This year’s Super Bowl halftime show included two millennial icons, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Both had hits in the early 2000s, like J. Lo’s “Jenny From the Block” or Shakira’s “Whenever, Wherever.” These songs were must-haves at any middle school dance during the turn of the century. So, of course, their halftime show got meme’d—another millennial must.
Shakira wiggling her tongue making a high pitched noise became the most meme-able of the evening. People on the internet loved it, but were baffled by it. The wiggle and wail was a zaghrouta, a popular Arabic expression of joy. Half Colombian and half Lebanese, Shakira already uses traditional Arabic belly dance in her performances. The zaghrouta was another nod to her heritage.
The action added cultural spice to a halftime show celebrating the melting pot of the U.S. in one of its most diverse cities, Miami. Below are some of the best memes capturing that moment.
Even though many people had no idea it was a zaghrouta, they still loved it.
— Stiv (@SirBoursiquot) February 3, 2020
Shakira’s tongue… that’s the tweet pic.twitter.com/ekXRidCZ0b
— Khoa (@khoaphan) February 3, 2020
It also got compared to other classic tongue wiggling memes.
Others applied it to everyday situations.
And, of course, since millennials are Spongebob Squarepants fans, they couldn’t help but think of the show’s “leedle leedles”