ERMAHGERD! R. L. Stine flummoxed by 'GERSBERMS' meme / Today

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Helen A.S. Popkin

Arguably the most delightful meme of 2012 that had nothing to do with "Gangnam Style" or cats was "ERMAHGERD," an exclamatory variant of "oh my God." In case you live in an alternate dimension where awesome things don't happen, the phrase's origin is a photo of an adolescent girl with pigtails, a retainer and a handful of R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps."

Yet when the subject was broached with the blockbuster kid's horror writer without whom the meme may have never happened, he confessed it has left him confused.

"Everywhere I go ... ERMAHGERD and GERSBERMS ... I have to tell you, I don't understand it at all," Stine said in a Media Bistro video interview. "People would send this to me, all day long on Twitter. 'I bet you haven't seen this.' They would send me this ERMAHGERD meme."

As we explained in our 2012 memes roundup, when the photo first hit Reddit, it wasn't immediately clear how the meme would go:

The phonetic mimic of what it sounds like when you're an excited kid with a mouth full of orthodonture inspired "ERMAHGERD!" ("Oh my God!), GERSBERMS ("Goosebumps") and "BERKS! (Books!) as the meme ramped up. But in the end, the Internet favored "ERMAHGERD!" And really, can you blame us? What better word describes overwhelming excitement and joy over something you find to painfully awesome! It's especially hilarious when "said" by an animal … at least in the ongoing photo meme.

Not only does Stine not get it, as he explains in the video, he's not entirely sure if he approves of it either — especially if it makes fun of his readers. (Really, it doesn't.) So as he explains here, when Chris Hardwick, host of the Nerdist podcast and NBCUniversal's SyFy show "Talking Dead," asked Stine to appear in a music video send-up of the meme, Stine said no ... unless Stine got to say he didn't approve. You can watch the final delightful result below. (SPOILER ALERT! A certain Swedish culinary master who is also a Muppet makes a guest appearance!)

via Bookshelves of Doom

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+

More Digital Life: