Spider-Man has always been popular. With the character’s creation in 1962, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, it’s inarguable that the character has made a significant impact on the comic book community. Not all heroes break into pop culture, but with the first mainstream Spider-Man movie hitting theaters in 2002, the character rose to popularity right as the internet surged, making it a mainstay in certain spheres online as well. Spider-Man has longevity.
With the recent release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, let’s revisit the best Spider-Memes across the Spider-Verse, and take a look at the jokes and humor immortalized by funny people on the internet.
Coming from a 1960’s episode of the cartoon Spider-Man, this meme has been popular for a while, but exploded once news about Spider-Man: No Way Home started breaking. With the idea of versions of Spider-Man appearing from past franchises, as well as the multiverse introduction from Into the Spider-Verse, fans began to add more copies of the hero into the image. This also is a popular shorthand for other catch-22 situations, adding a bit of humor into frustrating situations that may be impossible to escape.
Something of a Scientist
With William Dafoe‘s iconic return to the character of Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, it was impossible for us to leave this one out. Coming from his appearance in Spider-Man, various parts of his performance has become immortalized, including his iconic line. This one has been adapted to usually show confidence in technological/scientific tasks, where in reality, the task may have not been too difficult. But, hey — we’ll take the wins where we can get them.
Throughout the airing of WandaVision, Marvel fans were committed to the idea that Mephisto, a character who has ties to Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), was the secret big bad of the limited series and possibly remain one in properties to come. Unfortunately, that did happen. But ever since, at least the fans can make light of it, joking about Mephisto showing up in different shows for outrageous reasons, like a devil-like figure appearing in a stained glass window in Loki. This has extended all the way to No Way Home, fans continuing to make jokes about devil references in posters shown in the movie to the shape of the spider on Peter’s costume.
If you haven’t seen the dancing GIF of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), then where have you been? This meme has made the rounds, becoming one of the most classic celebratory expressions on social media. The moment comes from a montage sequence in Spider-Man 3 where the symbiote’s harmful effects on Peter become more pronounced as it draws out personality traits that are only best in moderation. While dancing is probably best in copious amounts, Peter’s attitude in this scene is a serious problem. But, we love his sweet moves.
An offshoot of a meme making the rounds a few weeks ago that showed a sad passenger on one side of the bus and a happy passenger on the other, this meme points out Andrew Garfield‘s Peter’s unluckiness when it comes to love. While both Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland‘s Peters end their trilogies with at least both of their love interests alive, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is not so lucky. Although Peter was able to catch her with his web, the force of the fall still broke Gwen’s back, becoming Peter’s most haunting guilt, and resulting in ‘Peter 3’ being the emo one.
This meme combines the MCU era of Spider-Man with the final film of the Sam Raimi trilogy. In Avengers: Infinity War, the film ended with the tragic conclusion of Thanos collecting all 6 of the Infinity Stones, resulting in the erasure of half of all living things, including Peter Parker. Aesthetically similar to the visuals of Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and his ability to reform his body with the substance, it’s pretty impossible not to make the comparison.
My Body is Ready
Not much is known about this meme, save for the fact that it comes from the 60s Spider-Man cartoons. But, if it isn’t relatable, then what is? With Spider-Man all posed up in a provocative position, this meme reminds us all of the somewhat awkward and amusing situations that our love lives can bring. With popular culture becoming much more sex-positive in recent years, this retro image is the perfect ironic and safe-for-work template for users online to vent and relate to each other, showing that Spider-Man can show up in the most unexpected of spheres.
Sony v Marvel
Thankfully, Peter Parker’s future fate is known, to a degree. Tom Holland is confirmed to anchor another trilogy with Sony and Marvel both collaborating on future projects. However, the future wasn’t always so secure. There was a period of time where the two major companies were vying over the character before coming to an agreement. Naturally, fans reacted the only way they could — humor. With plenty of posts going around with different templates, fans knew what an impasse would mean: yet a new Spidey once again. These memes are much better now that they are but a distant memory.
Tell Me the Truth
The finale of the Raimi Spider-Man movie ends on the heartbreaking note of Peter pushing away Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) due to his role as the hero. This leaves MJ heartbroken, making way for this random but hilarious slew of memes. Taking the emotional moment, fans have used this three-panel image from the scene to show a disappointed reaction to an extremely wild, embarrassing, or unpopular opinion. And although this one started out a bit more NSFW, the meme expanded to cover everything from Applebee’s to Friends.
Part of the reason audiences fall in love with Marvel movies and shows is due to the actors and the chemistry they have with each other. Tom Holland and Zendaya are great examples of this. The couple (on-screen and off) have natural chemistry and their goofy personalities bring out the most fun in each other. Holland’s performance on Lip Sync Battle is clear evidence of this, and one of the appearances from the actors that will always be remembered and made jokes about, no matter what these actors end up doing in their careers.