Hater Skeletons / You Should Have Died meme format and template depicting a group of red skeletons staring toward the viewer.

Berserk Skeletons

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Updated Aug 14, 2023 at 06:03PM EDT by Philipp.

Added Mar 14, 2023 at 01:16PM EDT by Philipp.

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About

Berserk Skeletons, also known as Hater Skeletons and You Should Have Died, refers to a clip of red-colored skeletons from a nightmare sequence in the 1997 anime adaptation of Berserk. Used as a reaction since at least 2014, in March 2023, the clip (usually combined with the song "Smoke" by Cowbell Cult) gained virality as a reaction to disliked or cringeworthy content on TikTok or elsewhere.

Origin

On October 15th, 1997, episode two, titled "The Band of the Hawk," of the anime adaptation of the Berserk manga series premiered.[1] In the episode, the main character Guts is having a nightmare in which he, a child, is being blamed by his dead adoptive father Gambino for staying alive instead of him. Guts is then pinned down by a giant monster, with skeletons gathering above him chanting, "you should have died" (clip shown below).



You should have died. You should have died. You should have died.

On March 29th, 2014, or at an earlier date, an unknown Tumblr[2] account first posted a still image of the skeletons, captioned, "You should have died" (post no longer available, shown below, left). Prior to May 19th, 2015, Tumblr[3][4] user recentego posted a version of the image recaptioned, "If you smoke weed, you'll end up like us" (shown below, right). The post gained over 96,500 likes and reblogs in seven years.


You should have died. If you smoke weed, you'll end up like us.

Spread

In 2017 and 2018, the captioned image saw limited use online in image caption memes on Instagram and Reddit. For example, on March 8th, 2017, an unknown Instagram[5] account posted a meme about drug use, which gained over 11,800 likes in five years (shown below, left). On September 10, 2017, Instagram[6] user uncoolschool posted an image caption that gained over 16,300 likes in five years (shown below, right).


*Takes larger than normal bong hit* Me to me: You should have died. all my poor life decisions looking at me rn like ncoolscho You should have died.

On September 7th, 2017, Imgur user VampireComputerPeople uploaded a looped GIF of the skeletons staring Guts down to Imgur,[7] where it gained over 4,800 views in five years, and to Reddit's /r/HighQualityGifs subreddit[8] (non-looping GIF shown below).



On July 17th, 2017, Tumblr[9] user preventive posted the captioned image, with the post gaining over 95,600 likes and reblogs in five years.

TikTok Use

The GIF was rediscovered by TikTok in September 2023. On September 27th, TikToker @glaserishot posted the earliest found TikTok[10] based on it, which gained over 43,400 views and 5,600 likes in six months (shown below, left). On October 4th, 2023, TikToker[11] @sasforty poster the earliest viral meme based on the GIF, captioning it, "my ancestors watching me get no bitches," which gained over 439,400 views and 20,300 likes in five months (shown below, center). In the following weeks, multiple TikToks based on the format were posted. For example, a TikTok[12] posted by user @helebn on November 7th gained over 58,000 views and 18,600 likes in four months (shown below, right).


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7012768803067022598
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7015389012055575813
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7028006579819597062

On December 27th, 2023, the GIF briefly gained association with the "Number 15: shut the fuck up" soundbite based on Top15th's Burger King Foot Lettuce video (YouTube[13] reupload shown below).[14]



Number fifteen: shut the fuck up.

JellyBean Cyberbullying / #jellymid

In early February 2023, TikToker[15][16] _fnaf_player_ launched a bullying trend against streamer JellyBean (@beannotthere) with the hashtag #jellymid. On February 5th, _fnaf_player_ posted a video in which they used the "Number 15" version of the video to react to JellyBean's TikTok (original TikTok unavailable, reupload by @flarycze shown below, left).

In the following days, as the bullying campaign against JellyBean achieved some spread, several TikTok accounts started using the reaction video to hate on JellyBean's content, editing it at the end of the streamer's videos. For example, on February 10th, 2023, TikToker[17] @you_need.to_shut.up posted one such TikTok, which gained over 2 million views and 335,200 likes in one month (shown below, right).


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7056135510431010094
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7061193316146121990
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7062945955980627246

On February 27th, 2023, TikToker[18] @w.a.t.a.h was the first to combine the GIF of the skeletons with the phonk song "Smoke" by Cowbell Cult with the clip, paired with negative remarks, repeatedly inserted throughout a JellyBean's video. The video gained over 3 million views and 572,200 likes in two weeks (shown below, left). Later on that same day, @w.a.t.a.h. posted the reaction video in a separate TikTok[19] (shown below, center).

In the following weeks, @w.a.t.a.h's video inspired similar TikToks within the #jellymid hate trend. For example, on March 3rd, 2023, TikToker[20][21] @orange.grows posted two such videos that gained over 6.2 and 6.3 million views and 1.4 million and 1.3 million likes in two weeks, respectively (first shown below, right).


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7069430535000739078
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7069477027413331205
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7070886682672762117

In early March 2023, multiple TikTokers posted viral TikToks based on the format, mainly within the #jellymid hate trend. For example, between March 4th and 6th, TikToker lxvi08 posted a total of four videos in which they used the clip to react to @beannotthere's videos. A video[22] posted on March 5th, 2023, gained over 1.4 million views and 221,000 likes in nine days. A video[23] posted by lxvi08 on March 6th, 2023, gained over 10 million views and 2 million likes in eight days.

Following the explosive popularity on TikTok, the format saw further spread to Twitter[24] and other websites in mid-March 2023.

Various Examples


https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7070968111847050501
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7071367445025492230
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7071576217798855937

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7071559389773171974
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7071979613353774341
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7072566272407424262

Templates


You should have died.
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7069477027413331205

Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 21 total

Recent Images 9 total

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