'It's Gonna Be May' Meme Goes Viral But Not Everyone Is Laughing: Origin Behind The Justin Timberlake Joke

Justin Timberlake
The old Justin Timberlake, "It's gonna be May" meme went viral again on Wednesday, April 30. Reuters

One of the funniest days for memes is April 30 because “it’s gonna be May.” The meme is a reference to a misheard lyric from the 2000 pop song “It’s Gonna Be Me,” which was performed by American boy band ‘Nsync. But not everyone is tickled by the meme. Many people were already tired of the gag by Wednesday afternoon, with many lamenting it had been around for nearly 14 years. 

But the naysayers are missing one important point, though the song might have been around for over a decade, memes and GIFS just started to gain popularity the past few years. And though the meme isn’t new, it hasn't been around for as long as some people might think.

According to KnowYourMeme.com, it all started back in 2012. Even if some think it's played out, people can’t help but share the “It’s Gonna Be May” meme when the end of April comes around. Typically, it usually features an early 2000s picture of Justin Timberlake when he was still in 'Nsync. 

"It's Gonna Be Me" was released in 2000 and was the second single off of ‘Nsync’s second album “No Strings Attached." Of course back then YouTube had not even been created, but after the site had been up for a few years, the video was officially uploaded to the NSYNCVEVO YouTube Channel on October 24th, 2009. Since then it has garnered more than 20 million views.

KnowYourMeme.com attributed the Tumblr user amyricha with first starting the meme after she apparently posted a picture of Justin Timberlake a la 2000 with the caption: “It’s gonna be May” back in January 2012. Many thought the joke was humorous because it’s poking fun at the way Timberlake sings “me.” In the song it sounds like “May.”

The meme spread after Buzzfeed apparently posted a picture of an April calendar in March 2012. On April 30 is a picture of Timberlake and the now-infamous “It’s gonna be May” line. But the gag doesn’t stop with memes. It was also turned into a video after YouTuber Aaron Ochoco apparently published the video in April 2012.

The crack is still going strong two years later, as many Twitter users began to share various different versions of the meme.

But not everyone still thought it was funny. Many were ready to sign off from social media for the day if they saw another JT May meme.

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella 

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