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Friend Zone Fiona is an advice animal image macro series with a stock photo of a laughing girl. The caption technique is similar to Successful Black Man, where the top refers to something a girl would say romantically followed by the bottom text confirming that she is just a friend.
“Friend zone” is a dating term describing a relation in which one person wants to become intimate while the other prefers to stay friends. It has been frequently portrayed through popular music and TV sitcoms, with the earliest instance attributed to a 1994 episode of Friends in which the character Ross is labeled “mayor of the Friend zone” after unsuccessfully chasing after Rachel. The idea of being stuck in the “friend zone” was previously alluded in the 1989 comedic hip hop song “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie.
The original stock photo of “Friend Zone Fiona” was taken as part of a set the weekend of July 14th – 16th in Kansas City, MO. TriggerPhoto uploaded the image to iStockphoto on October 15th, 2006 with the description “Jessica Simpson alike laughing.” The first Friend Zone Fiona image macro was submitted to the Advice Animals sub-Reddit on August 15, 2011, receiving 62 points.
Compilations of Friend Zone Fiona images were shared on FunnyJunk, Pleated Jeans, and Uproxx on August 17th, 2011. The first instance on Memebase was uploaded August 21st, 2011. There are generators on Cheezburger, Troll.Me, and QuickMeme, where there are nearly 500 derivatives.
Spinoffs: Friend-zoned Phil and Friend Zone Johnny
Friend-zoned Phil is the counterpart series of Friend Zone Fiona narrated from the perspective of an Asian man who always finds himself in the said zone. One of the first instances was uploaded onto Reddit’s advice animals subreddit on September 26th, 2011. Several months later in January 2012, a spin-off meme titled Friendzone Johnny became a trending series on Reddit and QuickMeme.
The Ladder Theory is a colloquial theory used to explain how people determine the dating potential of others. While not scientific, it claims that women have separate “ladders” to rate the relationships in their lives: one for platonic friends and the other for romantic partners. On the other hand, men have one ladder for everyone.
Search for Friend Zone Fiona peaked in August 2011 when it was created but dropped off slightly in September.