The Brief: Niche memes are internet memes about niche experiences that are relatable to a relatively small group of people.

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Niche memes are inside jokes for the internet. They may be based on specific online subcultures. They may also be references to human experiences that are relatable to some people, but totally unfamiliar to others.

Example: A niche Dungeons & Dragons meme from Reddit:

[Niche meme] I snuck an Altered Carbon reference into my campaign, thinking that those who wanted to watch altered carbon watched it far enough in the past to forget about it or aren’t going to watch it at all. Turns out one of the players started watching it two weeks before that session. from dndmemes

Occasionally, there is debate online as to what is niche enough to be considered a “niche meme” but still relatable enough to be something worth sharing.

On Instagram

On Instagram, niche memes are known not only for their niche-ness but also as a genre with a specific aesthetic and community that then explores a variety of niches.

Many of Instagram’s niche memes are so detailed and niche that they only speak to the experience of a single person. Many are more like colorful diary entries than anything else. These communities are predominantly made up of teenage girls who sometimes dedicate whole accounts to the genre.

Sub-genres of these Instagram memes include descriptions of one’s day, choose your character or outfit options, “if ____ was a person,” horoscope collages, “____ as a teen,” and many more. The aesthetics are collage-like with bold text, pastel colors, and a variety of cropped images. There’s some overlap between these memes and VSCO girl styles, and these memes explore other internet stereotypes and aesthetics such as eGirl, Instagram baddie, and others.

To an outsider, these memes may seem quite bizarre and random, but that is the whole point. They’re not for everyone, but for a specific niche within Instagram.

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