The Children Yearn For The Mines meme example.

The Children Yearn For The Mines

Part of a series on Catchphrases. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 01, 2023 at 03:34PM EDT by Don.

Added Mar 14, 2023 at 11:10AM EDT by Owen.

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The Children Yearn For The Mines is a catchphrase used in memes to satirically support the loosening of child labor laws that became a prominent political topic in early 2023 amid Republican states such as Arkansas, Iowa and Missouri lowering the legal working age to 14. The catchphrase was coined in early 2022 on Twitter via a tweet about Minecraft but later became more well-known for satirizing the repealing of child labor laws.


On February 7th, 2022, Twitter[1] user @Froggenthusias1 tweeted, "Minecraft proves that abolishing child labour was a mistake. The children yearn for the mines." Over the course of one year, the tweet received roughly 89,300 likes (shown below).

Froggenpuſiaſt @Froggenthusias1 Minecraft proves that abolishing child labour was a mistake. The children yearn for the mines. 1:21 PM. Feb 7, 2022


Soon after, screenshots of the tweet were posted to other platforms, such as on Reddit's /r/shitposting[2] on February 10th, 2022, where it received roughly 5,500 upvotes in one year.

A few months later, on July 2nd, Twitch streamer Hasan Piker posted a quote retweet to Twitter[3] that read, "'the children yearn for the mines.'" The QT captioned a screenshot of a July 2021 tweet from the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire that read, "Legalize Child Labor. Children will learn more on a job site than in public school." Piker's QT received roughly 33,900 likes in eight months (shown below).

hasanabi @hasanthehun "the children yearn for the mines" crazy ass moments in ... @am.... Jul 2, 2022 The New Hampshire Libertarian Party advocates for the legalization of child labor. (2021) 1 Libertarian Party NH @LPNH Legalize child labor. Children will learn more on a job site than in public school. 3:57 PM Jun 7, 2021 Twitter Web App 89 Retweets 643 Quote Tweets 332 Likes 8:57 PM. Jul 2, 2022

Going into late 2022, the catchphrase was used on TikTok, such as in a video uploaded by TikToker[4] @yagirlfavoritepoet on September 12th, 2022, in which he read the words from Twitter[1] user @Froggenthusias1's tweet, gaining roughly 3 million plays and 554,300 likes in six months (shown below, left). On December 27th, TikToker[5] @gronffo posted a duet in which he labeled a kid doing chores with the catchphrase, earning roughly 24,700 plays and 1,300 likes in three months (shown below, right).


Joke bandit

♬ original sound – Saliim

@gronffo #duet with @Mehar K. never show this kid a coal mine ,#fyp #fypシ #childlabour ♬ original sound – lils

2023 Repealing of Child Labor Laws

On February 6th, 2023, Iowa-based news outlet the Des Moines Register published an article[6] that outlined a "new bill introduced in the Iowa Legislature [that] would rewrite Iowa's child labor law to allow teens to work in previously prohibited jobs." The jobs in question were:

bagging and carrying groceries to cars, clerical work, and preparing and serving food.

The jobs the bill still prohibited underage children from doing were:

…working in slaughterhouses, meatpacking or rendering plants; mining; operating power-driven metal forming, punching or shearing machines; operating band or circular saws, guillotine shears or paper balers; or being involved in roofing operations or demolition work.

On February 7th, 2023, the Twitter[7] account @MorePerfectUS tweeted about the bill, gaining roughly 31,100 likes in one month. That same day, Twitter[8] user @rileycollins__ quote retweeted @MorePerfectUS, including a photoshopped image of a child miner with multiple, "frat house" signifiers. Twitter[8] user @rileycollins__ captioned the image, "LET'S F--KING GO CHILD LABOR IS BACK BABY! GET THOSE F--KERS IN THE MINES," and received over 420 likes in one month (shown below).

Riley Collins @rileycollins___ LET'S F------ GO CHILD LABOR IS BACK BABY! GET THOSE F------ IN THE MINES FULL SEND COO Lite Lite Lite 000 FINE INE PILSE FULL SEND 101 Lite Lite Lite 2 2 2 INE FIL BEB 17 OFILAKTY FINE BEER

Soon after, on February 9th, 2023, Twitter[8] user @rileycollins__ posted a video to his TikTok[9] page that used his Photoshop and explained the gravity of the Iowa bill. TikToker @rileycollins__ reiterated the "The children yearn for the mines" catchphrase and received roughly 924,300 plays and 185,600 likes in one month (shown below).

@rileycollins__ So back #greenscreen #joke #children #funtimes ♬ original sound – Riley Collins

On March 7th, 2023, Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) signed legislation into law that eliminated age verification requirements for young workers.[10] It was reported on by the Washington Post[10] which wrote:

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a rising Republican star, on Tuesday signed legislation into law that eliminated age verification requirements for youth workers younger than 16 years old. A similar proposal is advancing in Missouri. Iowa legislators are considering a bill that would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work certain jobs in meatpacking plants and shield businesses from civil liability if a child laborer is sickened, injured or killed on the job. A bill in Minnesota would permit 16- and 17-year-olds to work construction jobs.

On March 10th, TikToker[11] @xiandivyne posted a stitch about the new Arkansas legislation that used the "The children yearn for the mines" catchphrase, earning roughly 84,700 plays and 24,100 likes in four days (shown below).

@xiandivyne #stitch with @aflcio the children yearn for the mines #fyp #xiandivyne #blacktiktok #uspolitics #politics ♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs – Skittlegirl Sound

Various Examples

WE'D ALL BE A LOT BETTER OFF IF GENERATION Z SPENT A FEW HOURS IN AN ACTUAL COAL MINE NICK ADAMS INSTEAD OF PLAYING THE "MINECRAFT" VIDEO GAME Anthony Oliveira @meakoopa the children yearn for the mines CNN @CNN.4h CNN A company illegally employed more than 100 minors to clean razor-sharp saws using hazardous chemicals, US Department of Labor said. ılı 22 71 cruzzing1965 @Rome05492790 11:14 AM 2023-02-18 60 ● 436 Views 1 Like ...but how do the minor workers feel, are they complaining? 149 3:28 PM. Feb 18, 2023 · 26.9K Views ↑ ... : patryc dad/daddy 18 @_patryc_ in 1920 we took children out of the coal mines in 2020, the most popular video game on the market is minecraft. the children yearn for the mines 2:43 PM Sep 30, 2022 ● ●●● 46.1K Retweets 901 Quote Tweets 422K Likes

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Top Comments

Monster Kid
Monster Kid

This is what people would rather do than pay people a living wage. The system does NOT regulate itself, unregulated capitalism ALWAYS does this, especially since these fuckers are supposed to support infinite growth and the higher ups refuse to cut their own salaries. How long is it going to take for… honestly anything positive to happen? Do people need to get violent?


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