The Resident Evil franchise has a reputation for being a little melodramatic. This is the grandpappy of survival horror we’re talking about, after all, not Barney the Dinosaur’s Super Cutesy Baby’s First Platformer. Down Resident Evil way, it’s all death, destruction, hideously mutated freaks as bosses and cops having their faces sliced off with a shovel.
This is heavy stuff, is what I’m essentially getting at here. The latest entry, Resident Evil 7, pushed these boundaries further than ever; dialing up the graphic violence and sadistic themes to eleven. If you’ve ventured into the DLC episodes, in particular, you’ll know what I mean. I like to think of myself as a horror fan with a relatively strong stomach, but that blackjack minigame with the finger traps even creeped me out a little.
With all of this said, then, if you’re looking for a super funny happy good time, the Resident Evil titles won’t be your first port of call. They have been pretty darn hilarious at times over the years, but that was unintentional. It was mostly the beautifully craptacular voice acting about Jill sandwiches that got the laughs. The rule of thumb around here (providing that you still have both of your thumbs, of course) is that you laugh at Resident Evil, you don’t laugh with it.
Here on the internet, laughing at someone/something’s expense is what memes are all about. So, franchise followers, settle in for 15 Hilarious Resident Evil Memes Only True Fans Will Understand.
15 Just A Little First Day Orientation
Some people are just magnets for bad luck. I don’t know what it is that marks these people out (perhaps they did something terrible in a past life), but it’s an irrefutable fact. I know several such people, and I’m sure you do too.
If not, here’s an example: Resident Evil’s very own Leon Kennedy. We’ve all had a bad first day at a job, but this guy took that ball and ran it to the end zone. As a rookie cop in Raccoon City, he probably expected the usual day one orientation. Here’s the copy machine, lunch room’s here, that guy’s a bit of an a-hole, nobody sits next to him… the usual stuff. Instead, everything went to crap around his ears and a zombie apocalypse came hurtling around towards his face before he even figured out where his office is.
14 When Your Enemy Variety Is Astounding
Ever since Leatherface hideously mangled his victims on meat hooks in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, his trademark weapon has been a real horror mainstay. Right up there with Jason’s machete, Freddy’s glove, and Chucky’s craptacular one liners. Where would horror be without that most familiar of tropes, the chainsaw?
Earlier in the Resident Evil series, enemies mostly consisted of an array of monstrous mutants, none of which retained the smarts necessary to wield such a weapon. The fourth game, however, featured opponents that retained much of their humanity and intelligence, and they were appropriately tooled up. A Ganado known as Dr. Salvador wielded the weapon in Resident Evil 4, and was followed by the Chainsaw Majini in 5. The short-ranged-but-insta-deadly-if-they-reached-and-hit-you mechanic just added to their charm.
13 The Real Star Of The Show
All Resident Evil fans arrive at this existential crisis at some point in their lives. You never know when it’ll hit you, there’s just the painful inevitability that it will. When it does, you’ll be left awestruck, tossing and turning in your bed, trying to process those great mysteries of life: Who the hell is the Resident Evil guy? The one who bellows Resident Evil at the beginning of every Resident Evil? Where did he come from? Where does he go? Is he Cotton-Eye Joe? Most importantly, where in holy hell would the series be without him?
This man is our savior. Our guiding light. He’s there to remind us what we’re playing, in case we got the disks confused and thought we’d slipped Crash Bandicoot in there instead. Sometimes, the terrifying main menu background of eyeballs or homicidal Spanish villagers brandishing kitchen knives isn’t enough to tip you off.
12 New Underwear, Anyone?
Even the most ardent of series fans have become a little disillusioned with the games in recent years. As popular and successful as Resident Evil 4 was, there’s no doubt that it marked a huge turning point for the franchise, and one that it’s still struggling to recover from. A much more action-tastic, bullets-amundo, Arnold Schwarzenegger movie take on survival horror, and a controversial move.
The titles that followed, 5 and 6, weren’t even good Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. They were that horrendous Christmas film he was in, where he punched the reindeer in the face. There are still signs of life in the series, though, as Resident Evil 7 demonstrates. A high-octane experience that is genuinely unnerving from the get-go (that opening sequence with Mia) and rarely lets up. Hook up your PlayStation VR, and you may well need that new underwear.
11 Poor Lame Leon
As a staunch Resident Evil fan, I went into the movie adaptions with real trepidation. As all gamers know, these things tend to go horribly, swiftly and directly south. If you’ve seen Alone in the Dark, or any of the other film adaptions made by notorious German filmmaker Uwe ‘Boll-ocks’ Boll, you won’t need any more convincing than that.
The Resident Evil movies weren’t masterpieces by any possible stretch of the imagination, but they weren’t nearly as painful to experience as I feared. I guess you could call that a triumph. If you’ve seen them, though, you were probably just as saddened by the depiction of some of these classic characters as I was. Notorious and iconic villain Albert Wesker just looked like someone’s kind of douchey uncle, and don’t get me started on Leon.
10 The Knife Animation That Time Forgot
Back in the days of Ye Olde Resident Evil, the finer points of how to actually aim a goddamn gun were a mystery to the developers. This was 1996, after all, and we hadn’t quite got those things down yet. It was a simpler time, let’s cut them some slack.
The result was those legendary tank controls, and a primitive Up/Forward/Down aiming system. Over the years, these things have become more sophisticated, and our friendly neighbourhood Resident Evil protagonists have talents they could only have dreamed of earlier in the series. Punches, kicks, suplexes, we’ve got some full-on martial arts mastery going on right here. Sadly, the series' stalwart melee weapon, the knife, is exactly the darn same as it always was. Identical swings every time, or your money back.
9 Could The Joke Actually Be Over?
Now, as I say, I’ve been a loyal follower of the franchise for most of its life. Resident Evil is one of my favorite gaming series of all time, and it taught me all kinds of super valuable life lessons. For instance, sometimes, you never find out if it was Chris’s blood, and that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Let’s not forget, too, that there’s no need to panic if you’re ever locked out of your house. There’ll be an obscure stone insignia somewhere close by that’ll open it.
Even with all of that said, I’m not blind to the series’ failings. As Kanye himself demonstrates here, Resident Evil has been on a questionable run of late. Let’s just hope that the latest game’s success marks a turning point.
8 When Wesker’s Dead, But Isn’t Really, Although He May Be, Unless He Isn’t
This guy, huh? This freaking guy. Our old buddy Albert has been a constant pain in our asses since the very game. In the original Resident Evil, I instantly disliked him on sight for his faux British accent and smartass, standoffish demeanor. If anyone was going to be the closet traitor to the STARS, it was going to be him, and I was not disappointed.
When he was swatted aside by the Tyrant in the lab, like the douchey, sunglasses-indoors-wearing fly he is, you might have thought he was done. He soon came back, though. Again and again and again. His encounter with Chris Redfield at the climax of Resident Evil 5 was supposedly final, but I wouldn’t count old Albert out just yet. Not this guy.
7 Barry, The Fan-Favorite Butt Of The Joke
Barry Burton, studly ginger funster and special agent, was introduced with Jill, Chris and co back in the original game. He was STARS Alpha team’s support and was tasked with supplying and maintaining their gear. Not to mention keeping the biggest and finest damn magnum of them all to himself (I have THIS!).
The much-beloved Burton wasn’t instrumental in the game (he had a fair role in Jill’s scenario, though), but his legend has endured for other reasons. He had the misfortune of being the source of both the master of unlocking and Jill sandwich lines, which is quite a legacy to leave. From delivering arguably the worst and hammiest two lines in the series’ history, his status as comic relief and a cult hero have endured.
6 When You Actually Enjoyed Resident Evil 5
Now, it’s easy to talk smack about Resident Evil 5. It’s like shooting dopey comatose fish in a barrel; fish with odd, powerfully magnetic bodies that attract the bullets. That’s true of Resident Evil 6, Umbrella Corps, Operation Raccoon City… all of these later titles took their share of flak from critics and players, and there’s certainly a reason for that.
Nevertheless, universal popularity may be impossible, but so is the opposite. There are many fans out there who loved these games, and some who were brought into the Resident Evil fold as a result. Reviews and outside opinions are fine to a point, but it’s important not to be deterred. If you enjoy a game, you have right at it and enjoy away, friend.
5 Files Of DOOM
There’s an unfortunate truth of horror, and of horror video games in particular. I don’t know if you’re aware of it already, but if you aren’t, I’m about to blow your mind right out of your skull and through the ceiling with this revelation. Here it comes: almost everything and everyone wants to kill you. As a general rule, you have precious few allies in survival horror games, if any at all. It follows, then, that there’ll be slim to zero time for any small talk or exposition.
In the Resident Evil titles, almost all of the context and backstory you receive will come from documents you find around the environment. There’s a heaping helping of dialogue to read through, then, and you’d better get used to it.
4 Keeping Rebecca Waiting
Ah, Rebecca, the fresh-faced recruit who must have pissed someone at Capcom off in a past life. Generally, the Resident Evil franchise is never one to cast off its popular heroes. The iconic likes of Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, and Leon S. Kennedy crop up time and again throughout the series, which is really no surprise from Capcom. After all, these are the guys who re-released Street Fighter 2 eighteen bajillion times (true story).
Now, granted, the latest game eschewed all of that for an entirely new cast, but that was an exception to the rule. The important thing here is that nobody really seems peeved about Rebecca. She appears in Chris’s scenario in the original game, was granted a starring role in the prequel alongside Billy Coen, and that’s it. She makes cameos in Mercenaries modes later, but she seems to have vanished without a trace from later lore.
3 Is There A Doctor In The House?
There’s another inevitable result of all of the hellhounds, demons, biological weapons and such chasing you around: You’re going to be taking some hits at some point or another. Unless you’re one of these elite players who can complete the game 100% entirely unscathed, you’re going to have to become familiar with your healing options.
The Resident Evil franchise has always been big on herbs and first aid spray. The latter is a one-use full heal, while the former comes in different colors which bestow differing effects. Whatever you’re using, the effects will generally be instantaneous, defying all possible logic and reason just because. This whole thing reached a head in Resident Evil 7, where our hero Ethan HAS HIS ACTUAL DAMN HAND SLICED OFF BY A CHAINSAW. Not to worry, though: A quick splash of first aid spray on the stump and all is well.
2 Aye Aye, Shipmate
Do you remember the first time you watched the movie Arachnophobia? I sure as shootin’ do. That one scene with the spider lurking behind the toilet scarred me in ways I couldn’t have imagined — I still find myself checking behind there before I sit on occasion. That’s a perfect example of what this next meme is trying to say: horror affects us in all kinds of ways.
There’s a time and a place for hideous undead monsters and the like, but horror can also make us look at the real, sane world completely differently. How long did it take you to go back in the water after Jaws? Will you ever be able to hop onto a cruise ship again, without horrifying images of Resident Evil Revelations’ Queen Zenobia flashing through your mind?
Now, of course, the old classic I can haz cheeseburger meme is one of the best-known in all of Memedom. You can’t swing a lolcat without hitting a… thousand other lolcats. That’s just the way it is around here. Throwing the notorious Nemesis into the mix, at first glance, isn’t really offering anything new. However, as long-time franchise fans will know, this one’s a little more meaningful than meets the eye.
Our old buddy Nemesis appears in Resident Evil 3, constantly dogging Jill on her quest to haul ass out of Raccoon City before it freaking explodes. Nemesis’s goal, as we know, is to wipe out the STARS members who remain, under orders from Umbrella Corp. It almost makes a Jill sandwich out of our heroine a dozen times over the course of the game.