The calendar glitters with pop culture holidays.
From “Mean Girls Day” on Oct. 3 to the Star Wars-themed “May the Fourth be with you,” social media has become a haven for celebrating just about every type of non-holiday.
Memes and videos celebrating the 2004 hit “Mean Girls” littered Instagram and TikTok earlier this month. In the movie, Lindsay Lohan’s character is aflutter when her crush, played by Jonathan Bennett, turns around in his desk to ask her a question.
“On Oct. 3, he asked me what day it was,” she narrated in the film. Now, countless memes of Lohan responding “Oct. 3” flood social media feeds every fall.
Tina Fey wrote the film’s screenplay based on the book “Queen Bees and Wannabees” by Rosalind Wiseman and embraced the holiday by hosting a livestream in 2019 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the movie’s release.
“If that movie was a human person, it would be wearing booty shorts and ignoring me in public,” Fey said in a YouTube video announcing the watch event.
Itzel Padilla, a high school student studying concurrently at SLCC, likes celebrating Oct. 3.
“‘Mean Girls’ is one of the best movies out there,” Padilla said.
Quotes from the movie have become part of pop culture language and became even more common in the month of October.
“On Mean Girls Day, we wear pink,” said Sophia Paul, a graphic communications major, referring to a line delivered in a memorable high school cafeteria scene.
In “Miss Congeniality,” released in 2000 and starring Sandra Bullock, a beauty pageant host asks a contestant to describe her perfect date. She responds, “I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.”
Cult classics like “Mean Girls” and “Miss Congeniality” with dialogue referencing a specific date give fans a built-in day to celebrate. Autumn Nelson, a theater major, gathers with friends every year to watch “Miss Congeniality” in April.
“The main celebration [with all these holidays] is… watching the movie,” she said.
But one of the most popular pop-culture influenced holidays is “Star Wars Day” on May 4.
“I definitely celebrate [May the Fourth]. Our family is big on Star Wars,” said Teia Haws, an undecided major. “We watch all the movies; we watch all the shows. I was named after a Star Wars character.”
Matt Merkel, an associate professor of journalism and digital media, said he enthusiastically observes May the Fourth despite schedule conflicts.
“It’s always a little hard to celebrate: Ironically in the calendar, it usually falls on finals week during the semester,” he said. “But … we break out the lightsabers. We [watch] all nine movies. I usually work my way through [the original trilogy]. I suffer through [the prequels].”
Fandom holidays extend across the spectrum of pop culture, and K-pop fans are serious about July 9.
“I love BTS,” said Amber Barker, a photography major and self-identified member of the BTS Army. “I have a shrine in my room. They have a day set up for the band’s birthday.”
On July 9, 2013, BTS announced their fandom would be named ARMY — Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth. On ARMY Day, fans of the über-popular band wear BTS apparel, watch their music videos together, post pictures and share concert stories on social media.
Despite their prevalence on social media, pop culture holidays have not yet affected all SLCC students. Joshua Matheson, an occupational therapy assistant major, wasn’t aware of any of the unconventional holidays.
“I basically lived under a rock for most of my childhood,” he said.