Memes! The DNA of the soul! Happy April Fool's Day, everyone. We here at Out of Games have decided to write some articles that wouldn't normally be that great a fit on the site. This is one such article, all about the various memes that have spawned out from Yu-Gi-Oh as a franchise, most of them from the anime. All information and most images taken from the site KnowYourMeme. With that out of the way, let's get into it!

It’s Just a Crossroad, Don’t Be So Dramatic

Let's kick things of with a classic. You've probably seen this one quite a lot, usually to represent picking between an obviosuly good option and an obviously bad one. Here's a random example:

Install the Indie Wiki Buddy extension if you want Fandom stuff redirected to indie alternatives. No, seriously, do it.

Well, the artwork form this card is actually from the Yu-Gi-Oh card Dramatic Crossroars. The kicker? This isn't a real card. It's used in the Yu-Gi-Oh GX anime (episode 47 to be specific) and was never actually printed to paper. And for good reason, the effect is abysmal: When you take damage, you can activate this card your oponent choses between making you discard a card or taking one of yours. 

The card as it appearead in the anime.

So if this card isn't real, how come the artwork is so clear. Well, you can thank Deviant Art artist AlanMac95 for creating a mock-up of the card in 2017, almost 12 years after the episode aired. Even then, it took until 2020 for the actual meme to start spreading. Below is a screenshot of the Tweet from IrisHeartfang that is the first known use of this meme.

Tough choice /s.

Nice Argument, but I Have Exodia

You've probably seen this one circling around here and there. Known online as "Kaiba's Defeat", the meme template is comprised of 4 images: Seto Kaiba showing a card, Yugi Moto looking at one of his card, Yugi showing what that card is, and then Kaiba's pained expression while a flash of light blinds him.

Steam clean your floors to avoid the plague.

All those are stills from the very first episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime, specifically from throughout the duel between Yugi and Kaiba. The last panel, in particlular, is a shot of Kaiba getting obliterated by Exodia the Forbidden One and losing the duel.

Draw Two Cards? But I Don’t Have a Pencil!

Pot of Greed Card Image
This is where the trouble started. That smile. That damn smile.

If you've been spending any time in Yu-Gi-Oh circles (or any card game, really), you may have noticed a running joke where Pot of Greed or a card that draws two is mentioned, and someone else would ask "But what does it do?" or something similar. This is all because of this card, though not the physical version, but the anime one.

Here's the thing about televised content: You have no idea what the first episode someone sees is. Sure, you can promote "Yu-Gi-Oh! Three Houses, premiering this Saturday, only on Disney Channel!" all week long, but someone will definitely check it out 5 episodes in. As such, characters in the show would constantly explain what their cards did, even if they've already played it 3 times before that. This isn't usually an issue, since who played what changed constantly.

The problem with Pot of Greed is that EVERYONE used it, which just goes to show even the show writers knew how strong it was. This means that the card was activated every duel at least once, and every time it had to be explained. Going by the Yugipedia article, the card appears in 39 episodes of the 1999 Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, in the 'Pyramid of Light' movie, and in a whooping 61 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX show. That's at least 101 times someone said a variation of "I play Pot of Greed, which allows me to draw 2 new cards".

After the card was banned, it stopped appearing in the anime, since there was no point showcasing an unplayable card (the same reason Firewall Dragon stops appearing in the later half of the Vrains anime). The card makes one final appearance in episode 20 of the ARC-V show, but it's as part of a trivia game within the episode (fun fact: the card has 20 teeth).

This video barely gets to Season 4 of the Yu-Gi-Oh anime.

Calm Down, Pharaoh, It’s a Filler Season

This one is about as old as the Crossroads meme, and the instances of when it's used are quite different from it's original context. But let's start with where it comes from: In the Yu-Gi-Oh, protagonist Yugi Moto's body ocasionally gets taken over by the spirit of an ancient Egyptean Pharaoh that looks just like him, save for being taller and having a voice that several dozen octaves lower. Somehow, no one ever brings that up.

In Season 4 of the anime, after losing a card game duel, Yugi's spirit is stolen by the power of an evil card so that he can feed an ancient Atlantean serpent (the sentences this job makes me write). This leaves the Pharaoh (whose name is Atem) in the driver's seat full time until they get Yugi's soul back. The moment Atem realizes what happened, he falls to his knees and yells "It Should Have Been Me Not Him! It's not fair". It's a pretty heavy scene, coming from a character that's not used to losing like this.

The original.

So naturally, the internet uses it for fun! Horny fun, too, since this meme usually appears as a response to a character being "subjected" to sexy time, and then Atem, as a stand-in for the audience, comes in and says this line. Example: In Resident Evil 8, some character is about to be killed by Lady Dimitrescu (you read that wrong), while you, from a first person point of view, are watching. This is where Atem falling to his knees and saying the line would come in.

*sigh* The first edit of the meme.

It's Morbin' Time

Murlocula Card Image
His presence will make sense in a second

Let's end this with a bang, shall we? Now, this one isn't directly related to Yu-Gi-Oh itself, but rather a Yu-Gi-Oh content creator. But we're getting ahead of ourself. In case you're unaware, "It's Morbin' Time!" is a phrase associated with the 2022 movie Morbius. According to the site KnowYourMemes, the first time that phrase was written down was by Twitter user hidaneelolivaw, is a replay to another Tweet by talestoenrage. Sadly, that Tweet has since been the deleted, but we do have screenshots.

The meme, however, didn't gain traction until user RANK10YGO, a.k.a. the YuGiTuber Rata, posted the following Tweet:

Quote From RANK10YGO

the best part of Morbius was when he said "IT'S MORBIN' TIME" and morbed all over those guys

This is the best known and most used variation of the meme. While, yes, it is not a proper Yu-Gi-Oh meme, we're counting it because a memeber of the Yu-Gi-Oh community helped spread it. Also, it's our article, so shrug. It's worth noting that this meme made it's way into Hearthstone as well, being referenced in the falvor text of Murlocula.

Which of thsese is your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh meme? Any personal favorites that we missed on? What does Pot of Greed do? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out the other article in the series that we did last year on MtG memes