Eye Rolling Robert Downey Jr.

On May 4th, 2012 a movie featuring all of Hollywood’s favorite superheroes released a record-breaking film. The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, was the world’s fifth-highest-grossing film of all time. The Hulk, Hawkeye, Thor, the Black Widow, and most importantly Iron Man, make up this dream team force in a fight against Thor’s evil brother. Then on August 27th, 2012 a Tumblr user posted a GIF from a scene in the movie. In this scene, Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., is rolling his eyes in response to a comment made by Captain America. The response was out of annoyance due to the repetition of the comment. The GIF received more than 35,000 notes over the next four years.

Video-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=5Pl1LAr-Cd4
GIF-- https://giphy.com/gifs/iron-man-eye-roll-disgust-qmfpjpAT2fJRK

In April of 2013, the GIF was submitted to the animated GIF database named Replygifs. Several months later Buzzfeed got ahold of the GIF and included it in an article titled, “The 32 Most Iconic Eye Rolls of All Time”. On March 29th, 2013 a still from the movie scene was uploaded to a Meme Generator pages titled “Robert Downey Junior Face,” which gained over 14,000 variations over the next three years. The photo was quickly reposted to Imgflip, where it took over nearly 130 pages of “That Face You Make” captioned examples.

 (image: http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/124/447/054.jpg)

Right off the bat we can tell that this photo is a memetic image macro. It features and ordinary person, or celebrity in the case, in a frozen motion. The action of rolling eyes is usually in light humor and here the context is in annoyance. This might not be humorous to Iron Man but his reaction created a legendary image. Even though there is no captions, viewers can instantaneously accumulate ideas in their minds. This image, however, has been edited in other ways. Depending on what device you are viewing this photo on, it may look like a slight sepia filter has been added to it. The GIF straight from the movie is in more vibrant of a picture and contains a cinema type filter. In order to make this image, one would have needed to simply take a screenshot, or a still, at a certain moment that they wanted to capture. Then the image would have been downloaded and they had the freedom to do whatever they want with it.

There is little evidence at this time to evaluate, research, and track this memes life. Like most memes, this one was most likely most popular during the time of its release. The movie came out in 2012 and the meme was created about a year later. The movie would have still been relevant, so that audience of interest would still be participating in this meme. My only guess as to if it is still relevant today is yes—its memeticness goes beyond the movie reference especially when certain captions lead it away from the original context. The genre of this collection of images would be Stock Character Macro and film. Other genres might weave in depending on the caption of the photo but overall this is a simple screenshot of one character from a movie.

 (image: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/124/037/b00.jpg)

This image was found on Know Your Meme and was submitted by a user named tomberry. According to his bio he is a “database moderator & French specialist & pony hater”. It was uploaded about a year ago. It is automatically a derivation form the original because of the obvious—it had a caption, which was created using memegenerator.net. The caption “When a Family Guy joke goes on for way too long,” is referring to the sixth-longest-running scripted primetime TV series of sixteen seasons, Family Guy. The entire show is humorous through wild plots and relatable jokes. However, there are many episodes that have some funny scenarios, fights, jokes, or off-topic events that last for several minutes, which is a lot of time when ones waiting to return to the original plot. The director/writer, Seth MacFarlane, incorporates many unexpected and out-of-place scenes that when a joke starts going passed about thirty seconds we feel like “here we go again…” Rolling of the eyes is usually a sign of annoyance or a reaction to something that has been repeated way too many times (like when your mom tell you to clean your room for the umpteenth time and you’re sick of hearing it). Here, the rolling of the eyes is in response to the repetitiveness of Family Guy prolonged jokes.

This image contains the original along with the classic meme text/font—the caption is in large white letters with a black outline, which can be easily done using a meme generator. This then classifies this image as a remix and like stated above, this image is still a Stock Character Macro and film but now also falls under the television genre. It could also fall under a genre of humor or TV shows or more specifically Family Guy (which I bet there are many memes for).

This image generated only 158 views on Know Your Meme, but being that it was uploaded just a year ago I believe that this image was placed originally somewhere else. There are also so many memes today that this one could have simply not caught on or became significant in this series of image macros.

Because it is referring to a television show, this image is referential. It is only relatable to a select group of people, in this case those who have seen Family Guy and can sympathize with Robert in the photo. This can also be considered emotive because it is funny to those who understand it. The register would include young adults, adolescents, and more specifically Family Guy fans. The intended audience would be almost the same—those who are of age and of interest to know Family Guy and its content.

 (image: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/124/039/430.jpg)
Frozen, the world’s ninth-highest-grossing film of all time, is a 2013 Disney film about a kingdom that becomes trapped in an endless winter and becomes saved through the relationship between two princesses Ana and Elsa. It was met with positive reviews from critics and audiences; some film critics consider Frozen to be the best Disney animated feature film since the studio's renaissance era. This film became so popular, as with many Disney productions, that it earned a worldwide total income of over $1.2 billion. Along with worldwide merchandise, spin-of performances, skyrocketing media and soundtrack sales, this film is set for a sequel in 2019.
This image was also uploaded by tomberry. It has had 208 views and was uploaded about a year ago, probably the same time as the Family Guy image. It can be found on Know Your Meme. Again, with all mems in this series, the popularity is undefined still, meaning hopefully that the meme is still relevant and is still circulating.
The idea behind this meme is a negative response to the rapidly growing popularly of the movie, at the time. Frozen this, Frozen that. It was Toy Story of 2013—if you hadn’t heard of it, watch it, or seen social media posts about it, you must have been living under a rock. It was a breakthrough in Disney film and it broke blockbusters as well as created a slew of merchandise. We here you Robert, Frozen is annoying—not as an actual movie, but as a worldwide craze and phenomenon.
This meme would have been created using a meme generator, hence the watermark on the bottom right corner. It uses the typical meme font/text with white bold uppercase lettering outlined in black. From the site Know Your Meme this image got 208 views, but that’s only from this site. The meme was probably on social media via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram during its hype. The tone here is funny and relatable. The style is classic and consistent to other memes since it’s from a generator. The register would be adolescents, or even adults with kids. It’s not directly made for kids because the kids are the ones who love Frozen. It’s designated to those who are annoyed with the Frozen hype—but really that should be everyone, unless you’re the one living under a rock. The intended audience again is those who know about Frozen and understand it’s over exaggerated and overstimulated hype. This is where we see the communication function as referential. This meme needs to be understood in order for it to be relatable and in this case it refers to a movie.
This image would be considered a remix of the original from the GIF. This is because of the added caption. Now the genre is Stock Character Macro, and film.

 (image: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/125/026/1c8.jpg)
That Face You Make is an image macro series featuring photos of people wearing various facial expressions accompanied by descriptions of situations that cause corresponding emotional responses. This meme began with one funny captioned photo. On March 2nd, 2006, blogger Charley Campbell captioned his photo with this phrase “This is the face you make after putting boxes together and and slowly start packing them up. I have total ADD right now. Anything will draw my attention away from packing. Even the ceiling.” Other memes helped with the spread of this kind of caption through next few years. Captions such as “The face you make when someone starts talking to your crush” and “That face you make when you walk past someone you know, but not well enough to say hello...” are on the proceeding trend towards its popularity.
This image macro was uploaded to Know Your Meme by a user named Don. His description reads “Administrator & Meme Daddy”. It was uploaded about a year ago—I’m starting to see that maybe this meme overall was popular last year. There’s 236 views that were on Know Your Meme. This image originally came from imgflip.com, a meme creating site. It was created by a user name Meme_maker9 19 months ago.
This is a relatable image to anyone who has been in this situation. This image addresses the scenario where one is working then not for a few moments and gets in trouble at work. It’s a situational meme where it’s only funny if one has experienced the caption. This is a remix of the original image from the GIF because of its added caption and trademark.
Created with a meme generator, it’s a classically styled meme with its consistent upper case, bold, white lettering outlined in black. One thing that makes this meme different is the larger font at the top and smaller font used at the bottom. The genre is humor, Stock Character Macro, film, and could include “That Face You Make”. The tone is funny but situational. One needs to understand the caption but it is easy for those who haven’t been in this situation too. The register could be anyone with a phone, anyone with a job, and more specifically those who have been in this situation. My guess is adolescents or young adults who keep their phone close at work.
The intended audience is pretty much anyone with a job, which is those in their teens or older. The 236 viewers from Know Your Meme are participating and those who have shared, viewed, or posted it on other social media sites are participating.

 (image: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/124/033/d48.jpg)
In early American culture, the traditions of ringing in the new year often mean making new year’s resolutions. In recent years a caption circulating social media read “New year, new me”, meaning that the user was going to make changes in the new year and become a “new” person. It still is relevant today, as new year’s happens every year. It was common to see these posted follow by a selfie, often from a female. Again, this became a craze in which one could not escape seeing it on social media sites. This image is hinting at the annoyance that seems to be just around the corner, probably as New Year’s Eve is approaching. People have posted derivatives like “New phone, new me”, or “new hair, new me”. But this is the original caption. This image mocks and makes fun of that idea. Just like Family Guy Jokes and Frozen, this is an image humorously displays the outrageous popularity of something that is considered annoying and repetitive. This is a remix of the original image from the GIF because of its added caption and trademark. It would be considered Stock Character Macro, humor, and film.
This image was also uploaded by tomberry. It has 196 views from this site and was uploaded about a year ago—same time as the previously listed ones. It was made with a meme generator—hence the logo in the corner. It contains the same text and font as the other derivatives. So far on Know Your Meme there is 196 viewers participating, apart from those on other sites who have shared, viewed or reposted it themselves. The tone here is humor and mockery, as the caption denounces the idea of the caption. The register could be anyone, especially those who have social media sites and see these posts every year, and those who participate in such traditions of new year’s resolutions. This meme is referential because it refers to other captions, tweets, posts, status updates that have occurred in the past years. The intended audience is anyone who is particularly annoyed with this reoccurring status update/photo caption that seems to come every year. Again, with this meme there is no further research about its popularity over time yet. It is still under analysis.

 (image: http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/001/124/121/6de.jpg)
Robert Downey Jr. is an American acter and singer who has lived in a career displaying critical and popular success in his youth and has grown into middle age wealth and fame. Now at age 52, this native born Manhattan has stared in films such as The Avengers, Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes.
The very first Robert Downey Jr. meme is the original photo above. Other ones have been accumulated after this posting but did not gain as much popularity or many submissions or posts/derivatives. Examples are as follows:

 (image: https://i0.wp.com/wishmeme.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Robert-Downey-Jr.-Meme-20.jpg?resize=648%2C431)
 (image: http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/bc/bc427b85d6b35210cce34248eed61c217fc2accf786502848fb098c770489665.jpg)

This image was uploaded about a year ago by tomberry on Know Your Meme. It gained 45 views since its posting. It is part of the “That Face You Make” series. It is similar to the previous photos because of its font and text coloring. The only physical difference on this photo is the trademark. This photo would’ve have to be created with a meme generator just like the previous ones but it was made with a different one. This has a logo from imgflip.com in the bottom left corner. This is a remix from the original image out of the GIF because of its added caption and trademark. It would be considered Stock Character Macro, humor, and film.
This image differs from the others in another way, though. The caption has the meme mocking itself. The first part is part of a collection of other memes but the bottom text is simply making fun of itself. Anyone who have viewed this image either through this website or even through a google search or social media site is participating, especially if they share or post it. The tone is humor and mockery. The register could be anyone who has previously seen many Robert Downey Jr. memes and is annoyed by its internet presence. It could be especially intended for those who particularly like Robert Downey Jr or even his memes, or for those who don’t. Even more so this could be intended for an audience who views “That Face You Make” memes often. The communication is referential because one needs to understand the caption and sympathize with it before thinking that it is funny.

Success of this meme is undetermined as a worldwide conclusion, but personally I believe this meme to be successful. Based on its memeticness, it was bound from the start to take off as a viral meme. It’s widespread relatability and easy ability to alter captions to fit certain groups and situations made it an easy foundation for creating a derivative and then other variations. Each meme listed from this series was created around the same time but each appeals to a different audience and at different times. For example, the Frozen meme would have been popular around 2013 when the movie was at its peak of fame, and the New Year’s meme would have been, and still might be, popular during the winter holidays as December 31st is approaching. The simple fact that this memetic photo was uploaded and posted in 2013 and is still undergoing an evaluation proves that the meme series is still relevant today, and therefore the meme is successful for not quickly dying out. It also helps that this meme became a part of another popular meme series, “That Face You Make”. Overall this meme had huge potential from the start and therefore can still be used to create countless memes with endless captions, because let’s be honest, there are plenty of things we can complain about and work into a caption with this super memetic photo. Finding something “eye-roll worthy” is not that hard now-a-days and often times what brings people and social media users together is the annoyance or hatred of certain popular things and this meme is the perfect tool for during so.
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