Such Syntax, Much Meme: A Linguistic Analysis of Memes and Their Structural Syntax

Lisa Simpson's Presentation

Meme Example



The Lisa Simpon Presentation meme orginates from, as you would guess, the animated series, 'The Simpsons'. The frame used for this meme comes from season 12, episode 16, called 'Bye, Bye, Nerdie' and was first aired on March 11th, 2001. In this episode, the middle child of the Simpson family, Lisa, discovers that there is scientific evidence as to why bullies pick on nerds. She then presents her findings to an audience of researches at a scientific conference. On May 16th, 2018, Reddit user thomas22howe posted this image to the Subreddit, r/MemeEconomy, a forum where Redditors post potential templates for future memes. It quickly gained popularity and became a frequently used template on most social media platforms (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). The typical set up for the text is a declarative statement and an opinion of the creator of the meme. The statements can be controversial unpopular opinions, relatable, or humorous breakdowns of familiar concepts.


This template is a single line format, with all text located at the center of the image. As stated above, all of the Lisa Presentation memes we found were declarative statements. It was almost always the case that the first syntactic feature was both the subject and a noun. The few times where this was not the case it was due to the first feature being an adjective attached to the subject/noun that immeadiatley followed afterwards. The syntactic structure of the text is conducive to the requirements of a sentence.