“Netflix and chill” has taken the internet by storm the past few weeks and spawned dozens of explainers and think pieces.
If you still haven’t heard what it means, it’s basically teenage slang for “hooking up.” If you are going over to someone’s house to “Netflix and chill,” you might be doing just that, but you are certainly also going to get busy.
Kevin Roose at Fusion traces the use of “Netflix and chill” as innuendo back to the summer of 2014, when it began to be used by teenage girls to warn others that when a boy asked you to “Netflix and chill,” it never actually meant Netflix and chill. These boys always had something else on their minds.
In November 2014, the phrase became officially enshrined as a budding meme when the “Netflix and chill starter pack” hit Twitter and Tumblr.
The “Netflix and chill” starter pack pic.twitter.com/JaQuCtMaoq
— Starter Pack (@Start3rPack) November 17, 2014
The different iterations of the meme continue to pop up on social media, but the phrase didn’t explode in popularity until this summer:
How to use it in a sentence
But in all the hubbub over the word, there’s been a slight of a misconception creeping into the way people talk about “Netflix and chill.”
I’ve heard many people describe it as a “code phrasing for hooking up,” and indeed, it is that. But “code phrasing” seems to imply this sort of secret language people are using to set up dates. The implication is that a teen might ask another teen in front of their parents whether they wanted to “Netflix and chill,” and then they’d chuckle to themselves about the blissful ignorance of their elders.
Take this Tumblr post for instance:
This is funny simply because “Netflix and chill” isn’t actually a slang phrase people use seriously. It’s not some newfangled way the teens are arranging their hookups. And if someone does say it, it’s more than likely tongue-in-cheek.
Netflix and chill is primarily about calling out how lamely transparent we can be when we are trying to think up an excuse to get a crush into the bedroom. And Netflix and chill represents the perfect distillation of that feeling.
What Netflix thinks of “Netflix and Chill”
We don’t know! We tried to reach out for comment but we haven’t heard back.
Examples of “Netflix and Chill” in the wild
Looking through some of the best versions of this meme show why “Netflix and chill” has blazed through our collective imagination like wildfire: