Tom Reading The Newspaper refers to an image of Tom from Tom and Jerry looking up from a newspaper with a suspicious expression on his face. The image is often paired with captions indicating a confusing, potentially tragic scenario which would cause Tom to look up from his paper. The image has also been edited as an exploitable wherein what Tom is reading is changed.
The image comes from the 1956 episode of Tom and Jerry, "Down Beat Bear."
The image began seeing use in image macros in early 2017 with generally edgy captions. On May 20th, 2017, an image macro variation appeared on Memedroid with a caption relating to an Emo roommate (shown below).
Variations on the meme began getting more popular roughly a year after they first appeared, taking the form of either image macros or exploitables. Of the former, some popular examples include a July 6th, 2018 post on /r/dankmemes by user Inspiero that gained over 2,900 points (shown below, left). Another posted the same day by Dollon_da_god gained over 3,900 points (shown below, right).
Other popular variations of the meme use the image as an exploitable template, changing either what Tom is reading or Tom himself. One of the earliest variations of this sort showed Tom reading a lewd visual novel, Nekopara (shown below, left). Other popular examples in which Tom is changed include a variation using the character Monika from Doki Doki Literature Club (shown below, right).
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