Upload is one of Amazon Prime’s best shows because of how it plays into jokes, references and trends that are currently popular. From working in bits about TikTok to having futuristic technology that’s just slightly off what we have today, the show is very aware of the zeitgeist. So, when Tom Marshall directed Episodes 3 and 4 of the third season, he kicked the pop culture references up a notch, specifically in one scene where they incorporated a hilarious Homer Simpson meme, and the reason behind why they did it makes so much sense.
Learn More About Tom Marshall's Love For Memes
In the episode “Cyber Discount Day,” which is all about the characters essentially celebrating Thanksgiving, Aleesha is going back and forth between Lakeview and her family’s dinner. At one point she complains that everyone deserves time off, and AI Guy asks Kevin Bigley’s character Luke what that means. The human then teaches the being about the concept of a day of rest, which leads to the various AI Guys hilariously taking time off by lying down in the lobby. Luke then calls Aleesha to explain what’s going on, and when AI Guy reveals that “Pastor Luke” taught them about taking a day off, the camera pans over to the Upload, and he comedically backs away.
By itself, the scene is hilarious, but once you add in the knowledge that there’s an iconic Simpsons meme baked into it, the moment becomes even funnier. Breaking down the moment, Episode 3’s director Tom Marshall told CinemaBlend:
There's a very famous Homer Simpson meme [of him] disappearing into a bush. Right? And I had Luke, when he’s snitched, run away, like comedy run away. And then credit, it was suggested that what if we did the Homer Simpson disappearing into a bush meme? And if you didn't catch it when you watched it, rewatch it now with that in mind, because he's doing exactly that, and it's hilarious.
If you go back and watch the third episode of Upload, you can see how Bigley recreated the meme, and it’s pretty spot on. From his frozen stance and wide eyes to him slowly backing up, The Simpsons' influence is for sure felt, and it’s hilarious.
After mentioning how hilarious the scene is, Marshall told me how he actually loves to incorporate memes into his work. In the society we live in, silly images, GIFs and videos are references so many people understand, and it’s become an effective tool to humorously explain feelings or reactions. To this point, the director said:
That's my new thing. It's happened a few times where we've referenced memes. And I just think we shouldn't be snobby about stuff as creators. Memes are great. Memes make up just as much as anything. And I just think we should treat the whole thing now as a big smorgasbord we can pull from. Because, I’m telling you, Luke doing this Simpsons meme was one of my favorite additions to that scene in particular.
I love that point of view! Being able to incorporate references that so many people understand makes the show more relatable and funnier. Also, the world of Upload is so rooted in today’s online culture that the joke fits right in with the series. Overall, it was a hilarious beat that was made funnier by their decision to work in that iconic Homer Simpson disappearing into a bush meme.
If you want to go and spot the meme for yourself, you can stream the first four episodes of Upload Season 3 now. Then, make sure to keep an eye on the 2023 TV schedule, because new installments of the comedy drop on Amazon Prime every Friday. And if you are looking to go back and watch how this Homer Simpson meme came to be, you can stream Season 5, Episode 16 -- “Homer Loves Flanders” -- of The Simpsons with a Disney+ subscription.