Who doesn't love the story of the girl on fire? Katniss Everdeen first volunteered as Tribute in Suzanne Collins' dystopian novel The Hunger Games, which came out in 2008. The trilogy's second and third installments hit the bookshelves in the following two years, and four movies based on the award-winning series came out between 2012 and 2015. It's been a while since we've heard about the Katniss, Peeta, or anyone else in from Panem for that matter. It's been almost three years since the final movie, Mockingjay Part 2, debuted in theaters, and while there is certainly potential for a prequel about previous Hunger Games or the history of Panem, we haven't had any reason to hope for one for quite some time.
The Hunger Games hasn't made much entertainment news lately, but this September will mark the first novels' ten year anniversary. Yes, it's been ten years since we first read "I volunteer as tribute!" or found out what a tracker jacker was. To celebrate the stories that brought us the Katniss braid, the Mockingjay pin, and the Three Finger Salute, we found 16 amazing Hunger Games memes for your enjoyment. May the memes be ever in your favor!
16 DATING LOGIC
Peeta may have ended up with Katniss, but it certainly wasn’t due to a flawless dating strategy. Some mistakes we can overlook, like his decision not to tell Katniss that he loved her for 11 years. Shyness is a thing, it happens. We might even forgive the fact that he only admitted his feelings when they were supposed to battle each other to the death. It would have been worse if had never told her, right?
But the part where he decided to reveal this information on television on live television before he told her? Yeah, he kind of deserved it when she didn’t take the news well. A couple of near-death experiences later though, he still managed to get the girl. The odds must really have been ever in his favor.
15 FROSTING CAKES
While training at the camouflage station in the Capital, Peeta managed to disguise his hand like a tree branch -- convincing texture and all. His nonchalant explanation was that he acquired these impressive skills by frosting cakes. Even during the games when he was wounded and didn’t have access to many tools, Peeta was able to disguise himself as a rock to hide from the other tributes.
This meme brings up some important questions: just what kind of bakery did Peeta grow up in, and how did frosting cakes make him a camouflage expert? Was he Panem’s equivalent of the Cake Boss? Did people from District 12 all want their birthday cakes to look like trees? Did he just make tree cakes because he really loved the outdoors?
14 I’M GOOD
If there’s one thing we can say about Hunger Games fans, it’s that they’re fine right where they are. Some fans have a burning desire to visit their fandom’s destination, but Hunger Games fans don’t typically have that request. For some reason, the thought of fighting people to the death for the sake of entertainment and political agendas has not instilled fans with a longing to see District 12 or the Capital.
Hunger Games admirers don’t need a letter inviting them to a school for wizards or a wardrobe that leads to a magical land -- they’re just happy to be alive and as far from the Capital as possible. Instead, they’d rather show their admiration with a Three Finger Salute, a Katniss braid, or a Mockingjay pin.
13 LADY GAGA
Not only are post-apocalyptic worlds are fun, but they are also great for revamping just about anything. After all of earth’s traditions and customs come to an end, new civilizations rise from the ashes, and virtually anything is possible. Characters can have names that sound like bread, governments can engineer hallucinogenic waps, and the world’s perception of beauty and fashion can get a complete overhaul.
Hopefully, the world as we know it isn’t ending anytime soon. As this meme points out though, we have a Lady Gaga-style world of fashion to look forward to if a catastrophe ends the world as we know it. Maybe not the brightest future imaginable, but it’s certainly a brightly-colored one. If you’re lucky enough to live in the Capital, that is.
12 A REBELLION PROBABLY WON’T HAPPEN
Even in fiction, politicians can have some insane logic. After the Dark Days, Panem held the Hunger Games every year to remind the districts of how unsuccessful their rebellion was. As the winner was allowed to live, he or she symbolized the “mercy” the Capital extended to the districts. In theory, this was supposed to show the Capital’s strength and instill fear in the Districts.
Of course, it also gave the Districts an annual reminder that the Capital was still oppressive and barbaric enough to take their children and force them to fight each other to the death on live TV. We have to wonder what was going in their heads when they created the games. If we had to guess, we’d say it was something similar to this meme.
Bad Luck Brian just can’t catch a break. Virtually any terrible thing conceivable by man has happened to him. He studied all night for an exam but overslept and missed it. For Halloween, he dressed up as Batman and his parents died. He even managed to reach the rank of Jedi Knight on the same day that the Emperor executed Order 66.
As it turns out, Brian wouldn’t fare well in a post-apocalyptic society either. Bad Luck Brian finally won the lottery in this meme. Unfortunately for him, it was the lottery for the Hunger Games -- just his luck. Considering his track record, it’s not likely that someone would volunteer as tribute for him. It’s even less likely that he would actually survive the Hunger Games.
10 I VOLUNTEER
When Katniss said “I volunteer as tribute,” she made a heartfelt sacrifice to save Prim. She didn’t think twice about it, even though it meant she would probably die in a horrible situation. She just wanted to protect her sister. While Katniss volunteered for something less than desirable, there are plenty of situations where someone would want to volunteer just as passionately as Katniss did when she traded places with her sister.
This amazing meme is just one example where volunteering as tribute would be nothing less than awesome. Donna might not want to be the Doctor’s “mate,” but there are plenty of people who would gladly trade places with her (regardless of whether it’s his idea of “mate” or hers because either would be fantastic).
The Mockingjay is an important symbol throughout the Hunger Games. Katniss gives Prim a Mockingjay pin to give her good luck, and Prim gives it back to her after Katniss volunteered to take her place. Katniss wears the pin while she’s in the arena, and after she wins the Hunger Games, the Mockingjay becomes a symbol for the rebels to rally under.
The pin looks pretty great, although we have to wonder if it helps the odds be ever in anyone’s favor. When Katniss first sees the pin in the movie, the owner gives it to her without charging her (suspicious, right?). Katniss gives the pin to Prim, and even though it’s highly improbable, Prim wins the lottery at the Reaping. Are we sure this is a good luck charm?
The Career Tributes are pretty terrifying. They’re from the wealthiest districts and they spend their entire lives preparing for the Hunger Games. Much of this training takes place at a combat academy, where they are trained by previous game winners. They’re typically the strongest of the tributes, and have no problem with spilling blood -- they’re usually quite excited about it.
So when the Careers trap Katniss in a tree, it looks like certain death. At least, it looks like certain death until we realize that none of them can shoot a still target, and only one of them even tries to climb the tree. So apparently combat academies do not cover basic archery skills or tree climbing. They may want to rethink their training regime.
Effie’s comment about mahogany is one of the best lines from The Hunger Games movie. It’s not something she ever said in the books, but it’ so Effie that it works anyway. Katniss stabs a knife into the table to get Haymitch’s attention, but Effie is more concerned about damaging the beautiful wood than whether or not the tributes learn what they need to stay alive.
Why exactly is Effie so obsessed with Mahogany? Granted, she has a deep appreciation for the finer things in life and mahogany is an expensive and beautiful wood. Still, when a butter knife makes a mark on a table, we’re just a little surprised that Effie ends up looking like she does in this meme. We can’t be sure if it’s just her love of the luxurious in general or a particular affinity for mahogany. Either way, it’s still a pretty great meme.
6 A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH
When Katniss and Peeta were the only tributes left in the games, they threatened to kill themselves with nightlock berries unless they were both allowed to win. To ensure that the games had at least one winner, Seneca Crane allowed them both to live. While they told the public their undying love for each other prompted these rebellious actions, President Snow knew it was pure defiance. As punishment for allowing the tributes to manipulate the Capital, Seneca is locked in a room with a bowl of nightlocks and is never heard from again.
If Snow had really wanted to punish Seneca though, perhaps he should have replaced the berries with a razor. With such an elaborate look, Seneca would have viewed the loss of his facial hair as a fate worse than death and would have taken great pains to ensure that he never made the Capital look weak again.
It’s a pretty simple concept: don’t go near the cornucopia. There are plenty of weapons and supplies there, but it’s also an acknowledged trap meant to incite a bloodbath. Unless you are a Career Tribute whose actual plan is to start the bloodbath, your best hope for survival is to ignore the stockpile. Anyone who survived the games knows this.
Haymitch knows this and explicitly tells Katniss to stay away from the cornucopia. She manages to stay away from the fighting when the games start, but later It’s the only place to get medicine for Peeta. So after she promises not to go, she waits for Peeta to fall asleep and makes a run for it. Katniss barely managed to survive the encounter, while some of the other tributes realized just how true it is that you only live once.
4 THRONE OF LIES
It’s Prim’s first Hunger Games, so of course, she won’t get picked. She’s 12 and she never had to take a tessera for extra food, so her name has only been entered once. Katniss tells her this before the reaping to calm her down, and she no doubt believes it. Prim’s chances are astronomically small, so there’s no need to worry that she’ll be picked.
Of course, the odds were never in Prim’s favor, so Katniss’ assurances turned out to be false. We can only imagine what Prim’s response might have been if she had known what the outcome would be. Granted, it probably wouldn’t have been quite like Buddy the Elf’s response here, but some meme opportunities are just too good to pass up.
Before Katniss leaves for the victory tour, Gale asks her if she loves him. Katniss says he knows how she feels about him, but with everything going on, she needs to focus. That’s perfectly natural -- her family’s lives are in danger and she has to pretend that she’s madly in love with. Clearly, she doesn’t have time for a relationship.
Of course, once the 75th Hunger Games start and Katniss decides that she can’t live without Peeta, there is suddenly time for passionate kisses on the battlefield while previous hunger games winners plot to kill them. We can’t really blame her, Peeta’s awesome and she didn’t realize how much she cared about him until then. Still, it’s pretty comical when thinking back to the excuse she gave Gale.
2 BREAD JOKES
There was no way a character named Peeta could escape being the butt end of every bread joke known to man. He grew up in a bakery, his names sounds like pita bread, and he even threw a loaf of bread at his crush once. The possibilities for bread-based Peeta jokes are endless, so it’s not surprising that there are enough Peeta memes referencing bread to make a whole list dedicated just to Peeta bread jokes.
We’ll settle for just this one. Even in District 12, Peeta probably had to deal with quite a few bread jokes. That had to get old pretty fast, but if you’re going to tell someone not to make a bread joke, you might as well do it with a pun.
1 ON FIRE
"She's living in a world and it's on fire..." Katniss is known as the girl on fire, so it's only natural to think she'd be all about Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire." The song wasn't written with Katniss or the Hunger Games in mind, but the lyrics are definitely applicable.
It's not likely that Katniss ever heard of "Girl on Fire." Most of the pre-Panem history is a mystery. If the world's history didn't survive the catastrophes that wiped out most of the human race, we wouldn't bet that a particular Alicia Keys song managed to stay alive through the ages. Still, if Katniss did ever end up listening to the song, we imagine her reaction would be similar to the one in this meme.