In case you need a refresher, though, the meme started with this stock photo of a lecherous beau eyeing someone who apparently isn’t his girlfriend:
Inevitably, Twitter got ahold of the image, which resulted in a plethora of wonderful memes. (And by “wonderful,” I mean “stupid-but-hilarious,” obvi.)
People generally use the meme to make fun of people (usually themselves) who cannot resist a certain type of distraction.
However, one eagle-eyed cinephile just made an unsettling discovery: apparently, this meme has been in existence since the ’20s. (Which, for those of you who are bad at math, means that it’s almost a CENTURY old.)
Where did the meme first appear, you ask? In none other than Charlie Chaplin’s 1922 silent film, Pay Day.
Film writer Peter Goldberg posted a still from the film of Chaplin’s character’s wife catching him staring at another woman as she passes by — and the similarity to the “Distracted Boyfriend” meme is pretty irrefutable.
Of course, Twitter couldn’t resist playing with this delightful new (I mean, old) meme.