This week I'm obsessed with: Spotify playlist memes

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This week I'm obsessed with: Spotify playlist memes
By Eszter • Issue #2 • View online
Some of my low-key obsessions are based on how incredibly, precisely relatable a thing is - for example a TikTok video that perfectly encapsulates a feeling, or awakens a childhood memory I thought was unique. This week’s topic is the exact opposite of that.

I gotta be honest. I am not a music buff. I am not talented musically nor do I base my identity around my taste in music. I’m the kind of boring person who can put on the current Top 50 of pop songs and be completely satisfied, but more often than not I’ll sit in silence or listen to a podcast before I even remember music exists. Which is probably also why I completely missed out on playlist memes.
Spotify playlist memes! Arguably the least music-y thing you can enjoy on Spotify. I was introduced to this genre very recently through TikTok, one video in particular that used a funny conversation from New Girl (the bit about Nick using Schmidt’s towel, with the hilarious quote “No I don’t wash the towel, the towel washes me. Who washes a towel?”, if you were wondering) as the audio while scrolling through a Spotify playlist in which the songs’ titles corresponded with conversation.
Admittedly, this is not a new phenomenon. I have been living under a rock not to know that spelling out quotes and such with song titles in a Spotify playlist is a well-documented meme format. But boy, was I in awe of human creativity, ingenuity, and tenacity when I finally did! And for a few days I couldn’t have enough.
So, let’s get back to the beginning. As I learned from a very informative article from 2017, the first recorded playlist meme comes from 2014, from Spotify itself:
We love @taylorswift13 as much as you do. Here's a message we hope brings her back #justsayyes
Following Taylor Swift’s decision to take all of her music off the platform (reasoning that streaming services “don’t appropriately value her art”), Spotify posted on Twitter an 8-song playlist named “Come back, Taylor!”. The titles of the song read “Hey Taylor, we wanted to play your amazing love songs and they’re not here right now” - talk about throwing shade!
The article features many more iterations of the playlist meme, from sending messages to crushes to intricate breakfast orders and The Bee Movie or Suite Life of Zach & Cody quotes (not the freshest references, I’ll admit).
I am feeling less out of touch knowing that the playlist meme is still alive and well, and has been reborn on TikTok. The New Girl video I mentioned earlier boasts 356.3K likes and 1.9M views. Another playlist video from the same creator - spelling out an Office quote, Dwight talking about the perfect crime - has 3.6M views and 533.4K likes. I found a few other TikToks, too, recreating well known quotes of cult TV shows in playlist form.
It is not only quotes that can be immortalized in a playlist. Another favourite of mine is the anonymous yet relatable story - an odyssey, if you will - of someone trying to make banana bread, from ingredients to giving up and getting storebought.
gonna make banana bread - playlist by Alienaliart | Spotify
The Spotify playlist meme was a joyous rabbit hole to go down. They seem like a tedious and time-consuming endevour, and I have nothing but admiration for the people who do them.
Oh, and one last bit to mention. Another thing I came across researching this, and now have newfound appreciation for, are oddly specifically (but very aptly) named Spotify playlist. Like, “you’re in charge of aux at a party”, “im the main character”, or “pov: ur the badass female villain”. Maybe I should be listening to more of these?
Until next week,
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By Eszter

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