Numerous studies have suggested that the more we hear something repeated, the more we begin to like it. This applies to pop songs, and it probably applies to Vines and short videos on Twitter, too. A high-school kid squawking “Daaaamn, Daniel!” at his friend is kind of funny the first time, but by the tenth time it’s legitimately laugh-out-loud good. “Daaaamn, Daniel! Back at it again with the white Vans!”
In the few days since he posted it, Josholzz’s masterpiece has absolutely captivated the internet. It’s been shared hundreds of thousands of times. And now there are fire remixes on SoundCloud:
There are parodies:
And there are people who just cannot stop thinking about it:
But what’s so addictive about a video of a teen clowning his friend? Why did “Daaaamn, Daniel?” make Josh an instant Twitter icon? The repetition and distinctive tone are part of it, for sure. It plays over and over in your head and practically begs you to say it out loud.
Josh’s commitment to the bit is part of it, too: He clearly daaaamned Daniel over a period of several days, even weeks. It feels like an inside joke among a group of friends, and now we’re all inside it.
Even “back at it again” feels optimized for catchiness. It’s the same way that one of the most iconic Vines of all time — ”Back at it again at Krispy Kreme” — starts.
The more familiar something becomes to us, the more times it is repeated, and the more we daaaaamn, Daniel.
Unfortunately, this very good and captivating meme is already dying. Whoever runs the Twitter account for Vans, not wanting to suffer the same sad fate as Red Lobster’s social-media team after Beyoncé dropped “Formation,” has already co-opted “Damn, Daniel” for marketing purposes.