The “Cultural Reset” Meme Takes The Piss Out Of The Most Iconic Pop Culture Moments

"I don't know what a cultural reset is but if I have to guess what it was, I think it would be the moment 'Ratatouille' hit theatres."

it was a cultural reset meme

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Everyone has a different sense of what moments were the most culturally impactful throughout history.

Some would say that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle getting married tops the list, while others would claim Britney Spears shaving her head was more impactful. To each person, a different cultural moment will be what they think is the most notable and sparked the most change.

Enter the “cultural reset” meme, the trend that sees people sharing the moments that they feel defined an era and changed pop culture after it. Similar to the cultural impact meme of last year, the cultural reset meme has kind of become a huge piss take with people just using it to share their favourite moments in movies and music.

The first instance of the cultural reset meme was uploaded in December 2019. Alongside a video of Caroline Polachek’s ‘So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings’, @thegoodwar tweeted: “It was a cultural reset… it was a cultural reset.” While Caroline’s song or music video didn’t really generate much change after its release, to @thegoodwar this was the cultural moment they found most impactful.

This trend slowly bubbled over the next few weeks as people started applying the same logic to their favourite pop culture moments. For example, the iconic baseball scene from Twilight and the clip from Mamma Mia where Amanda Seyfried sang ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ on the beach — two moments that made a lot of people confused over which character they found hotter at the time.

While the term “cultural reset” became a meme, it was famously first used by Rose McGowan while discussing the #MeToo movement with ABC. When explaining how the #MeToo changed the world, Rose called it a “cultural reset” rather than a movement.

This genuine take on the idea of certain moments in history being a “cultural reset” was extended to Bong-Joon Ho when he won four Oscars for Parasite. After his historic win, people called a Korean film winning so many academy awards a cultural reset because of the doors it opened for non-English speaking movies in the future.

Similarly, Shakira performing a traditional Middle-Eastern dance at the NFL Super Bowl was also called a cultural reset. Following the NFL’s issues with sportsmen like Colin Kaepernick, Shakira taking to the stage in a period of rampant racism and xenophobia was pretty momentous too.

But for most people, the “cultural reset” meme is just a really good excuse to bring up the weirdest and most wonderful moments in pop culture history.