Billy the Puppet from Saw
Photo via Lionsgate

The 15 most hilarious ‘Saw’ memes

Some of these memes actually make a lot of sense.

After the announcement of Saw X, the tenth installment in the world’s most iconic biological horror franchise, an opportunity has presented itself to reminisce about past Saw ventures — from James Wan’s original right through to Spiral: From the Book of Saw — in the form of the internet’s most inclusive and universal language: memes. Back in 2004, James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious) and Leigh Whannell, two life-long friends and filmmakers, shocked and disturbed the masses with the release of Saw, a psychological/body horror intended to be a one-shot wonder that eventually spawned countless sequels. After two degenerate men awaken in a dilapidated bathroom and are tasked with either killing one another, self-amputating or starving to death, the sadistic modus operandi of a notorious serial killer rouses their will to survive.

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Thus far, the Saw franchise consists of nine sequels, while Saw X will mark the tenth outing for the sickening series, which surrounds Tobin Bell’s John Kramer, a former civil engineer diagnosed with terminal cancer who becomes the Jigsaw killer, a famous murderer known for placing his victims in escapable traps under near-impossible circumstances to test their will to live. In the later sequels, Shawnee Smith’s Amanda Young and Costas Mandylor’s Mark Hoffman take over as John’s apprentices following his death in Saw III. While the Saw franchise is not at all laughable, some of the motives, scenarios and abstractions make for hilarious meme material.

1. Jigsaw didn’t stutter

Saw Meme
Image via Memedroid

It is customary that whenever Jigsaw (as Billy the Puppet) confronts his latest victim, he details the nature of their test in a comprehensive and authoritative tone. More often than not, when faced with a harrowing life-or-death outcome, Jigsaw’s test subjects will beg for their lives as an instinctive reaction to their impending demise. Obviously, Jigsaw’s straightforward approach is non-negotiable, so the fact that the victims attempt a plea of innocence is downright comical, especially as Jigsaw shuns their desperation and leaves them without an alternative escape route. There aren’t any favors or freebies where Jigsaw is concerned; he wants bloodshed and agony and that isn’t debatable.

2. Willy Wonka is Saw, confirmed

Willy Wonka Saw Meme
Image via Memedroid

The classic children’s film Willy Wonka (2005) and James Wan’s Saw aren’t exactly franchises that one would consider to be identical in essence, but according to the “Change my mind” meme, someone out there has made that connection. Actually, when you think hard about it, Willy Wonka and Jigsaw are both power-hungry mentors searching for successors to their life’s work. While it isn’t so blatant in Willy Wonka, it can be implied that Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp) murdered the four Golden Ticket winners besides Charlie Bucket and his grandpa. Augustus Gloop drowns in chocolate, Veruca Salt falls from a sheer height and supposedly dies instantly, Violet Beauregarde inflates like a balloon from an internal infection and Mike TV is stretched out of proportion to counteract the shrinking process. Interestingly, we never see or hear from any of these children again, so are Jigsaw and Willy Wonka so different? At least Jigsaw didn’t target youths.

3. Jigsaw is no match for Kevin from Home Alone

Saw Meme with Kevin from Home Alone
Image via Memedroid

Both Kevin from Home Alone and Jigsaw from Saw share a fascination with homemade traps. While Kevin’s motivations are far removed from Jigsaw’s the basic ideation remains the same. It has been noted in discourse that Kevin’s traps are elaborate and dangerous at times. In fact, there is disbelief surrounding Harry and Marv’s survival. Both intruders miraculously outlasted third-degree burns, electrocution and a harsh pelting from bricks. At their core, Kevin and Jigsaw aren’t so different. There is even a fan theory that Kevin McCallister grows up to become John Kramer/Jigsaw after relocating and changing his identity. ScreenRant offers evidence to support this claim. So what happens when Jigsaw meets Kevin? A hilarious meme.

4. How to refund a tattoo

Saw Tattoo Meme
Image via Bazaart/Reddit

Saw II was jam-packed with gore galore. From the needle pit to the death mask, there were plenty of Saw traps to make even the bravest among us wince. One of the most gruesome moments, however, wasn’t even the byproduct of a Jigsaw trap, but instead occurs when Xavier Chavez, a ruthless drug dealer, discovers the numbers for a safe combination painted on the necks of all those trapped inside the ultimate test — the Nerve Gas House. Redirecting Xavier’s attention from murdering them for their numbers, Daniel, Detective Matthews’ son and Amanda Young point out that in order to obtain the full combination, Xavier would need the number printed on the nape of his own neck. What ensues is a grueling montage of Xavier cutting off his own skin, which was light-heartedly compared to the savage refund of a tattoo after the payment method declines post-session.

5. Just when they thought it was over

Saw Meme with Hoffman and John
Image via Ranker

The “Undertaker standing behind AJ Styles” meme took off without a hitch after its conception. Derived from a screenshot from the WWE’s professional wrestling event “WrestleMania,” the image visually depicts the feeling of dread lingering, unbeknownst to us. After John Kramer dies in Saw III, everyone assumed that the Jigsaw killings would stop, but Mark Hoffman took on the mantle to continue John’s teachings, therefore the Jigsaw killer continued to terrorize New Jersey. In this instance, all the relieved New Jerseyans were none the wiser to the passing of the baton and that’s what makes Hoffman’s subsequent murder spree so meme-worthy.

6. They probably are

Saw 6-Year-Old Me Meme
Image via u/Jhon-Smith10_2 on Reddit

We’ve all been there. You’re six-years-old, too much of a troublemaker in the grocery store and forced to sit and wait in the backseat. As the clock ticks, your parents are still gone, even after they promised to be 10 minutes maximum. Well, Adam Stanheight (Leigh Whannell) perfectly summarizes the feeling of foreboding that hits after another 10 minutes go by and there’s no sign of them. That stir of emotion leads to the six-year-old equivalent thought of “Sh*t, they’re probably dead.” Thanks, Leigh, Whannell. We couldn’t have done it without you.

7. Billy the Puppet meets Jack Torrance

Saw meets The Shining meme
Image via @WeRIntoSurvival on Twitter

If Marvel and DC have taught us anything, it’s that crossovers sell an insane amount of money. There’s nothing more profitable than taking two beloved icons and either pitting them against one another or initiating a team-up for the ages. Look at Freddy vs. Jason (2003), although it had mixed reactions, it reeled in a sizable profit at the box office and has since become a respected addition to the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. Well, since both Billy the Puppet and miniature Jack Torrance from The Shining both enjoy riding tricycles, there seems to be a match made in heaven for another potential crossover concept. When can we start the petition?

8. Make your choice

Saw "Let the game begin" Meme
Image via Cheezeburger/Memebase

Other than “I want to play a game” and “game over,” Jigsaw has another memorable line: “Let the game begin.” It was used most notably in Jigsaw (2017) after the five bucket-head contestants awaken from their slumber and trigger the timer. It isn’t uncommon for Saw fans to take screenshots from seemingly innocent scenarios and change the meaning entirely by adding in “Let the game begin.” Take the above image, for example, where a truck mounted with a cage full of humans drives leisurely through a safari park, obviously acting as a tourist attraction that allows visitors to get up-close and personal with the lionesses. However, imagine that the humans are trapped inside and must escape while evading the hungry beasts. Suddenly, we have ourselves the basis for Saw XI.

9. All bets are off

Amanda Young Saw Meme
Image via Imgur

Shawnee Smith’s character, Amanda Young, was made famous for becoming the one and only known survivor of Jigsaw until the founding of the Jigsaw Survivor Group and the reveal that Dr. Lawrence Gordon survived his test and went on to fly under the radar as one of Jigsaw’s apprentices. It can be argued that Amanda was given one of the easiest traps in harming someone else rather than herself in order to walk free. However, ordinarily, she wouldn’t have survived and the split-second between the reverse bear trap snapping open and her retrieving the key was unrealistic luck if ever we saw it. At her core, Amanda is an addict and nothing spectacular, so the fact that she survived is laughable and therefore deserving of its own meme.

10. That’s cruel even for Jigsaw

Saw "Let the game begin" Toilet Paper Meme
Image via u/E-Boy-ManChild on Reddit

We’ll never get tired of the “let the game begin” memes. This time, instead of caged tourists battling lionesses, Jigsaw has set his sights on an unsuspecting victim headed for the bathroom, which doesn’t sound all that threatening, but if Saw taught us anything, it’s that grungy bathrooms are no joke. Obviously, John Kramer has a thing for bathrooms. Substitute the toilet paper for sandpaper and you have yourself Saw XII. If the Bathroom Trap (you heard it here first) ever comes to fruition in an upcoming Saw film, there’ll be one recurring theme to promise: lots of pain.

11. Watching Saw backwards

John Kramer watching Saw backwards Meme
Image via Pinterest

Saw lives up to its reputation as a biological horror with gut-wrenching gore that’s just as graphic as a Grey’s Anatomy surgery but more panic and less precision. From 2004 to 2021, we’ve seen torsos sliced in half, limbs twisted, tongues ripped out, back flesh torn off and fingers ripped from their knuckles. But if you watch Saw in reverse, it’s a heartwarming tale about an old man’s dying wish to provide others with organ transplants… sort of. Although that isn’t true in the slightest, its’s a nice thought to have, and it’s certainly more comforting than what Saw actually consists of.

12. One for the pandemic, for old time’s sake

Saw Adam Stanheight surviving 2020 Meme
Image via Buzzfeed

In 2020, COVID-19 pandemic memes were all the rage. It was a whole lot of “surviving 2020” and jokes regarding the vaccine. Although we’re almost three years on from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the urgency is all but gone, the memes are still abundant. In the early months of 2020, many countries were in sheer panic, closing their borders and initiating a countrywide lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. It was tough times all around, but as the second half of 2020 appeared on the horizon, it brought a whole host of variants and even more lockdowns with it. Again, Leigh Whannell’s priceless expressions paint this picture of suffering perfectly.

13. Dr. Lawrence Gordon’s intrusive thoughts

Dr. Lawrence Gordon cutting off his foot in Saw meme
Image via Weebly

Intrusive thoughts exist in all of us. Sometimes, we’ll be driving along and think to ourselves, “What would happen if I crashed this car, right now?” It doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re sick and twisted or serial killers, but rather it’s a completely common and normal phenomenon that we might never understand. Studies have revealed that intrusive thoughts are triggered by stress and anxiety, so Dr. Lawrence Gordon — in an extremely stressful and anxious situation — was bound to have some strange ideas. It wouldn’t be surprising for Gordon to, before amputating his own foot with a tetanus-ridden hacksaw, think about some irrelevant and idiotic things, such as whether or not throwing your foot at someone counts as hitting or kicking them. Now that you mention it, that’s a good question.

14. Consent is important

Just say no Saw meme
Image via Cosmopolitan

Consent is important, not just for sexual endeavors but in all walks of life. Some of the basic principles of human rights state that all humans are entitled to free will, which includes the chance to choose. Well, in order to survive Jigsaw, we apply that thought process to the appropriate situation. Therefore, when Billy the Puppet cycles around asking if you’d like to play a game, just say no. It’s as simple as that. According to the above meme, that’s the surefire way to save you from impending doom. Except those rules don’t apply in the Saw universe, so this meme is made redundant. Either way, it’s still funny.

15. The first date

Saw "First date" Meme
Image via u/JamiroquaiFan32 on Reddit

We can all relate to the first date jitters. It happens to the best of us. When we’re all dressed up and ready to go, we give ourselves the classic pep talk in the mirror to psych ourselves up. You would say something along the lines of “don’t dress weird, don’t act weird, don’t say anything weird.” But despite your best efforts, you still show up to the date on your red tricycle with unkempt black hair, a ghostly white complexion, a dusty tuxedo. Oh, wait. That’s Billy. Eh, what’s the difference?

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Chynna Wilkinson
Chynna has been a noteworthy presence within creative media for over seven years. As a self-proclaimed geek driven by a passion for horror, comic books, video games, and modern cinema, she takes pride in doing what she loves. In addition to her personal writing projects, Chynna is also an award-winning screenwriter, published poet, and accomplished academic writer, producing everything from short stories and screenplays to articles, features, and poetry. She enjoys watching anime, horror movies, and animated shows and her life revolves around cinema, video games, and tasteful literature.