Can I just say the internet? I never went on reddit or 4chan or anything like that, so where would I have seen it? Probably just a stupid comment thread on Facebook or something, back in the day. It’s based on Willy Wanka and the Chocolate Factory, it’s a screenshot of that, and Gene Wilder is one of my favorite actors. He has such great delivery and great comedic timing, so probably any screenshot you take will be funny. Then the internet kinda owned it cuz in the film, he’s not being sassy in that scene this is a screenshot of, and turned it into this other thing which I think is interesting. Even though this meme has specific uses, I think it’s interesting that it’s adaptable to specific conversations, so it has the same function but keeps changing the words that overlay the image.
You’re supposed to use it when you’re mocking someone’s complaining, like “Oh you have to do four papers? Your life is so hard.” Or like demeaning someone who thinks their life is important. I guess I just mean the meme has gotten such specific usage in conversation it’s essentially become it’s own recognizable phrase like anything else in a language, but it’s not based around the specific words, it’s based around the construction and delivery of the words which is pretty fascinating to me having taken linguistics classes.
I think this meme is hilarious. He just looks so sassy. My informant is definitely correct that if someone constructs a sentence in this way, anyone from my generation will be able to recognize it as the “Sassy Wonka” meme almost immediately. It’s cool that the internet can facilitate this kind of folklore which becomes a part of everyday situational lexicon.