distracted boyfriend meme

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Dolly Parton tweets possibly the best Distracted Boyfriend meme ever

The country legend draws inspiration from her greatest hit.


Chris Illuminati

Internet Culture

Published Aug 21, 2018   Updated May 21, 2021, 8:17 am CDT

The Distracted Boyfriend meme is back in the social consciousness after Dolly Parton tweeted an epic version of the trope on Monday. The iconic musician posted a new take that incorporates her classic song of betrayal, “Jolene,” into the meme.


And in case you’re unfamiliar with the tale of infidelity and pleas to leave her man alone, here’s Dolly performing “Jolene” back in 1975.

According to Parton, Jolene was inspired by a red-headed bank teller overly flirting with her husband, Carl Dean, when they were newlyweds. The bank teller’s charm had little effect on Dean. The couple remains married after 52 years.

The origin story of the red-headed temptress turned into a meme provoked some great strong fan zingers, too:


The meme was one of the most present images of 2017, pulled from a stock photo and shared in a Turkish message board in January of that year. As the Daily Dot wrote in its “meme of the year” column:

A meme with a detailed backstory is rare; usually it’s a single image, video, or phrase that goes viral before fading out. This meme has an entire fantasy world with multiple plot twists. The story of the couple, and the people who distracted them, isn’t even depressing or terrible. It’s lighthearted and funny, and as digestible as a TV sitcom.

Your move, Garth Brooks.

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*First Published: Aug 21, 2018, 11:43 am CDT