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“Jesus Take the Wheel” is an expression that is often used in rage comics to summon Jesus to take the control of a moving car. It is a play on American country singer Carrie Underwood’s 2005 single with the same name.
The song “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood was released on October 3rd, 2005, which tells the story of a mother who hits a patch of black ice why driving on Christmas Eve and cries out for Jesus as her car spins out of control. After the automobile safely stops on the side of the road, the woman decides to let “Jesus take the wheel” of her life.
On July 19th, 2009, YouTuber Jake Althouse uploaded footage of a man incorrectly singing the lyrics to the Underwood song during a karaoke performance (shown below). In the next four years, the video gathered upwards of 940,000 views and 2,200 comments.
On July 27th, 2010, the “Jesus is Love” Tumblr blog posted an image macro featuring Underwood asking Jesus to “take the wheel” to which Jesus responds “I can’t drive, LOL!” (shown below, left). In the first three years, the post gained over 330 notes. On April 30th, 2011, a similar theme was used in a rage comic posted to the f7u12 subreddit by Redditor dreamlifer (shown below, right), which accumulated more than 5,300 up votes and 120 comments prior to being archived.
On July 23rd, Redditor Ozymandias12 submitted another rage comic in which Jesus is summoned to drive a car to the /r/atheism subreddit (shown below, left). Before the post was archived, it garnered upwards of 1,300 up votes and 45 comments. On March 4th, 2012, a satirical Facebook page titled “Jesus Take the Wheel Day” was launched, which urged Christians around the world to take their hands off the steering wheel of a moving vehicle for five minutes on March 31st, 2013 to prove they are under the “divine protection of Jesus Christ.” On August 31st, Redditor CopyX submitted an animated GIF titled “Jesus take the wheel” to the /r/WTF subreddit, featuring footage of several people thrown across a boat (shown below, right)
On September 2nd, 2013, Vine user Nick Pasquale uploaded a video in which Jesus grabs the wheel of a car while Carrie Underwood’s song plays in the background (shown below). On the following day, an animated GIF of the video was submitted by Redditor usaf2222 to the /r/gifs subreddit, where it gained over 14,900 up votes and 270 comments in the first week.