Until recently, vowing that one day you’d tell your yet to born something kids something was just a heavy-handed thing old people did, the way your grandfather might talk about seeing FDR give a speech or Willie Mays hit a home run. It was a form of intergenerational hagiography used by the old to remind the young that things were better before they came along and ruined it.
So we’re happy that the internet has done what it does best: dispatched with a sacred cow via meme. “Gonna tell my kids” pokes fun at its subjects—Phoebe Buffay and Taylor Swift in the example below—but its real target is the tendency the old have to condescend to the young.
We’ll start off with perhaps the best version of this, Stephen Colbert, an actual father, telling his kids about Stephen Colbert.
Making a joke out of not even remembering one’s own history is a clever dig at those who overvalue their own history, the kind of people (OK, boomers) who insist that LeBron James couldn’t be better than Michael Jordan without acknowledging that that belief rests at least in part on the fact that the young never saw Jordan play.
It’s also a damn good meme.
There’s never a bad time for a Spaceballs reference.
We’re calling this one “Lil NASA X.”
Two icons come together in a perfect tweet.
The art history major energy in this tweet is very strong.
RIP Gus Fring.
Kevin Jonas unearthed a pretty embarrassing picture of himself to get in on the action, and you have to respect his dedication to the meme.
The Parent Trap: preposterous premise for a movie, fantastic premise for this meme.
If Disney eventually swallows Nickelodeon, this crossover will be at the top of our wish list.
Speaking of Disney spin-offs we wouldn’t mind seeing…
John C. Reilly remains an American treasure, and this screenshot is a big reason why.
In his mind, Michael Scott is the LeBron James of the central Pennsylvania paper market.
It’s actually too bad that One Direction did not have a musician of Duke Silver’s caliber.
This is the look of a man who doesn’t need to be told that the guac is extra.
The ending Endgame deserved.
The founding fathers are a popular choice for this meme, and this is probably the best example.
At the risk of mixing memes, name a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.
There are few things that deserve to be remembered less than Mike Myers’s adaptation of The Cat in the Hat.
Scott Pilgrim’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Blake Griffin: basketball pro, meme savant.
Narrator: it was not Kurt Cobain.
I mean, it’s not like they’ve never busted a ghost, right?
John Mulaney’s resemblance to Beto O’Rourke was the undercovered story of the latter’s campaign.
If you never used this in the computer labs at school, did you even have a childhood?
Get it, because it’s a rock? Get it? Get it?
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