How ‘Netflix And Chill’ Took Over The Internet And Ruined Things For Everybody

Let’s finally put the whole thing to bed. Remember bed? It’s where we had sex before sofas.a

How 'Netflix And Chill' Took Over The Internet And Ruined Things For Everybody

by Lauren Bravo |
Published on

Ah, The Internet. Both a source of so many nice things and a continual reminder that we can’t have nice things (including the phrase ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’).

What Does 'Netflix and Chill' Mean

Netflix was a nice thing, casual sex on someone’s rental futon with a chirpy episode of Modern Family playing in the background was a nice thing, but now the whole process has been branded and there’s no MYSTERY any more, you guys.

According to Know Your Meme, the earliest recorded mention of the nudge-nudge context of ‘Netflix and chill’ was in October last year (there’s a whole history of the phrase here if you want to make a Powerpoint about it) – which means in meme lifespans, it’s pretty much using a bean bag lap tray, buying a Michael Bublé album and wearing a Per Una cardigan.

On the one hand, drawing back the curtain on Netflix and chill has been a positive thing for all of us who kept rocking up to Sunday evening dates in our snuggliest jumper, clutching a pouch of toffee Butterkist, only to feel blindsided when they tried to stick their tongue in our ear before the MGM lion had finished roaring.

And just like negging before it and Notebooking before that, any tradition which presumes women are timid creatures who need to be lured and coaxed into sex deserves to be pointed at and scorned until we can point and scorn no more (that’s hedgehogs and gardens, guys! You’ve confused women with hedgehogs again).

But the trouble is that by meme-ing the hell out of Netflix and chill, the internet has ruined the whole thing for every well-meaning awkward person who can’t quite bring themselves to ask for booty straight out, but can comfortably conceal their horn with a strategically-placed love of kooky French cinema or documentaries about the food industry.

Don’t ruin it for the awkwards, internet. They need all the helpful tricks they can get.

It’s also ruined things for: people who genuinely just wanted to watch Harold and Maud; women with killer PMT who just want someone to bring over wine and provide bodily warmth while staying at least 3ft away from their nethers; dry clean-only sofa covers; adorable platonic sleepovers; actors who only appear in the final half an hour of a film; nerds who are sticking with Amazon Prime.

Soon we might reach a point where people start saying, ‘Netflix and chill except ACTUALLY just chill?’ as extended code when they still mean shagging. Perhaps nobody will ever be able to engage in non-coital light entertainment with another human ever again.

But on the plus side, look at all these hilarious memes! Let’s just enjoy them and chill. I’ll fetch a blanket.

Best Netflix and Chill Memes

1. Netflix and what’s new, pussycat?

Yes, yes it’s our favourite blend of adorable and hilarious (‘adorious’ or ‘hilorbz’, if Oxford Dictionaries are taking submissions), but more importantly: imagine if human Netflix and chill could also incorporate a personal grooming session?

And they’re allowed to make a move only AFTER they’ve spent an episode and a half of The Good Wife tenderly brushing your hair and fashioning it into a milkmaid braid.

How can we make this happen?

2. Netflix and safety first


The point at which Netflix and chill officially jumped the shark. Or more accurately, turned the lights down and started nuzzling the shark’s neck while the shark carried on trying to IMDb the supporting actor with its free hand.

Modern etiquette experts suggest a good host should arrange bowls of these on-brand condoms around the house, like pot purri. It’s just manners.

3. Netflix and optimism

Of course, there’s always the chance you’re going to spend an innocently romantic night waiting with them for the police to come round and register the burglary. But it’s a slim chance.

4. Netflix and multitasking

Because you’re not planning to tell another living soul about getting jiggy with Anton from the garden centre but you DO need to be able to join in Monday’s office chat about how great the Aziz Ansari show is. So.

5. Netflix and spelling it out

Nobody understands semi-fictional pop culture phenomena like The Simpsons.

6. Netflix and noisy neighbours

For when you’re pretty damn chill, but not totally unflappable.

9. Netflix and children

In my day it was a VHS of Showgirls someone’s older sister had taped off the telly, and chill.

10. Netflix and me time

Secretary again, is it ma’am?

13. Netflix and just Netflix

Come to think of it, Gok Wan had his uses.

15. Netflix and feline edgy

‘Hey Debbie,’ she texted later. ‘Just saw a cucumber and totally chat myself.’

16. Netflix and cagoule

For safe Netflix and chill, wear a condom. For EXTRA safe Netflix and chill, wear a bright yellow plastic anorak.

17. Netflix and kill me now

Pretty sure Freud had a name for this one.

18. Netflix and the earlybird special

‘If we’ve been snuggling and watching films since 1963, is Netflix and chill really the new cultural phenomenon you say it is?’ asks Doris Roberts in Funny or Die’s octogenarian takedown.

‘Perhaps it’s just because HuffPo, Buzzfeed, PopSugar and others decided to write articles about it in the same week in their endless search for viral content,’ replies chill buddy Ed Asner, and neatly shutting down all our stupid zeitgeist pretentions quicker than you can say ‘during the war…’

Still, why should our elders be denied access to everyone’s slickest dating move just because they struggle with a touchscreen? Take the time to call your grandparents and see if they need help instigating their own ‘Emmerdale and chill’ sessions.

Or as my Gran might call it, ‘Netflix and careful, you’ll catch a chill in your kidneys.’

19. It’s not over till the brandter begins

It was a decent attempt, guys. Though the PC term is ‘still hymenally-challenged’.

20. Netflix and overly forward

Like heeeey… pick me I have a subscription and I’m available Monday through Friday so, yeah what should we do about this...

21. Netflix and pants off I guess

Oh god how did we get here amirite? Where did your undergarments go and wait, has the series stopped playing!?

22. Netflix and apply here

I mean what do you even say when someone hands you this application form?

23. Netflix and Airbnb

Because someone loved the idea of the meme so much, they created this Netflix and chill haven, complete with a mini fridge and giant screen. Why even leave the bed?

24. Netflix and pregnancy, apparently

We all know it could happen because most Netflix sessions end with the inevitable.... sex. Good luck with the new kid Dazza.

25. Netflix and fell for it

So you really thought the two of you were going to hang out and watch Disney movies in order? We've all been there, you've been trolled dear. Hashtag fell for it.

Like this? You may also be interested in:

Here’s What Happens When A Woman Tries Out ‘Netflix And Chill’ Pick Up Line

Netflix Films To Watch With Your Man Friend

The 7 Best Things To Hit Netflix in November

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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