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I Have a Joke is a Twitter snowclone that became popular with scientists on Twitter in late July 2020 and quickly spread to mainstream Twitter. The phrasal template, "I have an X joke, but Y" turns the introduction of a joke into the joke itself and usually includes puns related to the subject matter.
On July 23rd, 2020, Twitter user @thewittydoctor tweeted, "I have a joke on doctor , but aap pehle fees jama karao" which translates to "I have a joke on doctor but you have to pay a fee first" (shown below). The tweet gained over 2,600 likes and 500 retweets in four days.
On July 24th, 2020, Twitter users began retweeting similar "I have a joke" tweets and adding their own. Twitter user @MenonBioPhysics retweeted @KaushikLab who tweeted, "I have a microbiology joke, but not sure if it is ‘cultured’" and added "I have an epidemiology joke but it hasn't yet gone viral" (shown below, left). The tweet garnered over 15,700 likes and 2,700 retweets in three days. The next day, Twitter user @GermHunterMD tweeted, "I have a hydroxychloroquine joke, but it doesn’t work" and received over 63,200 likes in two days.
That same day, Monica Lewinsky tweeted, "i have an intern joke and it… nevermind" referring to a scandal with former president Bill Clinton and accumulated over 526,000 likes in two days (shown below). That day, Redditor jayne-eerie posted the origin of the meme to r/OutofTheLoop. Media outlets like eBaum's World and Mashable published articles on the trend.
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