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Moments from the Super Bowl Halftime Show have been fodder for memes since memes were invented.

All the way back to the 2004 show with Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction, to the 2015 performance of Katy Perry featuring the now-iconic "Left Shark," memes have been spilling from the yearly game.

The Weeknd's performance did not disappoint.


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One particular moment, where The Weeknd's close camera work gave the audience the feeling that he got lost backstage during the show, is receiving the attention.

Immediately, this moment received the meme treatment.






Memes are an interesting form of communication in that they quite literally depend upon a collective unconscious understanding of the image being memed—which is similar to how petroglyphs and hieroglyphics first gave rise to written language in the ancient world.

The understanding of the frantic, lost moment The Weeknd has backstage is universal, which is why we can all understand how to best use it as a meme.





Additionally, the style of the close-camera work gives the impression The Weeknd is in a very tight space that is getting smaller—something that overly dramatizes the moment of familiarity with being lost.





The Weeknd may have now unseated Bernie Sanders as top meme for 2021. As the year goes on, several more memes will take the throne.

Isn't living in the 21st century fascinating?