In one of the episodes, protagonist Homelander (portrayed by Anthony Starr) is cheered by a crowd after murdering a man who hurled an object at his son. This meme format went viral in mid-July of 2022 after the finale of the show’s third season. It is mostly used online as an exploitable video, or GIF, paired with humorous captions.
Christopher Nolan when the studio allows him to detonate an actual nuclear bomb for Oppenheimer: pic.twitter.com/mlhIjITA3H
— Morgan (@callouswayne) July 12, 2022
The “Homelander Laughing” meme comes from the Season 3 Episode 8 of “The Boys”, which first aired on July 8th, 2022, under the title “The Instant White-Hot Wild.”
During the final scenes of the episode, Homelander and his son are surrounded by a crowd of fans, when one of the spectators hurls a can of beer at the child. Homelander reacts by blowing off the head of the guy, with his laser eyes, to the astonishment of everyone. After a moment’s quiet shock, the crowd starts cheering, to which Homelander reacts with a surprised smile and laugh, finally exclaiming “Alright!”.
A GIF of the scene was shared on Twitter as early as the next day, by the Twitter page @CBMshots, praising the acting of Anthony Starr. The first meme was also shared on Twitter on July 12th, 2022, by user @callouswayne, amassing a large amout of views and shares.
“Homelander Laughing” took over Twitter in a matter of days, swarming the site with the scene, paired with witty captions, establishing yet another meme from the pop culture sensation, that is Homelander.
Posts also began emerging on other sites online, especially on Reddit and TikTok, while YouTube videos, compilations and meme edits also began featuring the new format.
2022 was the year of Homelander, as another meme also comes from the third seasons of the series, namely the Stressed Homelander template. Both memes are frequently used to this day, as of October 8th, 2023.