Prior to the release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition – which for the sake of simplicity we simply refer to as the GTA trilogy – Rockstar has thrown a bunch of new gifs and stickers on Giphy, “with some of the most iconic moments and images from all three new versions of these games. ” It’s a nice gesture for fans, but really just marketing: images and animations to remind old fans of their much-loved game from 20 years ago, which will hopefully push them to throw money at the updated editions.
But then we noticed something interesting: At the very top of the page is a very short clip of GTA: San Andreas leader CJ Johnson, a Grove Street OG who is alone and unarmed in enemy territory, dumped there by a corrupt cop with voice from none other than Samuel L. Jackson – the basis of the famous “Here we go again” meme.
“Ah shit, now we’re running again,” CJ says after being rolled out of the speeding car. “The worst place in the world. Rollin ‘Heights Balla country. I have not represented Grove Street in five years, but the Ballas will not like it.”
This is what it looks like in the original game:
According to Know Your Meme, it took more than a decade after the release of GTA: San Andreas before the wheels really started turning, beginning in January 2015, when a YouTuber named ZMOONCHILD posted a clip of the scene. Captions followed, and by 2019 it had grown into a popular reaction meme. ONE green screen version of the opening line was also shared by Chaotic Geek on Twitter, allowing creative sorts to insert a frustrated CJ in all sorts of situations.
But San Andreas is 17 years old and age is starting to show. This new version is much smoother and sharper. Dare to compare!
Unfortunately, the only thing missing is the subtitle – the gif really does not carry the same weight without it. I’ve asked Rockstar why it was omitted, but for whatever reason I’m sure it will not take long for someone to let it in or put an audio track over it – or maybe even both. And so, well, like the man said: Ah shit, now we go again. But in the good way.