January 18, 2018 posted by Steve Stanchfield

“Somebody Toucha My Speghet!” – and the Power of Cartoon Moments

The Memes win today, but first some brief Thunderbean news:

It’s a short TB Thursday because I have to get back to cleaning up some cartoons! After managing to pack and send a ton of stuff int he past few weeks, I think we’ve finally caught up on sending all the older stuff.. so watch your mailbox if you ordered any of the ‘older’ special sets- the last are getting shipped tomorrow. Work continues on various sets, with Fleischer Rarites the major almost finished project. Ion the Snappy Video side of things, a few other ‘special’ sets continue, with the latest being a set called ‘Vintage Education’ featuring ‘Social Guidance’ and ‘Hygiene’ films from the 50s and 60s. If you’re interested, details can be found here.

The world of “Memes” is, at times, completely explainable, and other times not at all. In some ways, they are a collective art project, a collective conversation, a joke between a world that is often pointing out the craziness of the internet- the very thing that makes these Memes possible. What will become popular isn’t ever truly known, so, in this way, it has aspects of both random luck and whatever strikes a collective interest in a moment.

While isn’t unusual for cartoon characters to show up in a Meme, what *is* unusual is for a Terrytoon (of any kind) to show up in one. Now, you’d think that *if* a Terrytoon character showed up, it would be something familiar. In the world of Memes, however, since part of the point is sheer bizarreness, it makes some sense that one of the latest Memes uses a scene from the 1939 Terrytoon The Three Bears.

Here’s the original cartoon:

And, here is a compilation of just some of the Memes that have shown up since late December. People clearly have time on their hands! Some are interesting, but most have been cobbled together fast of course with the idea of getting it out there as fast as possible (note: this video has nearly 2 million views already… so this is a well known meme pretty quickly!):

Even “PewDiePie”, who is the most viewed ‘internet’ star on Youtube, did a post on the Meme.. and, with 8 million views on this video alone, clearly his is the most scene:

And, here are some of my favorite ‘still’ memes from this fiasco:

I really do love the randomness of this particular clip and scene becoming very famous over the course of a handful of days. I wonder if this particular Meme will be in the back people’s heads years from now… it’s hard to say.

The growth (and what will now be a fast ending) to this meme is in some way the saving grace of these trends; it’s a collective, fun joke for just a moment, then forgotten. In some ways of course, that that was the original intention of most ‘Golden Age’ animation in the first place; to be enjoyed and, eventually, forgotten.

There’s a whole series of little magic moments that I remember from various cartoons, and I’ve chatted a little bit here before about that. It would be nice if stuff like this led to a sustained interest in a particular series of (almost) forgotten animated shorts, but the truth is it really won’t…but, happily, at least a little piece was enjoyed collectively by people around the world, for a moment anyway. Rasinki, Davis and the rest of the Terry crew would likely be happy to hear that, and it would probably seem like science fiction to them to hear that their little film was ‘recut’ over and over within hours to produce a collective joke.

Now, that said, are there any favorite cartoon moments of yours that you think would make a good ‘Meme’?

Have a great week everyone!


  • I honestly can’t help but feel partially responsible since the video is from my YT Terrytoons channel. It still lingers on in my head: who would have though Terrytoons would become a meme in the first place?

    • Congratulations.

    • You’ve ruined a generation! 😉

  • Glad TV came along otherwise we would’ve forgotten Golden Age cartoons

  • Are the Noveltoons and Screen Songs sets among those mailed out or are they still in process? Those sets have been on order since last March and May.

  • Daffy Duck’s You’re Despicable would be one along with Marvin the Martian’s You Are Making Me Angry!!” that would make great memes as well as Eric Cartman’s “Screw You Guys,I’m Going Home.” quote and Bart Simpson’s “You’re Damned if You Do and You’re Damned if You Don’t” quote.

    • Bigg, I’ll my little old Daffy “Despicable” for his older “Hoo Hoo HOO” and Sylvester’s “Sufferin’ Succotash”, which would fit the despicable comment’s place.:)

    • PS of COURSE I meant, “I’ll TRADE you”, at the start of my first reply to you, and not just plain, “I’ll you” as1st.wrote.


  • One thing that stick out in my mind that could be “meme” material is the taxidermy cat from WOODY DINES OUT shouting “I broke my wittle hand! I broke my little hand!”

    • I always the cat’s “blackout borscht” line would seem meme-worthy, but maybe more as an “ASMR”. 😉

  • This isn’t the only time a classic cartoon has been made into a meme, but it’s most likely the first time a Terrytoon cartoon has. Other instances of classic cartoon memes I can think of are Leggy Lamb, the sexualized anthropomorphic sheep that appeared as a brief gag in the Droopy cartoon “Sheep Wrecked”, and Dan Backslide from The Dover Boys (and heck, the entire cartoon as well) has become a popular source for memes.

    • “A Runabout! I’ll Steal it! No one will ever know!”

  • You think CBS will give you (Steve Stanchfield) the licence to these Terrytoons for DVD/Blu-Ray remastering to cash in on this meme but CBS will most likely do nothing to cash in on this.

    This meme actually is making me watch more Terrytoons then ever before and I’m really enjoying them, not the best but they hold up very well for what they are and if we are lucky people will treat Terrytoons seriously rather then avoiding them and only using the Ralph Bakshi Mighty Mouse show (which is still the best thing to use those IPs) as a land mark for a launching pad for John K and his crew, Jim Reardon and Bruce Timm.

    In short CBS should licence out the remastering of Terrytoons to Thunderbean for DVD/Blu-Ray release rather then do nothing to cash in on this.

  • It’s even more hilarious that Arthur Kay’s Italian voice is barely any different than his homosexual/Gandy Goose voice.

    • Ed Wynn impersonation

  • Most interesting article, Steve! Terrytoons as a meme source-never would’ve thought of it!

  • Simple. The “I wanna Easter egg! I wanna Easter egg!” line spoken by the “mean widdle kid” in “Easter Yeggs” (1947).

  • The birth of a meme is the great mystery of Internet – no one can explain it in logical terms, no one can arbitrarily decide what constitutes a meme, no one can artificially create one oneself, no one can tell how long it will last. It just has to strike the right chord for the people of Twitter or YouTube in order to blow up all over the Net.
    Memes generally involve sheer ridiculousness, poorly written sentences (whether intentional or not) or slightly suggestive material. “Somebody toucha my spaghet” has a little bit of all these.

  • 1) “PIE! PIE! I NEED PIE!” says an ersatz Popeye (really his 3 nephews standing on top of each other’s shoulders) to a clueless Olive Oyl in 1940’s “Wimmin is a Myskery.”

    • Food, food, I must have food ;D

  • I know this was joked about in a YTP before, “Jasper and the Haunted House” had “That’s a powerful lot of gooseberry!”

  • There were always catchphrases that caught on, whether from tv series (“Aaaaaay!”, “Sit on it!”, “Kiss mah grits.” ) or commercials (“Try it, you’ll like it”, “Where’s the beef?”). This meme is the same dynamic but in the new medium. I am bemused and amused by the Italian bears.

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