Tuesday, March 5, 2024

But what does it meme? The week in Mexican memes

If you’re on a quest to understand Mexican humor – or at least to find the best Mexican memes to share with your friends – we’ve got you covered! Here’s this week’s curated collection with a translation, background, any relevance to current events, and hopefully, a good chuckle.

Meme Translation: “Shakira after paying 7 million Euros.” “Me after paying my electric bill.”

What does it meme? If you’ve been following celebrity news, which I highly recommend as a nice respite from the regular news, then you might know that beloved Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira – who, by the way, is responsible for teaching me, like, 20% of the Spanish I know – was charged by Spanish authorities for tax evasion. Luckily, she can pay the bill, and hey, at least she’s not a US citizen.

For most of us, even the regular bills hurt, more so lately as the peso continues to strengthen against the dollar. At least we can laugh about it, right?

Meme Translation: “Were you a good dog?” “Yes! I sat. I was loyal and provided love to my human family.” “And you, were you a good cat?” “You’re sitting in my chair.”

What does it meme? Y’all have probably figured out by now that I’m a sucker for cute animal memes. No matter what language they’re meowing in, cats seem to be known the world over for their entitled attitudes!


Meme Translation: “Me: I wasn’t even that drunk.” “My friend: Dude! You cried over the song La Vaca Lola, because she has a tail (a butt) and you don’t.”

What does it meme? “La Vaca Lola” is a beloved children’s song in preschools all over the country, and likely all over the Spanish-speaking world. It goes like this: “La vaca Lola, la vaca Lola, tiene cabeza y tiene cola, y hace muuu!It’s one of those songs that everybody knows because they learned it as kids, kind of like Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star. So what had that girl upset?

“Cola” can have a few meanings in Spanish, and one of them is, to put it politely, “butt.” I guess it hurts to feel outdone by a cartoon cow!

Meme Translation: “My preferred hobbies: – squeeze, but not strangle; – help the early riser; – make people so they come together; – know why I do things; – have perfect timing; – need another angel in Heaven; – work in mysterious ways.”

What does it meme? Chances are that you recognize some form of these phrases in English; many of them are ways that people describe the wisdom of their favorite god. In Spanish, some of them even rhyme! “Al que madruga, Dios le ayuda.” (In English, that’s “God helps the early riser,” though I prefer another version that I know for certain is true, “El que madruga, no encuentra nada abierto” – “The early riser finds nothing open.”)

Meme Translation: This meme, of course, has no words, unless you look at the signs. The first one says “Pasteles,” (cakes) and the second one likely says “Panadería” (bakery), or possibly, simply “Pan” (bread).

What does it meme? Ah, the famous bolillo: the bread roll you see adorning a tree placed in front of the baked goods section of a grocery store! Bolillos are the kind of bread often used to make tortas. They’re cheap, they’re sturdy, and they can last for a while. Go to Mexico City, and you’re likely to find all kinds of things stuffed between two slices of bolillo. In fact, chilangos (as Mexico City residents are often called), often get made fun of for putting pretty much any kind of food between two slices.

Meme Translation: (on screen) “How do you make a voodoo doll?” “Finally done…oh yeah, that feels good.”

What does it meme? There have been a lot of adorable voodoo doll memes in which kind acts are done to the dolls instead of evil ones, and they are just too sweet and wholesome not to share. Another of my favorites says something like, “Can whoever has my voodoo doll please give it a kiss on the forehead and put a little spending money in its pocket?”

Meme Translation: “She said to do whatever I wanted to her, so I made her my princess.” “Article 12 – In the United States of Mexico no titles of nobility shall be given.”

What does it meme? This is one of my favorite memes of all time and makes me literally laugh out loud. The top panel is practically nausea-inducing with that prince-rescuing-the-loose-woman-teaching-her-to-value-herself trope, so the panel of the Dwight Schrute-like judge saying, basically, “absolutely not” just floors me.

For anyone who’s had to deal with Mexican bureaucracy, most authorities’ lack of a sense of humor…and of romance, at that, is most certainly recognizable.

Sarah DeVries is a writer and translator based in Xalapa, Veracruz. She can be reached through her website, sarahedevries.substack.com.

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