'all three are going to lie to you' meme

@staidindoors/Twitter

The ‘Never Ask A…’ meme is back to reveal stories that celebrities don’t want you to know about

Mark Wahlberg is just one of the many put under the lens.

 

Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

If you hang around on certain parts of the internet long enough, the memes start to repeat themselves. But as the latest iteration of the “Never Ask A…” meme circulates online, it’s also a vast reminder that no matter how widely known you might think something might be about a famous person, there’s always at least one person who might be learning about it for the first time.

The meme originated on Facebook in 2016, and according to Know Your Meme, it’s gotten remixed and used in several different online communities. Nowadays, it essentially operates as a shitpost. No matter how it’s used or what it’s called—KYM titled it “All Three Are Going to Lie to You”—the function of the meme is essentially the same. The first panel kicks off with “Never Ask A Woman Her Age” with “A Man, His Salary” following it. The third panel would essentially follow a similar theme: Don’t ask, because if you do, the question will likely be obscured, buried, or responded to with a flat-out lie, a justification, or major downplaying.

The 2022 version of this meme is circulating via Twitter, and its targets are largely celebrity-focused. One of the first tweets to kick things off earlier this week came from @staidindoors, who centered the meme on Mark Wahlberg and stated that one should never ask Wahlberg “Why He Spent 45 Days In Jail In 1988.”

In 1988, a 16-year-old Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder and other charges after he assaulted two Vietnamese men and called them several racial slurs; he was eventually convicted for felony assault, he served 45 days of a three-month sentence. Several decades later, Wahlberg filed a petition to have his record expunged, which he later said he regretted. (He was also sued by the Massachusetts Attorney General in a civil lawsuit filed in 1986 after he allegedly and three others threw rocks at Black schoolchildren and shouted racial slurs at them; the case was settled.)

Soon, more examples started popping up, revealing plenty of details that famous people would probably prefer that nobody asked about.

For example, Matthew Broderick was fined $175 in 1987 because he got into a car crash in Ireland, which resulted in the death of two people; his girlfriend at the time, the actor Jennifer Grey, had her leg broken as a result of the accident. Broderick, who faced up to 10 years in prison, was reportedly driving on the right side of the road—cars in Ireland travel on the left side of the road—eventually pled guilty to careless driving.

Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s older brother Matthew is an alleged assassin who attempted to break out of federal prison after he was arrested on murder charges. Woody Harrelson was also mentioned in a similar vein, except that post referenced his father Charles—a hitman who was eventually convicted for assassinating a federal judge.

Another tweet referenced Mad Men actor Jon Hamm transferring colleges after a 1990 hazing incident at the University of Texas in which a fraternity pledge was beaten and had his pants set on fire. (Hamm was charged but never convicted.) When asked about the incident in a 2018 Esquire profile, Hamm said that “It was a bummer of a thing that happened” and that he “moved on from it.”

https://www.twitter.com/sonnerly/status/1495807947636625408

If you’re wondering about that 2009 petition? More than 100 members of the film industry—including some of Hollywood’s most venerated actors and directors—signed it and called for the release of Roman Polanski after he was arrested in Switzerland on an outstanding 1978 warrant for his arrest in the United States. Polanski, who was indicted on six felony charges for drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl, pled guilty to “unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor” but fled the country before he could be sentenced; only a few of the signatories have since regretted signing the petition. 

While some of the memes are more about highlighting the unusual or criminal pasts of a celebrity’s family members, others are looking toward the celebrities themselves. While the alleged crimes or actions vastly differ, the outcome has more or less been the same. Many of these people are still widely celebrated and receive ample job opportunities as some of the things they’ve done stays hidden or obscured. And given the amount of shock surrounding some of the meme revelations, it’s working.

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The Daily Dot