December 16, 1991 ‘from Captain America 3 became a meme

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Captain America: Civil War is more of an action drama than a comedy, but how did the main antagonist’s mission become a meme?

“Mission Report, December 16, 1991” is a phrase too well known to fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Intended to signify the date of the death of Tony Stark’s parents, it is delivered by Baron Zemo, who wants to do nothing more than destroy the Avengers from within. However, what’s such a scary phrase in the MCU has turned into something entirely different in the real world. Now an iconic meme, the only question left is what chain of events took place to make Zemo’s only goal in life such a hilarious joke?

Zemo and the date in question were introduced in Captain America: Civil War. The date was one of the most important missions for the Winter Soldier, as he was the one who killed Howard and Maria Stark. The film continuously shows Zemo asking high-ranking Hydra soldiers for the date to find the book used to activate Barnes’ mental programming. Once he unleashed the Winter Soldier on the Avengers, Zemo waited with video evidence of the Starks’ murder. Ultimately, this leads to the destruction of trust between Cap and Stark, as well as a fractured Avengers.


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What is the Mission Report meme and where does it come from?

The origins of the meme probably ignited due to the repetition of the date. As it repeats itself, it’s hard not to remember the exact date and year of the Stark deaths. However, since this information has no value in society, the best thing to do is to acknowledge Zemo’s length for his revenge. As a result, the famous meme began to take shape.

Shortly after the film’s release, a Facebook page titled “Mission Report, December 16, 1991” was launched. She has compiled various photos and webcomics focused on the phrase. The structure of the joke often begins with an everyday event that quickly turns into the famous line.


The meme took off when a Twitter post merging the The ant Man Luis’ character portrays Zemo asking him for the mission report and throwing him one of his insanely long stories. The post received thousands of likes and retweets, solidifying Zemo’s line as an internet humor classic. The meme has even been found in other Marvel movies and continues to entertain fans by taking current pop culture moments and adding the Zemo line.

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What makes the Mission Report meme so important?

The simplicity of the meme aside, the humor behind it ties in perfectly with Zemo’s personal goals. As a character, Zemo’s portrayal in Civil war is that of a man motivated by nothing other than his mission. With his family lost forever, all he can think of is justifying their sacrifice and making sure those responsible pay the price. As a result, he is relentless in his quest for answers.


The meme focuses and puts him in situations that don’t match his energy. He still seems obsessed with finding the mission report on December 16, 1991. Whether it’s at a kid’s birthday party or talking to a potential romantic partner, all he wants is the mission report. Due to his demeanor, the joke never goes out of fashion due to the meme’s unexpected nature and structure.

When he reappears in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Zemo embraces his more humorous side by showing a determined character who isn’t afraid to kick back and relax. For this reason, he even spawned the dancing video Zemo. However, even as her demeanor evolves, the original version that inspired the meme is still alive and well and is only funnier because it represents a different side of the character. Now fans see him and know that if he ever saw the meme for himself, he would likely agree and laugh, symbolizing the timeless nature of the joke.


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