The “Bye Felicia” t-shirt explained to the layman

Long sleeve t-shirt, cotton and linen blend, of the S/S 2016 collection, available in grey, brown and blue.

Print: a cryptic (for some) “Bye Felicia”.

Like many of you I wondered what the hell that meant.

Well, like the recently discussed BITCH WHERE , it is a social media meme which has given yet another lease of life to a tiny line from the 1995 film “Friday” starring Ice-Cube and directed by F. Gary Gray.

Here is the relevant clip: Bye Felicia


The director says about the short line: “It’s been popular since the movie came out, but it ebbs and flows”…. “It pops up and it goes away and I have no idea why. It’s such a simple line, it just caught fire and 20 years later people are still referencing that moment from the movie, even if some of those people have no idea what Friday is.

Since it has resurfaced again around 2014, it has been used as a way of dismissing someone, or something, in a contemptuous way. A refusal to engage with a person or consider a matter. The use of “Felicia” when this is not the actual person’s name denotes this contempt, as showing this person’s lack of relevance. Ice Cube himself, who co-wrote the script, says: it is “the phrase ‘to get anyone out of your face“.

Note that a VH1 show was named Bye Felicia, and a film (Straight out of Compton) about Ice Cube’s former band, NWA, also refers to it.

It makes a good print for a t-shirt, but the problem with these memes is that their longevity can never be predicted. True, the film is over two decades old, but the meme itself is so disconnected from its origins (as noted above by the director) that it is likely to soon be relegated to the Never-never land of once-upon-a-time-trendy-catchphrases, or worse, be remembered as once having been funny, but associated with a particular “era” (with social media, 3 months and something is ancientnhistory!) and known as no longer being used. As if someone you met today greeted you with a”whazzuuup?”


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