The divide between Boomers and Gen Z has reached new depths in recent weeks, as the elders have become conscious of the youths’ catch-all response: “ok boomer.” It’s going to take something industrious, something sturdy, something with a zeal for productivity to bridge this gap. Something… like Home Depot.
Despite calls for a boycott in July due to the co-founder’s support of President Trump, Home Depot memes are on the rise — particularly because of the theme song. On TikTok, teens have isolated the tune from Home Depot commercials for their videos. Most popularly, though, they’re simply acknowledging what a damn bop the song is.
It begins with a few slightly ominous notes on the bass. Seconds later, a drum machine introduces an insistent, percussive rhythm. The bass is then matched with a barely restrained electric guitar before all momentously blend with an electronic beat that simply goes far harder than it needs to. And just as you’re truly grooving along, the clang of what simply must be some metal tools banging together offers a certain unexpected flavor that can only be compared to what the cowbell does for Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.”
Despite sounding as if Trent Reznor scored a 1990s wrestler intro, the song is primarily only used as background filler for the chain’s commercials. So, for the most part, it has gone unnoticed, but now the track is garnering attention: Over the last month, there’s been an 80 percent increase in searches for “Home Depot theme song” on Google.
One of the most common iterations of the Home Depot-theme-as-meme is similar to that of the “just vibing” and “me and the homies” trends — basically, people are, well, just vibing, listening to the Home Depot song with their homies.
But something that goes frequently unspoken in these TikToks is the love, or at the very least, nostalgia, that people have for Home Depot. As children, most of us associated the home improvement store with being either lost or bored — it’s a nearly universal experience that bonds us.
Though Boomers are too old to have experienced the Depot as children, with the first store opening in 1979, they still hold decades of memories of DIY repairs, house upgrades and gardening. Now, with their nearly-paid mortgages, retirement funds and ample free time, Home Depot surely still represents core Boomer ideals like self-determination and freedom. Although this would seem to indicate further division between Boomers and Gen Z, the store is able to lend itself to a plethora of meanings, and politically, the Home Depot is able to cross boundaries: The rhythmic clashing of wrenches in the theme song signal the unity of the youthful proletariat, while the DIY ethos of the brand suits Boomers’ conservative, rugged individualism.
Even with our leftist ideology, as the oldest members of Gen Z have moved into their first apartments, we, too, have come to understand that the Home Depot is a land of possibility. Sure, I may never be able to afford to own a home outright, but isn’t it at least a little bit fun to select which lighting fixture I’d choose to install above the His & Hers bathroom sinks of my imagination?
The store also offers us some sense of control: My lease agreement says I can’t paint the walls, but it says nothing in regards to the small, affordable changes that allow me to exert a sense of control over my life, like replacing the knobs on my kitchen drawers, or installing a temporary faux-tile backsplash behind the stove
Sadly, the Home Depot didn’t respond to my requests for comment on the matter — in fact, their voicemail box reserved for media inquiries was full. But that’s probably for the best: Surely, the moment that the Home Depot publicly acknowledges its meme-ability, the trend will die, because part of what makes these memes so funny is the sense of earnestness behind the theme song — there’s no way they could have planned for that tune to be straight fire.
But while we’re still here in this moment, vibing in the lumber section, perhaps we can acknowledge our common ground. That’s the power of the Home Depot.