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It seems like everyone’s in a “Big Mood” on Twitter these days. But what kind of mood does that mean, and where did the phrase come from? Here’s a closer look at the latest trendy way of captioning reaction images.
Over the past couple of years, “when” or “TFW” (that feel when) captions have dominated the reaction image game. It’s straightforward and low-effort: You just post an image or screenshot to show how you felt when something happened.
In late 2017 and early 2018, though, people started to get tired of “TFW.” It peaked in March 2017 and seems to have experienced a slow decline since then. But they didn’t get tired of expressing themselves by posting images, a practice that has been around much, much, longer than social media.
That’s where an under-the-radar alternative to “when” and “TFW” comes in. Black Twitter deserves credit for popularizing TFW memes, but in 2015 or so, black users also coined a lowkey alternative: “Mood.”
“Mood” is just what it sounds like—it’s the caption for a picture that expresses your current feelings. It’s a little bit more versatile than that, though: It can extend to things you’re in the mood for. It can also be used as a reply to indicate that you relate to what someone else has posted. “Mood” is to present day slang what “I’m feeling it” was to 2013. It’s so much more elegant and concise, though.
Somewhere along the line, people started using size to describe the intensity of the mood. “Big Mood” is a really strong emotion or craving. It’s been used on Twitter for years, but it really blew up around December 2017, and it’s going strong in early 2018.
This single Big Mood tweet, featuring a GIF of a smirking cheerleader, has more than 150,000 likes:
big mood pic.twitter.com/m83paZ2tb5— F is for foolish, to me you can't step (@SEtotheleft) January 16, 2018
Here’s a vintage 2015 Big Mood:https://twitter.com/AP600__/status/667368869061857280
And here are some more from the Big Mood boom of early ’18:
Big mood pic.twitter.com/7wcvSMGIdY— Joshua Rivera (@jmrivera02) January 20, 2018
Now people are having even bigger moods. Huge moods aren’t uncommon:
Huge mood pic.twitter.com/xiuhscryqT— tommy wiseau (@_emilyhearne) January 22, 2018
A huge ass mood pic.twitter.com/K5U8dENAHz— cataIina loves 원호 (@deIicatewonho) January 22, 2018
HUGE FUCKIN MOOD OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/SNdMGffY4y— Decaying Lust (@LustAndDeath) January 22, 2018
If you’re lucky, you may witness the rare and potent Gargantuan Mood on your timeline:
Gargantuan mood at all times https://t.co/yFilTcn0fN— soft dad ☁️ (@KinArkade) January 21, 2018
gargantuan mood— the waifu of bath (@kriemhildsrache) January 22, 2018
You may even see more descriptive Big Moods, like Big Monday Mood:
big monday mood pic.twitter.com/8h9dLWSDpo— JP (@vectorpoem) January 22, 2018
Monday mood after a big weekend pic.twitter.com/0RJlumuKN6— U of Redlands Mascot (@URMascot) January 22, 2018
"i... uh... avais beaucoup de faire" is a big gay mood— alyssa (@rockstarbeatIes) January 22, 2018
big trans mood is changing your shirt an hour into the day bc the dysphoria is so distracting you cant even tell if youre hungry or not— charlie ✨ jack joyce is trans (@CMDonovann) January 22, 2018
Big Mood isn’t so much a joke meme as a buzzy bit of slang that’s going to be around for the next year or more before it finally goes the way of “it’s lit, fam,” “AF,” and “on fleek”—and gets “canceled.”
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.