I Think You Should Leave’s “Dan Flashes” is the next big Twitter meme

Dan Flashes

Dan Flashes
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson gave us plenty of memes that were inescapable on Twitter long after season one’s premiere. But the most popular one came from the “Brooks Brothers” sketch, in which Tim Robinson wears a hot dog suit. A crowd tries to figure out who crashed a Weiner Hut car into the store, and Robinson’s character attempts to blend in with them, saying “We’re all trying to find the guy who did this.” The screencap became a favorite among Twitter users towards the end of the Trump administration, with many responding to his factually incorrect tweets with the meme, and it got plenty of mileage when Donald Trump denied wrongdoing while inciting an insurrection in January. It’s likely that even your parents, who have no clue who Robinson is, can recognize the screencap because of how frequently it was used as a political reaction.

The new season of I Think You Should Leave doesn’t quite have a sketch that could be the next hot dog guy meme that Resistance Twitter can easily turn uncool. It does, however, have “Dan Flashes,” which inadvertently became a top meme contender before anyone even knew the sketch was coming. On June 14, a press picture of the current Beach Boys lineup clad in odd-patterned shirts went viral on Twitter. It was the perfect fodder for jokes, and I Think You Should Leave fans couldn’t have anticipated there would being a whole sketch waiting for them in the new season about the kind of bold-patterned shirts they already couldn’t stop talking about.

In “Dan Flashes,” a guy named Mike (Robinson) is lying on a couch during a meeting. He’s called out by his co-worker for using his lunch stipend during this work trip to buy patterned shirts. Mike doesn’t deny it, but who needs food when you can get a new Dan Flashes shirt? There happens to be a new one in stock that day that’s $450! So, no, he won’t be eating lunch, fuck you very much, Doug. And if you think $450’s a lot, there’s also a shirt that he wants “so bad” that’s $1,000 “because the pattern’s so wild”—or, depending on who he’s talking to, $2,000. Don’t you know those prices are reasonable since the more complicated the pattern is, the more expensive the shirt?

“Dan Flashes” shares the essence of season one’s “Focus Group,” also known as the “old guy advocating for a good steering wheel that doesn’t fly off while you’re driving” sketch. It isn’t necessarily the funniest from season two (that honor likely goes to “Spectrum” or “Prank Show”). But it stands out in its absurdity and specificity. Netflix couldn’t have known that the Beach Boys meme would make this sketch even funnier, as Mike says to his coworker Susan, “The guys that Dan Flashes were using in the ad for them looked a lot like me.” You can already picture everyone on Twitter making the same joke, pairing the screencaps with the image of the band’s press photo, the older members and younger, new ones barely distinguishable as white guys all wearing gaudy patterns.

In case you needed help visualizing the clientele who look a lot like Robinson, the show goes the extra mile. In an accompanying sketch, we see a herd of the blandest, pale men you can imagine losing their shit over the shirts, being ready to (literally) kill for a chance to stand out by shelling out for bold fabrics. The yuppie fight club is found at The Shops At The Creek, alongside a café called Yellow Smokes and award-winning bake shop Mario Cantozi’s; these shop names feel so specific to the I Think You Should Leave universe, almost as if they’re A.I.-generated to be nondescript and funny at the same time.

“Dan Flashes” might be the strongest meme contender, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only memeable sketch. There’s Santa Claus saying he’s “seen every cock on the planet” in “Detective Crashmore Junket,” the wife guy with a nemesis called Jamie Taco in “Wife Joke,” and a guy who pesters his coworker to donate to a fake pants site called Calico Cut Pants (“You gotta give!”) in “Calico Cut Pants.” But fans likely won’t stop thinking about “Dan Flashes” for months to come—and they’ll never look at a patterned shirt the same way again.

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