What is the Difference Between a Joke and a Meme?

Mar 30, 2010
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Jokes are funny.

In all seriousness, jokes are quips tailor made to a situation using quick thinking and wit, whereas memes are standing gags quite often forced into situations that don't require them by people without the wit to think of something funny to say themselves.

TheRundownRabbit said:
A joke is actually funny? Seriously though, a joke is a joke. A meme though, is like an inside joke with no context to make it funny, spread by idiots.
Wow, I got that pretty much word for word.
 

K12

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Jokes are intended to be funny but memes don't have to be.

I'm assuming by the way that we're talking about "memes" in the way the internet uses the term rather than it's original route in evolutionary and cultural psychological. The original Richard Dawkins term just means anything that is shared and passed between people in a culture, sub-culture, family or community and includes recipes, stories, manners, language, clothing styles, songs, sayings, ideas, facts, religions, morals etc. A equivalent unit of inheritance for culture in the way the gene is for biological inheritance.

Whereas the internet version is basically just a catchphrase with a visual aid or a *fill in the blanks* way of putting across a visual. I'm not down on internet memes really, they're no more or less annoying than any "clever" or "funny" comment or phrase that people parrot to death, it's the repetition that's annoying and how they get used a substitute for wit and independent thought that gets annoying, the things themselves are just tools.
 

Wasted

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I forgot where I heard this but like its brevity.

A meme is like an inside joke between you and the internet.
 

BrawlMan

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RedRockRun said:
Because as far as I know, the only difference is that memes are on the internet. Yes, I've read the Wikipedia article on memes, and it only furthers my belief that academics like Dawkins are only good for splitting hairs that usually have already been split.
Let me show you the true meaning of memes.

<spoiler=MGR Memes Coversation>
That said, memes on the internet are not that different from memes in real life.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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A joke is funny because it subverts expectation. A meme is funny because it doesn't.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Feb 4, 2009
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The punchline has already been established? Thus making it purely observational rathan than merely in its humourous recount? Requires insider familiarity of the context of its abstraction. So less a joke, more like a jokebook only known by those that have read the joke book from where it came from.
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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Jokes have punchlines.

Memes are punchlines (but only if the context works, most of the time they end up being "lol, randomness guyz")
 

wizzy555

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A joke is a joke even if it is only said once by one person and forgotten.

A meme is something that needs to be in collective memory over a period of time before it is a meme.
 

wizzy555

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RedRockRun said:
Because as far as I know, the only difference is that memes are on the internet. Yes, I've read the Wikipedia article on memes, and it only furthers my belief that academics like Dawkins are only good for splitting hairs that usually have already been split.
I think you must have misunderstood the order of history, Dawkins invented the word "meme", he cannot be splitting hairs about a concept if he himself invented it. He invented the word "meme" to illustrate a method of cultural evolution. The "things" people do on the internet are only called "memes" because they bare some resemblance to Dawkins' original idea.
 

Helter Skelter

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Why are all squares rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares?

wizzy555 said:
RedRockRun said:
Because as far as I know, the only difference is that memes are on the internet. Yes, I've read the Wikipedia article on memes, and it only furthers my belief that academics like Dawkins are only good for splitting hairs that usually have already been split.
I think you must have misunderstood the order of history, Dawkins invented the word "meme", he cannot be splitting hairs about a concept if he himself invented it. He invented the word "meme" to illustrate a method of cultural evolution. The "things" people do on the internet are only called "memes" because they bare some resemblance to Dawkins' original idea.
If you don't know enough to be humble, it's a terrible trap.