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About

“That’s Cute” (otherwise known as “That’s Adorable”) is a sarcastic expression used to patronize or dismiss someone’s self-complacency or boastful statement, similar to the phrase “bitch, please.” It is typically used to juxtapose the capabilities or accomplishments of two comparable subjects, as seen in image macro series like Unimpressed Astronaut and Condescending Wonka.

Origin

The phrase “that’s cute” has been used as a colloquial expression for many years prior to its online adaptations. The first Urban Dictionary[1] entry was submitted by user sweetsean93 on February 2nd, 2010, defining the phrase as a sarcastic declaration used in response to an annoying comment or sophomoric statement.

Usage in Image Macros

On June 5th, 2011, Redditor eps101 submitted a post titled “Oh, Charlie” to the /r/pics[2] subreddit, featuring an image macro of Charlie Sheen bragging about the amount of drugs he had consumed, followed by a photograph of writer Hunter S. Thompson with the caption “You’re adorable” (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post received over 12,700 up votes and 700 comments.

Spread

On March 10th, 2012, FunnyJunk[5] user ghostytrickster submitted a post titled “That’s Cute,” featuring an image macro comparing Ugandan guerilla leader Joseph Kony to the deceased German Nazi Party leader Adolph Hitler (shown below, left). On May 30th, Redditor bekbekbekaw submitted a post titled “That’s cute” to the /r/funny[4] subreddit, featuring an image macro of Miley Cyrus referring to herself as a “stoner” accompanied by the photo of Hunter S. Thompson from Redditor eps101’s image macro (shown below, right).

On August 31st, Redditor cockpunch25 submitted an image macro to the /r/funny[3] subreddit, featuring a photograph of pop star Justin Bieber complaining about growing up with divorced parents, followed by a picture of rapper Eminem with the caption “That’s cute” (shown below, left). Within two months, the post received over 6,800 up votes and 315 comments. On October 28th, the Cheezburger site Memebase published an image macro comparing the rapper Drake with the character Walt from Breaking Bad (shown below, right).

The phrase is often used in the Unimpressed Astronaut image macro series, in which a photograph of an astronaut walking on the moon is captioned with grievances about long-distance travel followed by a dismissive statement (shown below, left). The image macro series Advantages of Science uses the similar expression “That’s cool” in response to biblical understandings of natural phenomenon (shown below, middle). The phrase is also commonly used in the Condescending Wonka advice animal series, in which a screen capture of Willy Wonka (played by Gene Wilder) from the 1971 musical Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is captioned with patronizing and sarcastic statements.

Notable Examples


Search Interest

External References

[1]Urban Dictionary – That’s Cute

[2]Reddit – Oh Charlie

[3]Reddit – That’s Cute, Justin

[4]Reddit – That’s cute

[5]FunnyJunk – That’s Cute

[6]9gag – You went skydiving today?

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About

“YOLO” is an acronym for the phrase “you only live once”, which is often used as a hashtag on Twitter to bring attention to exciting events or excuse irresponsible behaviors. The acronym was popularized in 2011 after being featured in the hip hop single “The Motto” by Drake. In November 2012, the Oxford American Dictionaries included the slang term “YOLO” in its shortlist for the 2012 English Word of the Year.

Origin

The earliest known use of the acronym is attributed to Adam Mesh from the third season of the NBC reality show The Average Joe. Mesh launched the “You Only Live Once” (YOLO) clothing line on March 20th, 2004.[2]

Spread

The first Urban Dictionary[1] definition was submitted by user Colin on April 6th, 2004. The promotion website for San Francisco’s nightlife event YoloSF[5] was launched on November 10th, 2005. In July of 2006, the American indie rock band The Strokes launched a promotional campaign called “Operation YOLO” prompting fans to request their 2006 single “You Only Live Once” (shown left) on radio stations. The life coaching site YOLO Coaching[4] was registered on June 1st, 2007. On March 14th, 2008, YouTuber JCVdude uploaded a video titled “YOLO ‘you only live once’ JCV” (shown right) outlining his philosophy of living life to the fullest.

On October 4th, 2009, the weather forecast site Weather Underground[6] blogger Beachfoxx published a post titled “Friends……YOLO – You Only Live Once.” On July 27th, 2010, an infant bodysuit with the words “YOLO You Only Live Once” screenprinted on the front was submitted to the online retailer Cafe Press.[7] On December 16th, 2011, The Huffington Post published a photo of the American actor Zac Efron with “YOLO” tattooed on his right hand. A Facebook[3] page for the acronym has 3,725 likes as of March 5th, 2012.

  

The Motto

The acronym was used in the 2011 hip hop single “The Motto” by Canadian recording artist Drake featuring Lil Wayne. On October 23rd, 2011, Drake posted a tweet using the word accompanied by a photo of himself standing on a balcony.

The now defunct Twitter analytics site Trendistic reported that tweets with the keyword “yolo” rose significantly on October 24th, one day after Drake tweeted the photo from his balcony. In addition, Google Insights graph also indicates that search queries for the keyword “YOLO” began to rise drastically between October and November 2011. The song was officially released on November 29th and was followed by the official music video on February 10th, 2012. In just 21 days, the video accumulated over 450,000 views.

“Now she want a photo, you already know, though
You only live once: that’s the motto nigga, YOLO”

Criticisms

On November 29th, 2011, YouTuber iBeChucks uploaded a video (shown left) complaining about the use of the word soon after the release of Drake’s song. On February 29th, 2012, YouTuber ThisIsACommentary (shown right) uploaded a video titled “Yolo These Days” in which he criticized the word’s sudden rise in popularity and compared it to the word swag.

Notable Examples

Parodies

On June 17th, 2012, Redditor pigpen5 submitted a post titled “This is the first ad for an Anti-Yolo campaign a friend of mine is trying to start”[8], which highlighted a picture of a woman looking at a pregnancy test with the caption “Nine months from now #YOLO Just wont be as cool as you thought it was.” Within one month, the post received over 16,000 up votes and 700 comments. In the following days, the image was reposted to the viral content site Buzzfeed[10] and the Cheezburger site FAIL Blog.[9]

On June 28th, 2012, BuzzFeed[11] published a post titled "10 Phrases You Can Say Instead of “YOLO”, which included several alternative expressions with similar meanings to the acronym. On July 8th, BuzzFeed[12] published a post titled “20 Different YOLO-stragrams”, which highlighted several Instagram photos that have been tagged “#yolo.”

On July 14th, the Internet humor site Cracked[14] published a blog post titled “5 Reasons the YOLO (You Only Live Once) Meme is Wrong”, which included an infographic with fictional characters who have lived more than once. On July 20th, the New York Times[13] published a blog post titled “#YOLO”, which highlighted several tweets mocking the use of the hashtag on Twitter.

Twitter Feed

Search Interest

External References

[1]Urban Dictionary – Yolo

[2]Alexander Interactive – Yolo Clothing launches online store

[3]Facebook – Y.O.L.O

[4]YOLO Coaching – Yolo Coaching

[5]YoloSF – Yolo SF

[6]W Underground – YOLO – You Only Live Once

[7]Cafe Press – YOLO you only live once

[8]Reddit – This is the first ad for an antiyolo campaign

[9]FAIL BLog – Parenting Fails No YOLO

[10]BuzzFeed – Anti-YOLO Campaign

[11]BuzzFeed – 10 Phrases You Can Say Instead of YOLO

[12]BuzzFeed – 20 Different YOLO-stragrams

[13]New York Times – #YOLO

[14]Cracked – 5 Reasons the YOLO (You Only Live Once) Meme Is Wrong

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