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“Shit, I’m Late for School” is a photo fad stemming from a trope in anime in which students are shown rushing to school with toast in their mouths. Participants typically make an exaggerated running motion while carrying something representative of a specific fandom or an ethnic stereotype in their mouth, accompanied by the snowclone caption “Shit, I’m late for X school!”
On August 6th, 2012, Tumblr user badcgijosh posted a picture of himself posing as if he was running with a piece of toast in his mouth followed by the caption, “Shit, I’m late for anime school.” As of August 28th, the post has 44,961 likes and reblogs.
Roots In Anime
As early as August 1st, 2010, members of Anime forum Mabinogi World were discussing the origin of characters depicted as rushing for school while eating toast, noting its popular use in Shoujo manga written for a female audience. In October 2011, a single topic Tumblr named “Fuck Yeah Animu Toast” was created to celebrate images of anime characters running with toast. As of August 2012, TV Tropes lists nearly 50 instances of “running late for school” characters in Anime/Manga and points out that it is so overused, many manga-drawing guides advise against using it.
The day after the first image was posted by Tumblr user Badcgijosh, Fuck Yeah Anime Toast reblogged the photo but parodies of this image did not begin appearing until August 27th with one of the first derivatives showing Tumblr user minsterofsass being late for Canadian school while holding a bottle of maple syrup with his teeth (shown below). That evening, dozens of derivatives began appearing on Tumblr with the tags “late for school”, “shit I’m late for school”, “shit I’m late” and “late.” The following day, the Daily Dot published a collection of eight instances of the photo fad.
On August 27th, Tumblr user Badcgijosh expressed negative feelings about the photo fad, stating that he does not “like encouraging people to be lazy about their humour … there are things that are exponentially funnier to be said by anyone without using a template I literally spent ten seconds planning.” That same day, Tumblr artist payface posted a comic (shown below) to express badcgijosh’s displeasure over people overusing the joke.
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