American Cup Song is a video remix series featuring a clip of a person playing the “Cup Song” game with a gun, reflecting the American interest and relationship with firearms. The Cup Game involves a player tapping on a cup and clapping their hands to a set rhythm. In the “American Cup Song” video, the player replaces a cup with a handgun, removing and loading the ammunition clip. The video inspired a replacement remix meme in which the meme adds a clip from other media to the end of the video.
On March 8th, 2018, Twitter user @Marks314 published a video of someone clapping and loading a gun. The post received more than 7.7 million views, 190,000 likes and 95,000 retweets in less than three years (shown below).
— 𝐽𝑈𝑁🥱💤 (@Marks314) March 8, 2018
Prior to the release of the video, others performed the “Cup Song” game with guns, uploading their versions to the internet. For example, on December 28th, 2014, YouTuber jim huish shared “The Cup Song – Pitch Perfect WITH GUNS!!! (Jim Huish),” which received more than 9.8 million views in less than six years (shown below).
Over the next week, the video continued to spread. On March 9th, Twitter user @zackfox tweeted the video and added the caption “teacher: stop making beats on the desk student: or what?” Within three years, the video received more than 180,000 likes and 85,000 retweets (screenshot below, left). On March 10th, 2018, YouTuber BlackCap Production shared the video with the title “You gonna miss me when I’m gun.” The post received more than 4.9 million views in less than three years (shown below, right).
On March 15th, YouTuber Kebla shared the clip, receiving more than 927,000 views.
Throughout the next year, memers continued to share remixes of the meme. For example, on August 29th, 2018, YouTuber Meme. NewTime shared a version that ended with a clip from the anime series Fate/Zero. In just over two years, the video received more than 3 million views (shown below).
On November 25th, 2018, YouTuber Eco shared the earliest version of the video to feature the title “american cup song.” The video received more than 53,000 views in less than two years.
In 2020, the meme went viral on YouTube, following a post by “Jiren in your recommendations,” which ends with a clip from the 2019 film Joker. Within four months, the post received more than 9.4 million views (shown below, left).
The post inspired a series of variations that continued throughout the summer of 2020 (example below, right).
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