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Can anyone stop SpongeBob SquarePants this month? After the huge successes of the Evil Patrick and Krusty Krab vs. Chum Bucket memes, everyone’s favorite pineapple-dwelling sea sponge has blown the internet’s collective square pants off again with a third popular meme. This one shows SpongeBob huffing and out of breath. All the captions on the meme begin with “me after …”
If you want to complain about being tired, worn out, or just generally frail, this is the SpongeBob meme for you. It seems to have started on March 22 with this tweet from a user named DJ Jamz:
Me after I take my strap off 😂 pic.twitter.com/DjqNMk9f5H— DJ JAMZ (@DJJVMZ) March 22, 2018
The image comes from the same episode—the same scene, even—as Evil Patrick. It’s the season one episode “Nature Pants,” where SpongeBob has left town to live in nature, and Patrick attempts to capture him and bring him back. (That’s why he’s naked, in case you were wondering.) In this frame, the reason he’s so tired is that he has just narrowly avoided being caught by his friend.
And now, that moment is fully viral. This meme is everywhere, and people are using it to describe even the smallest of physical or mental exertions:
me after I put the fitted sheet on my bed by myself pic.twitter.com/R1DAjYWlyG— mama (@mckenziedenisee) March 27, 2018
Me after replying to one person pic.twitter.com/MEgKmf1PFl— Fatima (@fatimaiqbal13) March 26, 2018
Me after doing 1 of the 1293982728293758 things on my to do list pic.twitter.com/jXCSJBAe0y— #InTune (@Fourens_) March 26, 2018
Me after socializing for more than 10mins pic.twitter.com/4mpB0WK3GK— Demi-god (@nabeeldenero) March 26, 2018
Me after just the warm up before practice pic.twitter.com/xC899fpFW2— IslandGyalTrish (@Trish_bago) March 26, 2018
Me after praying for five minutes without looking at my phone... pic.twitter.com/Uld53kGDDu— ⚔️God’s Warrior⚔️ (@EarlBlackman) March 27, 2018
me after applying one eyelash: pic.twitter.com/vkmBR8kotb— drew (@_mcdrew) March 27, 2018
me after shaving my legs, under arms, and kitty all in one shower. pic.twitter.com/VHKnJG0Eog— jardyn (@sixelanydraj) March 27, 2018
Certainly, we can all find things to be tired of, or about. The “relatable” quotient of this meme, plus the weight of SpongeBob, perhaps the most popular meme character of all time, has made it more popular than you’d expect for a meme without a real joke or any controversial elements.
For some, though, three major SpongeBob memes in a month is one sponge too far:
me after seeing ANOTHER spongebob meme on the tl pic.twitter.com/7kSdNPNgXk— Trashvis (@Trashvis) March 27, 2018
If the memes keep coming at this prodigious rate, we’re about to find out if even a sponge can become oversaturated.
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.