40 Of The Best “True Crime” MemesInterview
Everyone loves a good, well-paced detective story that’s full of mystery, twists, and turns. Lately, however, more and more people opt for watching true crime shows and listening to podcasts, instead of picking up a classic slow-paced book about sleuths. True crime has actually become one of Netflix’s most popular genres and people are utterly obsessed with shows that detail the ins and outs of crimes committed by serial killers. Crimes, the gruesome details of which chill the viewers’ blood.
As such, internet users have been busy making meme after meme about people’s obsession with true crime media. One such place is the ‘True Crime Memes’ Instagram account, a page with over 22.4k amateur detective followers.
True crime is far from funny in and of itself. However, people’s reactions to the genre’s popularity and obsession with shows like HBO’s True Detective, Netflix’s Making a Murderer, and (yes, even) Tiger King certainly are witty.
While some folks explain that they watch shows like that to relax, others are entranced by just how much they’re glued to the screen and can’t stop bingeing episodes. Have a scroll down and take a look at the best true crime memes (don’t worry, they’re behind bars) and upvote the ones that you relate to the most. Are you a huge fan of the genre? Let us know what you love most about it in the comment section.
I was interested to learn more about our fascination with the true crime genre, so I reached out to Lyndsey Williams, the founder of the True Crime Memes Instagram project. I also got in touch with British environmental psychologist and well-being consultant Lee Chambers who told me all about why we're so drawn to true crime and explained the potential negative effects of binge-watching TV shows. You'll find Bored Panda's full in-depth interviews with Lyndsey and Lee below, dear Pandas! Now, let's dive deep into the world of true crime.
Lyndsey told Bored Panda all about how she founded the True Crime Memes page, why it's extremely popular among women, and why people find the genre so captivating. "One day, I was out with a friend getting pizza and I kept seeing funny memes about true crime. I honestly don’t even know what sparked the idea but I told her, 'I’m gonna make a true crime memes instagram page' and she encouraged the idea and we just rolled with it! I originally was just going to re-post memes I found online but I ended up getting more involved with the page and it has now become almost all original content," she said.
The True Crime Memes page saw a big jump in popularity after a famous true crime podcast posted one of Lyndsey's original memes and tagged her in the caption. However, not everyone is as friendly. " A very famous true crime youtuber shared one of my original memes on her story and I was extremely excited but she never credited me, so that was pretty disappointing!"
According to Lyndsey, true crime is far more popular among women. "My audience is 96% women which I find extremely interesting! I can't speak for everyone, but in my opinion, the reason I and so many other women are so drawn to the genre is that we can almost get into the mind of the perpetrator. How can I avoid people like the perp, and how did the victim get caught in a situation where such a heinous crime was committed and what can I do so that this never happens to me? It has honestly made me much more cautious and aware of my surroundings," she shared with Bored Panda.
"Also. I’m only a few months younger than JonBenét Ramsey and I’ve always felt a connection to her and her case. That’s all I remember seeing on TV and in the paper and magazines in the grocery store growing up. I think we connect so much with victims and we fight for justice and seek it when need be," she said.
"My page is also used to spread awareness on missing people, we share our theories in popular cases, play games together, and just all around have fun. I’m super interactive with my followers and have legit made lifetime friends because I decided to start this page."
Meanwhile, psychologist Lee from the UK was kind enough to give me a deeper glance into the reasons why some people are so entranced by true crime and analyzing the darker side of humanity.
"When considering why the darker side of humanity and entertainment are so compelling, we have to first look at our evolutionary journey as human beings. For the majority of our existence, we were prey and always hyperaware of threats to our safety, which created a negativity bias that we are drawn towards," Lee explained to Bored Panda.
"But in today's safe and often sanitized world, we are rarely threatened significantly, and the ability to explore evil, frightening and gruesome entertainment is one of the few ways we can visit this part of humanity while remaining safe and comfortable. There is a level of novelty to it, it removes boredom quickly, and it helps us to discover our emotional limits while understanding the minds of those who go beyond social norms and potentially gaining knowledge of how we might avoid being victims ourselves. They also offer closure, with many stories ending with the mystery being solved, and the criminal being brought to a level of justice," the psychologist said.
According to Lee, there's even a "comforting element" that all the evil things portrayed on the screen are happening to someone else, instead of to us. "It can take us on an emotional rollercoaster, have us trying to solve the puzzle and test our fear in a controlled way. The permission to explore evil is powerful, as we so rarely get the chance elsewhere, and in itself, it is healthy and normal in moderation," he said.
However, there are downsides to exposing ourselves to too much violence in the media. We have to learn how to moderate our consumption of such shows. "The challenge we face is the fact that consuming too much of this can desensitize us, and cause us to become less empathetic to the suffering of others, more fearful of our own environment, and potentially be more likely to use aggression ourselves. It can also cause us to be triggered by our own previous adverse experiences, make it harder to manage our own emotional balance, and increase our stress levels, so moderating our consumption is something we should have front of mind, even when we get embroiled in the latest series that is pulling us in."
I was also interested to find out at what point we should be getting worried about the time we spend watching TV shows of any genre. "Modern TV has a range of psychological hooks built in to keep us watching, from episode endings that leave you wanting more, to autoplay of the next episode unless canceled. I often talk to my clients about 3 hours of TV a day ending up at around 11 years of our lifespan sat staring at a screen," psychologist Lee told Bored Panda this shocking piece of information.
"Watching the latest shows isn't a bad thing, entertainment can be a great way to relax, often starts great conversations and helps us to explore ourselves in the context of others. It is worth remembering that some TV as an addition to a modern well-lived life is a net positive, but as soon as it starts to invade your sleep, impact what you eat, and how much you move your body, it starts subtracting from the fundamentals that keep us in an optimal place as human beings," Lee pointed out at what point we should become concerned about the time we spend sitting in front of the screen.
Chief among the negative effects of being unable to control the time we spend in front of the screen is the lack of sleep which affects nearly every facet of our lives. "A lack of sleep compounds in a variety of negative ways, and we are well aware of the challenges we face as a society around eating and movement. We also need to consider the mental and psychological benefits of watching some TV and taking ownership; being in control of what you watch is a great place to be, so ensure you are the master of the TV and don't let the TV become the master of you," he said.
"If you notice yourself starting to delay your sleep, take shortcuts socializing, eating, or keeping fit to keep your TV company, or feel like it's in control of you, it's time to take a step back and build a routine that you can control while still enjoying your favorite shows in moderation. It can even be a lot of fun to take it more slowly and build up excitement and anticipation for the next episode!"
The genre’s popularity, while thrilling for the creators of the shows and podcasts themselves, is a potential source of concern. The Washington Post writes that the increase of rampant violence in media is making some experts very worried.
“I’m concerned about the trajectory we’re on. If I worked at Netflix I might say, ‘Well, this is what people want.' But that doesn’t mean it should be provided. The research shows that escalating violence on-screen can make us more tolerant of it in real life; it can leave ‘lingering fear’ that can cause sleep disturbances and other problems,” Professor Glenn Sparks from Purdue University told WaPo. “There is an issue of social responsibility here.”
This obsession with the true crime genre could, at least in part, be explained by the change in how we tend to view shows now. There has been a shift from watching TV shows with your family and friends to viewing shows more privately now.
“If you look at television history, there’s often a mirror effect,” Thompson said. “In the early days of TV, in the days of ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘Leave it To Beaver,’ families would gather in the living rooms to watch shows about people who gather in their living rooms. And now we’re people who sit huddled alone, looking a little creepy, watching people who are huddled alone looking a little creepy,” Professor Robert Thompson from Syracuse University told The Washington Post.