'Lamar Roasts Franklin' GTA 5 Memes Are Taking Over the Internet
By Iain Lew
The famous roasting scene from Grand Theft Auto 5 has become a popular internet meme, with many creators adding various pop culture icons to it.
The internet is a place where what is new often has a much shorter shelf life than anticipated, and what is old can rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Over the years, random things like old SpongeBob scenes, decades-old hit songs, and stock photos have become some of the most popular memes of all time, clogging up many social media feeds. For now, the latest meme to be revived comes from a famous scene in Grand Theft Auto 5.
When GTA 5 released back in September 2013, its single-player story mode was still a major focus for the gaming community. One of the most famous scenes from story mode involved protagonist Franklin and his friend Lamar where the latter roasts the former for his "yee-yee a** haircut." While the profanity-filled rant already became a highlight for many players then — spawning a lot of fan art and remixes at the time — the seven-year-old GTA scene has now taken a new life of its own in a recent series of memes.
RELATED: Every Grand Theft Auto Game (In Chronological Order)
The internet has latched onto this scene, replacing Lamar with an assortment of pop culture icons including Shrek, Harry Potter, Darth Vader, and Snow White. Besides the model swap, Lamar's dialogue is often changed accordingly to suit whichever character is in his place. For example, Kermit the Frog proceeds to roast Franklin in his distinctive croak, while Tony Montana uses language and slang more appropriate for his character, as seen here. Warning: Profanity is present throughout the videos linked.
While the model and dialogue swap is amusing enough, other users have taken the meme to its surreal ends. YouTuber Merfish turned the scene into a literal rollercoaster experience, with Franklin riding past a choir of Lamars all roasting him. Meanwhile, user jackjack121 repurposed the dialogue into a Metal Gear Solid Codec call. Other post-modern interpretations of the scene include vocoding the conversation into various national anthems, shooting the scene from the first-person perspectives of Franklin and Lamar, or even changing the genre of GTA 5 into a visual novel.
For now, it appears that retooling this particular scene from a seven-year-old game is what is keeping the internet fascinated. Though Rockstar's focus appears to be on GTA Online and getting GTA 5 to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S — having dismissed rumors that GTA6 will be coming out soon — it is almost certain that whatever it decides to release next will provide the internet with a steady supply of memes for years to come.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions to be released this year.
MORE: 5 Reasons Why GTA V Is The Best Game Of The Last Decade (& 5 Games That Deserve The Title More)
Ubisoft is giving curious gamers one more free trial week of Riders Republic before it is officially released.
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GTA 5 Lamar Roasting Franklin Memes Take Over Grand Theft Auto Community
We're only one week into the new year but we already have an early candidate for gaming meme of the year. Fans have been taking one cutscene from Grand Theft Auto 5 where one of the game's main protagonists, Franklin, gets roasted by his friend Lamar and have been turning it into a scene where anyone and everyone can take a shot at the character. And when I say everyone, I mean it.
The meme template for these "Franklin Getting Roasted" memes basically takes the cutscene in question and replaces Lamar with any other character from fiction or the real world to clap back at Franklin. Some of the most popular iterations of the meme see characters like Kermit the Frog, Vegeta, Yoda, Toad, and dozens of others making their way into the conversation. The dialogue in each scene remains largely unchanged but the voices of each character tends to match what we would expect them to sound like.
What has started off as a relatively simple meme in structure has only started to evolve as time has gone on. Some users have changed the scene to where Franklin and Lamar don't get into an argument at all and they instead just go chill in the former's home. Others have devolved into cutscenes where no back and forth chirping happens at all, like in the video attached above where Yakuza's Kiryu just ends up singing.
Likely my favorite iteration of the meme so far sees a Persona 5 spin on the sequence. Rather than having a character from P5 make their way into the scene, one user dubbed the video with music, sound effects, and text boxes that you'd expect to see from the beloved RPG. It's goofy to be sure but I'm always a sucker for anything that involves Persona.0comments
So are you as addicted to this meme format as we are? Let me know down below and be sure to send me your favorite iterations of it that you may have seen so far over on Twitter at @MooreMan12.
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Lamar Roasts Franklin, also known as "Yee Yee Ass Haircut", is a memorable scene from the 2013 action video game Grand Theft Auto V. Online, people have remixed the scene from the game and used the phrase "Yee Yee Ass" as a copypasta and slang expression to describe things that look bad.
In 2020, the scene regained popularity on YouTube in X Roasts Franklin videos in which Lamar's character model is replaced with various fictional characters (and in some occasions, real-world celebrities such as Eminem, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Bernie Sanders among others), with dubbing often employed for further effect.
On September 17th, 2013, the video game Grand Theft Auto V was released. In the game, the characters Franklin and Lamar interact after the story mission "Franklin and Lamar." During their exchange, Lamar says the following:
"Ah, nigga, don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful, nigga. Maybe if you got rid of that old yee-yee ass haircut you got you'd get some bitches on your dick. Oh, better yet, maybe Tanisha'll call your dog-ass if she ever stop fuckin' with that brain surgeon or lawyer she fucking with. Nigga…"
That day, the YouTube channel Video Games Source GTA V uploaded the clip. Within six years, the video received over 37,000 views. Another upload, made by YouTube user ahmehade on November 18th, 2014, received nearly 3 million views in six years (shown below).
Several days later, on September 24th, 2013, Urban Dictionary user PandaBoo411 defined the phrase as "Something that looks extremely horrible." Within five years, the post (shown below) received more than 130 upvotes.
The scene quickly became a fan favorite, inspiring various memes, remixes and fan art. On November 28th, 2013, an unknown Redditor posted an image of a cross stitch of the quote and Lamar. The post (shown below, right) received more than 2,300 points in six months. Three years later, on May 6th, 2018, Redditor ExoticMedicine posted the image in the /r/gamingsubreddit, where it received more than 27,000 points.
On December 6th, 2013, Redditor ToastyJoe posted desktop wallpaper featuring a scenic landscape with the quote laid atop of it. The post (shown below, left) received more than 580 points (91% upvoted).
On January 22nd, 2016, YouTuber GoodfeelsPhD posted a YouTube Poop remix of the scene. The post (shown below) received more than 6,500 views in two years.
The Sakura Miko Incident
In May 2019, a clip of Japanese Vtuber Sakura Miko repeating the n-word after Lamar during a livestream went viral. The YouTube upload of the clip (shown below) received over 2.4 million views in one year.
Following the viral spread of the clip, clips of other Japanese Vtubers repeating after Lamar were circulated online.
X Roasts Franklin
On May 13th, 2020, Twitter user @leosleepy uploaded a video of the cutscene in which Lamar's voice replaced with SpongeBob's, created with 15.ai text-to-speech generator. The video received over 448,000 views and 50,700 likes on Twitter in seven months (shown below).
On June 17th, 2020, YouTuber Hit Content Productions uploaded a modded cutscene, with SpongeBob replacing Lamar's model and the audio from @leosleepy's meme used. The video received over 2 million views in six months (shown below, left). On October 27th, YouTuber Tyler NY posted a video "𝙱𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚜𝚑 𝙻𝚊𝚖𝚊𝚛 (Original)" in which Lamar's dialogue was rewritten and redubbed as if he was British. On December 6th, Hit Content Productions posted a video "harry potter roasts franklin calmly" which used the audio Tyler NY's video, with Harry Potter replacing Lamar's model (video shown below). The video received over 1.6 million views in one month.
In the following weeks, Hit Content Productions posted several more videos based on the modded cutscene. For example, on December 19th, 2020, the channel uploaded "kermit the frog roasts franklin" that received over 1.7 million views in two weeks (shown below, left). Starting in late December 2020, more YouTube users joined in on the trend. For example, on December 28th, 2020, YouTuber WackyW3irdo posted a video "Darth Vader Roasts Franklin" that received over 600,000 views in two days (shown below, right).
Noted GTA content creator Merfish also lent his own contributions to the meme, starting with the surrealist "Yee-Yee-Ass (An Existential Roasting)" in July 2020. He then followed it up with a dozen more remixes, which culminated in the crossover videos "The Los Santos Institute of Roastology" and "Everybody Roasts Franklin", where various fictional characters were put under Lamar's tutalege with the ultimate goal of roasting Franklin at his house.
Starting on December 31, 2020, YouTuber blakegriplingph uploaded several videos based on the modded cutscene involving Disney Princess characters Snow White and Cinderella as well as Frozen characters Elsa, Anna and Olaf, with audio taken from their respective films, save for the Elsa parody whose audio was taken from the 2019 crime drama Uncut Gems which also starred Idina Menzel.
The Snow White video, with audio taken from the 2011 video game Kinect: Disneyland Adventures and the character model converted from Disney Magic Kingdoms, received over 1.2 million views in a month.
Interview with Know Your Meme
On February 3rd, 2021, Know Your Meme interviewed Slink Johnson about his role playing Lamar in GTA5 and how he came up with the iconic line referenced in the meme (seen below).
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.Joker Roasts Franklin
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