Remembering That Groundbreaking Quiznos Ad

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It's not unusual these days to see a brand co-opting an internet meme to try and relate to the cool, hip teenz. But back in 2004, the idea of a real life adult corporation acknowledging internet culture was still extremely new. Plenty of millennials and younger Gen Z kids were simultaneously amused and traumatized by this ad from Quiznos, which brought an internet meme called the Spongmonkeys to life to sing about sandwiches.

The Spongmonkeys were a creation of Joel Veitch and the website B3ta, a hub for strange internet animations that made up the foundations of our earliest memes. Below is a video of the Spongmokeys performing one of their original works, in the time before your parents were on Facebook.

Suddenly and without warning, the memory of these adorable and horrifying little creatures has taken over Twitter. Users are at once waxing nostalgic and re-traumatizing themselves with the memory of these little snack rats.

Is this the source of our generation's downfall? Or just a haunting memory we as a people have yet to face? It's hard to be sure. What we do know is that this ad was probably the first in what quickly became a new normal: for brands to take weird internet culture and make it a thing that sells stuff.

But while this once wired trend may now be considered tired, it's useful once and awhile to look back on our shared history. If only to see how far we've come, and maybe to exercise some old demons that still haunt us.

It's okay, everyone. The Spongmonkeys can't hurt us anymore. Or, so we hope.