Meme History — “Pepperidge Farm Remembers”

Remember a time when the internet was simple and we would consume as much as possible? Pepperidge Farm remember.

Source: ImgFlip

The internet has evolved greatly over the past decades from when it was a space where users can consume as much as possible but didn’t have many options to produce and share content. This space is referred to as Web 1.0, a world where the internet was new and people were still learning about the tools that it can offer to us. We currently live in a new era where the internet is all about sharing and creating content with each other, making the internet an extremely useful tool for us as it breaks physical barriers of distance and time and allows us all the connect with each other with ease.

In this Blogpost, I will talk about the concept of cognitive surplus and how it relates to the popularization of memes. I will also talk about about the meme “Pepperidge Farm Remembers” and go through its history and origin.

Source: Ted.com

With the development of Web 2.0 came a new concept by Clay Shirky called “Cognitive Surplus”, which is the ability of the world’s population to collaborate and work together using technology. The funny thing in this video is Shirky’s remark about the simplest form of Cognitive Surplus being “LOLcats”. LOLcats represent the simplest form of Cognitive Surplus because it is an ongoing joke on the internet that is constantly being remixed and remade through the work of human collaboration. This concept is similar to the popularization of memes as users on the internet find a similar punchline tied into a concept/joke, but change the joke to fit into whatever situation it is relevant.

Pepperidge Farm Remembers History/Origin

Source: KnowYourMeme

Pepperidge Farm Remembers is a meme whose picture originated from a joke made within the show “Family Guy”. Within the joke, the old man reminisces about old times and follows all his memories with the catchphrase, “Pepperidge Farm Remembers”. As he goes on with his memories, he begins the place the viewer under “ransom” basically making the viewer purchase Pepperidge Farm products.

The Family Guy joke was a reference to the original Pepperidge Farm advertisement where an old man is doing the same thing as the Family Guy joke — minus the dark ending.

The Pepperidge Farm Remembers meme was popularized in 2012 when a reddit user used the catchphrase to make a joke about reddit users.

Source: KnowYourMeme

This reddit post birthed the popularity of this meme as many people on the internet used this as a lighthearted means of complaining about how things are changing for the worse. However, the meme evolved to include the cartoon old man to make it more relatable as Family Guy was a popular cartoon at the time especially among this demographic.

Source: KnowYourMeme

Search Interest Over Time

Source: KnowYourMeme

As seen through this graph, the memes popularity has been steadily increasing ever since the creation of the sketch on Family Guy. Its popularity peaks at 2012 with the creation of the Reddit post and has been steadily popular to this day.