As we venture into our second, third, and even fourth weeks in self-isolation, we find ourselves staring our cabin fever in the face, trying to find something, anything to distract us from the fact that we haven’t left our houses in days. Enter, the “Choose Your Quarantine House” meme on Twitter, the hypothetical question we could all use right now despite how strange the words “quarantine” and “meme” look in a sentence. How are we going to explain to our future generations what 2020 even was?
If you’ve seen your friends declaring their respective house numbers on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, they’re surprisingly not talking about their Hogwarts houses. (Although, NaNoWriMo tweeted version of the meme in which you could end up quarantining with Dolores Umbridge.) The conceit of “choose your own quarantine house” is pretty straightforward: if you could be quarantined with any group of celebrities, who would you pick?
It’s “would you rather” but make it “global pandemic.” It’s your dream dinner party but you all have to stay six feet apart. It’s “wow we’re all really bored out of our minds right now, huh?” but make it pop culture. Though there are no consequences whatsoever, choosing your house is proving to be as hard as finding an affordable bottle of hand sanitizer.
One of the earliest versions of the “choose your quarantine house” meme was created by Savannah Locke and posted on Facebook. It’s likely the version of the meme you’ve seen: a light pink background with six houses, five celebrities listed under each. It’s a “who’s who” of ideal quarantine celebrity housemates. It asks if you’d put up with Quentin Tarantino to share a space with Chrissy Teigen. It asks you to choose between Meghan Markle and Beyoncé, something that seems sacrilegious but sure, fine, I guess I’ll go along with it.
This "choose your own quarantine house" meme riffs on its meme forefathers, combining familiar structure with this fresh kind of hell we find ourselves in. It’s in the same category as the “Pick your three” meme with 90s cartoons, likely the reason you saw Hey Arnold! recently trending on Twitter. It’s in the same vein as the “one gotta go” meme, a challenge in which you ask yourself things like, “Would I rather live out the rest of my days without waffles, pancakes, or French toast?” It is the low-stakes, inconsequential and inane decision making we all crave right now. Stop stalling and pick sides. Here are 15 to absolutely uproot your group text.
1. The Original: Celebrity Houses
If I pick House 5, do I also have to share the space with the thousands of other people who wanted to quarantine with Jennifer Lopez?
2. Celebrity Houses: Part 2
Asking me to choose between Tessa Thomspon, Zendaya, and Kelly Marie Tran is a hate crime.
3. Dead Authors Edition
The idea of L. Ron Hubbard and James Baldwin living under the same roof is... stressful.
4. Pop Star Edition
Harry Styles and Lizzo in the same house is the quarantine fan fiction I am here for.
5. 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate Edition
Ouch... is this one too soon?
6. Astrological Sign Edition
House 1, y'all down to organize our bookshelves and cry?
7. Sitcom Character Edition
The energy of House 4 is true chaos and I would like to go to there.
8. Rapper Edition
Already have my bags packed for House 3.
9. Auntie Edition
Truly no bad options here.
10. The Most Masochistic Edition
Feel free to interpret this group of names however you see fit.
11. NFL Edition
This is as close to watching sports as you're going to get during the quarantine.
12. Simpsons Edition
Oh, I'm already living like Lenny with that can of beans.
13. Directors Edition
The House 4 aesthetic is going to be gorgeous and weird.
14. Comic Book Character Edition
Can I sub out Groot for Baby Groot?
15. The Most Realistic Edition
Um, can I go back to the one with the dictators?