TMI / Too Much Information meme example depicting a wide-eyed cat.

TMI / Too Much Information

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Updated May 03, 2023 at 04:35PM EDT by Zach.

Added Nov 16, 2009 at 09:07PM EST by MemeDude.

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TMI is an abbreviation that stands for Too Much Information, a slang term used when someone overshares unnecessary information that makes the listener annoyed or uncomfortable. The abbreviation can be traced back to 1988 but was popularized as internet slang in the 2000s.


According to Wiktionary, the earliest known use of the abbreviation TMI meaning "too much information" can be traced back to its use in 1988 by former Wall Street Journalist Joseph Checkler, however, this information is uncited.[1]

On October 9th, 2002, Urban Dictionary[2] user DocGonzo posted the earliest known definition of the term, describing TMI as meaning "way more than you need/want to know about someone" (seen below, top). A discussion on a UK-based English forum[3] from October 20th, 2003, notes that the phrase was heard in the U.S. in the '90s and popularized by shows like SNL (seen below, bottom).

TMI Too Much Information - way more than you need/want to know about someone. John: I have mad chafing on my balls. Frank: uh, TMI by DocGonzo October 9, 2002 4523 560 FLAG

TMI Too Much Information origin? Posted by Anders on October 21, 2003 In Reply to: TMI Too Much Information origin? posted by Word Camel on October 21, 2003 ::: I first heard this from American friends in the 90's but never came across it before then on either side of the Atlantic. I was wondering if the origin was something in American pop culture I missed because I was abroad. Any one know where it comes from? ::: Thanks ::: Camelita : : I thought it might be that. I bet there are a lot of phrases like that. : Thanks, : WC :: I heard it first on TV -- Saturday Night Live and sit-coms. Google shows the expression to be vastly popular: 120,000 hits!


A January 30th, 2007, post on[3] classified "TMI" as text message shorthand commonly used in forums, chatrooms, emails, and blogs.

TMI Too Much Information Online jargon, also known as text message shorthand, used primarily in texting, online chat, instant messaging, email, blogs, and newsgroup postings, these types of abbreviations are also referred to as chat acronyms. For the largest list of chat acronyms and text message jargon, click on "more info" below! See also: overshare WTMI acronym leetspeak shorthand NetLingo Classification: Acronyms and Text Message

A September 5th, 2012, tweet[4] by Lena Dunham used the word TMI, gathering nearly 200 likes in ten years (seen below, left). A December 13th, 2012, tweet[5] by Phil Lester used the word as well, gathering over 600 likes in ten years (seen below, right).

Lena Dunham @lenadunham Every time someone says "TMI" to me an innocent fairy dies. Every single time. 3:01 PM Sep 5, 2012 292 Retweets 199 Likes : Phil Lester @AmazingPhil OUR TOILET IS SO COLD. I know that is tmi but it's like a fear factor challenge or something 9:42 AM . Dec 13, 2012 287 Retweets 623 Likes 1 Bookmark

An August 31st, 2013, tweet by Lil Wayne[7] used the word TMI, gathering over 1,700 likes in ten years (seen below, left). A November 28th, 2014, tweet[6] by Shawn Mendes that read "Currently pooping #SNS #TMI" gathered over 13,000 likes in nine years (seen below, right).

Lil Wayne WEEZY F @LilTunechi San Fran(bay area) made a nigg@ feel like a king 2nite! Ain't anudda feelin like it Love y'all! 4real! Bout 2 shower(tmi) eat den get d5 out 2:21 AM. Aug 31, 2013 2,817 Retweets 2 Quotes 1,713 Likes Shawn Mendes @Shawn Mendes Currently pooping #SNS #TMI 11:30 PM. Nov 28, 2014 4,272 Retweets 54 Quotes 13.3K Likes

Various Examples

WHENEVER YOU START POSTING TOO MUCH INFORMATION EXPECT THESE BOYS klefable i love little kids that share too much information. today a girl came in with her mom to order food and i told her i liked her dress. she said "thanks my mom stole it from target" #oh okay 44,979 notes DDA L When I was growing up, he was the cool dad. He knew all the dances from "Grease." He knew all the expressions. BFF - best friends forever. TMI - too much information. BJ - blue jeans. thankful for best friends who three mice! HA! HA! get all your inside jokes HAHA! don't need explanation because they already know tell me EVERYTHING. it's ok. don't believe in too much information CHIBIRD are still best friends despite long distance

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wiktionary – TMI

[2] Urban Dictionary – TMI

[3] NetLingo – TMI

[4]  Twitter – lenadunham

[5] Twitter – AmazingPhil

[6] Twitter – ShawnMendes

[7] Twitter – LilTunechi

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