Melody Thomas Scott Recruits Eric Braeden Into Roman Empire TikTok Trend (& We Can't Stop Laughing)

According to Know Your Meme, a website dedicated to learning the origins of online memes and things that go viral, the latest TikTok trend is apparently one in which women ask the men they know how often they think about the Roman Empire. What began as an Instagram post last year by a woman in Sweden blossomed into a viral movement after a Roman reenactor shared the question on August 19. 

Not to be left out of the latest fad, and perhaps foreseeing the answer she would get, "The Young and the Restless" star Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) posted a video on September 27 on Instagram with the caption, "I just had to try this TikTok trend, albeit on Insta. This is what happened when I asked @ericbraedengudegast the very popular question, 'How often do you think about the Roman Empire?' And well, be careful what you ask for! Speaking of, let me know what you want me to ask Eric next!"

Careful indeed, as her on-screen husband, Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) — who's well known for being a font of information — answered, "Roman Empire? Actually, quite a bit to be frank with you, because it was enormously influential and, you know, occupied parts of Europe for 3 or 400 years." Fans weren't surprised that Braeden understood the assignment as one responded, "That's hilarious! Of course Eric thinks about it often. He's so knowledgeable. No one I've heard answering this question can hold a candle to Eric."

Eric Braeden's Roman Empire knowledge is vast

In "The Young and the Restless" star Melody Thomas Scott's Instagram video, Eric Braeden explained how the Roman Empire conquered England and France, but wasn't able to take Germany. He referenced Hadrian's Wall, which was created in England to prevent Viking attacks from the North. His knowledge wasn't just cursory as he got specific, noting, "The last Roman legion left [England] in 390 A.D." He explained how people in England asked "the Anglo-Saxons to come in," adding, "You know, [they were] from my area in Germany. Northern Germany. The Anglo-Saxons came in to protect them against the attacks from the Vikings and the Scotts and the Picts." The German-born actor then smugly noted, "Whenever the Brits get too arrogant, I say, my dear fellow ... we saved your a**."

Scott posted a continuation of the video where she noted that he thinks about the Roman Empire a lot, to which Braeden replied that he does and reminisced about a high school lecture discussing how Julius Caesar conquered Gaul, remarking that he finds the topic fascinating. He went on to recall how legendary actor Marlon Brando brought the phrase, "Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" from William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" to a new generation through his role as Mark Antony in the 1953 screen adaptation. He also threw shade on equally legendary actor John Gielgud, who played Gaius Cassius, for poo-pooing Brando's talent, calling him "pompous" with an unflattering Gielgud impression. He then said he loved being interviewed by Scott, welcoming more questions, to which she replied, "You'll be sorry you said that."