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Beekeepers, Spelunkers, and More Baffling Meme Subcultures

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by Hannah Harkness

Social media has the ability to bring a community of people together to share extremely specific inside jokes.

I know this because my algorithm largely shows me posts from stand up comedians, wrestlers/wrestling fans, and snake owners… which creates a confusing and terrifying timeline that routinely scares people looking at my phone in passing.

In particular, snake memes, which I wrote an entire article on this site about, have a way of blithely stating common struggles of snake owners that to an outsider seem like pure nightmare fuel.

Because you know what it’s like when a huge snake gets stuck in the grip on your shower wall, right? Mondays. 

I’m self aware enough about this that I routinely traipse into other corners of the internet with the goal of figuring out which subcultures do the best jobs of meme-ing their inside jokes and unrelatable problems. Here’s five of my favorites (criteria for inclusion: at least one meme I have no shot in hell of understanding)!

Beekeepers

Usually the first thing you figure out when you’re going to a different subculture’s meme is the level at which they believe their hobby puts them at odds of society. Beekeepers seem to feel extremely misunderstood and judged for their lifestyle of wandering through hordes of stinging insects in a way I can relate to as the owner of a 4 foot long snake. Observe:

Never before has a picture made me say “I guess I’m society”? 

Here’s a fairly standard “other people aren’t into your thing” sentiment, stated by Batman.

And here’s the meme I couldn’t explain to you if I tried.

Yeah! This bee owner sucks! I think!

Nursing

I have absolutely no knowledge of what it’s like to be a nurse, but if I were to cast a judgement based solely on memes, it gives you an IMPRESSIVE level of gallows humor that comes off to outsiders as borderline psychopathic. Nursing meme pages have some of the blackest and most disgusting comedy that exists on the internet. 

Hey, I’m already terrified!

The sexy nurse trope really doesn’t cover the blase attitude towards death.

*throws up in mouth*

And the winner for confusion goes to this possibly dank napoleon dynamite bodily fluid meme:

Heavy Agricultural Machinery

Farming memes have two distinct categories: general topics and tractors. What you learn by even a cursory glance at farming memes is that there are a LOT of strong opinions and stronger feelings about tractors and other large farming equipment.

Farming memes cover such a wide range of topics that they likely warrant a separate article, but here are the ones mostly focused on the machines and in particular. Here are four memes that relay the common struggle of deciding whether love or machines that cut down plants comes first.

Wistful! And the winner of “sentiment I can’t wrap my head around because I’m a NYC city slicker I think”?

I don’t know anything about the moment there is a literal shit storm coming out of a large machine, and based on this meme it could either be good or bad!

Paintball

Honestly when I typed in “paintball memes” I figured that I’d end up in an interesting place because NO ONE memes quite as scary as backwoods violent 14 year olds (who I manage to encounter at every paintball range I’ve ever been to, even outside the US).

However, I could not have anticipated learning how seriously paintballers take themselves and the amount of slang and struggles that are completely incomprehensible to me. 

Because you know how slow paintball updates are, right? What are the updates? Not sure but I’ve been waiting forever for updated…paintballs?

Also, did you know that “baller” is not a term just reserved for a rapper or similar human of considerable wealth? You also can be someone with a paint gun!

But the most unnerving thing I learned is that the regulars that you see at paintball ranges when you are just going up as a tourist are actively trying to hunt you and they refer to you, a human, as a “rental.”

And it’s like I want to call them the dorks but I’m the one getting welts from a pale 11 year old named Conor in a ghillie suit.  And the winner for pure insular comedy is this meme using both an anime I don’t know and a swath of designations for types of paintball people I don’t understand.

Dirty! 

Spelunkers

I don’t even know how to fully comment on the memes of those who crawl around caves for fun other than that if you have a friend who spelunks, you should hug them. 

I…never really took the time to wonder if people who are into caves are okay but I guess it makes sense if they spend a lot of time in literal darkness they also go into some dark bitter corners of the mind. 

AND the winner of the cave meme that exudes the highest level of gatekeeping:

YOU CALL THAT A TIGHT SPACE? PSSH, IT CAN’T EVEN CRUSH YOUR SKULL!

Honorable Mention: Luxembourg

I would consider this an “honorable mention” because calling an entire country a “subculture” is insulting, but at the same time they seem to be somewhat self-aware of their status as a country in Europe that barely anyone knows apart from the occasional Olympic ceremony shout out or Jeopardy question. 

This is not an inside joke but is warranting including as a fun fact:

And the winner of most inaccessible Luxembourg meme:

OH YEAH TAKE THAT LUXEMBOURG POLICE. BURN.

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