Morbin' Time Explained: How This Morbius Meme Birthed A Monster

With "Morbius" finally finding some measure of success as the number one movie on Netflix, it's time to look back at the meme culture that spawned shortly after the film's theatrical release. Though panned by critics and fans alike, "Morbius" lived on in the hearts of many through the birth of internet-wide inside jokes that often revolved around the phrase "It's Morbin' Time." The terrible nature of the film's writing and direction became a source of inspiration for the superhero-loving community to create some of the funniest memes of 2022. However, despite the overwhelming social media notoriety, "Morbius" failed to understand the true reason behind the memes, birthing a monster in the process. 

The origin of this meme would have to be researched by experts in human psychology to get an exact answer as to why this took off like it did; however, there are specific moments in the "Morbius" timeline that point toward a conclusion that may just satisfy your hunger for knowledge (or artificial blood, if you're Morbius). Most importantly, it all culminated in a desperate attempt by the studio to make a few Morbillion dollars at the box office.

It's Morbin' Time

For the uninitiated, the viral phrase in question is based on the Thing's signature "it's clobberin' time" line from the "Fantastic Four" comics. The thought process behind it is not exactly logical, but that's exactly what makes it funny. "Morbius" generated an ongoing online joke, where "fans" created fake aspects of the film, starting with the catchphrase that is actually never uttered by Jared Leto's character. The current assumption is that the original meme came from a viral tweet that used the words "It's Morbin' Time," which then rapidly evolved into an entire lexicon of words and phrases to refer to the film and its titular superhero. A number of other memes were born out of this context, including taglines like "morbing around" or "time to morb." In a full circle moment, Leto eventually referenced the meme in a video he posted to Twitter that had him reading a screenplay titled "Morbius 2: It's Morbin' Time."

The important aspect of this meme is that it's mostly derived from people who had never seen the film. In fact, some people used the term (and its variations) when they had no intention of seeing in the first place — they just thought it was funny. This conundrum led to a massive misunderstanding by the studio behind the film, which squandered the opportunity to capitalize on the unique situation.


In typical Sony fashion, the movie studio misunderstood the resounding discussion surrounding "Morbius" as an indicator that people actually wanted to see it (in theaters, no less). In early June, Sony re-released the film in theaters in response to the pop culture phenomenon, but it hilariously underperformed. By giving into the memes, Sony inadvertently proved to the fans that their intentions were just as soulless as "Morbius" itself. In fact, a new joke started circling that had fans telling Sony on social media that they were busy on that weekend and that they should release it again. Despite people exclaiming a #MorbiusSweep was bound for awards season, fans really just wanted the "Morbius" world to crumble as a result of their memes.

The ending to the "It's Morbin' Saga" is not all sad, however. Upon arriving on Netflix, "Morbius" proudly stamped its place as the number one film on the streaming platform. It may still be one of the worst films of the year, but "Morbius" continues to be a healthy source for memes to this day. Or if you want to see Matt Smith dance like a madman for whatever reason.