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Everything You Need To Know About The "Distracted Boyfriend" Meme

There's more to it than you think.

Posted on August 24, 2017, at 5:43 p.m. ET

If you've been online the last few days, you've probably seen this photo.

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

It's a stock photo from Shutterstock and it was taken by a dude named Antonio Guillem. His website is here and it's also full of stock photos.

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."

Some people have taken to calling the meme "Man Looking at Other Woman," but for the sake of spending less time on words, lets just use Distracted Boyfriend.

This is one of the first tweets that really brought it to a wider audience.

@n1m161 / Twitter / Via Twitter: @n1m161

For the next few August days, the Distracted Boyfriend meme reigned supreme on Twitter. Some of the posts were retweeted over 100,000 times.

@haarleyquin / Twitter / Via Twitter: @haarleyquin
@MazMHussain / Twitter / Via Twitter: @MazMHussain
@AlbertoLage / Twitter / Via Twitter: @AlbertoLage
@Reverend_Scott / Twitter / Via Twitter: @Reverend_Scott

It made its way to Tumblr, too.

Tumblr / Via

Eventually, people started changing the meme — incorporating old memes like "grabbing a cold one with the boys"...

@pattymo / Twitter / Via Twitter: @pattymo

...or just painting over faces entirely.

Know Your Meme / Via

And then things got meta.

@leyawn / Twitter / Via Twitter: @leyawn
@ErinChack / Twitter / Via Twitter: @ErinChack
@TStew777 / Twitter / Via Twitter: @TStew777

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?????).


@BTSINTRO / Twitter / Via Twitter: @BTSlNTRO

But that's not all of them! A quick search on Shutterstock shows the drama-filled life of this sitcom-ready stock photo couple.

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Sure, some of them look older — but the male model is definitely the same dude, right? a dick.

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

This one is probably the most damaging.

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

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.

@mathewi Meme scientists from their hidden bunker have been experimenting with "Distracted Boyfriend" stock image,b…

@theelusivefish / Twitter / Via Twitter: @theelusivefish

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.