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Drake is a meme for life.
About six months after releasing his More Life mixtape, Drake returned to the spotlight with “God’s Plan.” But the song didn’t have as big an impact as its video, which showed Drake giving away his million-dollar shooting budget to overjoyed strangers. “God’s Plan starts playing” has now become internet shorthand for a big-hearted or generous moment, whether you mean that sincerely or ironically.
The meme seems to have ramped up in late February, with good jokes like this one:
“Alright sir, your total today is $72.65”
*hands cashier money*
“Keep the change.”
*God’s Plan starts playing*
“I will…… sir you still owe another seventy do-“
*Volume increases* pic.twitter.com/qKsOuoQFlz
— Ol' Fred (@fejay3) February 27, 2018
It’s been a minute since Drake, who’s such a human meme that he once joked about it on Saturday Night Live, has starred in a genuinely huge internet meme. (Cat Drake, a variation of the 2014 “Drake Approves” memes, popped up during his comeback this month, but it wasn’t a brand new format.)
“God’s Plan” has changed that, though. It’s a straightforward meme that anyone can use—just use this GIF from the video and crack a joke about benevolence and charity. There are literally hundreds of these tweets now, and some of them have hit 100,000 likes:
Me: “Is your ice cream machine working?”
McDonald's employee: "Yes."
*God’s Plan starts playing* pic.twitter.com/H7C0SofAj9
— Norm Kelly (@norm) March 1, 2018
Barber: it’s $25
Me: *hands barber $30
Barber: here’s $5
Me: Keep it.
*God’s plan starts playing
— Ian Harris (@ianharris) February 27, 2018
chipotle worker: "your change will be $2.25"
me: "you can keep it"
*God's Plan starts playing* pic.twitter.com/DaOZ3752b4
— * (@deliberatedaily) February 24, 2018
Me: “Can I get a extra chick-fil-a sauce?”
*Chick-Fil-A worker throws in 4*
*God’s Plan starts playing* pic.twitter.com/AXndb4StHk
— L’Challa Moss (@_LandonMoss) February 26, 2018
Me playing #Fortnite: "I don't have any building supplies."
My friend: *Drops 500 metal*
*God's Plan starts playing* pic.twitter.com/0hp4rU26Bo
— IGN (@IGN) February 26, 2018
“God’s Plan starts playing” has gotten so big that even #brands are doing it now:
Friend: Can I have a bite of your sandwich?
*God’s Plan starts playing*
*Song fades* pic.twitter.com/DleXXJgYcz
— Jimmy John's (@jimmyjohns) March 2, 2018
A meme like this was always destined for mainstream “normie” status—most of the examples are either mildly heartwarming or jokes about being broke, and those things are the bread and butter of Twitter humor. It’s also not “edgy” or offensive in its content, which makes it easier for brands and popular “clean” Twitter accounts to co-opt. Drake’s status as an uncontroversial, mainstream celebrity with appeal across racial and gender lines doesn’t hurt either.
This might not be the kind of joke people are still making by the end of the year, but it’s certainly a worthy addition to the canon of Aubrey Drake Graham’s career as a walking, talking meme.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.