Expectation Vs. Reality refers to a series of images and videos featuring a side-by-side comparison illustrating an obvious discrepancy.
Prior to the emergence of the "Expectation vs. Reality" series, the multi-perspective trope in observational humor has been iterated through other template-based memes like "What I Watched vs. What I Expected vs. What I Got"
(2007), "What You Think You Look Like vs. What You Actually Look Like" (2008), “How People View Me After I Say I’m X” (2011), and "What People Think I Do vs. What I Really Do" (2012).
The first usage of Expectation Vs. Reality is from a scene of the movie (500) Days of Summer (shown below, left), released on January 17th, 2009. The earliest known adaptation online was posted on YouTube on February 22nd, 2010 by the user jemapellenedge, titled "Expectation vs. Reality" (shown below, right).
In April 2011, the Expectation Reality Tumblr was created. As of March 24th, 2015, it features 190 pages of posts featuring various examples of Expectation Vs. Reality. About a year later, the subreddit /r/ExpectationsvsReality was founded, gaining 79,435 subscribers by 2015. In addition, the site expectationsvsreality.net displays related image macros. The trope has been in rotational use by humor sites like College Humor.
On February 15th, 2013 the YouTuber nigahiga posted a video called "Expectations vs Reality: Romance" (shown below, left). As of March 24th, 2015 the video had garnered 8,268,608 views. On July 8th, 2013 the YouTuber IISuperwomanII posted a video with notable examples of Expectation Vs. Reality. The video has earned 4,600,096 views and 9,900 comments in its first 10 months.
On August 18th, 2014, Youtuber Rclbeauty101 uploaded a comedy video titled Back to School Expectations Vs. Reality!. The video received 36 million views as of August, 2017, and has inspired countless other Expectations Vs. Reality content on youtube.
On August 24th, 2017, Twitter user @Jackieaina shared two photos of herself side by side captioning it “OOTD pics:expectation vs reality.” The post received 1.3k retweets and 8k likes in just one week.
inspired countless other Expectations Vs. Reality videos on youtube.