Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Wait For It..."

Catchphrases are quite common in many television shows, including “Bazinga!” by Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, “Live long and prosper” by Spock in Star Trek, and of course “You’re fired!” by Donald Trump in The Apprentice. Some of these catchphrases had become viral, while some of them even become memes. “Wait For It...” is one such example of a catchphrase that turned into a meme which is also viral.

“Wait For It...” has been used as a phrase since the late 1990s by popular films including Harold and Kumar Goes to White Castle and Notting Hill. However, this catchphrase is more prominently used in the 21st century by Barney Stinson, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris, in How I Met Your Mother. “Wait For It…” is used in conversations to build up suspense in anticipation for a climactic or an exciting event. In the Internet, this catchphrase is used to inform the audience about a gradual, sometimes uninteresting buildup that leads to an out of the blue revelation of an event or act.

Perhaps, the most famous example of “Wait For It…” used by Barney is the part where he says “Legen… wait for it… dary!” However, there are also many instances where Barney used “Wait For It…”. In fact, Vulture has compile a list of times where Barney used that catchphrase in How I Met Your Mother, which is about 40 times! The other main characters, Marshall and Lily had a baby and even named the baby Marvin Waitforit Eriksen.

One of the things that made “Wait For It…” viral was the usage of the catchphrase in the title of a Youtube video, “Thriller cat… wait for it”. The video utilized the famous Michael Jackson song, Thriller, and had a cat which was lying down at first walking defensively. Besides, many people began to put up memes of Barney’s “Wait For It…” in multiple instances, including funny comments, birthday wishes, and even being awesome.

I believe that “Wait For It…” is viral because it is quite funny, and the idea can be easily replicated into the same form (“Legen… wait for it.. dary!” being passed through in the same form). The catchphrase is also a meme because it is understood culturally by people who watch How I Met Your Mother frequently. The catchphrase can also be used in other contexts by just utilizing “Wait For It…”, making it not only exclusive to “Legendary” but in other ways as well. Invention of new memes of the catchphrase is evident, which gives it a new meaning every time. However, because How I Met Your Mother has reached its series finale, the popularity of this meme has decreased.


Pictures are taken from Google Images.

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