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The Dabbing Dude Meme Is Pure, Uncut Schadenfreude

This guy's face perfectly captures the feeling of profiting from others' misfortune.

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Jun 6 2018, 3:03pm
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In the classic 1983 film WarGames, a supercomputer running nuclear war simulations comes to the conclusion that "the only way to win is not to play." Not everyone has the luxury of opting out of a conflict, but the perfect meme for those who do is currently bubbling up online.

"Dabbing Dude" consists of a screenshot from a shaky video of two women wrestling in the woods while a squad of bros gleefully watches. None are more gleeful than the shirtless boy dabbing while looking on through perfectly-parted locks.

The internet took one look at this magnificent, shorts-wearing baby man and immediately came up with some beautiful memes.

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The strength of the meme is in dabbing dude's incredible facial expression. His chin, elongated in the grin of someone simultaneously inhaling concentrated THC oil and watching two friends tear one another apart, is pure schadenfreude. The image was passed around Stoner Twitter in late 2017 as a 4/20-friendly meme for the truly absurd moments in which you just have to take a hit. But over the last couple of days, Reddit's r/memeeconomy and r/latestagecapitalism forums have reimagined the split:

As with the "Who Killed Hannibal?" meme, those using Dabbing Dude know that history is written by the victor. Sometimes the meme trumpets that victory, like the Ethereum stans chuckling at Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash ripping one another to shreds. In other cases, it points out the shadowy forces that profit from a world distracted by a more conspicuous battle.

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While the Dabbing Dude meme can induce guilt (we know that viral fight videos can ruin lives), it can also be used as a means to point out injustice. In short, it works best when we don't empathize with Dabbing Dude, but see him for the dick he really is.

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