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"IDK" Punchlines refers to a series of recaption memes in which the entire punchline has been replaced with the word "IDK" (short for "I don't know"). Spawned by a viral What Happened to Him? meme posted in May 2021, the format was popularized on Twitter in November 2021.
On May 8th, 2021, an unknown user posted a version of the What Happened to Him? meme in which the entire punchline was superimposed by the word "IDK" (shown below) with the original caption crossed out. On May 9th, Instagram pages new.incognito.tab and chronic.memesv2 made the earliest found reposts of the image, with the posts gaining over 9,000 likes and 19,200 likes in six months.
On May 8th, 2021, Twitter user @funnywes posted a voiced version of the meme, with the video gaining over 21,900 views, 840 retweets and 3,000 likes in six months (shown below).
— wes (@funnywes) May 9, 2021
The format did not see further spread until early October 2021, when the first derivative version of the meme, an Uncle Ben What Happened? meme, was posted. While the author of the edit is unknown, on October 2nd, 2021, Redditor Lomeinator made the earliest found repost of the image (shown below, left). The format saw a surge in prominence in mid-November 2021 after on November 13th when Twitter user @T8KALX posted a remade version of the Spider-Man meme. The post gained over 4,300 retweets and 48,500 likes in two days (shown below, right).
In the following days, the punchline was used in several viral Twitter posts. For example, on November 14th, 2021, Twitter user @naisu9K posted a The Lion King meme that gained over 2,200 retweets and 24,900 likes in one day.
SQUID GAMES❗❗ is a ironic meme format that parodies the viral popularity of the South Korean survival drama series Squid Game. The format usually involves adding the caption "SQUID GAMES❗❗* to scenes of characters dying or lying down after being defeated, similar to IDK Punchlines meme format.
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