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*"IDK My BFF Jill" is an SMS shorthand for “I don’t know, my best friend forever Jill?” Since its first appearance in a mobile service commercial in early 2007, the phrase quickly became a subject of online parodies and exploitables due to its tacky imitation of SMS language popular among teenagers.
The line originally stems from a 2007 Cingular / AT&T commercial, wherein a preteen girl talks to her mother in SMS shorthand slang as she gets reprimanded for her excessive texting habits. The commercial was first aired in early 2007 and uploaded onto YouTube on April 19th, 2007.
Daughter: WU? (What’s Up?)
Mother: Your cell phone bill is what’s up.
Daughter: OMG INDB! (Oh my gosh, it’s not a big deal)
Mother: It is a big deal, who are you texting 50 times a day?
Daughter: IDK, My BFF Jill? (I don’t know, my best friend forever Jill?)
Mother: Tell your BFF jill that I’m taking away your phone.
Daughter: TISNF! (That is so not fair!)
Mother: Me paying this bill, that’s what’s …TISNF.
On May 25th, 2007, DeviantArt user Soap-Committee posted a two-pane comic based on the commercial, illustrating an alternative outcome of the original dialogue. The comic instantly struck a chord with many viewers who felt annoyed by the girl’s excessive use of SMS shorthands and spawned dozens of derivative versions on 4chan’s /co/.
Google Insights shows that search interest for “idk my bff jill” experienced its first spike in May 2007 and a smaller resurgence in August, following Cingular’s release of a sequel commercial.
On May 26th, 2007, Soap-Committee’s comic was uploaded as a YTMND site, which further spawned a dozen of derivative sites featuring the screenshot from Cingular commercial or the DeviantArt comic.
The catchphrase “IDK My BFF Jill” has been paired up with various photographs of politicians, professional athletes and animals, wherein the subject is seen talking on the phone. Many of these instances can be found on 4chan’s /co/ (comic board) as well as on I Can Has Cheezburger.
The commercial also sparked a parody phenomenon on YouTube, drawing a number of re-enactments and remixes uploaded by other viewers on YouTube.
Sequel: IDK My BFF Rose
In August 2007, Cingular released another commercial titled “IDK My BFF Rose,” featuring a similar conversation between the mother and the grandmother. When asked who she is texting, grandma replies, “IDK My BFF Rose.”