Everyday items may seem like your ordinary tools, but when you’ve watched some of the most iconic movies or TV shows, listened to plenty of music, or just experienced pop culture in general, some everyday items have significant meaning.
Whether it’s a motorbike or sports car that reminds you of the thrill of the chase or a phrase uttered in a different context or reminds you of a song or movie, these are some things that you can never look at the same way again thanks to pop culture.
Where there’s an off-road motorbike, there’s always an epic chase scene in the distance. Sure, cars are also about speed, but because motorcycles require speed, balance, and skill from the driver, the use of bikes showed off how skilled the protagonist works. You look at a car and think, among other things, how a car can get stuck in traffic. A motorcycle, on the other hand, can swerve past traffic – only if the driver is smart enough to know where to go.
Today, motorbikes are a symbol of someone cool and loves the thrill of an adventure. You could imagine a shy and reclusive person on one of the smaller bikes used for everyday travel, but only a handful of people can manage riding a bigger motorcycle.
Simple phrases nearly all of us use have now a double meaning and a deeper message for those who get the reference. A simple “thank you, next” turned into a phrase that exudes self-love and learning to grow from a negative experience after Ariana Grande released the song “thank u, next.” When pop culture says something a lot of times, it’s no surprise when people start accepting it and generally understanding the reference.
Because Harry Potter was a huge part of millennials’ childhood, it’s not hard to understand what “always” means in Harry Potter. Said on its own, “always” is the Potterhead’s way of saying forever, especially when it comes to love, friendship, or even the memes that circulate the internet.
Why so serious? This could either be a person telling a person to calm down in a casual situation or taunting a person for getting baited to get angry. Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight has become an iconic character, topping the list of all the versions of Joker on film or TV. So, it’s no surprise that a simple question has so much meaning, especially if you’re aware of the reference. If you’re not, the way people use this line is sure to irritate some people just the way the Joker would want.
Although it has no deeper meaning behind it, Clueless is an iconic teen film of the ‘90s. The way Alicia Silverstone delivers this line is so funny and sassy that it’s no surprise that millennials picked up the phrase and began to use it in a similar way.
Gone are the days when tattoo options were limited to foreign letters or designs taken from a tattoo artist’s book. Today, more people who are a part of a certain fandom are choosing to get inked either with a symbol related to their fandom or the tattoo sported by a character, actor, singer, or celebrity they admire.
John Wick’s tattoo may be a reference to the US Marines, but the design choice sported in the two (the third movie coming out this week as of writing!) movies is a good choice for men and women who love action and neo-noir films.
Or if you’ve recently watched Netflix’s Umbrella Academy, you might want to fit in with the rest of the Hargreeve siblings by tattooing a simple black umbrella onto your wrist. The tattoo, though on the simple side, is filled with meaning: Six of the seven children go through the pain of getting the tattoo, but the seventh – the one with supposedly no superpowers – is singled out and left to draw her own tattoo with markers as her way of fitting in with her siblings
Even in television, prison tattoos take a whole new meaning. Intricate tattoos like that of Michael Scofield of Prison Break is not just a symbol of gang membership or a show of strength, but an intricate map of clues and pathways that helped him escape prison. However, unless you have the determination like Scofield’s, getting a tattoo like this will take you at least four years to complete (unless you want to do it in shorter time but with more pain).
The idea of hiding maps and clues into tattoos became so popular that at least 13 prisons in the United States banned the show from being broadcasted inside prisons. The show was considered “educational programming” that could inspire prisoners to try to break out.
It’s always interesting to see how pop culture plays onto real life, the references we use and understand, and how it translates into everyday situations. What’s your favorite iconic item/line/thing in pop culture? Let us know in the comments!