Nothing ends a decade like a really great meme, and in the last few months of 2019, Twitter has certainly delivered. The latest go-to internet joke celebrates our most famous historical, political, and cultural figures — but with some added revisionist humour.
The meme basically identifies moments, celebrities, and public figures as other characters, people, and moments in time. The joke had a dark beginning in September, when one user captioned a photo of a cartoon, “I gonna tell my kids in 2055 that this was Justin Trudeau,” referring to the Canadian prime minister’s blackface controversy. There were a few more tweets the following weeks, but the first to really go viral was a photo of Breaking Bad character Gus Fring with the caption, “gonna tell my kids this was obama.” As most memes do, the joke took on a life of its own.
From there, the meme exploded. Since then, the people of the internet have used the template to share their opinions and poke fun at celebrities. It also only took days for meta versions of the meme to pop up, with users reminiscing about memes of eras past. Even celebrities, including Kevin Jonas and Troye Sivan, have joined in.
If you are still confused about what, exactly, makes this joke so funny, keep reading — we rounded up some of the best iterations of the meme just in time for the year’s end.
Most of the jokes referenced pop culture moments and icons.
gonna tell my kids this was one direction pic.twitter.com/SV56x9QLgS— anna (@annawcp) November 17, 2019
I’m gonna tell my kids this was james charles pic.twitter.com/Oq5U6Oa1Pi— positiviᵗᵉᵃ 🎄 (@TeaSpillYT) November 22, 2019
Gonna tell my kids this is Timothee Chalamet pic.twitter.com/HV3pU4zB6H— ANAL EAZE KEATING 🐀 Mother @ HOA (@deaddilf69) November 19, 2019
Gonna tell my kids this is Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello pic.twitter.com/B3LaMZiSlN— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) November 19, 2019
im telling my kids these were The Chainsmokers pic.twitter.com/7gXrGUwffs— mattfred (@itsmattfred) November 18, 2019
Gonna tell my kids this is the Supreme Court pic.twitter.com/3V7gtrHYOa— Helpme, Esq. (@studyworkcry) November 19, 2019
Some used the meme to pay respects to their personal heroes.
gonna tell my kids this was the resurrection of jesus— 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐫 (@expnsvhabits) November 21, 2019
Gonna tell my kids this was the Queen of England https://t.co/Dt4rQsvCzp— M (@mjayxx_) November 19, 2019
I’m gonna tell my kids this is Danny DeVito pic.twitter.com/FglUvA5f8z— pat tobin (@tastefactory) November 19, 2019
gonna tell my kids this was a pigeon pic.twitter.com/Tg36Yo0id8— сашка (@KAORILOVEBOT) November 29, 2019
gonna tell my kids this was the zodiac killer pic.twitter.com/8vdsmGoD4g— lil uzi hurt (@LameAsChris) November 18, 2019
One joke at Troye Sivan’s expense got the musician’s seal of approval.
But ultimately, one of the Jonas Brothers had the best contribution to the meme.
Gonna tell my kids this was Blink-182 pic.twitter.com/goy83IJr59— kevin jonas (@kevinjonas) November 21, 2019
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?