The elf on the shelf has been a beloved, if threatening, Christmas tradition for over a decade, adding some yuletide fun and paranoia in the weeks before December 25. Despite Christmas still being several months away, this past week, the elf on the shelf entered the world of memes, as the internet created their own alternatives to the shelf elf by simply finding two seemingly unrelated things that also rhymed. The formula is simple, just think of two things that rhyme, say “you’ve heard of the elf on the shelf. Now get ready for…” and present your shoddy photoshop creation. It’s pure silliness, but man it’ll give you and the kids a case of the giggles.
You’ve heard of Elf on the Shelf,
now get ready for pic.twitter.com/kY7JGnS42d
— A Ward ¤ (@vivaausvegas) September 14, 2017
Or Morty on the Forty.
You've heard of elf on the shelf.. now get ready for pic.twitter.com/G3WjLLxlyF
— Dylan (@Thepageserpent) September 15, 2017
The approach is extremely Seussian, so much so that several ended up basically copying Seuss’s beloved book about a mischievous, hat-loving feline. Was this intentional? In meme-land, it doesn’t really matter.
you've heard of elf on the shelf, now get ready for pic.twitter.com/pDSRQ2Mgke
— rabid (@rabid_rtr) September 15, 2017
There were some that required a generous definition of what counts as rhyming.
You've heard of Elf on the shelf, now get ready for.. pic.twitter.com/PLBaWWmMbc
— Amiibo Confessions (@ConfessAmiibo) September 17, 2017
One person even managed to rhyme a seemingly unrhymable word.
You've heard of elf on the shelf, now get ready for… pic.twitter.com/zhWYgsheZP
— Avery Wetzel (@wetzel_avery) September 15, 2017
Even recent Emmy winners were included in the madness.
you've heard of Elf on the Shelf. Now get ready for… pic.twitter.com/U2IdVyhstg
— Adam Moussa (@adamjmoussa) September 18, 2017
And others managed to bring Inception-style levels of complexity to the meme.
You've heard of Elf on Shelf, but let's take it up a notch: pic.twitter.com/12BdEHgnmn
— TheMangoViking (@TheMangoViking) September 18, 2017
The best ones find the delicate balance between brilliant and stupid.
A brave few even used the meme to express their disdain for the premise.
You've heard of elf on the shelf, now get ready for pic.twitter.com/JPWaTe4gZw
— faith (@faithhenkeeee) September 19, 2017
Confused? That’s the nature of the delightfully strange world of memes, where half-jokes are magically and temporarily transformed into an essential part of the internet vernacular. By next week, everyone will have moved on to the latest passing trend, so enjoy it while it lasts or, if this isn’t your cup of tea, avoid Twitter for a few days and hope you find the next meme more enjoyable.