Black Friday is upon us, Pandas. Ready your shields. Hold fast! Steady, steady… If it sounds like we’re being overly dramatic, just remember how mind-blowingly weird Black Friday sales can get around the world. Especially in the United States. You see people queuing up for GREAT DEALS for hours or even days on end, sprinting to snatch as many things as they can, even physically hurting others to secure their loot.
It’s chaotic. It’s hectic. It’s utterly crazy. And—let’s be honest—for those of us watching from the sidelines (or hiding underneath a counter from the sales-loving mob), it’s hard to look away from the madness and mania unfolding every year. Just like a car crash, people (unfortunately) can’t avert their gaze. Bored Panda has collected some of the funniest and most on-point memes about Black Friday to remind you to stay grounded this holiday season.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
So grab your popcorn and get ready to upvote your fave memes. Got any ridiculous Black Friday first-hand experiences to share? Do you plan to get anything during all of this discount craziness? We’re keeping an eye on the comments, so don’t be shy and share your thoughts.
Bored Panda wanted to learn more about the psychology and aggression of Black Friday and how to avoid giving in to the fear of missing out, so we reached out to Matt Johnson, Ph.D., the host of the Neuroscience of Branding blog. You’ll find our full interview with him below. Johnson is a professor of consumer psychology at Hult International Business School and Harvard University, as well as the author of the book, ‘Branding that Means Business.’
Image credits: MidwestManmyth
“When consumers engage in Black Friday shopping in physical stores, there’s a heightened level of aggressiveness. Put simply, the stakes are high. There are a finite number of items, and being one of the only customers who get your hands on heavily discounted items can mean hundreds of dollars,” consumer psychology specialist Johnson, the creator of the Neuroscience of Branding blog, explained to Bored Panda.
“This aggressive behavior is also incurred by The Black Friday shopping culture,” he said.”There’s a clear lack of social norms, and everyone accepts that shopping on Black Friday means it’s everyone for themselves. Your fellow shoppers cease to be your fellow humans and instead are seen merely as competition.”
Johnson warned that Black Friday shopping is generally hectic. However, there are “clear instances each year where aggressiveness boils over into violence.” In short, pretty much knows to expect chaos. Historically, things end up very bad for some shoppers.
Image credits: Lucyblululu
We were also interested to get Professor Johnson’s perspective on handling the fear of missing out. With so many big deals left, right, and center, you might feel bad for not participating in the shopping madness like everyone else.
“A lot of people are upset by holiday creep—the fact that the holiday season seems to begin sooner and sooner each year. However, this is good news for shoppers keen on avoiding FOMO when it comes to Black Friday deals,” the host of the Neuroscience of Branding blog told Bored Panda. “Getting ones shopping in early —and deliberately, helps stave off feelings of FOMO once Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around.”
Something else that we might want to consider is that fighting against FOMO “is a losing proposition,” according to Professor Johnson.
“With all of the retail stores and e-commerce sites in action at the same time, there will inevitably be deals that one misses out on. Accepting this inevitability will also help stave off these feelings of FOMO.”
Image credits: LateefSaka
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
As a reminder for everyone, Black Friday is the Friday right after Thanksgiving (in 2022 that falls on November 25 and November 24 respectively). It’s the start of the Christmas shopping season, meaning that a lot of awesome and totally mundane stuff is discounted: from high-quality tech like TVs and gaming consoles to, well, pretty much anything and everything.
That’s then followed by Cyber Monday (this year it falls on November 28) where we see a ton of online sales. Black Friday has a history of violence and chaos. People get injured during the stampede to get through stores’ doors and while being pushed and shoved during the entire shopping ‘experience.’ There have also been instances of people being assaulted and seriously harmed over seemingly minor disputes.
One of the best satirical stories about Black Friday that we’ve ever seen was done by South Park, in its 17th-season trilogy. Over the course of the three hilarious episodes, the creators of the irreverent show combined Game of Thrones, the console wars between PlayStation and Xbox, and America’s incessant need to buy, buy, BUY! into a roaringly accurate narrative.
Anyone who’s seen the episodes knows how close to reality the parody really was. The sad reality is that people have, do, and will physically harm others just to secure something that they want in the store. That’s not to say that everyone does this. But enough people succumb to their primal instincts. And it makes us worry about what would happen when there’s an actually sizable scarcity of food, tech, and necessities.
Black Friday pretty much runs on FOMO, aka the fear of missing out. It sounds logical from an evolutionary perspective: you want to make the most of your resources. Ideally, you’d spend your hard-earned money on the things that you know you need during massive sales. That way, every single one of your dollars does a lot more work.
In practice? The long and short of it is that many shoppers impulse buy a bunch of things that they want but don’t need. They treat themselves to luxury goods that might feel awesome to have, but don’t actually make them happy over longer periods of time.
Image credits: TheAndrewNadeau
Image credits: sarahcolonna
Why buy a new TV when the one you have works perfectly fine? Why do you need to load up on all of those new video games, movies, and books when you’ve got such a massive backlog already? (Well, okay, as a fellow bookworm, I understand the need to hoard literature by the truckload.)
Nobody’s trying to shame anyone here, though: we’ve all bought things we might later regret. It’s not like we’re all immune to the combined effect of loud marketing, crowd psychology, and the desire to buy all the things we wanted to have as kids now that we’ve got some disposable income.
Image credits: XplodingUnicorn
But it’s important to ask ourselves the really tough questions about why we’ve got an entire cart full of drek that serves no real purpose other than to lighten our wallets.
Do we expect to find happiness through material things (or the stories and experiences they allow us to access)? Do we want to take part in a communal experience where everyone buys stuff just so we feel closer to others in our local area? Do we feel like we’ll only be respected if we create a certain image? Odds are, it’s never just one single thing—it’s a combination of factors and motivations.
Image credits: bezen.eco
Whether or not more or fewer people will be splurging on deals this holiday season still remains to be seen. On the one hand, inflation and rising costs are making some people cut costs. On the other hand, as Bored Panda analyzed very recently, Americans are still spending quite a bit.
It’s unclear how the current state of the economy will affect buyers. For instance, how will those living paycheck to paycheck react to legitimate sales? Will they purchase more at lower prices to make their savings go further? Or will they abstain from gift-buying altogether?
Image credits: Kica333
CNN points out that the cost of Thanksgiving this year has grown quite a bit. Compared to last year, the price of holiday dinners in 2022 is up by 13.5%. For instance, turkey costs around 24% more. Potatoes are 20% pricier. But the very worst offenders are eggs and butter. The former is up a jaw-dropping 75% while butter is 39% more expensive than this time in 2021.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see people racing to get their hands on dinner ingredients with a discount, not just fancy tech this year.
Image credits: thesecretvice
What are your plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, dear Pandas? Are you going to be chilling at home or running shopping marathons all over town? Are you doing anything differently this holiday season? Let us know what’s going on in your lives in the comments.
Image credits: 123Hopester
Image credits: yellowstonememes
Image credits: imemechenontiaspetti
Image credits: ShadowBeatz
Image credits: c0mic_sans
Image credits: official.basso
Image credits: lovetoslayuk
Image credits: imaankhxn
Image credits: hbouk
Image credits: RexHuppke
Image credits: regrowz
Image credits: therealtorinyourbackyard