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Don't Ask Who Joe Is / Joe Mama

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Updated Oct 04, 2023 at 05:45PM EDT by Don.

Added Apr 03, 2019 at 08:10AM EDT by thebestmaniac.

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About

Don't Ask Who Joe Is refers to a series of memes made with a goal to lure viewers into inquiring who Joe is, with the author or other commenters then following with "Joe Mama" or similar humorous responses. Originating from a pre-internet era social game, the format was reinvented as a series of creepypasta-style memes in February 2019 and received widespread popularity on Instagram in August 2019.

Precursor

"Joe mama" joke, a variation of "yo mama" joke trope,[1] is a verbal prank which requires the victim to inquire about an individual named Joe, to which the prankster responds "Joe mama." While the exact origin of the joke is unknown, it supposedly predates the internet era. For example, the joke appears in a 1992 episode of the American television comedy The Golden Girls (shown below).



On February 2nd, 2004, Urban Dictionary user B-Man added the definition for "Joe Mama" to the website.[2]

A clever name used to insult another individual's mother. It is a play on words that refers to the saying, "Yo mama!"

Origin

Before February 25th, 2019, Instagram user noose.maniac[7] made a post based on an altered fan art of Minecraft villager by DeviantArt user kedemel (original post no longer available, reupload shown below).[3] The meme encouraged those who read it to inquire about an individual named Joe.


N----- BE ASKIN IFI PLAY APEX NAH, I BE PLAYIN JOE THO (ASK WHO JOE IS)

Spread

On February 25th, 2019, Redditor The_Four_Leaf_Clover reuploaded the post to r/okbuddyretard subreddit, gaining over 900 upvotes in six months.[4] On February 27th, Instagram user eradication_station uploaded the meme to their profile, gaining over 1000 likes in the same period.[5]

The meme saw limited spread until July 2019, when an unknown user posted a still image of red-eyed Squidward from the Squidward's S--cide creepypasta captioned "Don't ask who Joe is" (reuploaded image shown below), with the post being shared by multiple Instagram and Snapchat meme accounts in the following weeks. Following the post, Squidward image, often accompanied by "Pas De Deux" composition from Us horror film soundtrack began being associated with the meme. For example, on August 3rd, Instagram user notkinghill posted a meme which gained over 72,000 likes (shown below, right).[6]


DONTASK WHOJOEIS

Various Examples


DONT ASH JOE MAMA" who is joe?" TASKED WHO JOE IS


Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Maternal insult

[2] Urban Dictionary – Joe Mama

[3] DeviantArt – Villager by kedemel

[4] Reddit – ask!!!!!!

[5] Instagram – eradication_station's Post

[6] Instagram – notkinghill's Post

[7] Instagram – noosemaniac

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