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Boyfriend Reveal is a frequently-used caption for pictures of men to whom the poster is attracted. While the phrase grew in popularity among fans of k-pop, in April 2021, the phrase went viral on Twitter due to a prompt asking for absurd or nonsensical responses.
On December 26th, 2013, Twitter user @thekangbae posted the earliest known usage of the phrase as an image caption. They wrote, "Taeyeon true boyfriend reveal by Jessica and tiffany," referencing singer Taeyeon's boyfriend (shown below).
In the mid-2010s, "Boyfriend Reveal" videos became a popular form of YouTube video. For example, on June 30th, 2016, YouTuber AllAroundAudrey posted the video "Gertie Reveals Her Boyfriend & Bestie!" The post received more than 1.3 million views in less than five years (shown below, left). The following month, on July 20th, YouTuber Kelly & Carly posted "Kelly & Carly Vlogs : THE BOYFRIEND REVEAL!" The post received more than 2.1 million views in less than five years (shown below, right).
Many use the phrase online to express attraction to various celebrities, particularly in the Kpop fandom. For example, on March 17th, 2021, Twitter user prodK0YA posted a video clip reveal with the caption, "unmute for the ultimate kdrama boyfriend reveal" (shown below).
unmute for the ultimate kdrama boyfriend reveal pic.twitter.com/PLfKATiwWY
— lex⁷ (@prodK0YA) March 17, 2021
On April 3rd, 2021, the phrase went viral on Twitter, when Twitter user @winterrbearrrr tweeted, "drop your last saved photo and caption it 'BOYFRIEND REVEAL.'" The tweet received more than 58,000 retweets and 43,000 likes in less than three days (shown below).
Following the post, people began sharing more absurd versions of the format, generally posting humorous images of cultural figures, such as cartoon characters, celebrities and people often associated with memes. Over the next few days, the phrase "BOYFRIEND REVEAL" was a top trending phrase on Twitter.