5 Reasons ‘Squid Games’ Are Affecting Memes, Streams and Halloween

Note: Although this piece avoids the specific “squid game” plot spoiler, it gives a general overview of the story and its themes that can still be considered spoiler.

The Korean Survival Drama, set to become Netflix’s most-watched series of all time, has sold tentacles, sneakers and tracksuits, crochet patterns at Wall StreetBates Mem Culture, ET ETSY,
And South Korean politics.

If you still can’t tune in, the series sees hundreds of men and women on the brink of financial ruin, competing in a deadly battle for about 38 38 million. It’s dark. It’s annoying. And people can’t get enough. About 95% of viewers of “Squid Games” enjoyed the show from outside South Korea, Netflix NFLX,
+ 0.13%
Said, and the series has been subtitled in 31 languages ​​and dubbed in 13.

Uniforms worn by “squid game” guards have become iconic – and popular Halloween costumes.

Yankee Park / Netflix

The show actually broke the Internet in South Korea, with leading Internet service provider SK Broadband urging Netflix to sue Netflix over traffic overgrowth caused by “squid games” to cover increased network traffic and maintenance costs.


  • Google notes that the search interest in converting the Korean won into US dollars has reached a record high in the United States, as American viewers have come to better understand the dollar equivalent of the amount of wins shared on the show.

  • “Squid Game” is the most googled Halloween costume of 2021, with viewers also flocking to Amazon and Etsy looking for pieces to make players wear teal green tracksuits or hot pink guard uniforms. Sales of white slip-on vans sneakers similar to those worn by players at the show increased 7,800% since the show premiered Sept. 22, according to the sole supplier.

  • And a sweet hive known as toffee Dalgona The show has turned into a global frenzy, Reuters reports. Seoul Dalgona The creator who created the treat for “Squid Game” was tearing down less than 200 pieces the day before the show. Now he is serving more than 500 Dalgona One day. And Google reports searching for beehive toffees (Dalgona Candy) has reached record highs in the United States this month

Curiously, all of these colorful Halloween costumes and tic-tac-toe challenges and shopping trends and funny memes are being inspired by one of the feeling-bad shows of the year.

So why is it that everyone is obsessed with “squid games” when it’s so hard to watch? Here are a few key reasons.

It is in the financial troubles of the world right now

The “squid game” saw women and students struggling with loans and medical debt, loan sharks’ money, or being exploited by their employers, who are so desperate to win the লার 38 million overnight application that they risk physical harm or even death. The show also condemns capitalism and wealth inequality – rich VIPs bankroll games and people kill each other for sports.

Some of it is slight Too Real, especially for home visitors. South Korea is in the grip of a debt crisis, and South Korean politicians are trying to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the show to dig into each other or add their stump speeches. In fact, “Squid Game” creator Huang Dong-hyuk famously broke down so much when he was writing the script that at one point he had to sell his laptop for 75 675.

Interesting visuals of “Squid Games” are also part of its appeal.


“Similarly, the ‘squid game’ can be seen as a microcosm of our society,” Arium Jeong, an assistant professor in the humanities department at Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute, told MarketWatch. “Young people today feel discouraged and frustrated about the unemployment rate and working conditions. While the older generation was recognized and rewarded for their hard work, today’s younger generation believes that your background and legacy (rather than hard work) is more important in achieving success.

And since economies around the world have been plagued by the collapse of the epidemic lockdown, and the damage that the epidemic has done to human lives, the rich-quick imagination is as fascinating as ever. “In the age of social media influencers and YouTubers, it seems that the conventional notion of labor (going to work 9-5) is being devalued, and more and more people are looking for ways to make money (easier and faster),” said Jeong. “In Korea, more people stock The market is booming and even Korean college students are buying stocks these days. ”

The visual and costume design is interesting

White stitched teal green tracksuit in front. Hot-pink hooded uniforms with black-fence masks, triangles, circles and squares imprinted. A large-sized robot doll flashes a warning in his eyes. The image of the “squid game” is worth a thousand words – which is helpful if the audience does not speak the same language.

“The show is packed with images and symbols that are easy to recognize but easy to replicate, such as square / circle / triangle shapes on mysterious recruitment cards, the show’s logo, players’ tracksuits and jumpsuit uniforms worn by masks and bright-red workers,” said Pop Insider Sr. Editor Madeleine Buckley told MarketWatch. “It makes’ Squid Game ‘the perfect beast for fans’ respect, social media challenges, cosplay and merchandise.”

Interesting visuals of “Squid Games” are also part of its appeal.


In fact, a quick “squid game” search on Etsy brings up nearly 1,000,000 listings, including “squid game” -inspired T-shirts, tumblrs, crochet patterns, stickers, jewelry, masks, and business cards. An Amazon AMZN,
Search Dozens of “squid games” wear Halloween costumes.

While most of the “squid game” products that pop up on Amazon and ETC are unlicensed, Netflix’s online store has official “squid game” products, including T-shirts and hoodies, for 35 to $ 50.

And of course, there are memes and GIFs, as well as the TickTock Challenge where people try to compete in some of the games that appear on the show at home.

“In addition to word of mouth, I’m sure many people became interested in watching the show because of this dazzling meme and tic-tac-toe challenge posted by the ‘Squid Games’ marketing team and early viewers,” Jeong agreed. “And after these curious viewers watch the show, the interesting costumes, objects and symbols all become references that they can now fully understand and enjoy on social media.”

It is running K-pop / Korean waves

The “squid game” hurts as Korean culture dominates the world. More than 20 words of Korean descent were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in September, including Halio Describes the growing international interest in South Korean entertainment and culture, such as the “Korean Wave”.

“The rise of Korean pop culture in recent decades, especially K-pop performances like BTS, Korean movies like ‘Parasite’ and Korean TV dramas on Netflix, has helped global audiences become interested in ‘squid games,'” Jeong said. “And many recent Korean works that have been liked by viewers around the world (‘Parasite,’ ‘Train to Busan,’ Netflix’s ‘Sweet Home,’ etc.) share a common theme about what humanity is, especially how human dignity can be achieved.” Saved in dystopian settings. A theme viewers can resonate with, especially during epidemics.

The ‘squid game’ is fresh despite another survival competition

Even before Stephen King’s “Running Man” to “Battle Royale” and “Hunger Games” there have been fictional, deadly reality competitions. But the “squid game” has its own twists and turns. “Yes, we’ve seen other media where frustrated people must compete for wealth (hello, ‘Hunger Games’), but the sheer brutality of this show is the frustrating, inconsistent fact that these players are risking their lives to play on school grounds.” Said. “On top of that, the show has a lot of mystery and unknown features, which gives fans so much room for speculation and theory when watching.”

In fact, tic-tac-toe and YouTube videos confuse the early hints of the “squid game” and the Easter eggs, encouraging repetitive viewing.

Plus – and another spoiler alert – players compete in playground games that are familiar to many spectators, and easy enough for a child to understand. Childhood games in “Squid Games” are not complicated at all, even if you are not Korean and do not play. [some of] Before these games, the rules were simple and very easy to understand, ”Jeong said. “The familiarity and simplicity of the squid game makes it easy for international viewers from a variety of backgrounds to understand and enjoy the show and participate in sharing popular memes or tic-tac-toe challenges.”

Buckley added that the universal appeal of “squid games” stems from questions asked about how we are human and what we can do to survive. “It’s one of the most basic and universal themes of being human: the frustration of wanting a better life, being willing to do something for the people you love, and fighting the moral implications of your choices. The situation,” he said. “No matter what language we speak, all of these things make the show accessible and interesting to a global audience.”

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