Knives Out ending Ana de Armas sips from mug.

“What If [Movie] Came Out in 2007?” Meme Is AMV-Style Nostalgia

Older anime fans and Michael Bay would be so proud.

There’s a new meme blowing up online, and like the current state of the housing market, it’s giving very 2007. Basically, people are placing the song “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park over popular movies. One of the most viral renditions is the Knives Out version, but this meme has been applied to many movies lately, and each one is a gem. Placing this song at the ending of a movie is, of course, a reference to the ending of Michael Bay’s Transformers (2007).

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Someone even did Remember Me, which I wouldn’t click on unless you’ve seen it, as it is a massive spoiler! Additionally, others are playing with the concept in other decades. So, the 1990s would include “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve, and so on. Maybe it’s the song, maybe it’s the hype, but these are also just generally reminiscent of the late 2000s—specifically, the trend and subculture of AMV (Anime Music Video) content, but without the anime.

I didn’t know much about this myself until I was shown a video by Internet Pitstop, “AMVs and Linkin Park Shaped My Childhood.” Essentially, these were fan-made music videos in the early days of YouTube using clips from anime and Butt Rock songs. Some of the most popular (like these memes) come from Linkin Park’s 2000 album Hybrid Theory and their 2007 album, Minutes to Midnight. The most popular anime included Naruto and Dragon Ball Z. This AMV from 2008 has over 54 million views.

Editor’s note: I was always partial to these two prime examples circa 2001:

AMVs never went away and even extend now into American animation, like Steven Universe. However, now you’re more likely to find these using hip-hop and rap songs. Their spiritual successor, fancams, also use popular songs from hip-hop, k-pop (who appropriates hip-hop), and the occasional viral TikTok song of any music genre.

(featured image: Funimation)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.