Memes are nothing new to millennials and we’re used to trying in vain to explain them to older folks. After describing the hilarity of stock image memes, Renaissance art memes and, my personal favorite, the “guess I’ll die” guy we feel like we can make sense of the combination of text and imagery the internet throws at us.
Still, nothing has prepared us to explain why the moth meme is comic genius.
Perhaps it’s the simplicity that makes it gold. The punch line to every moth meme is the same: Moths love lamps. Maybe us millennials feel like our lives are such a mess right now, with the government not having our backs, the environment going to shit and drug epidemics crippling civilization, that we have to laugh at what we can—a distraction from the crumbling current events happening around us. And a moth expressing its uncontrollable need to body slam a lamp over and over again is an easy laugh.
The meme is so freshly viral that it was added to the popular history meme site, Know Your Meme, only a few days ago. It says the meme started when a Reddit user posted a closeup picture of a moth on his window and then the internet did what it does best: Meme-ified it.
Even though moth memes are new to the internet, moth jokes have been around for a while. Old school comedians like Norm Macdonald told moths jokes for years. Macdonald tells an outlandishly detailed and long joke about a depressed moth going to a podiatrist, and when the moth was asked why he was there instead of a therapist the moth simply said it was because, well… you know.
Anyways, if you end up in any moth meme wars, like the several I’m currently battling, here is a long list of favorites we’ve found on the Internet by unknown sources.