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Why Was Vine So Good?

Sometimes, you have a bad day. If I’ve had a bad day or need a little pick-me-up, I pick a Vine compilation and let it roll. Guilty pleasure? Perhaps, but that nostalgia is a great thing.

Vine. Image: IB Photography/Shutterstock

Sometimes, you have a bad day. If I’ve had a bad day or need a little pick-me-up, I pick a Vine compilation and let it roll. Guilty pleasure? Perhaps, but that nostalgia is a great thing.

I mean, did you really grow up chronically online if you can’t quote at least half a dozen Vines, depending on the situation?

Comedy Done Quick

Something about those six seconds forced us to condense our humor until it felt wrong to see the video behind those few keywords. These are videos that feel wrong to give context; I know when I found out Smosh’s Anthony Padilla was behind the iconic ‘two bros chilling in a hot tub’ video, I had to double-check it wasn’t a peculiar fever dream. I think this proves why Vine became so quotable, though. It wasn’t about following creators you already knew on the platform. It was about finding a funny video that stood on its own – independent of all clout and past content.

Anthony Padilla managed to create a viral Vine, but it took years for most people to figure out it was him.
Credit: Jaguar PS/Shutterstock

How about yeet? It’s a tricky word to define, but if you saw its origin video – a girl throwing an empty can down a school hall – you know the vibes it can convey. Most people didn’t see the video on Vine; they saw it on YouTube. While I had a Vine account, my feed was filled with musicians posting six-second teasers of songs. Em Harriss, I am still begging for a full version of this song eight years later. Those teasers stuck with me for far longer than any shady TikTok advertising campaign could dream of.

(Insert Funny Quote Here)

Love her or hate her, Lele Pons made it big on Vine and still has a lucrative career years later.
Credit: DFree/Shutterstock

The brevity of these videos made them funny and made them quotable. Instead of needing to follow a ten-part TikTok series, you could pull up the link and understand the joke. It’s no wonder the nostalgia of these six-second bursts has stuck around, and we still quote them. Vine was never a platform aimed at optimizing profits or forcing you to stay scrolling for hours. Follower count didn’t really matter, you could loop a video over and over, and that was it. The simplicity of it wouldn’t survive today; it’s good that it didn’t last just to be unpicked and turned into something else. We saw Snapchat turn from a photograph only viewable once to private stories and albums because the fleeting nature of things is less desirable these days.

Consequences of a Yeeted Attention Span

I miss Vine, to be honest. Or maybe I miss the simpler senses of humor we all had back then. Perhaps we’ve just gotten older, and these references are all we’ll have when we sit in the cheapest nursing homes our relatives can find. We’ll be old and senile and lamenting the lack of snow in December thanks to global warming. All things considered, I can think of worse ways to spend my final days.

Just yeet me in the ground when I’m done, though. I think it’d be funny.

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First-year creative writing student at Nottingham Trent University.

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