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If you’ve been baffled by a jock-strapped model in a red bandanna boogieing across your timeline recently, it’s probably Ricardo Milos. No one would blame you for not recognizing him; his is a meme created many, many eons ago—way back in 2011.
According to Know Your Meme, Milos’ dance video originated on the gay porn site Jock Butt. It found new life in 2010 after being uploaded to Nico Nico Douga (NND), a Japanese video-hosting site famous for its video remixing community.
The footage inspired countless animated recreations of Milos’ erotic dance number on both NND and YouTube over the years before it experienced a resurgence of popularity on Russian image boards in 2018. The video frequently appeared in threads of people dancing, often alongside similar TikTok videos in a kind of “dance-off.” From there, it spread onto TikTok itself as a new way to Rickroll people. Soon, Twitch streamers began referencing Milos, too.
Milos had remained relatively silent about his internet fame, until last week when he posted a rare statement. In his public Yahoo! group, Milos wrote that he now lives in Florida and is busy raising his 13-year-old son. More importantly, he wants fans to cool it with the memes. Since he doesn’t benefit from the meme in any way, he’d really appreciate it if people stopped spamming his inbox with it.
Furthermore, the footage belongs to Jock Butt, and anyone’s unauthorized use would result in “legal procedures,” he warned.
That hasn’t deterred fans, though. TikTok users have recently been posting videos of themselves drinking from bottles labeled “Ricardo Juice” before launching into his iconic dance. One online denizen even found a way to relate the nearly decade-old meme to the viral black hole photo.
In short, the Milos dance meme has managed to survive a convoluted path to virality and multiple platform shifts over the years, and fans aren’t giving it up so easily. Legal or not, you can probably expect to keep seeing Milos thrusting across your timeline for the foreseeable future.
Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.