The Origin of the Internet Slang, ‘Netflix and Chill’

Netflix is an over-the-top media service and production company founded in 1997. It is now the largest streaming service in the world with roughly 150,000,000 memberships in over 190 countries. Netflix was initially launched in 1998 but only became a game-changer in 2007. Netflix has changed the way people would watch movies and different TV shows — with its faltering business due to high competition then, Netflix has decided to directly deliver movies and shows to computers of its customers to save the hassle of renting out DVDs and returning them to the post.

Now in the digital age, it has become a lot easier for people to have access to their favorite TV shows and movies, thanks to online streaming. Many people, most especially teenagers, have admitted to only sticking to online streaming services like Netflix instead of the normal airing on TV. After all, the comfort of having the content you consume completely in your control instead of waiting an entire week for a new episode is amazing and beneficial to those who cannot find the time. It could also be a new form of bond between friends — and that control is beneficial to others, in a trendy phrase called “Netflix and chill.”

What Does “Netflix and Chill” Mean?

Bed with laptop

Back in 2009, the term ‘Netflix and chill’ was still its literal meaning which means “watching Netflix shows while you relax or chill.” It was still true to its innocent meaning with no other innuendos. Back then, the term was also meant for a single person, meaning you would be spending time by yourself, curled up on the couch while your favorite show is on. A couple of years later, however, the term and meaning started to evolve.

“Netflix and chill” does mean you would watch Netflix TV shows or movies together with your friend or your date, build up a fort, or chill on the sofa as you watch. But now, the term has evolved and somehow, the innocence tied behind the phrase has changed. Sure, “Netflix and chill” still does mean you would watch shows or movies together, create your own fort. However, “cuddling” or “chilling” on the same sofa bed in Singapore would mean . . . well, something more. The phrase became the modern version of asking someone out for coffee or a meal, and then in 2014, thanks to a viral meme, the term has completely evolved into the 21st-century version of “hooking up.” After it has gone viral, the company, as well as other celebrities like rapper Nicki Minaj, has hopped on the trend by posting a meme and Instagram post, with the captions “and chill.”

As of today, the direct meaning of the phrase “Netflix and chill” has variations when you google what it really means. For instance, people use it to replace the term “hooking up” which does seem a bit forward and rash. Others see the phrase as watching their favorite show or movie together but with a romantic intention, while still with the expectation of engaging in sexual activities.

However you put it or view the phrase’s meaning, it’s important to remember that when you ask that question, or if you get asked that question, expect that it would definitely be so much more than just “chilling.”