‘Of Course That’s Your Contention’: People Can’t Stop Meme-ing This Iconic ‘Good Will Hunting’ Scene

‘Of Course That’s Your Contention’: People Can’t Stop Meme-ing This Iconic ‘Good Will Hunting’ Scene

Good Will Hunting is a Cinderella story for people whose local Dunkin’ employees know their orders by heart. It’s a little tale about how being a Red Sox fan and getting therapy can change the trajectory of your life forever. And now, 26 years after its release, its main man, Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon), is the star of the latest meme format making the rounds.

Everyone who has seen the movie remembers “How do you like them apples?” as a standout moment in Damon and Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning screenplay. But over the weekend, Twitter took a shine to the prelude leading up to that triumphant scene. In it, Chuckie (Affleck) has his back against the wall. He’s floundering trying to flirt with two gorgeous women (one played by Minnie Driver) and getting schooled on Colonial politics by a Harvard bro with the grimiest ponytail you’ve ever seen. It’s a brutal takedown. 

That is, until Will steps in with his own well-informed thoughts on the matter, proving to know more than the pretentious Ivy Leaguer: “Of course that’s your contention. You’re a first-year grad student. You just got finished readin’ some Marxian historian — Pete Garrison probably. You’re gonna be convinced of that ‘til next month when you get to James Lemon, and then you’re gonna be talkin’ about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That’s gonna last until next year -— you’re gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin’ about, you know, the pre-Revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.”

While I don’t think it’s accurate that a man from South Boston would ever put this string of words together, it serves its purpose in the movie and establishes our intellectual wünderkind. For one, it reminds us not to judge a book by its cover. But on a deeper level, it serves as proof that learning without having your own thoughts is superficial and stresses the importance of constantly evolving your understanding of the world. 

Now, as for the meme version, it’s allowing people to live out their Will Hunting fantasy, flexing knowledge on an array of niche subjects — from the mundane all the way to deeper societal constructs. Think you have a favorite Gatorade flavor? Get back to the cooler and think again. Think you know everything there is to know about baseball analytics? Open up another book, Moneyball. 

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