The Brief: The phrase "we live in a society" has been used in a variety of memes and jokes online and off and has recently resurged in reference to the 2019 film Joker.  


I don’t know who needs to hear this but we live in a society.

Although its a statement of the obvious, the phrase “we live in a society” has become a ubiquitous reminder that there are certain unspoken rules that we’re required to obey. Uttering this phrase is also a way to shame someone for breaking these rules or being disrespectful. This sentiment is well-expressed by George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode “The Chinese Restaurant” in which a frustrated George yells “You know, we’re living in a society! We’re supposed to act in a civilized way!” “We live in a society” memes joke about this concept in literal and figurative ways.

Joker 2019

The Joker has been connected to “we live in a society” through Gang Weed and Gamers Rise Up memes. One of the many runnings inside jokes from this community of gamers, commentary about living in a society can reference the way gamers feel ostracized by society, or simply act as a copypasta text. The release of the 2019 film Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix has inspired an influx in Joker/society memes. Because the Joker’s relationship with society is complex and contentious, many allusions have been made between the film and the meme. A petition to “Make Joaquin Phoenix say ‘We live in a society’ in the new Joker film” has collected over 58,000 signatures, but the film has already been released and does not feature that line.

A crying gamer attacked by Joe Swanson meme: 

we live in a society from dankmemes

No, YOU Live In A Society

While the fact that we live in society may seem like a universal truth, some memes resist this notion, joking about living outside of society or being exempt from its customs.

We 👏 Live 👏In 👏A 👏Society 👏