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People have been using “first of all” on the internet for a while. It’s a way to add context to a conversation, or put someone in their place. Over the weekend, the phrase really took off and turned into a meme, all thanks to a few viral tweets over the last week.
Alright..... first of all...........ouch https://t.co/sfqOcNoapQ— dog luver (@PURAVlDA) October 8, 2017
That was in response to a tweet about your woman crush Wednesday’s breakfast.
this was your wcw's breakfast. pic.twitter.com/2QPfGz5OgF— Lil tiddie (@ddown2mars) October 6, 2017
Many others on Twitter began to emulate the format. The “first of all” phrase became the punchline of a joke.
"Previously on-"— zannah (@notjustblondee) October 16, 2017
First of all, I've been watching for ten straight hours
“Excuse me, can we get the check please?”— Ira Madison III (@ira) October 15, 2017
First of all, I’m Soul Train award winning R&B singer Keri Hilson
‘be the bigger person’— sumeya (@svnnycx) October 14, 2017
first of all i’m 5’1
boys talk to me for a week and assume everything i tweet is about them lol first of all you’re a coping mechanism— antheia (@venusbisou) October 13, 2017
white girls from my high school talkin bout “this country needs to go back to the golden days” first of all, i watched you fail history.— spooky szn (@OkayyChriss) October 8, 2017
Several versions of the meme were about sex, unrequited crushes, and anxiety.
"Omg you so wet." First of all, I'm on my period.— c. montana (@colormechris) October 12, 2017
“You read my message but didn’t reply”— Jennifer (@Jennifer_Blaize) October 16, 2017
First of all I didn’t mean to read it
"i just dont understand why u dont like me"— jomny sun (@jonnysun) October 16, 2017
first of all, i dont even understand why i dont like myself
Dentist: "open up"— DraBulé (@Biggabossben) October 16, 2017
First of all, it started all the way back in elementary school
“Oh you’re always so cool and aloof.”— 5'6 (@ohigba11) October 13, 2017
First of all, i’m dissociating.
to all my anxiety attacks ever: first of all how dare you— punk (@NUEPORTS) October 12, 2017
Even brands like Netflix joined in with a meta-joke about the company’s “Are you still watching?” prompt.
“Are you still watching"— Netflix US (@netflix) October 15, 2017
First of all, I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough
Some people are already calling this meme one of the best of 2017.
the "first of all" meme is the best thing that 2017 has given us— tired garbage can (@ugsadkid) October 14, 2017
First of all, there’s still two months left in the year.
Tiffany Kelly is the Unclick editor at Daily Dot. Previously, she worked at Ars Technica and Wired. Her writing has appeared in several other print and online publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Popular Mechanics, and GQ.