The Story Behind The Stock Photo That Launched A Thousand Jokes

What do we meme? Read on.

It’s a meme so popular, even your mom has probably seen it. (And maybe finally gets what a “meme” actually is.)

The image, known as “Distracted Boyfriend” and “Disloyal Man,” has made its way onto a ton of social media platforms, like Twitter ...

... Instagram ...

A post shared by Shlocker® (@theshlocker) on

... Tumblr ...

... and even Facebook.

The simple, yet versatile, joke all started with a stock photo that clearly depicts a woman walking with her boyfriend who, to his partner’s dismay, can’t help but check out another woman walking by.

Husband material. 
Husband material. 

The photo is part of a series of photos snapped by photographer Antonio Guillem, which is available on the stock photo website Shutterstock.

In February, an Instagram user who goes by @_dekhbai_ posted it to his page and asked followers to “tag that friend who falls in love every month,” according to the meme experts over at Know Your Meme.

The post got almost 30,000 likes and then the photo faded into internet obscurity.

It remained there until Saturday, when Twitter user @n1m161 posted the stock photo, depicting the woman walking by as “socialism” and the upset girlfriend as “capitalism.” Another Twitter user named Omar Essam copied the idea, according to Vox. Essam’s version went viral.

Things just took off from there.

Buzzfeed reports that another Twitter user eventually discovered that the stock photo was part of a set …

… And the joke evolved.

Now if only someone could think of a meme for this stock image …


 … That would be great.

HuffPost has reached out to Antonio Guillem and his models. We will update this article accordingly.