Is we getting a new stimulus check meme(l), Stimulus check(r)

Harun Ozmen/Shutterstock danwhatevs/9gag (Licensed)

“Is we getting a stimulus check?”: History of a meme

Is we getting a hot girl summer?

 

Lindsey Weedston

Memes

Is we getting a stimulus check” appeared as an autocomplete suggestion in a search bar in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming a 2020 meme. The image shows the phrase “is we get” typed into a Google search query bar, above suggestions for the complete question.

The first result came up as “is we getting a stimulus check,” and the search program also recommended queries such as “is we getting hazard pay” and “is we getting more food stamps.”

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WSB_Czar/Reddit

What stimulus checks?

For those who blocked that period from memory, the U.S. government sent many citizens stimulus payments to help get them through a time of unemployment and to reduce the spread of the novel virus. The relatively small checks dried up fast and left people asking if more were to come.

In March 2020, the government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) which mandated the distribution of what they called Economic Impact Payments. The first check provided $1,200 to eligible U.S. citizens and added $500 for each qualifying child.

In late December, the government authorized another $600 payment under the Tax Relief Act of 2020, and Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provided another $1,400.

The checks and the anticipation over receiving them inspired many memes, including an entire genre around the slang word “stimmy.” When the government proposed the second, stimulus payment, outrage over the fact that they’d halved the amount from the first check spawned the $600 stimmy memes.

Folks used popular reaction images to express their disappointment in posts that included the phrase.

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“Is we getting a stimulus check” meme origins

The autocomplete suggestion screenshot image first appeared on sites like 9Gag and iFunny in August 2020. The earliest dated post that can be found sits on 9Gag by user danwhatevs on August 4, 2020, but Dan states that the meme had been spreading before he created the entry.

“I thought it was just a doctored meme, and then I tried it myself on my phone,” the post title reads. “What did this mean?”

Search engines like Google often offer autocomplete suggestions when users begin typing in a query.

Stimulus check meme spread

In the following months, many thousands of bored individuals who had nothing to do other than worry about money reposted the screenshot to social media sites and shared it around. It resurfaced on Twitter in 2024, probably as a result of widespread shrinkflation tightening purse strings.

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@lporiginalg/X

It was later combined with other memes, including variations featuring a doge dog and political compasses, as well as searching “is we getting a stimulus check” term on search engines besides Google with similar or identical results.

Meme examples

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