Bill Nye has caught our attention once again, but this time it’s not because of his brain.
Redditors and Imgur users have turned The Science Guy into one of the grisliest, most machismo memes around. It all started with a National Geographic feature story called “Bill Nye’s Global Meltdown,” which showed Nye going through the five stages of climate change grief. There’s denial, anger, bargaining, and then depression and isolation—and that’s where one photo caught the attention of Reddit user avemae10.
The redditor shared the photo of Nye smoking a cigarette, solemnly walking down a lonely road, to the site’s r/pics subreddit. While the photo was meant to represent a stage of climate-change grief, avemae10 saw something else: that Nye was about to drop the hottest mixtape of 2015.
And with one joke about how lit the scientist looked came an avalanche of meme remixes. Other people added explosions and smoke or put Nye into movie posters.
With a dark cloud surrounding him, Nye became that complicated, flawed male protagonist we often find in pop culture.
This is far from the first time that the Internet has gone bonkers for Nye. He already has his own page on Know Your Meme, which runs through several viral videos he’s been in and the popular parody Twitter account @Bill_Nye_Tho. And people flipped out in excitement when Netflix announced that Bill Nye the Science Guy would be available for streaming.
This is a new, darker side of Nye, but he’s still as hilarious as ever. And we aren’t complaining.