baby don't hurt me meme

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What is the ‘Baby Don’t Hurt Me’ meme and who is Mike O’Hearn?

Despite his impressive credentials, Mike O'Hearn is arguably most famous for being the muscular physique behind the 'Baby Don't Hurt Me' meme trend.


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Dec 24, 2023   Updated on Jan 26, 2024, 10:03 am CST

The “Baby Don’t Hurt Me” meme, featuring the imposing figure of bodybuilder Mike O’Hearn, has become an internet sensation. This meme, which originated on TikTok, typically pairs clips of O’Hearn with humorous, ironic captions. The trend, which started gaining traction in March 2023, has spread across platforms like Twitter, amassing millions of views.

Who is Mike O’Hearn?

Born in 1969, Michael O’Hearn is a well-known personality in the fitness world. The professional fitness model is a four-time winner of Mr. Natural Universe, and a seven-time winner of Fitness Model of the Year.

O’Hearn also has a number of TV and movie roles under his belt. He had a small appearance in the 1992 comedy “Death Becomes Her,” and has since been in TV shows like “American Gladiators” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

@mikeohearn On my way to your girls house 😉 #mikeohearn #fyp #nattylight ♬ original sound – Mike O’Hearn

However, despite his impressive credentials, O’Hearn is arguably most famous for being the muscular physique behind the “Baby Don’t Hurt Me” meme trend. His unexpected rise as a meme icon on platforms like TikTok and Instagram was a stroke of internet serendipity.

@certified_hood_classic_ #meme #fyp #viral #bodybuilder #mikeohearn #nomore ♬ оригинальный звук – Myrza_N

Dissecting the ‘Baby Don’t Hurt Me’ meme

The “Baby Don’t Hurt Me” memes feature a clip of O’Hearn, often shirtless, showcasing his muscular build while a slowed down version of the song “

@iidrezzo 👶❌🤕🙋‍♂️ #mikeohearn #mikeohearnmeme #meme #memes #whatislove #babydonthurtme #babydonthearnme #donthurtme #funny #humor #relatable #trend #viral #viralvideo #foryou #foryoupage #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound – 𝙞𝙞𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙯𝙯𝙤

The sound used in the meme, “What Is Love (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)” by Haddaway, is an important element in the meme’s success. Released in 1993, this Eurodance hit achieved global success and topped charts in multiple countries. Its catchy rhythm and memorable lyrics make it an ideal soundtrack for the meme, enhancing its appeal and recognizability.

@shaggington.official #fyp #mikeohearn #meme #foryou ♬ оригинальный звук – Myrza_N

The meme’s humor comes from juxtaposing O’Hearn’s macho image with the playful, sometimes ludicrous captions. The seemingly arbitrary use of O’Hearn as the meme’s subject is fitting, given how he embodies certain ideals of masculinity, and it further propels the meme as a commentary, albeit a light-hearted one, on societal perceptions of manliness and attractiveness.

From clips of him lifting weights painted as Superman to simple shots of him staring confidently at the camera, each version has contributed to the meme’s growing popularity and added a new twist to O’Hearn’s image.

@mikeohearn Sir the citys on fire we need help I have a sick pump and the light from the fire is immaculate #mikeohearn #mikeohearnmeme #natty ♬ оригинальный звук – Myrza_N

O’Hearn’s response to viral fame

After his TikTok following skyrocketed from around 628,000 in April 2022 to over 2.3 million in March 2023, O’Hearn expressed amusement and bafflement at his newfound meme fame. His surge in online popularity, fueled by the meme’s spread, highlights the unpredictable nature of internet fame.

@yohaan.01 Still got 40 mins left 😬 #fy #fyp #mikeohearn #mikeohearnmeme ♬ оригинальный звук – Myrza_N


The “Baby Don’t Hurt Me” meme, centered around Mike O’Hearn, exemplifies internet culture’s whimsical and unpredictable nature. It shows how a combination of a striking image, a catchy song, and ironic humor can capture the imagination of millions, creating a viral phenomenon that transcends traditional celebrity or achievements. O’Hearn’s transformation into a meme icon underscores the power of social media in shaping modern trends and narratives.

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*First Published: Dec 24, 2023, 6:00 am CST