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Someone Found the Perfect 18th Century Version of the Distracted Boyfriend Meme

Someone Found the Perfect 18th Century Version of the Distracted Boyfriend Meme

Sometimes the Internet is very, very good, like when it turned a ridiculous stock photo of a clueless goober checking out another woman as his girlfriend looks on in disgust into a hilarious and versatile running gag. But the web just upped its game even more by finding an even classier version of that infamous image, because it turns out the Distracted Boyfriend Meme had its very own 18th-century art equivalent.

In a phenomenal find we first learned about at Design Taxi, Twitter user @ELXGANZA discovered that a 1761 painting by English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds doesn’t just look reminiscent of the popular stock image that became an internet sensation; it even matches up color and theme wise. “Garrick Between Tragedy and Comedy” shows actor David Garrick caught between “Comedy” in the red dress and “Tragedy” in the blue one, which perfectly corresponds with the image of the idiot boyfriend and the two women who are also in red (the other woman) and blue (the disgusted girlfriend).

That’s so fantastic we are having a hard time finding the right words to describe it. Fortunately the Internet already has the perfect expression for this wonderful find–:Italian chef kiss:

Of course the question is what’s the 18th century equivalent to that phrase? Get on it, Internet! This is where you do your best work.

What other popular meme would you love to find an ancestor for? Crying Jordan? The American Chopper argument? Don’t get distracted; tell us in the comments section below which ones the cyber-realm should get on next.

“Garrick Between Tragedy and Comedy” Images: Wikiart

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