clever thoughts it's just like you know it's like kinda hard to explain right but you know like i guess it's like just you know right?

Clever Thoughts

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Updated May 17, 2022 at 01:58PM EDT by Zach.

Added Aug 21, 2020 at 08:44PM EDT by Philipp.

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About

Clever Thoughts refers to a single-panel exploitable format based on a humorous diagram of a person's clever thoughts turning into something incomprehensible or stupid upon an attempt to express them. Originating from a 2011 Tumblr post, the format gained popularity on Twitter in 2020. In late 2020 following the original format, an offshoot called Scribble Thoughts showing the figure imagining black scribbles and then speaking black or red scribbles also became popularized online.

Origin

Prior to July 10th, 2011, Tumblr[1] user solowhale posted a humorous diagram which depicted as a person's clever thoughts got processed into a poorly worded attempt to explain a subject. The post (shown below) received over 87,600 likes and reblogs in nine years.


clever thoughts it's just like you know it's like kinda hard to explain right but you know like i guess it's like just you know right? ???

Spread

The meme did not see further spread until sometime prior to August 18th, 2014, when Tumblr[2] user nippletowns posted an edit of the original meme that received over 630,000 likes and reblogs in five years (shown below, left). On August 18th, 2014, Know Your Meme[3] user ExtraDone archived the meme.

On July 5th, 2015, Tumblr[4] user officialbrotatochip posted a Dan Nicky Your Bobbie s meme based on the image that received over 77,800 likes and reblogs in five years (shown below, right).


clever thoughts hey yo tony where'd u get ??? that fresh pepperoni clever thoughts Dan Nicky your Bobbie s ???

The format did not see viral popularity as an exploitable until Spring 2020, when it saw a spike of popularity online, particularly on Twitter. In many examples, the phrase "clever thoughts" has been replaced with articulate arguments, while the speech bubble containing a bastardized version of these arguments. For example, on May 25th, 2020, Twitter[5] user @Shimimoir posted a meme that received over 11,800 retweets and 52,700 likes in three months.

Scribble Thoughts

In late September 2020, the Tumblr[6] blog levitating-lesbo posted a new iteration of the Clever Thoughts template, being the figure imagining black scribbles and then speaking black scribbles (shown below, left). The original post has since been deleted.

Whether inspired by the aforementioned Tumblr post or not, on October 1st, 2020, Twitter[7] user eggshellfriend posted a meme that exploited the Clever Thoughts figure to show multiple profanities bunched together, scribbled over with red and black lines. The imagined thought resulted in them uttering, "im gonna online shop" (shown below, right). Over the course of a year and a half, the tweet received roughly 130,700 likes.


buddy im gonna online shop stepp s--- dale self the close

On October 28th, 2020, the aforementioned meme was reposted to Tumblr[8] by the blog cherubgorl, who received roughly 26,200 notes in a year and a half. Going into the remainder of 2020, the Scribble Thoughts template started to be exploited by Twitter and Tumblr users alike. For instance, on December 3rd, 2020, Twitter[9] user fairyenbys (since deleted) posted a version that replaced the thought-bubble text with, "im gonna be annoying on twitter to feel something" (shown below, left).

On March 27th, 2021, Twitter[10] user MattTheBrand then posted a version that made the speech bubble read, "i should be productive." The tweet also put it in conversation with other dissociated, stick-figure templates like Are Ya Winning, Son? and OMG X Hi!!!, creating a four-panel template that was used in memes on Tumblr[11] going forward. Over the course of 14 months, the tweet received roughly 1,500 likes (shown below, right).


buddy im gonna ma step be annoying on twitter to feel something. shitaa Ddale self he clos Matt. @MattTheBrand hell yeah it's the weekend babyy i should be productive i should be productive Tshould be productive 5:00 AM i should be productive 1:06 PM · Mar 27, 2021 · Twitter for iPhone

Various Examples


clever artistic observations wow this looks so good!!! ??? ijhksnkskhkm,nmmskn???? it "i like this character" is.. HHEEMMMM?????? HDHGFKKGBNHD??????? <33333??FD?BH? DFBS????????? LOOK A T ??? THEM ??G?? EWREGFFRGSEDFGRDES?? ?????/? clever thoughts h ??? i just need to watch a horror tep movie s--- dale self he cloae it's okay one day i'll be a milf na tep shita dale self he clo at least im not in ma high school anymore iday shitaa dale self he clo

Templates


clever thoughts ??? bi dale self you the close and you ch

Search Interest

External References

[1] Tumblr – n1c0tine

[2] Tumblr – gcldenclosets

[3] Know Your Meme – Image #813,113

[4] Tumblr – officialbrotatochip

[5] Twitter – @Shimimori

[6] Tumblr – (unknown)

[7] Twitter – @eggshellfriend

[8] Tumblr – cherubgorl

[9] Twitter – @fairyenbys

[10] Twitter – @MattTheBrand

[11] Tumblr – borderlineblitz

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