The metropolitan Dictionary specifies hipsters as “a subculture the men and also women generally in their 20s and also 30s who worth independent thinking, counter-culture, gradual politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and also witty banter.” gift a hipster is largely frowned ~ above in American culture by everyone, also hipsters who oppose popular music culture, which has become pop culture. Regularly seen as posers doing not have authenticity and also individuality, the hipster has practically become associated with the norm. Fashion, music, and also lifestyle have come to be dominated by “hipster culture.” The lay out comedy show Portlandia slams back against “hipster culture” through mocking it.

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Portland, Oregon is the whitest huge city in America and also is well-known for being weird, young, and cheap, yet cultured. Or, in various other words, a hipster’s dream. Portlandia’s whole premise is come make funny of this city creature. As soon as the show very first aired in 2011, Fred Armisen and also Carrie Brownstein, the creators, shown two characters: “Bryce Shivers” and “Lisa Eversman.” Bryce and Lisa love to put birds ~ above things. They get in the boutique and also look about at the level bags, pillows, and also other items. Being also plain and also definitely no hipster sufficient they proceed to “put a bird ~ above it.” They put birds on every little thing in the entire store. But why?



“What a sad little tote bag. Ns know-I’ll put a bird ~ above it. Walk you watch this bag before? ns didn’t. Now there’s a bird.”

Carrie Brownstein stated, “I had actually started noticing that putting a bird atop one otherwise pedestrian or utilitarian object elevated the to art — or that placing a bird on a painting made it an instant signifier because that coolness.” Hipster culture is all around being unique and also different and also cool; however, every “hipster” human being dresses and also acts the precise same. It is ironic the the characters want to put a bird top top everything. Hipsters worth being unique, yet by putting a bird top top every item it is making each item the same, not unique. Decorating and also making something plain exciting is one method to it is in individual, but, as Lisa and also Bryce show in the skit, their route to originality is making everything in the store an ext similar. Isn’t that all hipsters are trying to execute anyway, be distinct and, in the process, ending up being a copy that everyone roughly them?

“Put a bird top top it” laugh at individuals absurd obsession v slapping bird on things and calling the art. So, as soon as Brownstein and also Armisen aired this skit that went viral.


The net took this skit and also ran with it developing memes and merchandise. Pan of Portlandia created comical web memes about the skit, such as the one above, and also went viral. All throughout 2011 and onward, fans everywhere sported bird on shirts, stickers, mugs, and more paying tribute to a loved joke on a loved tv show.

A straightforward Google find shows just how big of an affect the skit has made in web meme culture. So plenty of fans have gone on to create other items based turn off of various other skits ~ above the show after “put a bird top top it” which proceeds to show the affect television has actually over pop society and people’s interests.

In fact, during Bernie Sanders project rally speech for his run for chairman in 2016 in Portland, a bird flew up and landed ~ above his podium. The audience loved it, tweeting the end “#BirdieSanders.” The fact that the bird was in Portland to be a great moment for fans and five years since the initial “put a bird top top it,” the picture was restored and alive.

Presidential canidate Bernie Sanders in ~ a rally in Portland, Oregon in 2016 once a bird appeared causing an uproar the the iconic meme.

“Put a bird on it” made such a large impact in popular music culture, but also in the hipster culture. The idea that a bird being artistically inserted on something suddenly ended up being a silly, mainstream and also playful idea. ~ the illustration aired, there was a decrease in clothing and accessories v birds because that arts sake, but rise in items through ironic birds. The original trend collection by hipsters of placing birds ~ above clothes and also home decor was now replaced with the bird together a satire ~ above hipster culture.

A colorful, distinct Urban Outfitters promo photo

In enhancement to memes and also mocking hipsters, Portlandia sheds some lights on exactly how hipster’s have influenced consumerism. Hipsters are more concerned v consuming “cool” things currently in presence rather than producing their very own “cool” things. They bring ago old-fashioned trends and also retro merchandise. Upon establish this, companies, such as urban Outfitters, complimentary People, and Nordstrom, started to recreate fashion looks from prior decades that hipsters were sporting and selling castle in stores. Vintage stores additionally rose in popularity as hipsters thrift because that something unique and different. The brand-new stores, however, came to be popular among others besides hipsters. Stores favor Urban Outfitters came to be mainstream in spite of originally gift targeted at for the hipster culture. Through letting the hipster society movement end up being mainstream in this stores, the hipster movement became universalized. Ironically enough, hipsters are often linked with a lack of originality in spite of their score being uniqueness. Posers, although showing up to it is in hipsters, dress the component thanks to large corporations embracing the society movement.

Looking beyond clothes, stores like Urban Outfitters market accessories, home decor, beauty beauty products, and also even some music and also tech devices. A keep with plenty of goods and all in the style appearing to these “unique” individuals. Portlandia grasps ~ above this idea through their “put a bird top top it” skit. The save that shows up to have actually clothes, residence decor, and more is just an average, ordinary store. However, through the aid of bird stencils, stickers, and also stitchings Lisa Eversman and also Bryce Shivers develop a hipster utopia of beautiful bird art. It’s all a mock the the motion to make everything an arts form- a component of the hipster society movement. While making fun of the hipsterdom, over there is additionally an evaluation underneath the mockery. Brownstein and Armisen could even be considered hipsters, yet they mock it. Many likely, over there is a deep understanding and admiration that the urban culture that strives to be unique, different, and also individual. The show practically disrespects the culture, but it is redeemed through the creator’s creativity with the show.

Putting a bird on any random article instantly produced art according to those striving to it is in artsy, unique individuals. Consumerism not only assisted increase the art for these hipsters but likewise created ironic piece for pan of the show and the meme. Both fans and hipsters alike deserve to agree that claiming to be a hipster is silly, yet hipsters tho thrive, keeping consumerism universal and also fresh, however openly retro. Portlandia specialization in the mock of this people. That no wonder the beginning of the collection holds the most iconic, many memed, many notable sketch: “Put a bird on it!”


“What does ‘Put a Bird ~ above It’ Mean?” Put a Bird ~ above It, 1 Jan. 1970,

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“Why Birds are Taking flight in Hipster Culture.” The Globe and also Mail, 26 Mar. 2017,