Mad Men stars Jon Hamm and John Slattery have reunited in the newly-released Confess, Fletch, and fans couldn’t be more excited to see these two actors together again. Man Men has been named one of the best shows of this generation, earning multiple Emmy Awards and nominations through its run and having arguably one of the best series finales ever on television.
The show was fairly accurate in its representation of what it was like to work in the world of advertising in the 1950s, combined with the unbelievable story of a troubled man living a life of someone else. There was so much to unpack through the seven seasons of the AMC show, but there are clever memes that beautifully capture the essence of Mad Men and its most compelling characters.
Stress, Anxiety, Mental Strife
Fans might forget that Elisabeth Moss first gained attention as the fierce, independent, and career-driven Peggy Olsen in Mad Men. This meme features an image of the character on the left with a serious and angered face, which perfectly represents the year 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. It also shows how Peggy felt most of the time at work: often ignored or overlooked simply because she was a woman.
On the left is Don Draper suggesting Lexapro, a drug often prescribed for depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Of course, back in those days, men rarely took women seriously in the workplace. Meanwhile, Don was no stranger to masking his pain with drugs like alcohol.
Social Profile Ready
This meme style has been done again and again for different TV shows and characters, showing different people, expressions, or situations that might mimic what someone might have on their profiles on different social media sites. This one perfectly represents one of the key characters on Mad Men: Peggy Olsen, one of the best characters on the show.
In the LinkedIn profile at the top left, she is a bright-eyed young woman who has finally gotten hired into a low-end job, with aspirations to move up in the advertising world and become a copywriter. On the top right, she’s partying with others, an image that would likely appear on Facebook. On the bottom left, she’s canoodling with older men in an effort to get ahead, which the meme suggests might reflect her life on Instagram. And on the bottom right for the Tinder image, a darker side of Peggy is shown as she puts on dark lipstick and a low-cut dress for a date. Indeed, Peggy proved to be a multi-layered character who was far stronger than others initially gave her credit for.
Client Has Ideas
Don Draper was an advertising genius, and some of the most memorable scenes on Mad Men included him delivering lengthy pitches to clients with his idea on how to sell their product. It was always an emotionally driven story that walked clients through the thought process behind the campaign he created.
If a client didn’t like it, or expressed that they had another idea, Don was never receptive. He’d often push back, sometimes aggressively. It would sometimes get the company into hot water, even lead to them losing clients. But in the end, it always came about that Don was right, playing off buyers’ emotions (and his own insecurities and wishes in life) in a way that proved effective for sales.
Like Selling Candy To A Baby
While Don was the creative genius behind the ad campaigns, the other half of the Mad Men team was all about sales. And they had very little morality when it came to how far they would go to get a client or to sell a product. One of the pivotal storylines on the show was when the company continued to advertise Lucky Strike cigarettes even after reports started to come out suggesting how bad smoking was, and that it could cause cancer.
This meme takes the joke to the extreme, suggesting the team is not only eager to sell an illegal drug even worse than cigarettes, but sell it to children. It’s an exaggeration, but the sentiment is not lost.
Don Draper was a deeply flawed man who had a weakness for women, stemming back to this abandonment issues with his mother. Don Draper did many awful things on Mad Men, and even though he had a loving and devoted wife, he couldn’t help but pursue affairs with other women.
This image of a young woman and man walking hand-in-hand, with the man looking back at a pretty young woman who just walked by, has been used again and again in memes. This one leaves nothing to the imagination by pasting an image of Draper’s face on the man’s looking at “literally any other woman” while his wife looks on annoyingly. It happened time and time again on the show.
No Women, Please
The 1950s was a different time, and during that period, women were only just beginning to join the workforce, usually in entry-level jobs like as secretaries or typists. This meme juxtaposes an image of a character declaring that he doesn’t like women with a hashtag for International Women’s Day.
What’s most indicative about the show from this image is when Peggy Olsen, one of the most confident and intelligent female characters on the show and one of the characters who appears most in Mad Men, puts him in his place by firing him on the spot. His look is exactly the kind of look she got from other men in the industry who didn’t take her seriously or realize that she was moving up and had genuine talent.
For the men on the show, there was no delineation between work and personal life. They spent all hours at the office, then went out for drinks with clients, and often stayed out into the wee hours of the morning doing unsavory things.
Don, who often drank while on the job and would sometimes fall asleep on the couch in his office, was always working, or at least doing anything but being at home. So, for him and others at the agency, a 40-hour work week would indeed be considered part-time.
Why I’m Still Single
There are three memes in this collection that fall under the “why I’m still single” tag, and the image and caption on the left is of Don Draper delivering a sad quote about the existence of love. He claims the whole construct was simply an emotion conjured up by advertising men like him to sell products.
Don was always distant, stemming from his troubled childhood. For him, love is simply an emotion to leverage in order to sell products. Everything, for Don, was about the job.
In terms of memes that sum up Mad Men in a nutshell, none do it better than this one from the official Prime Video Twitter account. Called a “starter pack,” it includes images of iconic moments, characters, and props from the show. This includes things from season 1 of Mad Men that keep getting better over time.
Among these is a whiskey glass because, of course, a bar was in every office and no conversation was had without a drink. There’s the “Zou Bisou Bisou” song that Don’s second wife Megan sang to him on his birthday, Don’s real name Dick Whitman, images from top accounts, like Lucky Strike and Jaguar, and a disenchanted Peggy after dealing with everything she did at the company.
Yo, We Bussin’
It’s difficult not to laugh at this meme, that portrays Don Draper as a version of himself that might exist in present day. Rather than a suave and charming man in a three-piece suit with his hair perfectly slicked back, he’s a casual Gen-Zer with a curly mop of hair.
Instead of delivering a pitch in his signature engaging, articulate manner, he uses common slang terminology, like “vape,” “sus,” and “bussin.” The point, however, is that no matter who the client was or what decade he was in, Don could sell just about anything.