About a week ago, the internet decided to gang up on Debby Ryan by calling attention to and mocking her mannerisms through memes. Ryan, who you might know from her roles in Disney Channel Originals such as Jessie, The Suite Life on Deck, Radio Rebel and 16 Wishes, is no stranger to online scrutiny. The recent rise in memes, however, has taken poking fun to a new level.
Memes that make fun of Ryan are not new, but these new ones have gained lots of traction in the past week or so. Most make fun of Ryan for the way she poses for photos or for her questionable acting. They primarily take the form of tweets and TikToks either imitating the star or just adding commentary or music to existing scenes.
This TikTok from late February, for example, pokes fun of the way Ryan does not seem to close her mouth.
The photos being highlighted in the above TikTok are reminiscent of the infamous Miley Cyrus staring meme popularized in 2018. People pointed out their similarity in memes like this one from Twitter.
The memes have primarily (but not exclusively) come from the 2012 Disney Channel Original Movie Radio Rebel, particularly the “MORP” scene. Some have come from other projects Ryan is featured in, like Insatiable, which was released only two years ago.
This plague of memes has been so strong, people’s parents have started to catch on. Ryan herself even addressed them in a tweet.
As with any meme or internet trend, there is no knowing quite how long this will last, but it has certainly been fun and inspired many, like myself, to revisit childhood movies and shows.
In fast-paced internet fashion, people have already started moving on. Many have done so by offering up ideas for the next target. TikToks urging people to reexamine the acting of Demi Lovato and Joey King, among others, have started to emerge. These individuals, like Ryan, seem to have been chosen for their quirky mannerisms and memorable performances.
Frankly, I can’t wait to see who the internet picks to goof on next.
Article Thumbnail: MTV International / CC BY