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Lasting legacy of 2015's 'Netflix and chill' viral meme


I’d like to say that in 2015, everyone was hooking up with each other due to some sappy reason, but the truth is, the internet made us do it. That’s right, we’re transporting you back to 2015 — the era of “Netflix and chill.” 

That year was a huge year for Netflix. “2015 saw a massive surge toward online-only platforms, with Netflix nabbing a trio of critically-acclaimed, social media-friendly hits," according to Bazaar.

But this increase in great movies and shows wasn't the only thing to have brought attention to the streaming service. 

“Netflix and chill,” the meme which began on Black Twitter, became an official catchphrase by 2015. Couples opted for steamy nights “Netflix and chilling” and, above all, weren't afraid to say they liked it online. 

Five years later, this euphemism for casual sex is still being used. So by all means, yes, “Netflix and chill” is a pretty big deal. 

As far as culturally, “Netflix and chill” had a huge impact on us in regards to casual sex and the economy. 

We probably didn’t realize it in 2015, but all the “20 minutes into Netflix and chill” memes sparked a culture that’s been in the works for years. Casual sex isn’t a new phenomenon, but “Netflix and chill” put a name to it and sort of made us expect it in our sex lives. 

In 2015, cringe Tumblr #realtionshipgoals posts were no longer as popular as they once were. Those posts were being replaced with more and more memes of couples talking about their relationship, or situationship, in a casual, much less serious way.

From condoms wrapped in the Netflix logo to pregnancy being blamed on the streaming platform, “Netflix and chill” dominated both the internet and reality.

“While celebrities were breaking up, the rest of America was hooking up thanks to the popularity of ‘Netflix and chill,’ the text code for ‘Let's 'watch' a movie and make out (or more)," according to Glamour.

As you can see the meme went viral and took over our culture. Netflix, like any savvy company, saw an opportunity to capitalize on that. The streaming service saw the meme as a chance to market to young viewers, and that’s exactly what it did. 

“Instead of ignoring or worse, turning away from the term, they embraced it, posting a Netflix and chill meme on its official Tumblr,” according to ReferralCandy Blog. 

The usage of this word and the embedding of it within our culture gave free publicity to Netflix and made it the go-to place for video streaming, according to the blog.

It's right. “Netflix and chill” wasn’t a meme that came and went like most do. It stuck to us and our culture for a reason. The meme was branded to us by our friends, by ourselves and by a major company.

The term got its claws stuck in “the lexicon of pop culture” and showed us that regardless of how funny and insignificant a term or meme may seem, the internet has the power to do that. 

In all, as silly as it might be, "Netflix and chill" is one of the best ways I can illustrate the influence of culture back in 2015. While “Netflix and chill” is no major historic event, it pinpoints one of the first times that internet culture flexed its power. 

Since then we’ve seen how social media takes a meme and turns it into a trend and movement. Take for instance the Area 51 raid or the political campaigns that begin with one viral tweet. 

Moreover, 2015 was a time when we were not bombarded by companies trying to relate to us through meme culture and online trends. Netflix was one of the first to do so, and since then, companies like Wendy’s, Taco Bell and Charmin have followed in Netflix’s footsteps. 


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