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“And Then I Said” is an image macro series featuring stock photographs of groups of people laughing and the caption “And then I said” or “And then we said” followed by an empty promise or implausible proposition. The format of the series bears many similarities with the “X They Said” image image macros in juxtaposing the contrast of what was promised and the actual outcome.
On July 25th, 2011, Redditor raks1991 submitted a post titled “We told them..” to the /r/pics subreddit, featuring a photo of several politicians, including Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr., and the caption “We told them wealth/ would ‘trickle down’!” (shown below, left). Prior to being archived, the post received over 7,475 up votes and 220 comments. The original photo was taken by Time magazine photographer Diana Walker after Walter Cronkite interviewed President Ronald Reagan at the Oval Office on March 3rd, 1981 (shown below, right).
“After Walter Cronkite’s last interview with the President as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, there was a little celebration in the room off the Oval Office,” recounts photographer Diana Walker. “White House staffers, including Vice President Bush, enjoyed a good laugh over a joke that has never become public.”
In TV Shows
The phrase “And then I said” has been also used as a framing device in TV shows in which characters recount an event or a story from the past in the succinct form of punchlines; a list of significant examples of this practice can be found on the TV Tropes page.
On September 16th, 2011, a stock photo from the Girls Laughing series accompanied by the caption “And then I told him… / Size doesn’t matter” (shown below, left) was submitted to the image macro website Meme Generator. Months later in February 2012, an informal variation of the phrase “And I was like” was featured in the Story Time Jesus image macro series (shown below, right).
On March 12th, 2012, Redditor trevs231 submitted a post titled “And then I said” to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit, which included an image macro of laughing politicians and the caption "And then I said… / “The tests will look just like what we’ve covered in lecture!” (shown below, left). On the following day, Redditor TommyGetYourShineBox submitted an image macro to the /r/funny subreddit of two white business men laughing with the caption "And then I said… / “Pay taxes? What am I… poor?” (shown below, middle). On July 3rd, Redditor GodlyGiBBson submitted an image macro to the /r/AdviceAnimals subreddit featuring several hospital employees laughing with the caption “And then I said, / It’s perfectly normal to ejaculate during a prostate exam” (shown below, right).
As of June 2013, several related Quickmeme pages are available for the image macros, including the “And then they said” page with over 3,100 submissions and “Rich Old Men” with over 1,800 submissions. Additional examples can be found on the microblogging site Tumblr under the tag “#and then I said.”