They Live Among Us

[th ey liv uh-muhng uhs]

What does They Live Among Us mean?

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They Live Among Us was a December 2018 meme joking about various "evil menaces" that live among us (i.e., ordinary-looking people who are "monsters" for some unpopular characteristic).

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Examples of They Live Among Us

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Examples of They Live Among Us
@MICHEEELS / Twitter
@itsaustonpugh / Twitter

Where does They Live Among Us come from?

@rudy_mustang / Twitter

On December 2, 2018, Twitter user @rudy-mustang cooked up a spicy new meme when he posted the following tweet, which condemned the marijuana smokers who “live among us.”

Based on @rudy_mustang’s replies to other users who failed to recognize his irony, the tweet was meant as a joke, hinging on the hilariously fearmongering phrase they live among us to describe marijuana smokers.

The phrase they live among us calls up films like They Live or The Thing to describe predatory aliens or monsters disguised as humans. Of course, the joke behind @rudy_mustang is that marijuana smokers are normal, everyday people who, obviously, “live among us.”

@rudy_mustang’s tweet quickly became a meme on Twitter. By December 3, Twitter users were already riffing on They Live Among Us by describing other scary “threats” that lurk among mankind (e.g., people who don’t eat their pizza with ranch dressing).

Who uses They Live Among Us?

The simplest variations of They Live Among Us maintain the form of @rudy_mustang’s original tweet but change the threatening or menacing group—that is, an unpopular opinionwho are right under our noses.

Other memers go the extra mile and adjust the punchline of They Live Among Us to describe something desirable.

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