Memes are the language of the internet. Though sometimes not as universal as music, with the right context they can communicate an idea or a joke better than a simple sentence. Memes and video games are like two perfect little peas in a pod. Within the context of a specific title, players can communicate their frustrations and humorous anecdotes through these perfectly packaged little jpegs to their heart’s content. As we’ll be exploring in this here list, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is no exception to the rule.
Packed full of frustrating AI mechanics (talking to you, Lydia), weird horse related physics issues, and just plain drops in common sense, Skyrim and its subsequent updated versions have captivated gamers since its initial release in November of 2011. Pile on top of that the insane amount of PC version modding that players have thrown into the game and you’ve got yourself a nice stew goin’, ready for a little salt and a dash of meme.
Join us on our adventure through northern, ice-coated lands as we explore 30 Skyrim memes so great you “can’t even.” “Can’t even what,” you ask? I don’t know, because these memes are so spicy you won’t even be able to describe what it is that you “can’t even." So start scrolling, and don’t forget: if you’ve got a solid Skyrim meme you think needs to be shared with the world, let us know using the comment button at the end of the list!
30 And The Award For Easiest Place To Stumble Into Goes To...
One of the most talked about features of Skyrim has always been just how vast the roamable map is. You’ve got plenty of forest to trek through, mountains to climb, and a plethora of cave entrances: though most of them always seem to bring you straight to Blackreach.
Blackreach is a large city in a massive underground cavern, once populated by the Dwemer, now littered with filthy Falmer. With a handful of ways to get into Blackreach, players have often found themselves stumbling into this enormous cavern without having ever meant to. Half the time you do stumble in, you don’t even realize where you are until you’re ambushed by the pointy-eared pale skinned Falmer and those damn poison barfing Chaurus.
29 Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Around
Skyrim has an incredible soundtrack, no one’s denying that. It does a fantastic job of always letting you know how you should be feeling in the moment, whether you can keep your guard down, enjoy the sights and chat with civilians, or if something big and scary has its gaze fixed on you without you even realizing. It’s one thing if it’s a mud-crab, or even a dragon considering how loud they are. But we’ve all been mindlessly jumping through rocky areas, turned a corner, and BAM, health regenerating ice troll in your face!
With so many creatures big and small lurking throughout the landscape, being surprised by an enemy seems to happen a lot more than you’d think in this game's universe.
28 ttHoarders: Skyrim Edition
With such a vast area to explore, you’re bound to come upon a heck of a lot of items that may come in handy on your adventures. Swords, bows, shields… great! Books, scrolls, food… alright, useful. But flowers… skeever tails… bees?! Oh my! To an alchemist, these ingredients are worth their weight in gold, but to pretty much anyone else? They’re just praying that we forget about them completely, lest they be plunged into the endless pockets of a vendor along with the various cooking pots and tankards we accidentally picked up in the last keep we raided. Those flowers might not weigh much at first… but boy do those things add up!
27 The True Kings Of Skyrim
With all of the fire breathing dragons, three-eyed trolls, and hulking, home-run hitting giants roaming the world, no one would have ever guessed that a creature so small, so seemingly insignificant… so tasty… would end up being one of the most dangerous beasts in all of Skyrim.
I’m talkin’ ‘bout chickens. The most dangerous boss in the entire region can be encountered after escaping the fires of the second most dangerous boss, Alduin, once you’ve made your way to Riverwood. If you’re brave enough to strike down the town chicken, you’ll be greeted by the pointy end of the entire town’s favourite axes and arrows.
26 They’re More Observant Than You Think
Ah, the guards of Whiterun. The butt of many a joke, the receiver of many an arrow to the knee. They see you when you’re stealing, they know when you’re in town. They’ll chase you through the market square and won’t leave you alone until you either go to jail or pay them off. They’ve seen you at your best, and arrested you at your worst. Your tales of heroism travel through their ranks, so much so that most of them recognize you simply by sight as the legendary Dragonborn. And when the guards go home and read tales of your exploits to their children, they tell them every last detail. From the mindless attempts at wall jumping, to the time you saw the Dragonborn eat more cheese in 5 seconds than 27 Thalmor at a dinner party snack table over an hour.
25 Eye See What You Did There
Character creation is always one of the more exciting parts about RPGs, especially nowadays when games give you seemingly endless amounts of dials, scales, doodads, and gizmos to customize your hero to the fullest. This is to allow the player to sculpt their avatar into the perfect vision, whether that be a carbon copy of themselves, or the wide-eyed monstrosity depicted above. I don’t know about you, but if I spend too much time tinkering with the face tools, my characters always seem to end up looking like the most unfortunately disfigured individuals anyone has ever seen, from the cliff racers of Morrowind to the butt-ugly giants of Skyrim. No developer constructed NPC could come close to the ugliness that a player’s imagination can conjure.
24 Practice Makes Perfect
I believe it was Malcolm Gladwell who professed, and I’m paraphrasing, that in order for an individual to achieve mastery of a subject or skill, one must put 10,000 hours worth of proper practice into said subject or skill. I guess Bethesda took this theory to heart when they decided to make you sit and craft about a zillion daggers in order to become a master blacksmith. Alright, so you don’t have to make a “zillion” daggers, but it sure as heck feels like it when you’re sitting there, crafting letter opener after letter opener, watching your life pass by just so you can craft some armor out of dragon bone, that is mostly just useful because it isn’t weighing down your bags as much anymore. Also, it does look pretty sick.
23 Thank Talos For Auto-Save
Auto-save is a gift from the divine Gods. The fact that some people choose to deactivate it, or extend the length between saves, is a complete mystery to me, and in all honesty, I pity those fools. When you’re gallivanting about Skyrim, beating up bandits and sneaking around Giant encampments, having that auto-save is a serious life saver. Not even just an in-game life saver, but a real life, mental health life saver. Anyone who’s played a Final Fantasy game knows how infuriating checkpoint/campfire save systems can be. Many of us have experienced that time when your mom is yelling at you that it’s time to go visit grandma, so you have to choose between leaving your PlayStation on all day, thus risking it overheating, or just shutting it off and throwing the last hours worth of gameplay into the abyss.
22 Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn... Or Burn It Themselves!
Part of the massive appeal of an open world game is the ability to basically do whatever the heck you want. To you, that could mean spending weeks upon weeks of gameplay helping out the citizens of the world by striking down enemies to bring justice to those that deserve it. But ultimately… that can get pretty boring. But don’t fret, that’s what fire is for! One of the most satisfying things to do in an open world game after you’ve built yourself an empire and a great reputation, is to tear it all to shreds by wreaking havoc across the realm! Burn the villages! Slay the villagers! Steal all the books in every city across Skyrim and burn them all, like a fascist dictatorship in a dark dystopian novel!
21 Welp, Not Getting That Hour Of My Life Back
We’ve already discussed how much fun character creation is, but with that much fun, you tend to lose yourself and not realize just how much time you spent having it. A frustration with a lot of fantasy-based RPG’s is that you spend so much time crafting your character just to have them covered up in metal and leather armor. All of that time spent tweaking eyebrows and jawlines goes straight down the toilet! Games like World of Warcraft solve this issue by allowing players the option to hide their avatar’s helm/cloak, so they can still enjoy the face they spent so long sculpting. But not in Skyrim. If you’re planning on being an ax wielding, heavy armor wearing barbarian, you can say goodbye to that pretty face you just spent the last 6 hours micro-crafting.
20 Is The Thieves Guild Recruiting? This Guy’s A Shoo-in
One of the more thrilling things to do in Skyrim is see how close you sneak toward your enemies without them noticing your presence. Though the sneak system in Elder Scrolls might not be as sophisticated as that of the Metal Gear Solid series, it’s still a real rush to peek around corners, listen in to the meaningless banter between bandits, aim your bow and headshot everybody before you’re even noticed. The man hiding behind the chimney in this meme is clearly a master deception. With the ability to sneak that well, I’d say he’s also dabbled in the art of Illusion magic. He may have tricked the pursuing officers, but unfortunately he didn’t account for whoever took this picture. I wonder if having a 100 level sneak skill is enough to get him out of prison!
19 Grand Slammed Into Oblivion
They say curiosity killed the cat. Well, curiosity also killed the adventurer who got a little too close to the big guy wielding a tree as a baseball bat. “Killed” is maybe too weak a word: “totally rekt” might be a little more appropriate in this case.
The giants of Skyrim are some of the more dangerous humanoids in the game. If that wasn’t obvious to you, then maybe put your difficulty meter back up from easy mode and try messing with one of these dudes. With one swing of that tree, you’ll be knocked so hard your game console will explode out of sheer terror. These guys don’t mess around, there’s a reason they’re called “giants.
18 No Place For Science In The Fantasy Realm
Now, I’m no game developer, but I can only imagine that working out the physics of a game is probably one of the more complex tasks when it comes to constructing the world within your game. No matter how much time and effort might go into it, physics always seem to end up being the butt of many a video game related joke because of the potential for hilarious visual gags at the expense of the game's engine. Take horses hanging out on a 75-degree slope, for example. Some might say that this is a massive physics engine problem, but others might look at this issue differently and agree that if they just changed the model of the horse to a mountain goat instead, there wouldn’t be an issue! Bam, physics solved!
17 Old Habits Die Hard
Alright, so you buy Skyrim because you see the sword flailing, shield bashing, magic-wielding excitement. “Amazing!” you say, “I can’t wait to rush into battle and defeat my foes face to face!” you say. But oh, what’s this? A bow. Well, no use in leaving it behind! Oh… wow, these enemies sure do hit hard. If only there was a way for me to hit them and lessen the opportunity for them to hit me… And just like that, you’re back to the dark side: sneaky archery. It’s simply too satisfying to be able to creep up on enemies, pull that string back and fire off a perfect head-shot. It’s faster, more efficient killing! But my goodness, just once it would be nice to default to sword-play instead of the arguably less stressful “silent killer” approach.
16 Cruisin’ For A Contractually Obligated Bruisin’
Something I never realized about Skyrim until seeing this meme is that there are literally zero fat people. The most overweight thing in the entire game might actually just be your character after you’ve just defeated a dragon and collected it’s hefty bones. I’d suggest that maybe the reason no one is fat in this world is because it’s a medieval fantasy setting and folks just don’t have enough food to go around, but tell that to the 98 cheese wheels and 37 lettuce heads I’ve been carrying around since my first visit to Whiterun. Now that could be a fun Skyrim role play character: collect all the food in the game, find the poorest NPC, and eat all of it in front of them. Dang, this game brings out the worst in people!
15 Taken: Skyrim Edition
This is one of the classic frustrations that has plagued players of the Elder Scrolls franchise for ages. The feeling you get when you can’t find the enemy preventing you from fast traveling is the same feeling you get when you’re about to head out the door to watch the latest Liam Neeson vehicle but you can’t find your damn keys. Reveal yourself! I’m in a rush over here! The only real difference is that when you find your keys, you don’t stab them with your Daedric long-sword, shout in glory to Sovngarde, and then proceed to t-bag them until the cows come home.
14 Aw… That cuddly face couldn’t lie!
If there’s one thing the region of Skyrim has plenty of, it’s racism. Nords are known to be overtly proud countrymen, often expressing xenophobic tendencies toward non-humans, such as the reptilian Argonians, and of course the cat-like Khajiit, represented by a caged lion in the meme above. The racism doesn’t stop there, of course. High Elves consider themselves superior over basically anyone else, and Orc’s, although far less outwardly racist, are known to keep to their own race and express hostility to all others, unless they prove their worthiness.
But those poor Khajiit… because of their naturally beastly appearance, they’re often judged poorly before they even have a chance to defend themselves. I’d say I feel terrible for the poor kitties, but calling referring to them as “cats” is a slur!
13 Dark Water’s Not So Spooky Anymore!
Skyrim is full of magic and wonder. I mean that’s like, a massive part of the appeal to the franchise. You can run around healing your allies, manipulating your foes into fighting for you, or for the more destructive among us, light people on fire. There are of course some foes who aren’t as susceptible to fire as others, take for example the Fire Atronach. She’s made of fire, and in this particular video game’s universe, fighting fire with fire isn’t a smart idea, at least in the literal sense. But you know what does work well against fire? Ice! And where does ice come from? Water! So why on Nirn is this lit torch underwater? That’s a really great question. Please leave a comment at the end of the article and inform me of the answer, should you happen you have it. Good day to you.
12 One Man’s Spoon Is Another Man’s… Fork.
There are some pretty tough characters in the Elder Scrolls universe. The Daedra of Oblivion, Dagoth Ur of Morrowind, and Alduin of Skyrim. But none of these tough guys come anywhere close to the legendary Ysgramor, the Atmoran warrior and “Bring of Words” to the Nordic people. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in Windhelm, take a trip over to Calixto's House of Curiosities and Calixto for the grand tour. One of the items he’ll show you is none other than “Ysgramor’s Soup Spoon”, which is clearly a fork. As Calixto puts it,
"Now, I know what you're thinking - that's not a spoon, it's a fork! No one can eat soup with a fork. Well, my friend, you did not know Ysgramor."
Whether it’s a fake or not, no one in Skyrim would expect Ysgramor to back down from such a challenge as eating soup with a fork.
11 And One Man’s Fork Is Another Man’s… Cheese Fork.
Now, there's a couple different ways we can look at this situation. One: considering you're the Dragonborn and you've gained a bit of notoriety around the nation, perhaps it's safe to assume that one of the jailers holding you captive is secretly on your side. Maybe he saw you practicing your Thu'um and understood that your powers could be used for good. Great! That's a lovely thought. On the other hand, think about what kind of place Skyrim is. It's medieval, it's fairly grim, there's poverty and no internet. It's probably safe to assume that a lot of folks can't read or write, and just like the real-life dark ages, people in general just weren't very intelligent. What I'm getting at is that maybe your jailer is simply a dopey moron who actually thought the lockpick was a fork. Also, who needs a fork to eat cheese?!
10 Do The Crime, Do The Time
According to Google, the definition of “lollygagging” is "spend time aimlessly; idle". The old guards of Skyrim aren’t too fond of lollygagging. We know this because of how often they remind us not to do it. You might think it’s a pretty harmless thing to be doing, but put it in context and you might understand why the guards are so adamant about keeping you on the go. Skyrim is nuts. It’s bonkers. There are dragons flying around, necromancers terrorizing folks, not to mention wolves, bears, and goddamn mountain lions. Skyrim is not safe! And the people of Skyrim need everyone to do their part to protect one another! So quit lollygagging, get off your butt and go slay some crap! We’re dyin’ out here, man!
9 For The Love Of Talos, Put It Out Of its Misery
Low graphics gaming is more common than you might think. Some folks aren’t into owning a dedicated video game console and also aren’t into dropping over $1000 for a mid-range gaming PC that you’ll just have to spend another $300 upgrading over the next year or so. But what do those folks do when they see their pal running around Skyrim and think “I want that”? Well, they turn on the old potato PC, download the game, drop the settings, realize they’re still too high, download a mod that allows for even lower settings, and bam, you get a world full of horrific, untextured monstrosities. All of a sudden, Skyrim has become a survival horror adventure.
8 Do You Bro? Do You?!
We’ve already discussed how annoying it can be when you’re wandering about, pick up a new sword, and realize you’re over encumbered simply because you’ve got about a million pounds worth of random objects you’ve accidentally been snatching up over the last 4 hours, including goblets, cooking pots, and burnt books. So what do you do? Part with your tankards and candlestick holders? Gasp! You couldn’t possibly! Then you’ll need someone to carry them for you, and what better mule to do such a thing than your very own housecarl, Lydia! The carrier of burdens! Available in a Dragonsreach near you!
7 And Then We Take It Higher!
The hits just keep coming. The funny thing about this one is that after some quick research, there is no item in Skyrim under the name Electric Dwemer Cube! You’ve got Dwemer Puzzle Cubes, but nothing like the one depicted in this meme. Nonetheless, this is an absolute delight and is definitely going to be stuck in my head for the next week.
Here’s an interesting little tidbit regarding “Electric Avenue” and the Dwemers: Electric Avenue is a street in Brixton, London, known for being the first street to be lit by electricity. And if you’ve ever stumbled into Blackreach and explored the Dwemer ruins, you’d know that they were the first to have mechanical, electronic devices! Though to be fair, it’s not necessarily electricity that ran that stuff, it’s assumed it’s mostly run on magic, like anything else in the fantasy realm.
6 Praise The Mods!
There are easily hundreds upon hundreds of mods available to the general public for the PC version of Skyrim. From visual upgrades, to talent revamps, to adding gigantic versions of creatures to random spots on the map. You could spend days installing various modifications to completely reinvent your experience and make it solely unique. Another great thing mods are capable of is adding new spells and scrolls to the game, like the one featured in the meme above. I don’t know about you, but if I tried to unleash this scroll, I’d have to call the fire department after.
5 The Crap We’ll Endure Just To Enjoy A Game
As we grow older in life, as we gain experience, as we meet new people and form new synapses, we learn that nothing is perfect. Everything has flaws, and it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to react to those imperfections. Will you take a deep breath and accept things for what they are? Or will you get speckles of spit all over your monitor after screaming profanities at Lydia because she refuses to move her butt out from the threshold of the doorway, preventing you from escaping an incredibly overpowered enemy, thus ending your life and kicking you back to an auto save from an hour ago? Probably the latter. It’s always the latter. We hate you, Lydia.
4 Stupid Is As Stupid Does
In a previous entry I mentioned that a lot of folks in Skyrim are presumably fairly uneducated, what with there basically being only two official schools in the entire region (the School of Winterhold and the Bards College). With no proper education system installed in Skyrim, it’s no wonder we’ve got moronic bandits running around whacking at a Dragonborn whom they just watch take down a flying, flame breathing lizard single-handedly. Not that you need a formal education to acquire common sense, but dang, it sure would help these idiotic highwaymen. Just because you are able to pick on someone your own size, doesn’t mean you should. Especially if they’re decked out in dragon bone armor and are coming at you with a glowing mace that’ll siphon your very soul.
3 Who CHOOSES To Live Up Here?!
Former New York mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan had it right when he proclaimed that “The rent is too damn high!” But I think anyone who’s visited both New York and Skyrim would agree that nothing is quite “too damn high” as High Hrothgar.
Seated at the tippy-top of the Throat of the World is the ancient monastery of High Hrothgar, home of the Greybeards, AKA a bunch of weird throat singing old dudes who are definitely more frostbitten than they are letting on. Sure, I get it, you need to seclude yourself in order to keep your secrets secret. But dang guys, couldn’t you do what basically everyone else does and just like, hideout in a cave? Wait. Scratch that. I’ll take my chances on the mountain rather than accidentally end up in Blackreach for the millionth time.
2 Anger Management?! I Don’t Need Anger Management!!!
Frustration and video games seem to have gone hand in hand ever since pong. All it takes is one wrong move or one unavoidable in-game error to tilt you into oblivion. Thankfully, some games were developed with built-in methods of dealing with your aggression in a safe and healthy way. If the thu’um Fus-Roh-Dah was made for anything, it was intended to act as the perfect form of anger management relief. Got homerun'd by another giant? Find a bandit and blast him across the plains. Necromancer siphon your soul when you hadn’t saved in over an hour? Head on down to the local tavern and shout everyone’s meals off the tables, then sneak upstairs and steal some stuff for the heck of it. Get mad and flip that table, my friend. You deserve it.
1 Your Dream Career Is Just An Arrow To The Knee Away!
Tired of working paycheck to paycheck, watching your hard earned money be stripped down to nothing by taxes and social insurance benefits you aren’t even sure are real? Then drop that hide armor and head on over to Skyrim to start a new career in hold guard security! You’ll learn new skills such as: minor intimidation tactics, how to accept a bribe, the definition of the word “lollygagging,” and much, much more! Here at Skyrim Guard Training Academy, we take pride in our ability to teach you when it’s appropriate to fire an arrow, and when it’s time to take one to the knee for the team. Skyrim Guard Training Academy: take your life off hold, and put it on guard!