'OK Boomer' is the simple phrase best delivered in a patronising tone — but why should Millennials have all the fun, writes Susie O’Brien.
'OK Boomer' is the simple phrase best delivered in a patronising tone — but why should Millennials have all the fun, writes Susie O’Brien.

Why Gen X should embrace ‘OK Boomer’ gag

I love using the phrase "OK Boomer". It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on, trust me.

It's best delivered in a patronising tone, reminding the older generation they're no longer running this joint and no one cares what they think.

There's an ennui about it - Millennials can't even summon up the interest to argue back anymore.

OK Boomer began on an online chat site as a response to out-of-touch oldies railing about the "young people of today". It hit the mainstream a few months ago on TikTok, a video sharing platform used by young kids to mime to videos.

Many of the millions of OK Boomer videos uploaded are based on a song by Jedwill and Peter Kuli. It includes lines like: "Aye it's funny, you think I respect your opinion/ When your hairline looks that disrespectful".

Ouch. It's no wonder OK Boomer is so hot right now, Derek Zoolander would say. It's even been said in New Zealand parliament by a 25-year-old MP during a climate change debate.


Out-of-touch Baby Boomers are on their way out. Picture: iStock
Out-of-touch Baby Boomers are on their way out. Picture: iStock

She was pointing out that she will be 56 in the year 2050 while most of her peers in the house will be 80.

Actor and writer Ricky Gervais has also jumped on board, sending this tweet a few weeks ago: "Guys, I think I have to leave Twitter. Someone with a pink cartoon unicorn as their avi just called me a Boomer. I'm strong, but not that strong."

Millennials - born from 1981 to 1996 - are sick of being judged by Boomers and are now old enough to be condescending in return. Far from revering Boomers, they blame them for climate change, housing prices, conservative politicians and global debt.

Baby Boomers aren't coping with it very well. The generation born between 1946 and 1965 is now getting to the stage where they're needing hearing aids and walking sticks. The world they know is disappearing, along with their hair and waistline.

They spent years running the country, raising families, heading businesses and going to Rotary Club meetings. They can't work out why young people don't look up to them and don't want to be like them.

Once radicals, Boomers now feel lucky if they manage to get their nose hair under control.

They're struggling to understand a world with Afterpay, oat milk lattes and birth certificates with a choice of 36 gender identities.

They crowd Apple shops because they can't remember how to access their emails containing vital ancestry.com updates.

They turn mowing a nature strip into an all-day pursuit and bore everyone senseless with the details of their walking tour of the British Isles.

The generational glitch comes because Millennials confuse the hell out of them. They don't understand why Millennials are sending memes and marching on the streets instead of holding proper jobs and writing letters to their local MP.

How can young people - who seem to have dispensed with capital letters and punctuation - earn a living from the front table at their local cafe?

Writing this, I am mindful of the reaction the last time I wrote about Baby Boomers.

I was inundated by older readers pointing out that I was obviously trying to be funny but it SIMPLY WASN'T FUNNY and I should SHOW MORE RESPECT.

OK Boomer.

In the middle of it all is my generation - Gen X. We're enjoying a generational spat that doesn't involve us for once.

Gen X is more likely to side with Millennials.
Gen X is more likely to side with Millennials.

We're more likely to be on the side of the Millennials, some of whom are already our bosses. We know where the power is and it sure isn't the ageing Boomers, who seem to have nothing much to do and lots of time to do it in.

It's not surprising that Boomers are taking great umbrage at being dissed by the young folk in this way.

Indeed, the phrase is described by Baby Boomer Tyler Cowen from Bloomberg as the "latest linguistic weapon of generational warfare being deployed against us".




OK Bloomberg. Trust Boomers to take it all so seriously.

OK Boomer is being been banned in some workplaces as an instance of ageism and is even going to be turned into a Fox TV show. Apparently, Fox executives have even tried to trademark the term. (How very Boomer.)

This is a sure sign the phrase is already on the way out. Oh well, never mind, Boomers.

The Millennials are bored as they've given you 4.6 seconds of their time. They've already moved on to something else.

This, too, will pass - like your gallstones.

- Susie O'Brien is a Herald Sun columnist