The CW's multiverse of DC superhero shows inspires some intense feelings and reactions. It's a multiverse chock-full of alternate earths and parallel worlds, not to mention the mysterious Phantom Zone outside of space and time. Chuck into the fray several different characters capable of time-travel and timestream manipulation, and you're left with one interesting multiverse ripe for memes. In fact, it's a virtually endless source of meme-able DC superhero content. So, what should you expect from these memes, aside from the aforementioned superheroic dankness?
Right now, the biggest superhero shows on TV are The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl -- not necessarily in that order. The Flash's use of the Speed Force to change his and everybody else's destiny features prominently here. Supergirl's godlike powers also loom large. As for Oliver Queen, well, nobody broods quite like he does, with the exception of Bruce Wayne, the original born-rich kid turned secret vigilante. So without further ado, let's bring on the memes. Be warned, though, ahead lie spoilers for most CW superhero shows.
17 PEPE SILVIA'S CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
In the 2008 It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia episode "Sweet Dee Has A Heart Attack," Mac and Charlie take jobs in an office in an effort to get health insurance. Everything is going fine until Charlie discovers a massive company-wide conspiracy centering around two people, Pepe Silvia and Carol from HR, who may or may not actually exist.
With the help of Barney, a guy who only he can see, Charlie unravels the mystery and, in the process, gets himself and Mac fired. The interconnectedness of the CW's superhero shows excites fans as much as it infuriates them. Just ask anybody who has tried to make sense of the continuity. Pepe Silvia is the perfect meme for showing what it feels like to try to make sense of the crisscrossing timelines of Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-3 and Earth-38.
16 EVERYBODY LOVES SUPERGIRL
Played by Melissa Benoist, Kara Zor El is smart, fierce, gorgeous, and godlike. Unlike her cousin Superman, whose Clark Kent disguise is just that, a disguise, Kara Zor El views herself not as Supergirl but rather as Kara Danvers. Kara spent 24 years in the Phantom Zone, outside of time and space, and yet she might be the most down-to-earth superhero in the CW's multiverse. Go figure.
Whether you're a billionaire playboy (and secret vigilante) like Oliver Queen or the fastest man alive like Barry Allen, or anybody else, Kara is probably your type. In this image, the Flash, Oliver Queen, Batman, Robin, Forrest Gump, Jack Sparrow, Falcon, Quicksilver, and others appear to be interested in finding out what makes this girl next door so incredibly super.
15 FRIEND-ZONING THE FLASH
For a moment there, it seemed like The Flash and Supergirl were going to be a super-item. Grant Gustin told the press that he wanted to see an on-screen romance between Barry Allen and Kara Zor El. Meanwhile, Melissa Benoist begged to differ. Even the fastest man alive can end up in the friendzone. That said, he belongs there.
Sure, the dude's funny and good-looking, but his willingness to scramble entire timelines for his own personal reasons is a serious red flag. Romantic relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. Kara has enough to worry about without having to make sure her partner isn't altering timelines and opening breaches between parallel earths. In short, she can do so much better, and it sounds like she knows it.
14 SUPER FELICITY
It's pretty simple what's going on in this meme. The joke here is that Felicity Smoak and Kara Zor El look a lot alike. Supergirl's home is Earth-38, but she crosses a breach on occasion to assist Oliver Queen and Barry Allen with overcoming whatever trouble they're in this time. In the Arrow series, Felicity Smoak's actual identity seems like the geeky undercover persona of a superhero.
Felicity is to computer hacking what Barry Allen is to running really, really fast. It's no surprise that she becomes Oliver Queen's greatest asset in the field and (eventually) his love interest. The only thing that doesn't make all that much sense is why she isn't mistaken for Kara Danvers more often. Felicity never becomes a superhero herself, which makes her resemblance to Kara all the more intriguing.
13 FELICITY BETTER NOT BE DEAD
Played with perky optimism by Emily Bett Rickards, Felicity Smoak is a fan-favorite. The gray hat hacker turned full-time vigilante's accomplice steals every scene she is in. She isn't technically a superhero but she might as well be, considering how much she contributes to Oliver Queen's justice-bringing efforts. So when she went missing and was presumed dead, people were not happy.
Then, Felicity fans suffered the worst cliffhanger yet. Oliver Queen stands over a grave, but we don't get to see whose name is on the inscription. To emphasize the intensity of the fan reaction, this meme uses a still of Ted the foul-mouthed sentient teddy bear from Seth MacFarlane's Ted movies. As it turns out, Felicity is alive and well, thank the DC gods old and new. Who is to say what fans might have done?
12 TIMELINE PRIORITIES
For a guy who calls himself the fastest man alive, Barry Allen can be decidedly slow when it comes to romance. Forget about Supergirl for a moment. We all know he and Iris West are truly perfect for each other. If only Barry could see it, too. Their chemistry is undeniable. Each has a quirky sense of humor and a need to do what he or she believes is right.
And yet, right when they get a good thing going, Barry finds a reason to bork the whole timeline. Sure, he always finds a perfectly understandable excuse for doing so, like preventing his mother's death and his father's incarceration for example. That said, we all know what's really going on here. The fastest man alive has a serious fear of commitment. What are you running from, Barry?
11 RECASTING SARAH
It seems that the actress who played Sarah Lance had planned on the role being a one-off. She had no intention of joining the cast. Between the first and second seasons, the CW recast the character. If you're binge watching the series from the beginning, you know how poorly that endeavor turned out to be. Unfortunately for fans of continuity and integrity in general, there's a big difference between the actresses' appearances, acting styles, and performances.
Weirdly, the show made little effort to make the new blonde Sarah resemble the original brunette actress. Her hair color changed, her eye color changed, her nose and chin changed. You would think they'd dye her hair and give her contacts, but no. The result is distracting, even laughable. Naturally, Jean-Luc Picard facepalms in disappointment.
10 WITH OR WITHOUT FLASH
You know how sometimes you forget to turn on the flash when you take a photo and you end up looking like a brooding jerk? Photos are always better with flash. Oliver Queen, and everybody else, smiles a little more when Barry Allen is around. He's just a really likable dude. Even Earth-2's Harrison Wells can't stay mad at him. Of course, for this one to work, it's important to remember that Arrow is darker both visually and thematically than The Flash.
But for the constant crossover events and namedrops, it would be easy to forget that they inhabit the same multiverse. Some fans complain about the CW's crossover events, arguing that they cheapen the franchises, interrupt the flow of the main narratives, and rarely matter in the long run. But if that's what it takes to get Oliver Queen to lighten up for once in his grumbly life, so be it.
9 GLEE CLUB RIVALS
Before the CW turned them into superheroes, Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin played characters on Glee. Melissa Benoist joined the cast as Marley Rose. Fans knew her for her incredibly memorable performances of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" and Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind." Gustin played Sebastian Smythe, a member of the Dalton Academy Warblers.
Gustin's character spent much of his time on the show trying to get Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel to break up. Long before he was The Flash, Gustin was known for playing the jerk who threw the salt-spiked slushie in Blaine's face. In this light, a duet between Supergirl and The Flash seemed inevitable. Fans' hopes for such a musical episode were answered in season 3 of The Flash.
8 SUPERGIRL'S STRENGTH
CW commercials love wholesome fun and silliness, so they present fun, silly images like this one. Here we see the Flash, Oliver Queen and Supergirl hanging out, clowning around. Speedsters can alter timelines and jump between realities, and Oliver's reflexes are insane. But Kara Zor El is positively godlike. For their parts, Oliver Queen and Barry Allen accept their relative weakness during crossover events.
This meme pokes fun at the most conspicuous power disparity in the CW universe. In terms of raw power and super strength, there's Supergirl, and there's everybody else in the CW's superhero lineup. So when you see them clowning around like this, it's good to remember who is really calling the shots.
7 BRUCE WAYNE, ACTUAL ORPHAN
In this meme, Bruce Wayne shows why he's the most brooding superhero of them all. Oliver Queen watched helplessly as Slade Wilson impaled his mother Moira with his sword. He also witnessed his father's suicide. That said, Oliver was himself an adult when these tragedies befell him.
When Barry Allen was a kid, his mother died under mysterious circumstances, with Barry Allen's father going to prison for the crime. While that's certainly a harrowing ordeal, it's lessened by the fact that Barry can manipulate timelines and literally change history. So for a while there, some hope remains. At the bottom of the meme is young Bruce Wayne whose parents (both of them) were gunned down in front of him when he was just a child. Forgive him if he's running low on sympathy. The kid has been through a lot.
6 RANGER HARRISON WELLS
Tom Cavanagh, who portrays S.T.A.R. Labs founder Harrison Wells on The Flash, starred as Ranger Smith in the live-action Yogi Bear (2010) movie. Harrison Wells from Earth-1, now deceased, could not have been more different from Earth-2's trouble-making Harrison Wells, the speedster responsible for killing Barry Allen's mother. This meme takes that trend a step further, turning Wells into Ranger Smith on Earth-3, home to the original Jay Garrick and (apparently) Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo Bear.
In our reality, Cavanagh is one half of the podcast Mike And Tom Eat Snacks (MATES), a podcast that's exactly what it sounds like. Cavanagh and comedian Michael Ian Black eat and review snack food. All of this begs the question: How does Tom Cavanagh stay so fit on such a snack-heavy diet? We're going to assume it has something to do with the Speed Force.
5 CASH ME OUSSIDE, ZOOM
The Cash Me Ousside meme is a quote from an episode of The Dr. Phil Show. A 13-year-old car thief talks funny. The girl's mother and an exasperated Dr. Phil try to talk some sense into her, but to no avail. When someone in the audience gets on her nerves, she responds with a barely intelligible threat. "Catch me outside, how about that?" Therein lay the foundations of this meme.
The second part of this meme is Zoom, a speedster who also talks funny. In Zoom's case, though, his voice seems to be deliberately warped to hide his identity. When Barry Allen told Zoom he'd catch him, this meme became virtually inevitable. It works on more than one level, since Zoom is from a different Earth. "Outside" could refer to a parallel world. Or it's just a dumb joke. Either way, it's a great meme.
4 OLIVER QUEEN'S OPEN SECRET
This meme uses an image from Community and an image from the WWE to represent this CW phenomenon. For some fans, season 3's outlandishness marked the beginning of the end. Seasons 2 and 3 seemed to draw from the comic books' tone, bringing in more superpowered characters than the writers initially knew what to do with, whereas season 1 is relatively self-contained.
People forget how (relatively) straightforward the first season of Arrow is. Oliver Queen mostly works alone. In season 1 of Arrow, Oliver Queen's secret is an actual secret. When a villain learns who he really is, he kills them. By season 3, though, it's virtually common knowledge among regular cast members, as well as other heroes in the multiverse, that the rich kid who was away for five years is the vigilante with sick archery skills.
3 BARRY ALLEN: FILTHY MUGGLE
In The Flash, Tom Felton plays Julian Albert, who is secretly Doctor Alchemy, a tool of Savitar. Before he was bullying, double-crossing, and ultimately helping Barry Allen, Felton acted holier than thou towards Harry Potter. Felton played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film adaptations, a character who never quite accepts Harry on account of his Muggle origins.
Like the other dank memes on this list, there's more to this meme than meets the eye at first. The Flash's emblem resembles the curse scar on Harry's forehead, and indeed Barry's use of the Speed Force can sometimes seem more like a curse than a blessing. Honestly, when you really think about it, this meme provides a better explanation than the show does for why Julian Albert acts like such a jerk towards Barry Allen.
2 OLIVER QUEEN'S EMOTIONAL RANGE
You can tell how Kara Zor El and Barry Allen are feeling just by looking at them. They're expressive characters and the actors who play them bring a lot of emotional intensity, heart, and humor to the roles. Oliver Queen, on the other hand, doesn't have the patience for exhibiting the full range of human emotion--except , of course, in flashbacks to his former life as a carefree party boy.
He's got that whole bitter, jaded rich kid thing going on, giving Bruce Wayne a run for his (dead parents') money in terms of keeping his true feelings locked inside. Five years on stranded on an island inspired him to take up brooding full-time and has more in common with Christopher Nolan era Bruce Wayne. This meme gently but effectively mocks Oliver Queen's deadly seriousness.
Adele's "Hello" got serious airtime -- at the mall, at the airport, in the drugstore, and, of course, on every radio station and in every club. Adele could be speaking for Oliver when she sings, "They say that time's supposed to heal ya, but I ain't done much healing." The easygoing party boy he used to be isn't coming back anytime soon. Oliver's time on the island made him physically stronger but it broke him spiritually.
It's no secret that the both of them -- Adele and Oliver -- are running out of time, albeit for very, very different reasons; she for sad love song reasons, he because he's a vigilante responsible for dozens of murders. Sure, he kills bad guys, but that doesn't make it permissible in the eyes of the law. And no, just because Oliver Queen becomes Mayor and cracks down on police corruption doesn't exculpate him of all those murders he committed.
What is your favorite DC TV meme? Let us know in the comments!