A Vibe Check is essentially a way to gauge the emotional temperature of an individual or group. It can be as simple as uttering those two magical words, “Vibe Check,” and waiting for them to spill their guts about how they’re feeling at that moment in time. Or it could take on a more performative aspect – think musicians reading the room by playing certain tunes and observing audience reactions.
The true test of any performer’s mettle lies in their ability to conduct an effective “Vibe Check” during live shows. By daringly testing out new material, performers can get instant feedback from audiences; this allows them to make quick decisions regarding what direction they should steer things next.
Alternatively, “Vibe Check” may also refer to a popular meme series online, where characters are seen exclaiming the phrase, before committing a violent atrocity. This format usually comes in multi-panel comics, and it often evokes historical tragedies.
On the April 18th, 2011, a witty Urban Dictionary user by the name rastabonez graced us with their definition of “Vibe Check”. This connection was made to how it’s used amongst those who identify as hippies. The masses quickly adopted this interpretation, and for years it remained unchallenged.
Fast-forward to early 2019 when Twitter user @umru_ casually tweeted out “Vibe check?” which garnered almost two hundred likes.
However, it wasn’t until September that same year that we saw our first meme featuring said phrase. The image, uploaded to Tumblr by user starion depicted one stick figure whacking another over the head with a bat, marking the birth of the “Vibe Check” meme series.
The baseball bat post quickly gained traction and inspired other users to create their own versions featuring violent acts.
One such variation was posted by unfunyman on September 15th, which showed someone shouting “Vibe Check” at John F. Kennedy, moments before his assassination.
The format rapidly spread to other platforms, like Twitter or Reddit, including subreddits, like r/comedyheaven, as well as r/dankmemes.
Although the “Vibe Check” meme format didn’t become as viral as other memes, it still garnered a large audience at the end of the 2010s, inspiring a lot of content online.
- Urban Dictionary – Vibe Check