If you've been online the last few days, you've probably seen this photo.
This particular photo started going viral in February — but not in the way you probably know it. According to meme chroniclers Know Your Meme, the first use of it was on an Instagram page where followers were asked to "tag that friend who falls in love every month." Almost 30,000 people liked the photo on Instagram.
After its short pop of virality, the photo wasn't really seen for almost six months — until it was tweeted with captions on each person. Then it became the meme you probably already know and love: "Distracted Boyfriend."
This is one of the first tweets that really brought it to a wider audience.
For the next few August days, the Distracted Boyfriend meme reigned supreme on Twitter. Some of the posts were retweeted over 100,000 times.
It made its way to Tumblr, too.
Eventually, people started changing the meme — incorporating old memes like "grabbing a cold one with the boys"...
...or just painting over faces entirely.
And then things got meta.
Eventually, someone figured out that the original photo was part of a set, and that the Distracted Boyfriend was a wayyyyyy bigger dickhead than anyone had first realized. Turns out the dude has been distracted on more than one occasion (like when he proposed to his girlfriend?????).
But that's not all of them! A quick search on Shutterstock shows the drama-filled life of this sitcom-ready stock photo couple.
Sure, some of them look older — but the male model is definitely the same dude, right? And...like...what a dick.
This one is probably the most damaging.
Photographer Antonio Guillem didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on his viral pictures.
For now, people are still making Distracted Boyfriend memes – so enjoy it before something new comes along. Also, if you're any of the models in this photoset, please, please, pleasseeee email me.
Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Brad Esposito at email@example.com.
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