Article Lead Image

Photo via Shutterstock

‘Ruin a first date in four words’ is the dumb new Facebook game everyone loves

'Well, that escalated quickly.'


Jay Hathaway

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 3, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 9:28 pm CDT

“Ruin a first date in four words” is the new, dumb Facebook joke template for you to subvert. The basic framework of the meme has been around since at least May, and #WorstDateInFiveWords was a bad Twitter hashtag back in 2014, but the game spiked in popularity this week after someone put an awkward stock photo face on it: 

The prompt to pick painful, date-ruining phrases showed up in at least two popular threads on dumb humor site 9gag earlier this year, where it earned a bunch of very obvious responses (“I have a girlfriend,” “I love you honey,” etc.). 

It got slightly better once it hit imgur on Thursday; now the responses were at least moderately clever. “I’m not good at math,” “This date is ruined,” and the somewhat meta “Hi, I browse imgur,” were some of the best entries.

And if you think this game is immune to the ever-present “dicks out for Harambe,” well, it’s unfortunately not.

The stupid meme didn’t start to achieve its potential until it landed on Facebook. The paradoxically popular meme cult UUUM (Useless, Unsuccessful, and/or Unpopular Memes) had a blast with it on Friday, applying some of their trademark so-bad-its-good Photoshop:

This is all par for the course from UUUM, but it does help to legitimize the Four Words thing as a meme. It doesn’t get truly weird till it starts hitting pages like Veterans Against Tattoos: 

This is one of those peculiar meme pages that’s always on-theme and in character, but is also an obvious joke that certain people take very, very seriously. You would not believe the number of tattooed people who show up angrily in the comments to argue with a page that posts stuff like this: 

[Placeholder for embed.]

Even a meme seemingly devoid of comedy value can do great things when it connects with the right group of “normies.” 

Share this article
*First Published: Oct 3, 2016, 7:30 am CDT