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Anderson and Dinosaurs Meme – [NSFW] Sherlock BBC Memes!

So, who else hates Philip Anderson from BBC’s Sherlock?

Yeah, us too. Now, let’s be fair: Anderson is designed to be a minor antagonist and an unlikeable jerk. Judging by the amount of hate he receives from fans, the writers do a good job of making him fit that mold. In fact, we think they do too good a job of it. Anderson is a bit one-dimensional in the first two seasons of Sherlock, and that one-dimension is a sneering punching bag.

Which, of course, is part of why we’re in love with the Anderson and Dinosaurs meme.

Now, don’t worry if you haven’t heard of the Anderson/Dinosaur meme—it’s a bit obscure, and we’re about to explain it to you. It’s a short story, but an interesting one, with intriguing implications about how fans respond to characters—good or bad—in the franchises they love. But, be forewarned:

This starts out sexual and a bit kinky and only gets safe for work at the end. While we love writing about this kind of stuff, we know that some of you would rather avoid it.

So, are you really sure you want to know what dinosaurs have to do with our obnoxious neighborhood Anderson?

Yes?

Good. Because this is a fun one.

Let’s get right to the point:

This all started with a Fandom Prompt.

Ever perused the SherlockBBC-fic forum? If not, give it a go. It’s a fun place to browse and meet other fans of fanfiction. In fact, the forum has multiple threads dedicated to fic-prompting memes where anyone can post (anonymously or otherwise) a suggestion for a Sherlock fic. What could be better than that?

Well how about a prompt that sparks its own meme?

See, this is where the Anderson/Dinosaur meme got started: On August 11th of 2010 (at precisely 2:55pm UTC, if you want to get really exact), an anonymous poster on the SherlockBBC-fic forum came up with a prompt. And it was both super simple and exquisitely bizarre:

“When Anderson masturbates he thinks of dinosaurs

yes, that’s a prompt”

Did we really need to include a mere eleven words in an indented quote box when we could have linked it to you? We think so.  As a matter of fact, let’s repeat that:

“When Anderson masturbates, he thinks of dinosaurs.”

We know what you’re thinking and, before you say it, let’s just quote the first response to the prompt:

“You are a genius”

Before we get onto the prompt’s first fill, let us take a moment to recommend you give that whole thread a read. This article took us too long to finish because we spent too much time laughing at the comment thread. Apparently, people start arguing about what kind of dinosaurs Anderson would be into.

Whoever wrote the first fill obviously had their own ideas about that.

Click Here For the Whole Thread:

The Anderson & Dinosaur Prompt’s Hilarious First Fill

It took four days for the prompt to get its first fill. We’d love to give credit for the piece, but the poster filled it anonymously, so we are left ignorant of this brave genius’ identity.

The fill is just a single scene, written (mostly) from Sally Donovan’s perspective. It opens with her outlining some of the weirder sexual partners she’s had, then shifts to the fun part… where she’s in Anderson’s basement, in a room filled with dinosaur paraphernalia.

Oh, and she’s wearing silk lingerie with a T-rex pattern. We should probably mention that. Obviously, she has some… concerns about this particular kink, and decides to opt-out. That isn’t the end of the story nor the punchline. Now, we could tell you the punchline, but…

That would spoil the fun.

After all, the story is a mere 421 words (less than half the length of this article) with the title included. It’s short, sweet, to the point and oh-so-damn-funny, so we strongly suggest that you give it a read yourselves. You can find it here.

A Strange Meme with a Strange Popularity Pattern

We research a lot of memes around here. Usually, they follow one of three patterns—a quick death, a slow build, or a sudden explosion.

For some reason, the Anderson/Dinosaurs meme did none of the three—it was unheard of one minute then the next you’d find yourself stumbling across it as though it had always been there. You’ll find pictures (both adorable and sexy), fanfics, and simple mentions of it cropping up every month. But it didn’t have the sort of explosion that, say, “I Believe in Sherlock” did ; It was like someone simply flipped a switch.

On top of that, seven years later, the meme is still around. You can still find new pictures of Anderson cuddling with dinosaurs or doing… other things with dinosaurs. That said, artistic renditions of the idea have gradually transitioned to more innocent takes on the idea.

On that note, there’s one more interesting thing to note about this meme’s spread: while it started in the fanfic community, it really latched onto fan artists. In fact, half the time we spent researching this topic was spent just sifting through fan-art and trying to get to the history of the meme. There was so much of it, it almost became overwhelming.

Why did Anderson Having a Dinosaur Fetish Become so Popular?

Everyone hates Anderson. He’s designed to be hated. He’s petty, spiteful, and has enough clout to cause a problem for poor Sherlock.

The idea of him having a sexual obsession with dinosaurs undercuts that completely. It makes him seem less threatening, a little weird, almost childish. I mean, how are we supposed to take this arrogant sod seriously when we know he gets stiff watching The Land Before Time? When we have that image in our heads, it undercuts his mindlessly hostile attitude.

Depending on the artist’s take on the word ‘fetish’, dinosaurs give him a deep secret that he doesn’t want anyone to know or a childish obsession that makes him seem vulnerable. Either way, the dinosaurs meme takes a hated Mary Sue and turns him into a multidimensional character we want to explore.

We figure that the disarming innocence this meme can invoke is part of the reason the Anderson/Dinosaur fanart has shifted to more cutesy pictures than the original NSFW options. We want there to be more to Anderson than what meets the eye and we want his petty aggression to be tempered by something adorable.

Was Anderson & Dinosaurs Referenced Anywhere?

Unsurprisingly, no. Due to the overtly sexual subject matter, this meme hasn’t made it into any official Sherlock media.

So, where is the Anderson/Dinosaur meme going now?

Honestly, that’s hard to say. It didn’t really follow the spread patterns of most memes we’ve seen in the first place. It’s not omnipresent by any means but it’s not invisible either. You can often find subtle references to it in Sherlock fanfiction that, otherwise, doesn’t even mention the character. And even a brief search in AOOO will show something interesting: “Anderson Dinosaurs” yields about 40 results… ranging from 2010 to July of 2017. So, while it’s not huge, it refuses to die.

Who knows? Maybe its endurance has something to do with the sporadic release cycle of the Sherlock TV series or how his characterization has been rebooted in the later Sherlock seasons, giving us reasons to want to reexplore Anderson and rediscover his dinosaurs. Either way, while you aren’t going to be seeing it everywhere, the “Anderson and Dinosaurs” meme is not going away anytime soon.

So, do yourself a favor: track down some good fanart and keep an eye out for a mention of dinosaurs next time you’re reading a fic.

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connor johnson

Connor Johnson

Hey-ya! I'm a freelance writer based in Boston, Massachusetts. I've been writing for a little over three years now, handing everything from legal articles to manufacturing whitepapers. I'm a huge fan of superhero comics (both Marvel and DC), and spend my free time writing fiction, playing bass, traveling and exercising. If you want to see more of my work, check out my website: connordjohnson.com

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