Pam from the Office

The Office/Peacock

They’re the same picture: A classic ‘The Office’ meme

Corporate needs you to review this meme.

 

Lindsey Weedston

Memes

They’re the same picture” is a quote from an episode of The Office that became a meme comparing two things someone considers to be essentially, but not literally, the same.

It’s a two-panel image that fits into the “exploitable” meme category and has been a popular one for many years, often popping up with new trends and controversies.

What is the “they’re the same picture” meme?

This meme consists of two screenshots from The Office. The first shows two images, blocks of text, or a combination of the two next to each other in the scene with the caption reading “Corporate needs you to find the differences between this picture and this picture.”

The second shows the character Pam looking into the camera with a small, tight smile saying “They’re the same picture.”

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Reddit

The format is often used to insult a person or piece of media someone doesn’t like by comparing it to trash, feces, or anything universally considered undesirable. Conversely, the original subject can be compared to something positive like Jesus or a universally beloved celebrity.

It’s also used to simply point out the similarities between two subjects. It’s a fairly versatile meme that has made countless points about pop culture, the discourse of the day, or life in general.

What episode of The Office is it from?

The “they’re the same picture” meme comes from the hour-long finale of season seven of The Office titled “Search Committee,” which aired on May 19, 2011.

In the episode, three of the characters form a committee to search for a replacement for the company’s regional manager, Deangelo Vickers, who fell into a coma.

Meanwhile, the character Pam attempts to distract the interim manager, Creed Bratton, who threatens to destroy the workplace with his incompetence. One of these distraction methods is present in the meme as Pam presents Bratton with two identical photos and asks him to find the differences, knowing full well that there are none to find.

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autobiographist/Reddit

‘They’re the same picture’ meme origins

The exact origins of the use of the screenshots from the episode are unknown, but internet users began to post the unedited version to mock people who seemed unable to see a difference between any two subjects in the late 2010s.

The first known use of the edited meme format appeared on June 22, 2018, in the r/MemeEconomy forum. A user on this sub Photoshopped the first panel to show the classic Fortnite cover art next to a photo of an overflowing trash can, suggesting that the video game is garbage.

Meme spread

The meme gained popularity on Reddit first, though it soon spread to every social media platform that could handle it. As the years drew on, users altered the format further, Photoshopping other characters or public figures over Pam. Others placed text where the images should be to say just about anything.

On the other hand, lazier versions of the meme also appeared. As the meme became universally recognizable, people began to post two images next to each other and write “they’re the same picture” in the text box.

Examples

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Here-For-The-Comment/Reddit
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Here-For-The-Comment/Reddit
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Here-For-The-Comment/Reddit
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Here-For-The-Comment/Reddit
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ikszde123/Reddit
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ikszde123/Reddit

They’re the same picture meme template:

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ikszde123/Reddit

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