Meme Morgue: Skeleton War


Photo Courtesy of Pixabay


Welcome to the Meme Morgue, where content passes through so quickly, the joke is cremated before you get to the autopsy. This week, the meme just won’t die.

If you’ve been on the internet during October within the last five years, you’ve been exposed to this meme. For the entire month of October, users on several platforms, especially Tumblr, post images, gifs, and videos of skeletons leading up to Halloween. (Randomly throughout the year as well, but these tend to be isolated incidents.) People proclaim their registration in the skeleton war and excitedly await the spookiest day of the year.

The meme started on July 27, 2013 when Twitter user @dril posted, “if your grave doesn’t say ‘rest in peace’ on it you are automatically drafted into the skeleton war.” While originally posted in July, the meme has become a Halloween phenomenon.

This meme has only strengthened over the years, resulting in mainstream media coverage including recognition from Buzzfeed, an article describing the yearly occurrence, and a video game titled “Skeleton War.”

I personally sold my soul to this fight years ago, and I can’t wait until I’m released from my flesh prison, so I can contribute to this valiant cause.

In all sincerity, few memes have as pure of an energy as the Skeleton Army. For people who want to participate in Halloween shenanigans without delving into horror movies or other Halloween outlets, it’s a great way to join in the spirit while avoiding the guts and gore.

The meme is going strong after five years, an incredible feat in the normal lifespan of memes, which usually burn brightly and fizzle quickly, being left to ash that people don’t want to talk about anymore after a month of constant discussion. I think that being attached to the holiday aids in its continual success, as well as the general good-natured fun that it promotes. Rather than being annoyed when this meme appears every year, I welcome it like a nostalgic old VHS tape that I haven’t seen since I was a mere youngster.

The Skeleton War also provides a safe outlet for people of all ages to join in the fun of Halloween. Teenagers who have “outgrown” trick-or-treating don’t just stop loving Halloween because adults decided not to give them candy anymore. Haunted houses cost money and may be too intense for some who may be a little more faint of heart. The same sentiment goes for horror movies, another way people tend to hype themselves up for the holiday.

With a society that finds it weird for older people to enjoy the holiday in the same way as they did when they were younger, the internet has become a safe haven.

Another trend that accompanies the Skeleton War is Inktober, in which artists on the internet all follow a prompt list and for everyday of October post an original art piece based on the prompt for that day.

The internet has changed a lot of things, for better and for worse, but I think this is one of the positive outcomes. The Skeleton War and Inktober have allowed adults to still have fun with a holiday mostly associated with children, while also encouraging people to be creative and enjoy others’ creativity. Not only has Inktober encouraged this, but songs, games, and art have been made for the Skeleton War.

I always look forward to seeing dancing skeletons appear on my dash, and as for this year, I haven’t been let down. This is one time that I’m pleased bones remain after cremation, and one meme that I hope never dies.