It Turns Out That Charlie Chaplin Was the OG Distracted Boyfriend Meme

It Turns Out That Charlie Chaplin Was the OG Distracted Boyfriend Meme

Unless you’ve been avoiding the internet for the past year, you’ll have laid your eyes on the “distracted boyfriend” meme. You know the one. It shows a couple strolling along together, with the boyfriend obviously distracted by a hot lady walking by and the girlfriend looking very unimpressed with the situation.

As well as showing how ridiculous stock photos are, the meme has become iconic because it has so many uses, making it 2018’s Sad Kermit or Bad Luck Brian.

It Turns Out Charlie Chaplin Was the Original Distracted Boyfriend Meme

However, the meme might not be as innovative as the internet would have us believe, as it turns out Charlie Chaplin gave us the original “distracted boyfriend” all the way back in 1922.

While starring in silent film Pay Day, Chaplin’s character is caught perving on another woman by his wife, just like in the meme we know and love today. The scene occurs roughly 9 minutes and 20 seconds in, but obviously as memes weren’t a thing at the time, Chaplin hasn’t been credited for it until now.

The discovery that Chaplin was the first distracted boyfriend is thanks to film writer Pete Goldberg, who tweeted a screenshot from the movie over the weekend.

And of course, Twitter responded with more memes.

TIL: The distracted boyfriend meme is actually older than the internet, and that almost a century later, men still haven’t stopped staring at other women in front of their girlfriends.

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Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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