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The Most Meme-Worthy Moments In Rom-Com History

You might not be able to define a "meme" in the clearest terms, but if you're a regular internet user, the odds are high that you know one when you see one. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a meme is actually defined as "an image, a video, a piece of text, etc. that is passed very quickly from one internet user to another, often with slight changes that make it humorous." Memes can come from many places, but some of the best and longest-lasting are those that originate from movies, which have proven to be a particularly meme-worthy source

Some of the best of those come from the wealth of rom-coms that have emerged for the past several decades. Whether a scene is trying to convey more of the rom or the com in rom-com, people have found an array of uses for these beloved moments, which take on a life of their own in the meme world. So, we're just a site, loading in front of a reader, offering them a list of some of the most meme-able moments in rom-com history.

What, like it's hard? (Legally Blonde)

"Legally Blonde" is a very meme-worthy movie in general (the bend and snap, anyone?), but the best and most versatile line in the film (for memes, at least) comes from Elle Wood's (Reese Witherspoon) first conversation with her ex-boyfriend, Warner (Matthew Davis), after running into him at Harvard Law School. At the beginning of the movie, Warner breaks up with Elle because he needs to get serious at Harvard and "marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn" to pursue his political dreams. 

Elle thought she was going to get a proposal instead of get dumped, so in her heartbreak, she decides to attend Harvard Law School in order to get her man back. Sure, she has to study intensely for the LSAT, but it's no issue for her: She gets a ridiculously high score of 179, makes an unforgettable video for her admissions essay, and breezes right into school. On her first day of school, Elle bumps into Warner, who's so perplexed to find her there that he rudely asks, "YOU got into Harvard Law?" Elle gives a flounce of her ponytail and throws back, "What? Like it's hard?" Elle's breezy yet biting comeback is now a standard internet response to any incredulity at a seemingly difficult/impossible accomplishment. 

Rob Schneider as Lucy (50 First Dates)

"50 First Dates" is a movie about a boy (with an egg-shaped head), who likes a girl, but the girl is unable to remember new days of her life. Every morning, she wakes up believing it's her father's birthday from the year she was in a huge car wreck, so anything that happens that day is erased from her mind as soon as she goes to sleep. It's actually a pretty serious-sounding premise, but it's an Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore rom-com, so most of it features inappropriate humor and Rob Schneider pretending to be a native Hawaiian, which has not aged very well. 

That being said, in one scene of the film, Henry (Adam Sandler) reenacts his morning breakfasts with Lucy (Drew Barrymore) on video, so she can see how they met and fell in love. His friend Ula (Schneider) play Lucy by wearing a mop-end on his head and a coconut bra. Ula makes a crass substitute (to say the least), and his appearance is so ridiculous that it's endured as a meme and well-worn gif that's used to comment on expectations of beauty or differences between fantasy and reality. 

You keep using that word... (Princess Bride)

"The Princess Bride" may have come out back in 1987, but it's also a seminal and timeless classic for many roms, coms, and rom-coms that have followed and will continue to follow. So much about the movie is memorable, from the impressive clergyman's pronunciation of "marriage" as "mawage" to Billy Crystal and Carol Kane as dark age medical practitioners.

But for many, the most memorable highlight is the trio sent to find and return Princess Buttercup to the evil king: earnest and rhyme-loving Fezzik (André the Giant), brilliant and vengeful swordsman Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), and clever but very bossy Vizzini (Wallace Shawn). Vizzini calls just about every other thing that happens to him "inconceivable" and Inigo reaches a point where he must comment. He says, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." 

Vizzini goes speechless with contempt and in the silence, one can practically hear the sound of keyboards frantically typing out the memes decades in the future. A LOT of people use a LOT of words incorrectly, so this line has gotten quite a bit of traction, and it probably won't slow down anytime soon.

Bread makes you fat? (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" is a slightly more obscure movie than others on this list, but its memes still abound the internet. If you've ever seen a picture of Michael Cera playing the bass guitar or Mary Elizabeth Winstead with blue or pink hair, it's from "Scott Pilgrim." In one particularly funny scene, which highlights both Mary Elizabeth Winstead's talent for deadpan delivery and Michael Cera's endearing earnestness, Scott (Cera) tells Ramona (Winstead) that he loves garlic bread so much that he would eat it for every meal if he could. 

Ramona notes that he would get fat. When Scott looks confused, she clarifies, "Bread makes you fat." Scott stares at her for a second and then cries, "Bread makes you fat?!" It makes for the perfect meme to describe a moment when someone finds out something deeply disappointing that is common knowledge.

Bridget in a blanket (Bridget Jones' Diary)

Some rom-coms have scenes and images that are so striking, they don't even need to include dialogue to become an excellent meme. In "Bridget Jones' Diary," Bridget (Renee Zellweger) is caught between two men: arrogant Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and self-centered Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant). But she still finds herself rather lonely and depressed for a lot of the film. In one scene, she is wrapped up in an enormous, gray comforter and matching pink novelty pajamas while holding a pint of Ben & Jerry's. It's the visual manifestation of a classic rom-com trope.

Zellweger is hilarious here, and the gif of her stumbling onto her bed with comforter and Ben & Jerry's in hand has become a frequently used meme. "Bridget Jones' Diary" has many meme-able moments, but this is definitely the most popular, thanks to the fact that a LOT of people have probably found themselves in a scene very similar to Bridget's.

To me, you are perfect (Love Actually)

There's nothing a meme-maker loves more than a scene using writing on a piece of paper — so many possibilities! When "Love Actually" first came out in 2003, one scene between Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and Juliet (Keira Knightley) was considered very romantic. Mark will never be able to fulfill his secret, unrequited love for Juliet, since she's married to his best friend Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor). After Juliet discovers that the footage Mark shot for her wedding is only of her and no one or nothing else (the creepiness of this hasn't aged well), Mark realizes he has to offer her an explanation for his behavior. 

On Christmas Eve, Mark visits Juliet at the apartment she shares with Peter, and when she answers the door, he uses a cue card to tell her to pretend that he's a group of carolers. Mark then goes through a series of cards that explain his feelings for her without alerting Peter to his presence. Mark has no expectations that Juliet will ever be with him, but he wants her to know about his feelings. This scene has been heavily meme-ed, with many people putting their own text on his cue cards to make different jokes. 

She Doesn't Even Go Here! (Mean Girls)

"Mean Girls" is definitely the most meme-ed movie on this list and not coincidentally, it's one of the most quotable movies of all-time. From "You go, Glen Coco!" to "Get in loser, we're going shopping" to "Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen," it's actually really difficult to choose just one meme-able scene from Tina Fey's 2004 teen rom-com hit. 

The one that seems to get the most traction online, though, occurs towards the end of the film during the assembly of the junior girls in the gym. Damian (Daniel Franzese) has been in the room the entire time (despite the fact that he is not a junior girl) in a not very good disguise of a hoodie and sunglasses. While the girls go to the front of the room and make honest and vulnerable confessions to each other, Damian hovers in the back. 

One girl gets up and talks about how she wishes they could go back to middle school when everyone got along and she would "bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy." Everyone is touched, until Damian shouts, "She doesn't even go here!" It's a great laugh in the film, and in the decades since, it has become the perfect meme to call out someone's tenuous connection to something on which they're commenting or discussing. 

A burning car (Waiting to Exhale)

"Waiting to Exhale" is a movie whose original popularity has been matched over time by one of its own very meme-worthy scenes. The film follows the lives and loves of four best friends: Bernadine (Angela Bassett), Savannah (Whitney Houston), Gloria (Loretta Devine), and Robin (Lela Rochon). 

The most meme-able moment comes from Bernadine, a strong woman who set aside her dreams in order to support those of her husband. After he tells her he's leaving her for another woman, Bernadine goes nuclear (understandably) and lights her soon-to-be-ex husband's car (with all of his clothes in it) on fire. It's an awesome scene and has become an evocative gif that's usually used to acknowledge when someone has created chaos and walked away unbothered. 

There are a lot of cinematic scenes where someone coolly walks away from an explosion or a giant fire, but few have mastered the powerful walk-away quite like Angela Bassett in "Waiting to Exhale," which is why the scene is one of the most meme-able rom-com moments ever.

I'll have what she's having (When Harry Met Sally...)

The diner scene in Rob Reiner's "When Harry Met Sally..." first hit the screens back in 1989 and has been legendary since then, as it's given us one of the greatest movie quotes of all time: "I'll have what she's having." Much of the movie is made up of conversations between Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) about the differences between men and women, as well as the truth behind many of the typical interactions between the genders. 

In this memorable scene, the two of them are out to lunch at a deli, and Harry is completely confident that a woman has never faked her pleasure in bed with him because he can tell the difference of what's real and what isn't. Sally realizes she needs to make a compelling point after Harry dismisses her claim that most women have faked a reaction during sex at one point or another. So, she acts out a sexy and convincing scene right in the middle of the busy restaurant. 

When she finishes and calmly takes a bite of her sandwich, the camera pans to an older woman (played by Rob Reiner's mother), who tells the waiter, "I'll have what she's having." The scene and this line in particular have been endlessly meme-ed and parodied, and whether you've seen the film or not, you've probably heard this line at some point or another.

You're a virgin who can't drive (Clueless)

Amy Heckerling's "Clueless" is a great rom-com based on Jane Austen's novel "Emma," and it's also one of the most decade-defining movies of the 1990s thanks to its unforgettable fashion, moments, and lines. The line that has been most embraced by the internet comes from the scene of Tai (Brittany Murphy) dropping an incredible diss to Cher (Alicia Silverstone), after she questions Tai's romantic potential with Josh (Paul Rudd).

The formerly sweet Tai has turned into a monster of Cher's making, and she asks why she should even take advice from Cher because "you're a virgin who can't drive." It is way harsh and it still serves as an internet punchline today. While some folks use it as a way to cap off a negative conversation with sass, it's also become a hilarious self-deprecating joke as well. Many people deride themselves by saying they're a "virgin who can't drive," even if they're not a virgin and they can drive. 

Writer-director Heckerling herself is one of those people, telling Interview Magazine that she came up with the line because she was late to lose her virginity and failed her driving test five times, so "I tend to feel like a virgin that can't drive, and that everybody else is having a good time, and confident, and looking good, and I just don't know how they all do it." Brittany Murphy has an incredibly impressive attitude when she delivers the remark in the movie, and so now, the only thing people need from the line are those same vibes in order to make a point with this meme.

Just a girl, standing in front of a boy (Notting Hill)

This list wouldn't be complete without a Julia Roberts rom-com, and there are a few great choices like "Pretty Woman" and "Mystic Pizza," but the most meme-able Julia Roberts moment ever has to be the scene of her declaration of love in "Notting Hill." A lot of times, the best and funniest memes come from the most serious and schmaltzy moments in film and television, and this scene is no exception. 

In "Notting Hill," Anna Scott (Roberts) is a famous actress, who one day stumbles into a small London bookshop owned by William Thacker (Hugh Grant). They hit it off, and it feels like a dream to William to be carrying on a romance with one of the most famous actresses in the world. After it all goes south as per the prerequisite rom-com break-up, Anna makes a grand romantic gesture by visiting him at the shop. 

William tells her that he can't be with her because of her fame, which he fears will make her cast him aside. Her response is that her fame isn't real because "I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her," and while William doesn't take her back at that moment, he later reflects on their conversation and decides to give it another go with Anna. This line has become a major internet meme with seemingly infinite comedic potential, as it can be used in any situation of wanting to express your seemingly simple desire.

Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking (The Devil Wears Prada)

"The Devil Wears Prada" has an impeccable cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci, but it's not surprisingly Meryl Streep who elevates the movie to a classic with her depiction of the icy, terrifying fashion editor Miranda Priestley. She has many great lines in the film, including a particularly impactful one that she improvised. However, the one that has become the most popular and enduring internet meme comes from the scene where her assistant editors pitch ideas for the spring issue of the magazine.

One of the editors tentatively (but hopefully) presents an idea to feature florals as part of the accessories for the April issue. Miranda, dripping with sarcasm, responds, "Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking." The line decimates her subordinates in the movie, and it's become a great meme to use when someone states something glaringly obvious or presents a particularly uncreative idea. Hathaway herself used the meme in a 2020 Instagram post that features text from this scene combined with another oft-memed moment from the film of her proudly wearing new Chanel boots.

Help me, I'm poor (Bridesmaids)

Kristen Wiig is hilarious throughout "Bridesmaids," thanks to her gifts for funny voices and physical comedy, and the plane scene is a perfect showcase for her skills. After being dosed with a sleeping pill and scotch by Helen (Rose Byrne) because of her fear of flying, Annie (Wiig) goes off her rocker and engages in a battle of wills with the flight attendant over whether or not she can sit in First Class, since her seat is in Coach. 

She sneaks into the premium section of the plane several times, but she's really not very stealthy and gets immediately caught every time. Annie's friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) and Helen try to reason with Flight Attendant Steve — or "Stove" in Annie's hazy perception of reality — for Annie to stay. Helen notes that everyone deserves to fly First Class and Annie concurs, telling Steve, "Help me, I'm poor!"

It pretty instantly became a useful internet meme, considering so many people struggle due to a lack of finances combined with the super high cost of living in the modern era. It's not a meme for everyone, though, as companies — like a student loan agency — have used it in extremely poor taste (via Buzzfeed).