As bleary-eyed people absentmindedly checked their social media feeds the morning of April 8, many had the same question: What the heck is Rex Manning Day?
Through the years, there have been a number of "holidays" borrowed from TV shows/movies and adopted by popular culture. Galentine's Day is celebrated on Feb. 13, and it came from Parks and Recreation. On April 30 each year, Justin Timberlake floods social media feeds with "It's gonna be May" memes. There's also that Mean Girls quote that circulates on Oct. 3 each year — as well as that Miss Congeniality quote about April 25 being the best date. And who could forget Seinfeld's Festivus?
So what the heck is Rex Manning Day? And why is it on April 8? Let's take a closer look at the meaning behind all the memes.
What is Rex Manning Day — and why is it on April 8?
The concept of Rex Manning Day stems from the 1995 film Empire Records. According to an IMDb synopsis, the storyline can be summarized as: "Twenty-four hours in the lives of the young employees at Empire Records when they all grow up and become young adults thanks to each other and the manager. They all face the store joining a chain store with strict rules."
Rex Manning, played by Maxwell Caulfield, happens to visit the record store on April 8 — which is why Rex Manning Day is celebrated each year on this particular date.
A has-been '80s pop star, Rex holds an autograph signing at Empire Records in order to promote his most recent album titled "Back with More." In the film, he even has a music video for a fictional song called "Say No More, Mon Amour."
"Happy Rex Manning Day" memes are confusing some on social media.
Tidings of "Happy Rex Manning Day!" took over social media on April 8, leaving those who had never seen Empire Records utterly confused. A quote from the movie didn't help their perplexity, either. It goes: "We mustn't dwell. No, not today. We can't. Not on Rex Manning Day!"
How do you celebrate Rex Manning Day, exactly?
The best part of Rex Manning Day: How you celebrate is totally up to you. However, Twitter users have some helpful suggestions to get you started, including: "listen to a one-hit wonder, try a new hairstyle, have sex with an older man, buy a cardboard standee of a kitschy celebrity, invest in physical media, and pose for a photo with a juvenile delinquent."
Rex Manning himself — or rather, actor Maxwell Caulfield — shared his reaction to the the “holiday” emerging 26 years after the film was released.
“It’s titled Rex Manning Day, but it might as well be called Empire Records Day,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021. “It initially eluded me because the film had been such a box office disappointment, so I didn’t give it the credence that it has developed over the years. It just won’t go away. It’s one of those showbiz oddities.”
However you decide to celebrate (or not), we wish you a happy Rex Manning Day!