GameStop stock frenzy prompts spike in memes, outrage at Robinhood


Real money is on the line for many people, but there’s still humor to be found in the story of GameStop’s stock soaring. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

It sounds like an Onion article. Reddit users decided to play the market and push up the stock value of GameStop, a struggling video game retailer, taking on Wall Street short sellers in the process. But this is no Onion article. The plan worked, and things have gotten wild. 

Experts warn it won’t last, and as of Thursday, GameStop and AMC stocks at the center of the multibillion-dollar drama between Wall Street investors and social media traders had dropped dramatically

Real money is on the line for many people. Still, we’re talking about GameStop, the dumpy mall video game store chain that made headlines early in the pandemic for claiming its stores were essential and needed to stay open. So you knew there were going to be jokes and memes surrounding the stock surge, including this fancy new look for the franchise. 

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What does GameStop’s skyrocketing stock have to do with…


Yellen ‘monitoring the situation’

Many jokes circled around the fact that President Joe Biden’s press secretary said the administration, including new Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, is aware of the news.

“Our team, including Secretary Yellen, is of course monitoring the situation,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. “It’s a good reminder that the stock market, though, isn’t the only measure of health of our economy.”

Naturally, people had to react to the idea of the president and his team focusing on GameStop.

“We will let the American people know when GameStop discounts a Legend of Zelda chess set in a dented box,” said one Twitter user.

Wrote another, “My sources now telling me Biden is monitoring the GameStop situation and contemplating picking up a used copy of Crackdown 3 for $7.”

Sell, sell, sell

There were plenty of other elements of the story to poke fun at, including GameStop’s reputation for paying very little for used video games. Wrote one, “Wow GameStop! I got your stock and now it’s over $330! GameStop: I’ll give you $12 for it.”

Wrote another, “I’m a GameStop trader too but I must be doing something wrong… I gave them my xBox, controller, and all my games and all I got was a $15 gift card.”

(That last one makes more sense if you remember the Area 51 raid.)

Piling on Robinhood 

People had plenty to say about stock-trading platform Robinhood barring users from investing in stocks including GameStop’s. It’s facing scrutiny from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers from both sides of the aisle. And one user has already filed a class-action lawsuit demanding Robinhood pay damages to affected users and reinstate GameStop on the service. 

Some reactions centered on the perceived irony of the platform’s name. “Robin Hood wouldn’t like what you’ve done Robinhood,” one Twitter user wrote.

Stocking up

Many admitted that stock market manipulations weren’t exactly their superpower, but they were still plenty entertained by the whole situation.

“I have no idea what this GameStop thing is but I plan on playing a lot of video games to find out,” wrote one Twitter user. 

Wrote another, “OK, explain this GameStop story to me like I’m an idiot: They’re plumbers who race Go Karts against a dinosaur and a princess?”

Like a video game with multiple stages, the GameStop saga is continuing, so stay tuned.


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