The Brief: Memes edit an image of the character Sue Sylvester from Glee saying "I am going to create an environment that is so toxic" to present a wide variety of scenarios.
In June 2020, Twitter users started making memes out of a screenshot from the 2009 episode of Glee titled “Throwdown” which features the character Coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) saying “I am going to create an environment that is so toxic.” Variations of these image macro memes edit the text and apply new contexts to show different people making both similar and completely unrelated announcements.
In late November 2020, these memes had a resurgence, where the image and quote were removed even farther from their original context. Many of these memes blackout all of the text except for “I am going to” or even all but the “I.”
Sue Sylvester ‘I Am’ Memes
Variations of these memes include references to song lyrics and titles:
britney spears in 2003: pic.twitter.com/nC0MjEMZOx
— riane ♡︎ (@fromtheIakes) November 30, 2020
ricky martin in 1999: pic.twitter.com/X5nbhGQNwZ
— anastasia 💜🦋⚡️ (@demiegodly) November 29, 2020
every cocteau twins song pic.twitter.com/W39vHhX0KK
— Jill Krajewski (@JillKrajewski) November 30, 2020
This version includes a long, dark rant:
— stop asking for armpit pics (@dumbjavel) November 29, 2020
Other renditions apply the original Sue Sylvester line “I am going to create…” to a wide variety of unrelated scenarios and contexts.
when a comedian turns 32 pic.twitter.com/3WaauoHIkC
— Zack Vile (@zackvee) November 29, 2020
Police arriving. pic.twitter.com/8V0IkmHucV
— Los Angeles Police Department (@LAPDParody) November 30, 2020
Hasbro in 1978 pic.twitter.com/KBMzJM3I8l
— Jeremy Elder (@jeremyelderr) November 29, 2020
Due to the widespread popularity of this meme format, the meme mutated in ways that require someone to recognize the original in order to understand the meme.
queer people when there is Conflict (but not necessarily Abuse) pic.twitter.com/7kvy4NVtHe
— Sloane Jett (@Sloane_Jett) November 29, 2020
ad breaks in 2007: pic.twitter.com/Bnh5ZsroKe
— Dan Egg (@dan_egg) November 29, 2020
Some memes are so far removed from the original context that they include neither Sue Sylvester nor her line from Glee, like this “Hello I’m Shelley Duvall” reference:
— Darby Lynn Cartwright (@TheDarbyLynn) November 29, 2020