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People Are Saying That This Photo Is The Real-Life Version Of The "Distracted Boyfriend" Meme

"We immediately noticed the similarity between the pic and the meme!"

Posted on July 8, 2018, at 2:44 p.m. ET

This is Trishna Pema. She's 16 and from Cape Town, South Africa.

Trishna Pema

And this is the stock photo that has been popularized as the "Distracted Boyfriend" meme.

Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

The meme became massively popular last summer:

Trishna's sister snapped a photo last month in Venice that people are saying is the real-life version of the meme. As Trishna eats some vanilla gelato, a dude in the background looks on, making a familiar expression.

Trishna Pema

"As we were walking along St. Mark’s Square we got some ice cream and my sister decided it was a good photo opportunity," Trishna told BuzzFeed News in a Twitter message on Sunday.

"She randomly snapped a couple photos of me," she said. "Later, we scrolled through the photos and noticed the couple in the background.

"We immediately noticed the similarity between the pic and the meme!

"We didn’t really think about it, it was the first thing that came to mind when I looked at it," she said.

Trishna Pema
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock
Trishna Pema
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock
Trishna Pema

Trishna shared it in a group chat, and one of her friends, Amahle Mnyamana, 16, shared it on Twitter. "She didn't have a Twitter account at the time, so I posted it because I found it absolutely hilarious!" Amahle told BuzzFeed News on Sunday in a Twitter message.

Yall my friend was just tryna take a pic with her ice cream but something about it looked too familiar sdjkjjsj 💀💀

"Immediately I recognized the picture [looked] really similar to a meme everyone uses," Amahle said.

Other people are pretty into the similarities between the meme and photo.

@pjmboothang @lilkaysap Truth or dareeeeeee 😭😭💀

They are breathless.

And they can't get over the guy's expression.


Things got confusing.

Trishna told BuzzFeed News she is unsure who the ~mystery man~ is in the photo. "People have said he looks familiar but no one has managed to track him down," the teen said. "Everyone seems to want hit him up, lol."

Trishna Pema

Her friend who tweeted the photo said they'd like to find him.

"He surely deserves all the credit for his photobombing skills," Amahle said.

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.