve probably heard of the vampire phenomenon that was birthed from the bestselling novel by Stephenie Meyer and subsequently developed into a movie franchise. While the Twilight movies might not be for everyone, especially those who aren’t into super-natural fiction, they did spawn several iconic memes.
It was inevitable that social media would develop a taste for the Twilight characters. One of the first memes to emerge after the premiere of the first Twilight movie was “Twilight Sad”, a photo of Bella in the center with her long hair cascading over her face and displaying her large sunglasses. The quote underneath was simply “I’m Twilight Sad. I’m feeling sad. Why are you laughing?” The meme was an ode to the character’s fashion sense and was inspired by Bella’s reaction to the first sight of her handsome, yet melancholy vampire lover Edward (aka Edward Cullen).
Though the Twilight Movie memes started out as an inside joke between fans, they eventually caught on and were used by people who had never read the books to ridicule Meyer’s creation. At the same time, those who had read the books saw the memes as a way to bring an insight to a work they might otherwise find difficult to discuss, especially amongst friends who weren’t fans of the series. In a way, the memes allowed fans to bond over something that was objectively funny while also providing them with a way to discuss the themes and nuances of the books and characters with someone who shared the same, albeit humorous, interest. For example, a meme might show Jacob Black’s face overlaid on a pizza box; the text underneath might read “[This is] what happens when you’re not a vegetarian.”
The Emo Kid
It was also inevitable that people would want to bring a little piece of the “Twilight” vampire world into their own lives. For a while, people simply used the memes to show their displeasure with Twilight and its subsequent films. Over time, however, fans developed a sense of pride in using the memes to express their love for the series. One of the most popular memes shows a photo of a pensive Edward with the words “I’m soooooo an [insert gender here] Emo Kid” written underneath.
There are a few different theories as to why “Emo” became such a popular prefix among fans. One theory is that fans identified with the sensitive and sometimes-sad characters of the novels. Another theory suggests that fans were trying to evoke the hairstyle of “Twilight’s” protagonist Bella Swan, who always wore her hair in big, bouncy curls.
It’s important to note that while these memes might make fun of the books or films, none of the creators actually hate the series. In fact, many of them are quite the opposite. In fact, the majority of them are completely obsessed with Twilight and its incredible cast of characters.
Bella’s Hair And Makeup Artist
For a while, people just used Bella’s hair and makeup as a way to mock the character. In one of the first instances of this, fans changed the hair and makeup of the character to make her look like a gingerbread man. It soon became apparent that while this was an amusing comparison, it didn’t do the makeup artist or hair stylist justice. So they changed it to show off the stunning looks of these talented individuals.
The Dressing Up As Edward/Bella
Of course, not all of the fandom wanted to just show their love for the books by dressing up like Edward or Bella. Some wanted to go even further and try on the roles of famous characters from the series. This lead to some very creative Halloween costumes, many of which were inspired by the books’ most famous lines of dialogue.
One of the best Halloween costumes I’ve ever seen was a group of people dressed up as Jacob and Edward from the Twilight series. It was an ode to the character’s “twilight sensual” outfit and the way he is described in the books as having “delicate hands”.
You might be familiar with Edward’s line in the first Twilight movie when he describes Bella as being “like an angel”. One Halloween costume set the Twitter world on fire when it showed a group of people dressed up with angels’ faces but with dog ears and tails and beagles instead of wings.
Another popular Halloween costume is inspired by the line where Edward compares Bella’s eyes to “a mixture of blue and green as far as the eye can see”. One clever outfit was a group of people who were dressed in the style of the “Twilight” films but with tuxedos and evening gowns.
Then there are the vampires. While most fans treat the vampires with a mixture of fear and affection, there are fans who don’t hold back in their hatred. One of the best examples of this is a meme that shows a vampire’s fangs, the text underneath reading “[This is] what happens when you show up late to a dinner party… you get these.”
There are a variety of theories as to why some people feel the need to hate vampires. One theory holds that Meyer made the vampires in a bid to compete with the likes of Dracula and other traditional monsters. Some feel that it’s because the vampires are always portrayed as villains in the series. Whatever the reason might be, this type of humor helps to bring an insight to the often-misunderstood creatures who have been around for centuries but have recently been enjoying increased global attention thanks to “Twilight” and other cultural phenomena.
Though the Twilight phenomenon has begun to fade a little bit from pop culture, it’s not been forgotten. In fact, many might credit the phenomenon with sparking a love for reading in a younger generation. One of the best things that resulted from “Twilight’s” worldwide success was the publication of the “New Moon” novel in November 2013. Since then, the book has consistently been one of the top-selling titles on Amazon.com, garnering a 5-star rating from over 12,000 reviewers.
Not only did the novel prove that, perhaps, there was more than one audience beyond the “Twilight” fan base, but it also gave birth to several exciting new memes. One of the best ones shows a photo of Rosalie and Victoria from “Twilight’s” subsequent film “New Moon” with the text “[This is] what happens when your favorite band goes on tour. There are always fireworks and a crazy fan or two in the crowd.”
Of course, there are also the t-shirts, hoodies, and other merchandise that were inspired by the “Twilight” films and their characters. While some of these items were humorous in nature and mostly used to bring an insight to the world of “Twilight”, others were meant to be worn as a form of tribute. One of the best examples of this is a t-shirt that features a drawing of Bella as a mermaid with the text “Bella Swamsuit”, a line that is also the title of a fashion-style blog written by Shannon Larkin of “Curvy Kate” fame. (Full disclosure: I’m a contributing writer for the blog.)
The Influence Of “Twilight” On Popular Culture
Though many might see “Twilight” and its related memes as simply a humorous way to get some attention, there are actually hundreds of thousands of fans who see the series and its characters as something more. “Twilight” and its memes have not only had a major influence on pop culture, but they have also sparked several trends. Some of these trends have been around for centuries but have gained new life thanks to “Twilight”. Others are just plain funny and make fun of the era and culture in which we live.
Embrace Your Inner Meme
Ultimately, I think that what makes these memes so special is that they let us see a different side of one of the most beloved series of all time. Yes, “Twilight” is now in its tenth year and the films have begun to lose some of their luster. Even so, there are still over 300 million copies of the books in print, and they continue to fascinate and inspire new generations. It seems only fitting that the Twitterverse would want to pay homage to something so beloved and influential. As for which meme will continue to be “in” or “out” of fashion, time will tell.