Varying Degrees of Want, also known as Various Degrees of Want, is a variation of the Do Want / Do Not Want meme, and is mainly used to express different reactions from several characters at once. Typically these appear as reaction images or a simple catchphrase with the text “Varying degrees of want” or “Various degrees of want” placed over the top of an image depicting fictional characters from television or movies, especially cartoons and anime.
Do Want / Do Not Want Precursor
The use of the sentences “Do Want” and “Do Not Want” as reaction images can be traced back to 2005. They were quickly followed by variations on the joke, such as “Not sure if want” or “Kind of want.” “Varying degrees of want” uses that premise and twists it to describe the conflicted feelings of a person, or alternatively, to describe both the approving and disapproving reactions within a group.
The first recorded occurrence of the expression “Varying degrees of want” is a comment on the WordPress blog My Sword is Unbelievably Dull, by user hofodomo on May 29th, 2008, in reaction to the presentation of the manga Tokyo Akazukin (shown below).
VARYING DEGREES OF WANT.
just when i thought 4chan had inured me to the internet…
The oldest recorded picture to be captioned with this phrase dates back to October 14th, 2009, and is an edit of a cartoon box from the DC comic The Wanderers, in response from user Aaron Bourke to a post on the blog InsaneJournal (seen below).
Interestingly, the first occurrences of the expression “Various degrees of want” predate the internet, as they appear in some translations of Saint Thomas Aquinus’ compendium Summa Theologica or Honoré de Balzac’s novel Old Goriot. The oldest occurrence of it which is directly linked to the Do Want meme comes from DeviantArt user Oblivion-Dragon’s comment on a Hades x Esmeralda crackship fan art on April 29th, 2010 (seen below)
Ah, crackpairings. Making me lol and sending me into various degrees of ‘want’ (ie. Do want, Do not want, not sure if want, etc.) since my early teens.
As for the oldest captioned pictures with this take on the meme, they appeared in the summer of 2011 as screenshots of the movie Puss In Boots and a Nostalgia Chick episode (shown below, left and right).
The expression “Varying degrees of want” became popular enough to be used as a caption for many pictures, as well as a commentary on such relevant pictures. Its relevance even led to the creation of a dedicated tag on Derpibooru and to a whole Danbooru picture collection named after it. The highest-rated captioned picture on Reddit was posted on /r/mylittlepony via Imgur on April 18th, 2012 (seen below).
On May 15th, 2015, iFunny user Gardevoir_226_2015 posted another example depicting the Pokemon Gardevoir with the text “Varying degrees of want” (shown below, left). On October 13th, 2019, Imgur user TheBloodyLady posted a variant depicting Raven from Teen Titans in different color shades, receiving over 1,750 views and 44 upvotes in one year (shown below, right).
That Is My Fetish
That Is My Fetish is a catchphrase that is used similarly to Do Want. Numerous instances of it add an additional layer of humor by having it said by one character in a group, with the rest of them clearly repulsed. This variation is similar in use to Varying Degrees of Want.