Irish Twitter has decided a still of actor Matt LeBlanc from the Friends: The Reunion special channels a very specific but ubiquitous Irish uncle.
You see, it’s in the way LeBlanc is sitting, with his arms crossed, and the reserved but curious look on his face. You may conflate this look with any dad or old-man trope, but it’s apparently extremely resonant with Irish people, and has a set of unique characteristics. (A tip o’ the hat to @theofluffycat for collecting many of these in a hilarious thread!)
As a non-Irish person, I would not dare to explain Irish things to Irish people, so I asked for an explanation.
According to some Irish people online, the country’s specific brand of “uncle” is an “extreme salt of the Earth” kind of guy, “full of dry wit and just a drop of cynicism,” wrote user @noclarity74.
An uncle who’s classically “behind the times but ultimately wholesome and well intentioned,” said user @dervlamcneice. A guy you may “get stuck chatting to at a family wedding.”
He’s “rough round the edges,” loves “his cattle and you,” and “drinks like a fish,” said @HawHillFarm.
He tries to be understanding of alternative lifestyles and career paths, perhaps, but will never quite get it.
He’s bound to make fun of your favorite artist. He has no idea who anyone is on TikTok.
He’s there at tender family moments, but only minimally supportive. He just wants to sit in his chair.
Ireland, I hope I’ve understood and synthesized your meme well. It’s a delightful meme.
It’s unclear if LeBlanc has any idea the kind of impact he’s made in Ireland by simply existing. And sitting. I’ve reached out to him and his team to ask.
It’s like he’ll discover the meme six months from now and physically hand his iPad over to show someone.