“It’s Wednesday, My Dudes”: Meme Performance as Custom

Marisa  Wieneke (Indiana University)

Memes, like jokes are often discussed as existing as cycles and being trends tied to the zeitgeist. This paper, based on my ethnographic research in Facebook meme groups, examines memes that are not in discourse with a newsworthy event but rather are shared in accordance with the calendar, be that weekly, monthly, seasonally, or annually. I focus specifically on the meme “It’s Wednesday, my Dudes,” a meme shared weekly most often in the form of an exploitable featuring an image of a Budgett’s frog. In this paper I argue that the sharing of these memes amounts to the performance of a custom and consider how our understanding of memes shift if we consider the ways in which their performance is, or becomes, customary.

Part of 34-03 Media, Performance, and Folklore, Wednesday, October 20, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm