Reality is a JoJo reference.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure may have debuted in 1987, but its unique sensibilities have always been ahead of its time.
Created by manga artist Hirohiko Araki, the long-running (still going strong after 23 years!) JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series is most easily described as a genre-fluid anthology that follows various members of the Joestar family bloodline across generations. But the premise of JoJo is almost besides the point.
On one hand, JoJo does, indeed, have a great deal of substance, featuring lovable heroes, loathsome villains, and perhaps even ranking amongst the best epic stories ever told. At the same time, JoJo is synonymous with its uber-unique style—hyper-masculine-looking men strutting like models; over-the-top, gory battles that make even the most adrenaline-fueled shonen battles seem weak in comparison; endless pop culture references; and, most importantly, its penchant for the bizarre.
JoJo's deeply absurdist sense of humor has made the series a cultural juggernaut in the Internet memesphere—an especially impressive feat for jokes that were written before most families even owned a home computer. In 2020, if you want to have any hope of adequately navigating the Internet, you need to be down with JoJo.
Lucky for you, I've been following JoJo for close to 20 years now, so I know every JoJo reference in existence. Now prepare your body for my crash course in JoJo memes:
Is This a JoJo Reference?
The Pokemon Company
Easily the most prolific of all JoJo references, "Is this a JoJo reference?" is a memetic reference to the prolific nature of other JoJo references. Which is to say, there are a metric sh*t ton of JoJo references everywhere online, so at some point, people just started memeing "Is this a JoJo reference?" at anything that even might be a JoJo reference. Even if you haven't seen a single episode of JoJo, just ask if everything is a JoJo reference. Usually you'll be right. Pretty much everything really is a JoJo reference.
JoJo Poses and the Koichi Pose
In the world of JoJo, every character has their own unique pose. After all, there's nothing more manly than two mega-buff dudes standing across from one another and striking hot poses to strike fear into each other's hearts. So naturally, the most iconic JoJo memes are all about posing. It's a safe bet that anytime you see anyone striking a pose in any form of media, you're witnessing a JoJo reference in action.
But even amidst a series chock-full of glorious poses, one pose stands supreme: The Koichi Pose.
Koichi is one of the main characters in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable. He is a small, shy high school freshman who loves living in a small town. This is his pose:
Look at that power. Look at that swagger. Look at that arm movement that could be reminiscent of either "walking like an Egyptian" or "boogie boarding." No pose can ever even hope top the Koichi pose, so if you're looking for a cooler pose, just stop. Instead, just bask in Koichi's glory.
[Great Days] but Everyone is Koichi Posing REQUIEM [ACT 3/3] www.youtube.com
Dio is the villain to end all villains, a man-turned-vampire-turned-god who is so evil that he makes Voldemort, Sauron, and Thanos look like a little babies in poo poo diapers. Dio is dangerous. Dio is sexy. But most importantly, Dio is a tremendous, unabashed d*ckhead whose every action seems to turn into memetic gold.
We first meet Dio in the Victorian era during JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 1: Phantom Blood. At this point, Dio is but a mere human boy, orphaned and taken in by the noble Joestar family. Upon meeting his new brother, Jonathan, and the family dog, Danny, Dio does this:
Dio VS DANNY www.youtube.com
Yep. He just f*cking kicks Danny in the face for no reason. Later, to retaliate against Jonathan for beating him in a fight, Dio straight up incinerates Danny in a fire.
He also kisses Jonathan's love interest, Erina, and then mocks her: "Have you even kissed JoJo yet? I thought not. So now, JoJo can't be your first." Dio then points at himself, shouting, "It was me, Dio."
It was me,Dio! www.youtube.com
In this moment, Dio created one of the greatest fake-out memes in all of existence. Now, anything can be Dio. Anytime someone posts online about trying to find a song on the tip of their tongue, a movie recommendation, or even a long-lost sibling, tell them that you can help them out. Then hit them with a load of Dio.
After Dio becomes a vampire (just watch the show, seriously), the meme-worthy douchebaggery only ramps up. Here's Dio responding to someone asking how many people he's killed by shooting back, "How many breads have you eaten in your life?"
How many breads have you eaten in your life? www.youtube.com
Here's Dio yelling his new catchphrase, "Muda Muda Muda," which translates to "Useless Useless Useless," for an entire hour.
One Hour of MUDA MUDA MUDA www.youtube.com
Here's Dio in a 1998 fighting game, dropping a steamroller on his opponent and then screaming "WRYYYYY." Don't you dare ask for context. If you want context, then I'm sorry to tell you, but you're just not getting it.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure - WRYYYYYY youtu.be
Considering everything Dio does is memeable, you might be wondering how the heroes of JoJo could possibly defeat him. The answer, of course, is more memes.
If Dio is the primary face of JoJo's stable of villains, then Jotaro Kujo is destined to be his foil.
As the high school punk protagonist of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro sets out on a globe-trotting trek to track down the now vampiric and super-powered Dio, in order to save his mother from a mysterious death curse of Dio's doing. Luckily, Jotaro is to badassery as Dio is to evil. Meaning, yeah, there are endless Jotaro memes.
See, Jotaro has a catch phrase of his own: "Yare yare daze." This translates to "good grief," and when Jotaro says it, he tends to strut and tip his cooly tip his brimmed hat. This means that saying "Yare yare daze" is now, officially, the coolest thing you can do.
Yare Yare Daze www.youtube.com
Jotaro also happens to have super powers in the form of a Stand (a physical manifestation of someone's life energy that I refuse to explain beyond that because go watch the damn show). Anyways, when he punches with it, he says, "Ora Ora Ora," so here's ten hours of that, too.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure - ORA ORA ORA 10 hours www.youtube.com
Now that you know "Ora Ora Ora," prepare to see it absolutely everywhere. Even modern anime juggernauts, like My Hero Academia, can't resist the occasional Ora Ora Ora.
EVERYONE DOES THE ORA ORA ORA ORAA! www.youtube.com
Clearly, Dio and Jotaro are a match made in some sort of meme hellhole. So what happens when these two masters of meme fodder confront one another?
A walk-off, of course.
The iconic confrontation, popularly known as "Oh, you're approaching me," is the epitome of two powerful rivals staring each other down, but also strutting. This is what legends are made of, lads.
It's no wonder, then, that the image has spawned a copycat format that includes stand-offs between opposing forces ranging from the Virgin and the Chad to Woody from Toy Story and still Dio.
Really, Everything Is JoJo
Have you ever come across the legendary "My name is Yoshika Kira" copypasta?
That's a JoJo meme.
JJBA Diamond is Unbreakable - Kira Yoshikage and Killer Queen youtu.be
Or how about someone saying, "This is the taste of a liar," and then linking to an image of a man with a bob haircut licking another man. Because yeah, that's a JoJo meme.
JoJo - Taste of A Liar [HD] www.youtube.com
How about the purple Japanese katakana for "Menacing" that oftentimes show up in images of the buffest boys hulking out?
Of course, that's JoJo, too. Also, it's really funny that they show up when you look up the word "menacing" on Wikipedia.
Truthfully, the only way to truly become a JoJo meme master is to immerse yourself in the source material. Do yourself a favor and read the manga, or at least watch the anime. It's a wonderful series, and you can't hope to become a true denizen of the Internet without out.
Roundabout by Yes (to be continued meme music) youtu.be
Oh, and those "To Be Continued" fail videos that are so popular right now? All JoJo memes.