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The phrase "OK Boomer" was added in the official record of the Supreme Court of the United States.

How?

Chief Justice John Roberts himself invoked the popular refrain—a phrase often used in internet memes to describe out of touch older adults.


Chalk it up as a big win for internet meme culture, and a sign that Latin's dominance in the courts just isn't what it used to be.

OK Boomer is a catchy, efficient way for younger generations—particularly Millennials and Gen Z—to criticize the older Baby Boomer generation's propensity to criticize them over matters that the older generation don't fully understand.

It began as a phrase that arose with a few isolated uses on 4chan and Reddit back in 2015 and 2017.

But it really took off in 2019 when this song was made, pulling over 100,000 downloads in its first month on Spotify.

The song was then used in a TON of TikTok posts over the course of 2019.

And the refrain still makes the rounds on Twitter and Instagram when people feel the need to acknowledge frustrations of the generational gap.


Funny TikTok rage videos are one thing, but being uttered in the hallowed halls of the highest court in the United States of America is a whole other can of worms.

The moment occurred in one of the earliest sessions of oral arguments of 2020, during consideration of Babb v. Wilkie.

The case concerns Noris Babb, a pharmacist with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She claims that she was denied promotions based on her age and gender. If true, that would mean the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was violated.

The meme-fueled exchange came as Chief Justice John Roberts was ironing out whether simply saying something negative about someone's age could count as "age discrimination."

In the moment, which the transcripts captured, Roberts called on the most relatable phrase around right now.

Argument Transcripts/supremecourt.gov

Not surprisingly, people are a bit taken aback that the meme has left the boundaries of the internet.

Though believe it or not, this is not the time the phrase has made its way into a solemn government proceeding.

New Zealand Parliament Member Aotearoa Chlöe Swarbrick invoked the refrain when she was interrupted during her speech about climate change in Parliament. With issues like Climate Change, corporate influence on elections, and refugee immigration dominating both informal political discussions and real governmental decision-making across the globe, tensions are extremely high.

Tensions are so high that obliged respect for the older generation appears less mandatory to the younger people inheriting those issues.

Whether that lack of obligation stems from the eroding morals of younger generations "these days" or a novel sense of urgency in the face of modern chaos is unclear.

But it is clear that "OK Boomer" indicates something much more important than just dubbed videos on the internet.

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