Between the divisive politics and warming climate of the modern era, it can sometimes feel like a struggle to look to the future with optimism. But then, a new Marvel movie comes out and we're reminded that, as long as there are new superhero films on the horizon, joy will never quite fade from the world. Black Panther was particularly refreshing, given the empowering messages it imparted to minorities everywhere. Not only was it an escape from the anxiety of current events, but it was in itself a step towards breaking down walls and creating a more inclusive world. For your viewing pleasure, we decided to collect our favourite 15 memes from the big, beautiful movie that was Black Panther.
Here are 15 hilarious Black Panther memes that would crack even Killmonger.
15 When you catch him scoping out his options
We've all been in a situation like this. Er, well, we've all been in similar situations, at least. We doubt many of you have actually been in this exact situation, given that most of us are not Kings of Wakanda watching as our right hand man betrays our trust in favour of a man who wants to arm the masses and bring about violent revolution. Unless Chadwick Boseman is reading, but he's probably too busy fighting off Thanos to dabble on the Internet. We've all been in that situation where you get to watch on as your significant other watches someone else, though. And that ain't a great feeling. Especially when they're willing to given the once-over to someone while you're right freaking next to them. They could at least have the decency to wait until you're looking away!
14 The Tolkien white guys
We're not normally all that keen on puns, but this one rises to a whole new level of punnyness (sorry, we had to). It seems like the great franchises of our time tend to borrow actors from one another. And we suppose this makes sense, given that the great franchises tend to scout out the greatest actors when they're making casting decisions, and, although Hollywood is massive, the number of truly talented actors is not. Not only have Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Gandalf (Ian McKellan) starred in Marvel movies, but now, Gollum (Andy Serkis) and Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) have joined the ranks of superheroes. But in the case of Black Panther, the two actors in it with roots in Middle Earth were the only two white characters in the plot, which, naturally, makes them the "Tolkien" white guys.
13 How long has it been?
Well, at least for the duration of Black Panther. And a lot went down in that movie. Not only is T'Challa now King of Wakanda, but he also brought Wakanda and its advanced technology out into the open, poised to share the secrets of vibranium with the rest of the world. Not to mention that kick@$$ beard he grew. We're not exactly sure what Cap has been up to since he went into hiding at the end of Captain America: Civil War, but he seems to have taken a hint from T'Challa and grown a magnificent beard of his own. Between the two of them, they might be able to give Tony Stark a run for the title of "Best Facial Hair," but with Doctor Strange in the mix, it's a bit of a toss-up.
12 Princess Shuri of Wakanda
Oh, we're Team Shuri all the way. Between her hilarious one-liners, her beef with corsets and her distaste for flip-flops, Shuri was easily the most loveable character in Black Panther. Plus, it was pretty refreshing to have the "guy in the chair" be a girl for a change (or the "tech guy", if you're one of those weirdos who hasn't seen Spider-Man: Homecoming). Between her scientific knowledge, her quick wit and her jovial nature, Princess Shuri could easily compete as one of the top Disney Princesses, even if she's not technically a Disney Princess (a technicality we will fight with tooth and nail if we have to). After all, she is a Princess and she was in a Disney movie, so is there really anything to argue, here?
11 My T'chanclas
If T'Challa is going to go down this road with his vocabulary, we think he should go all the way. Not only would those lovely flip flops Shuri hates became T'Chanclas, but any difficult task he were to face would officially become a T'Challenge, and anytime he were to come out victorious after taking on a T'Challenge, he would be declared the T'Champion (which would happen a lot, given the whole he's-a-superhero thing). There's pretty much no end to this once you go down this particular rabbit hole, so buckle in. If his lips were to get dry, he'd have to patent his own brand of T'Chapstick, and shooting the breeze would become T'Chatting. Not to mention that Mr. Boseman would forevermore be known as T'Chadwick.
10 Will the wars ever end?
When you're a superhero, your job is to fight the villains. If the villains stop starting wars, then there wouldn't really be much to make movies about. The grand, kick@$$ heroes can only kick said @$$ when there's a bad guy's butt around. So, Bucky, we know you've been through more than your fair share of wars, from World War II to the Civil War (of the Avengers, not the Americans), but unfortunately, they'll have to continue for at least a couple more films. We know, we know. Why can't people just get along, for goodness' sake? Well, if they did, then Marvel movies wouldn't be all that entertaining, would they? At least this time, the rest of the Avengers will be fighting by your side, rather than trying to kill you (we think).
9 Throw in the towel, for Pete's sake!
For anyone who loves T'Challa (so, everyone), this was a pretty hard scene to watch. We were fresh off the high of T'Challa owning his first challenger, and, although we knew deep down inside that he probably wouldn't win two challenges in a row (in movies, things have to go wrong eventually, or they wouldn't make for very interesting movies), we couldn't help but hope. As Killmonger proceeded to beat down our beloved King of Wakanda again and again, though, that hope shrivelled and died pretty darn quickly.
Occasional cringing morphed into outright indignation that T'Challa would continue to put us through the pain of seeing him in pain, rather than just throwing in that darn towel. Although it may have felt tragic in the moment, watching him get tossed over the waterfall was actually turned out to be a relief, because it marked an end to his torment (and ours), and we all knew that he wouldn't actually die. (If you want to maintain suspense about whether or not a character is dead, maybe don't show him alive and well in the trailer for the next movie.)
8 The Black Panther frenzy
This was a lot of people. People who'd shown no interest in learning about other cultures the day before the Black Panther trailer came out were suddenly passionate aficionados of African culture. We mean, we get it. African culture is incredible, and the way Black Panther celebrated it was truly inspiring. But... if it takes a superhero movie to get you interested in informing yourself of the world around you, then that's a bit of a problem. The vast array of cultures around the world are a joy to learn about, and it shouldn't take Marvel pointing that out for people to step out of their bubble and show an interest in other people's ways of life. But hey, we're not saying discovering new areas of interest through pop culture is a bad thing. We're just saying that pop culture shouldn't be your only window on to the world, because if it is, it's a pretty narrow one.
7 I saw it on opening weekend
Is history repeating itself? When Get Out premiered, the exact same thing happened. White people trying to be perceived as "woke" and socially aware would scream from the darn rooftops how many times they'd gone to the theatres to see Get Out. They wore their Get Out count as a badge of pride and honour, quick to tell any minorities they came across that they were indeed fans of the movie and that they'd be first in line to vote for it at the Oscars if they could. And now, it's happening again with Black Panther. It's become the "cool" thing to be a fan of as a "woke" white person. Don't get us wrong— it's an incredibly cool thing to be a fan of. But talking about how much you like a movie that empowers minorities isn't enough. You can talk the talk, but you've also gotta walk the walk and make sure you're actively trying to make the world a more equal place to live in.
6 The Shuri upgrade
Now that's what we'd call a complete set of kick@$$ Disney Princesses. We mean, even without Shuri counted amongst their ranks, the Disney Princesses are pretty awesome. They're independent, they're fierce and they celebrate female empowerment. But... Shuri just does all of that on an exponential scale. Sure, Elsa is epic and yes, Jasmine has a freaking tiger for a pet. But are either of them the director of a super-secret Wakandan tech department? We think not. And do any of them deliver one-liners with a perfection hard matched by even Tony Stark? Unfortunately, no. Plus, we're pretty sure none of the Disney Princesses would have been able to face-off against a dude named Killmonger and still walk out with their lives. Well, at least until they were upgraded to include Princess Shuri of Wakanda, that is.
5 The Nakia way
This meme speaks the truth. Black Panther was something of a moral journey. You start out obviously supporting T'Challa, because, well, he's Black Panther. But then, when you realize how much life-changing power and technology Wakanda has kept secret for all these years, you start to doubt your position and wonder why Wakanda hasn't reached out to people in need throughout the world. For awhile, you might've even supported Killmonger, but then, when you realized his solution was basically a world war, you probably realized that that wasn't the most ethical path either. Finally, most of us realized Nakia had it right the entire time, with her burning passion for enacting change using Wakanda's resources (not its weaponry, though... but Thanos' arrival on Earth might change that).
4 One bumpy boi
Although we totally get how Killmonger was able to seize power, when you take a step back and look at the odds he was facing, it's pretty darn impressive that he got as far as he did. Sure, he had a lot of things going for him, from his blood relation to T'Challa to his epic fighting skills to the resentment of some of T'Challa's inner circle. But normally, it would take more than that to work your way to the heart of an advanced civilization, kill its leader and assume the throne for yourself. And you'd think it'd take more than a single day, too. But in a country that allows the King to be challenged in single combat, entire dynasties could topple in the expanse of a few minutes.
3 Oh, you're tired of it, are you?
Oh, you guys are tired of it, are you? Well, then let me just put this lovely meme of a person dressed as Black Panther reading a Black Panther comic book right here for you. Aw, no need to thank me.
When it comes to Marvel, if you ever find yourself getting annoyed with how a certain movie is taking over pop culture or the way Marvel memes are constantly bombarding your social media accounts, then our suggestion is to get the f**k over that. Because Marvel is here to stay, and if you're determined to be annoyed about that, then... well, you'll just be annoyed all the time. Better to turn to the Marvellous side and give yourself over to the fandom. As long term converts, let us tell you that it is most certainly worth it.
2 The Coogler Effect
We can definitely see why Marvel chose Ryan Coogler to direct Black Panther. Marvel knows how important choosing a talented director is, a lesson that some superhero franchises took a while to learn (you know who we're talking about). The skill of the director can make or break a movie—and the wallet of those funding the movie. In Marvel's case, they don't exactly need to expand their coffers, but extra dough is never a bad thing in the mind of a CEO. So, we have no doubt that the bigwigs at Marvel have been clinking glasses of champagne over the success of Black Panther. Ryan Coogler just has a talent for making darned good movies, and darned good movies have a tendency to rake in the audiences.
1 When you want to cheer for both sides
You know you're in a good movie when you can't tell whether you support the supposed "good guys" or the so-called "bad guys". Such is the case with many shows of the Golden Age of Television, such as Game of Thrones, and such was the case in Black Panther. You want to support T'Challa, but it's hard to deny that Wakanda probably should have extended a helping hand to those in need at at least some point throughout the dark history of the world. So, although his methods weren't the most admirable, Killmonger's desire to use the resources of Wakanda to assist those living under oppression throughout the world was admirable. But, of course, it was Nakia who was right all along. Help must be offered, but not in the form of war.