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The Green Goblin Spider-Man Booty Meme Explained

The internet likes green butts, and it cannot lie.

We're only three months (and some change) into 2020, a brand-new decade full of hope and promise and resolutions that everyone swears this time they'll keep. While the most strong-willed of people have successfully stuck to the gym schedule they committed to at the start of January, cut down on time spent scrolling through Netflix and falling down rabbit holes on YouTube, and maintained some of their newfound hobbies, humans are still creatures of habit — and that's never been truer for those who are Extremely Online. Try as they might, netizens can't resist the opportunity to engage in some mind-boggling shenanigans. 

Now in mid-March 2020, Twitter is doing just that: losing its collective mind over a meme all about... the buttocks of a Spider-Man villain. Yes, you read that correctly — the hottest internet joke of the minute is the unofficially named Green Goblin Spider-Man booty meme.

Who created the Green Goblin Spider-Man booty meme?

Twitter user @RottingVale created the meme while watching the 2002 Spider-Man film starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker (the first of three Spider-Men across 10 years) and Willem Dafoe as the teen hero's father-figure-turned-nemesis Norman Osborn, better known in his villain form as Green Goblin. @RottingVale spotted in the midst of the watch session a frame that's somehow both laugh-out-loud hilarious and highly unsettling: a shot of Green Goblin chasing after Spider-Man on a flying platform, his shapely derrière on full display.

Upon noticing the shot, @RottingVale shared a photo of it to Twitter with the caption, "This frame is making me have a breakdown in the bathroom." That's truly the only correct response to such a shocking visual, and the reason why over 103,000 people liked the tweet and nearly 20,000 re-shared it to their own followers at the time of this writing. It's funny, it's weird, it's a CEO-slash-scoundrel unintentionally showing off his ample keister while trying to take down his teen enemy in the middle of a street festival. It's what both dreams and nightmares are made of. It is, for all intents and purposes, perfect meme material.

Is the caboose in the Green Goblin meme actually Willem Dafoe's?

Naturally, the sight of such a voluptuous backside squeezed into a green-and-black super-villain suit, perfectly poised in a squat position as the man it's attached to zooms through the skies in pursuit of his web-slinging foe, would cause one to question who it truly belongs to. Within the context of the Spider-Man flick, Green Goblin possesses that ample bottom, but who, pray tell, does it belong to in real life?

Some have wondered whether the booty in the meme is actually that of Willem Dafoe, the actor who played Green Goblin in the 2002 film. Though most movies — not just those in the superhero genre — make use of stunt doubles to keep actors safe, something different happened during production of Spider-Man. Dafoe was apparently "wary of allowing a stuntman" to wear the Green Goblin costume, given that the character's face-covering mask meant body language was incredibly important to express emotion. Allegedly, the actor wasn't sure how well stuntmen could emote with their bodies, and "wanted to portray the character in-costume as much as physically possible." Thus, Dafoe chose to perform his own stunts and endured the half-hour daily process of getting into the 580-piece costume. 

This means that, in all likelihood, the perky peach people have turned into a meme is indeed Willem Dafoe's. 

The many creative takes on the Green Goblin butt meme

An image as simple yet intrinsically comical as this one begs to be riffed upon. And that's just what the people of Twitter have done: put their own twist on the frame of Spidey running from Green Goblin and his big, green booty. 

One user wrote "embarrassing thing I did 7 years ago" over Green Goblin and "me trying to sleep" over Spider-Man, highlighting the fact that anxiety over our past actions is something we can never outrun. Another Twitter user revealed his nighttime snacking habits by assigning Green Goblin as "me at 3AM" and Spidey as "the shredded cheese in the fridge."

Other variations of the Green Goblin booty meme have angled the villain as a pet owner chasing after its dog when it has something in its mouth, and "the .1% of germs" on their way to attack "me after washing my hands," which is quite a topical take amid the outbreak of COVID-19, a.k.a. "the coronavirus."

However, perhaps the most appropriate spin on this meme is one that hasn't yet been done: one that imagines Green Goblin as literally any other joke besides the butt meme and Spider-Man as the internet, fleeing from it and toward the land of emerald-booty-centric tomfoolery. As recent history has proven, such is the way of the internet: when it finds something it likes, even the plump verdant rump of a comic book baddie, it won't deign think of anything else. In Green Goblin's butt we must trust.