Memes dictionary

They Live Among Us

[th ey liv uh-muhng uhs]

What does They Live Among Us mean?

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

Related words

copypasta, πŸ‘½ Alien emoji, dank meme, ancient aliens, One does not simply, Mr. Krabs meme, burn meme, haters gonna hate

Where does They Live Among Us come from?

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 phraseΒ they live among usΒ to describe marijuana smokers.

The phrase they live among usΒ calls up films like They Live or The Thing to describe predatory aliens or monsters disguised as humans. Of course, the joke behind @rudy_mustangΒ 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).

Although it has a similar name the meme is not connected to the popular multi-player online game “Among Us.” The two were born the same year, but the game didn’t earn viral status until 2020 when millions of people stuck at home due to the COVID-19 began battling one another in a space-themed game of wits.

That game is responsible for the slang term “pretty sus” taking over the Internet.

Examples of They Live Among Us

@MICHEEELS / Twitter
@itsaustonpugh / Twitter

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 groupβ€”that is, an unpopular opinionβ€”who are right under our noses.

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

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of They Live Among Us like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of They Live Among Us that will help our users expand their word mastery.