Memes have transcended just internet culture, but things that started off as fun, and sometimes, not-so-fun jokes on the internet have managed to materialize themselves into the real world. Just ask people who made a ton of money on Dogecoin, or the fact that the 45th president of the United States essentially trolled himself into the Oval Office.
One of the more whimsical occurrences of a meme playing itself out in the real world, without political or financial implications, is Josh Battle 2021.
The 2021 Josh Battle actually took place on April 24, just as it was foretold in the meme.
The massive fight between all of the Joshes that started out as a joke Facebook messenger group chat materialized into a full-scale pool noodle extravaganza, and there's video evidence of the Battle Royale that took place in at the "Legendary Josh Battlefield" at the Air Park Green Area in Lincoln, Neb.
Local news outlet 1011Now spoke with the OG Josh, Josh Swain, who started the Facebook group chat and picked the coordinates at random. The initial conversation started as a joke to keep himself preoccupied during the pandemic, and he didn't think that it would actually materialize into a full-scale brawl.
But it did.
"The original post said that we would show up at these coordinates that I had chosen at random which happened to be in a random field in the state of Nebraska." But after the date popped up and people began gearing up for the Josh fight, Swain realized he had a difficult choice to make if he wanted to be a man of his word.
"I immediately was frightened, and my friend was like ‘you have to go.' I guess I have to make it a thing," Swain told the outlet. The spectacle started garnering even more attention when TikTok-er Ryan Wall posted a video about the upcoming "Josh Fight" and with more eyes than ever eagerly anticipating the climactic battle of Joshes, Swain knew he had to step things up a notch.
"We have notified the police that there is going to be a decent amount of people there. This thing is going to happen whether I like it or not, so we just want to make sure to contain it and make sure it’s a safe and responsible event."
While money was originally going to be raised for legal fees to help the Joshes who lost to change their names, that quickly changed.
A fundraiser was instead launched to The Children's Hospital and Medical Center, and every single participant was encouraged to bring at least one non-perishable food item to the Food Bank of Lincoln.
The turnout was impressive, and it turns out that the Joshes not only had a lot of fun, but some needy folks ultimately benefited from their shenanigans to boot.
ABC Channel 8 reporter Yousef Nasser provided up-to-the-minute coverage of the Josh fight, from pugilists gearing up to partake in the whimsical battle, to an epic rock, paper, scissors showdown between the OG Josh Swain and Josh Swain from Omaha, Neb.
Of course, there were people cheering for their favorite Josh with billboards and fan signs ... which got a little confusing at times.
The fight became a battle royale with some people who were unwilling to engage, but soon almost everyone was winging pool noodles into each other's faces.
So who is the Josh fight winner? This guy.
Josh Vinson Jr., age 4, was the winner of the Josh Battle 2021. Evidently, he was named Josh just because his dad wanted to have a little guy he could call Junior.
He emerged as the clear victor in the day's battle. The rules of engagement were built on an "honor code" system: If you got hit by a pool noodle, then you were eliminated.
But even the rules were different and points were being scored for honest enthusiasm, I think it's hard to really battle with a 4-year-old boy who gets to participate in a foam weapon fight that looked like something out of Braveheart.
After he won and was handed the coveted Josh trophy, the victor had a speech for everyone in attendance. "I always fight everyone."
Wise words to live by.
Overall, the day felt like a tremendous success for all involved, and those who were in attendance still couldn't believe what they had just witnessed.
What do you think of the Josh Battle 2021? Do you think it was a bit over the top — or harmless, wholesome fun that also raised money for a good cause?