A new meme craze in China has started getting attention abroad because it’s, well, really charming and funny.
The “Karma’s a Bitch” meme, also known as the “Karma’s a Bitch Challenge” has creative teens in China doing a lip sync to an extremely sassy line from the CW series Riverdale, and then completely transform their look.
If that doesn’t make any sense, basically it works like this: A person (generally, a teen) poses in front of their phone’s camera in their frumpiest outfit and utters the Veronica Lake line, “Oh well, karma’s a bitch.” They then throw a scarf in front of their face, and pull it off to reveal that they’ve been magically transformed into the most confident and stylish versions of themselves. At this point they usually pucker their lips, wink, or strut around a little bit.
It’s weird and cute and it has tons of stylish teens — and some adults —glowing with confidence as they show off their outfits.
The trend, which originated on the Chinese social network Weibo, has gained notoriety outside of the country thanks in part to compilations that have surfaced on Youtube.
Meme-makers have been using a Chinese video app called Dou Yin to create their seamless transformation sequences, which include the Riverdale line juxtaposed on top of the Cryptex remix of the song “Gucci Gucci” by Kreayshawn. Dou Yin lets users create their own short music videos over pre-recorded songs.
The line in question comes from a particularly vitriolic Veronica moment, where she responds cooly to the news of major car accident.
The especially endearing part of this meme trend is how people are capitalizing on their transformation opportunities. The results are occasionally gender-bending, super goofy, or incredibly sexy and serious. It’s even begun to garner parodies — of course.