Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein meme

Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein

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Updated Oct 04, 2023 at 05:10PM EDT by Owen.

Added Oct 04, 2023 at 01:42PM EDT by Owen.

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Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein refers to a cartoon caricature image of Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein standing back-to-back while wielding electricity and the universe in their hands. The image became notable in memes on TikTok in late 2023, often placed at the bottom of split-screen videos to portray genius ingenuity in the video above it. The image's usage was mostly ironic, as in, the "genius" video commonly showed idiocy instead. Many of the videos featured Plants vs. Zombies gameplay and the predominant song used in the memes was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. Thereafter, the image was used as a reaction image to portray ingenuity beneath other posts. The original image was made by Jason Seiler.


The original image of Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein standing back-to-back was drawn by American caricature artist Jason Seiler[1] for the 2010 book They Called Me Mad by John Monahan.[2] The caricature (shown below) was uploaded to Seiler's website three years later, on June 18th, 2013.



Going into the mid-2010s, the drawing was reposted on websites like Tumblr[3] in 2013 and 9GAG[4] in 2016. Some memes using the image appeared on Pinterest[5] during the timeframe, however, predominant usage didn't surface until 2023 on TikTok.

Currently, the first-known TikTok video featuring the image was uploaded by TikToker[6] @crazymonkbannedaccount on August 28th, 2023, showing Plants vs. Zombies gameplay, gaining roughly 1.9 million plays and 284,900 likes in two months (shown below, left). The video used a TikTok sound[7] that was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. Soon after, others used the same sound and format, such as TikToker[8] @yoozuwu on September 2nd, receiving roughly 1.7 million plays and 232,700 likes in one month (shown below, right).

@yoozuwu 1000Q 😈😈#plantasvszombis3 #pvz3 #pvz1 #pvz2 #plantasvszombies2 #plantasvszombies #yooz #pvzheroes #pvzheroes ♬ оригинальный звук – AFTER Nation

@crazymonkbannedaccount #shitposting #plantsvszombies #foryoupage #alberteinstein #pvz #nikolatesla ♬ оригинальный звук – AFTER Nation

Going into September 2023, many TikTokers[9][10] started posting viral photo slideshows with the meme. The trend then started to spread to other websites, evident in a post shared by X[11] user @voicemod on October 3rd, 2023, which replied to IShowSpeed's viral Elephant Toothpaste Experiment stream, gaining over 2,300 likes in one day (shown below).

$ de Dexerto @Dexerto 22h This man IShowSpeed did the elephant toothpaste experiment in his room 0:29 From DramaAlert 1,446 Voicemod @voicemod t 5,102 4:57 PM Oct 3, 2023 307.9K Views ISHOWSPEEDSUIISHOWSPEEDISHOWSPEED 88.2K COM TV3 eyes face-turmusi-CONENIG syes face-turquote-covering eyes: face-turquoise-covering eyes face-turquoise-covering eyesface-turqunive-covering yes face turqucise-covering YRE ₁15.9M TERHEHEFREDDO O TAME HIGH SPEFD CABLE ↑

By October 4th, 2023, the trend's primary TikTok sound[7] had amassed over 20,200 posts.

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