Part of the beauty and frailty of human life comes with the knowledge that, for each and every one of us, someday it will all be over. There’s a certain poignancy in coming to terms with the fact that our mere existences are finite. But at the same time, it’s also a huge bummer knowing that there are milestones, historical events, and people that we’ll never have a chance to know or experience—which can currently be summarized by the “RIP, they would have loved” meme on Twitter.
Though it’s unclear where it originated, the “RIP, they would have loved” (alternately, “would’ve loved”) meme began popping up on the platform in mid-March. The format is simple, as a user names a historical figure, celebrity, or fictional character that has passed away, along with something or someone they “would have loved” if they were still alive today.
Examples of the ‘RIP, they would have loved’ meme
Many variations of the meme tend to run on the snarky side. As such, some of the earlier examples focused on Princess Diana.
“RIP princess Diana you would’ve loved Gone Girl,” tweeted user @biglttlefleabag on March 23, referring to the 2014 David Fincher thriller starring Ben Affleck as a husband suspected in the disappearance of his wife whom he was cheating on.
Other uses of the meme were much more absurd and irreverent, focusing on puns—such as the popular example below that claimed Edgar Allen Poe would have loved the Disney Channel sitcom That’s So Raven. In just three short days, the tweet received nearly a half-million likes.
Other “RIP, they would have loved” tweets quipped about Ronald Reagan, F. Scott Fitzgerald (with a tongue-in-cheek green light reference), Icarus from Greek mythology, Henry VIII of England, Charles Darwin, and so on.
‘RIP, would’ve hated’ memes
Similarly, others evoked things that the dead would have hated. These examples definitely skewed a bit more acerbic, as you can see from some of the examples below that riff on Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marilyn Monroe, Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla, and others.
And then there’s the following example of the “RIP, would have loved” meme that got extremely meta with a Schrödinger’s cat reference.
We bet the theoretical cat would have absolutely loved TikTok, though.