In August 2012, the Anchorman quote,”That escalated quickly,” became tremendously popular almost overnight. Which is to say, it escalated fast.
Historian Vanessa Heggie spotted the sharp surge of interest in”Well, that escalated quickly” on Google Trends, then shared her findings with a tweet that’s been retweeted over 2,220 times in the past 24 hours. Yes, it’s escalated quickly.
But why did this quote spike in the summer of 2012? Anchorman was released in 2004, and its sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, was not in theaters until 2013. Know Your Meme, the nearest that the world wide web has into an encyclopedia of online memes, says the earliest popular use outside of the Will Ferrell comedy came in a 2007 webcomic from I Heart Eddit. Back in April 2011, YouTube user Niamh Joyce posted an excerpt from the film that begins with the actual phrasing of the line,”Boy, that escalated quickly.” The video now has 1.45 million viewpoints. The movie is just five years old, but its earliest comments date back to four years ago, which would put its viral achievement somewhere in 2012, along with the tendency in popularity of the quotation.
Additionally in 2012, around the time of this success of Niamh Joyce’s video, KnowYourMeme reports that an image macro of the term,”Well, That Escalated Instantly,” and a screen-capture in Anchorman, started to appear frequently on blogs and forums such as Redditand Tumblr.
It is intriguing to compare the interest in”Well, that escalated quickly” with other popular quotations from Anchorman. Below, We have”That escalated quickly,” which is generic enough to be utilized in a variety of situations, paired with”I love lamp,” which is non-sensical and unique to the film from which it came.
The takeaway Appears to be, off this limited data that is comically, that a Film in-joke, has a recognition. But a broader line can get traction in use by a larger audience.
So we test this idea, and compare both lines Popular lines in two broad, one special and the movie. Blue is”That escalated rapidly;” crimson is”I love lamp;” yellow is”I’m in a glass case of emotion;” green is”Do not act like you are not amazed;” and purple is”I immediately regret this decision.”
Okay, so lines that are popular try from films. Blue is “That escalated Quickly;” red is”You talking to me” green is”Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn;” yellow is”I am your father;” and purple is”May the force be with you.
The consistent flatness of the older quotations –“You talkin’ to me” and “Frankly, my dear, I do not give a damn” — seem to signify a general cultural awareness of the quotations, very similar to”I love lamp” While the annual spikes of interest in”May the force be with you” align with the Star Wars fan holiday, May the 4th. If we are told the consciousness of a quotation by apartment, spikes represent usage.
The rapid spike and slow decrease of”Well, that escalated rapidly” then doesn’t seem to reflect interest or awareness of Anchorman or the quotation’s circumstance within it, but the prevalence of the term as an inadvertent and standalone meme byproduct.
Its own quote and the movie are all but divorced from one another, which attracts us to the one Final chart
The prevalence of Anchorman and”That escalated quickly” have no Clear correlation. All of that is to say the prevalence of”That escalated rapidly” actually escalated rapidly not because of its film’s popularity or success, but since the internet made the quote its own.