The Brief: The phrase "we live in a society" has been used in a variety of memes and jokes online and off and has recently resurged in reference to the 2019 film Joker.

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DEEP DIVE

I don’t know who needs to hear this but we live in a society.

Although its a statement of the obvious, the phrase “we live in a society” has become a ubiquitous reminder that there are certain unspoken rules that we’re required to obey. Uttering this phrase is also a way to shame someone for breaking these rules or being disrespectful. This sentiment is well-expressed by George Costanza in the Seinfeld episode “The Chinese Restaurant” in which a frustrated George yells “You know, we’re living in a society! We’re supposed to act in a civilized way!” “We live in a society” memes joke about this concept in literal and figurative ways.

attempting to solve my problems-probably have to see a therapist-requires actual thought-difficult

saying "we live in a society" whenever something goes wrong-simple-makes you sound cool and woke-its true. we do live in a society

— eric curtin (
dubstep4dads) September 25, 2019

Joker 2019

The Joker has been connected to “we live in a society” through Gang Weed and Gamers Rise Up memes. One of the many runnings inside jokes from this community of gamers, commentary about living in a society can reference the way gamers feel ostracized by society, or simply act as a copypasta text. The release of the 2019 film Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix has inspired an influx in Joker/society memes. Because the Joker’s relationship with society is complex and contentious, many allusions have been made between the film and the meme. A change.org petition to “Make Joaquin Phoenix say ‘We live in a society’ in the new Joker film” has collected over 58,000 signatures, but the film has already been released and does not feature that line.

we live in a society scoob pic.twitter.com/O568SMTSTc

— they crucified me scoob (it is my bday month) (
sexualjumanji) October 11, 2019

A crying gamer attacked by Joe Swanson meme: 

we live in a society from dankmemes

No, YOU Live In A Society

While the fact that we live in society may seem like a universal truth, some memes resist this notion, joking about living outside of society or being exempt from its customs.

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no, YOU live in a culture . i live in an isolated minecraft dirt house crying .

— Quackity (
QuackityHQ) October 11, 2019

no, YOU live in a society. I live on a deserted island with a bunch of british choir boys who were a little TOO quick to start murdering pigs with pointy sticks if we're being totally honest

— SparkNotes (

*society slap bass* I really put some serious effort on this one, hope it pays off

A post shared by Jules (

“We live in a society” nah man YOU live in a society I live in Pikachu valley loving every last one of those funky little chus pic.twitter.com/uBVStoA11M

— Pikachu stole all my candy and called me a bitch (
FizzySodaWave) October 18, 2019

when joker said we live in a society it hit deep