What Exactly Is "Okay Boomer?" We Try to Break Down the Meme Phenomenon

Leila Kozma - Author

Nov. 6 2019, Updated 10:59 a.m. ET

what is okay boomer
Source: Instagram

Sam Hughes' photo.

Lo and behold, there's a new meme addressing the petty everyday grievances fuelled by the intergenerational divide. 

Article continues below advertisement

If you've ever been thrown an off-the-cuff remark concerning your allegedly too-enlightened lifestyle choices, such as a dismissive comment about the length of your skirt or your supposed lack of ability to buy a house due to an inexplicable knack for avocado toasts, you'll understand what this internet sensation is about. 

Let's settle this once and for all: What is okay boomer?

What exactly is okay boomer? 

As Starr Rhett Rocque explains in an article published by Fast Company, the catchphrase emerged for the first time circa April 2018, and its popularity reached a new height by January 2019. Alongside a wealth of tweets, Youtube, and TikTok videos, there's also merchandise adorned with the term, including shirts, stickers, hoodies, and the like. 

Article continues below advertisement
Source: Instagram

In a nutshell, #OKboomer is the easiest — and arguably, the only rational — explanation younger generations managed to muster in response to the scathing critiques voiced by their elder counterparts. It's the manifestation of a collective sense of deep-seated frustration and lack of willingness to justify political stances, personal conduct, grocery preferences, or general mode of living upon being randomly challenged by a more mature member of society. 

Article continues below advertisement

#OKboomer isn't just a word, a throwaway phrase, or a clever clap-back. It's the symbol of a certain outlook, a state of mind, a particular type  of weariness. 

From a new song, courtesy of Peter Kuli to a wealth of TikTok clips, there's no shortage of content tapping into the popular sentiment. Some pay homage to the term via nonchalant notes, hand-drawn logos, or particularly masterful attempts at face painting.  

Article continues below advertisement
Source: Twitter

As to specific scenarios that left bourgeoning creatives with no chance but to transform their sorrow into an #OKboomer meme? Casual encounters with select members of the public; vehement discussions concerning migration, abortion rights, the current state of politics, comments influenced by internalized misogyny, or any occasion a more well-lived member of society felt the urge to step forward and give voice to entirely uncalled for ideas. 

Article continues below advertisement

The conservative television show host and author — who, as Starr points out, also happens to identify as the "most fired man in Rochester media" — took it to Twitter to air his grievances concerning the latest trend. 

As Bob vouched in a now-deleted tweet, those born after the heydays of the Reagan presidency shouldn't hold grouches against those who lived to tell the tale. 

what is okay boomer
Source: Youtube

Bob defines the lack of understanding between generations as the direct result of age difference — and thereby failing to address other factors like the erasure of the welfare state, the increase of student debt, or the collapse of the housing market.

Needless to say, most Twitter users knew immediately what the only suitable response was to Bob's harangue: #OKboomer. 

More from Distractify

Latest Entertainment News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.