Charlie Chaplin Was the Original 'Distracted Boyfriend' Before the Viral Meme

The "disloyal man walking with his girlfriend and looking amazed at another seductive girl" meme or simply the "distracted boyfriend" meme was one of the biggest trends of 2017.

And, now, the Internet has dug up the "original" source of the viral meme.

Here's a quick recap: a Shutterstock photo had surfaced and spread like wildfire on the interweb last year. In the photo, a man is seen shamelessly looking at a woman while holding his partner's hand. Twitterati got creative and put the photo into different scenarios with funny captions and edits.

pic.twitter.com/4Z53MgtXfW

— f thot fitzgerald (@dracomallfoys) August 22, 2017


As it turns out, the meme can be traced back almost 100 years, in a 1922 silent film featuring Charlie Chaplin titled Pay Day.

In the movie, a scene identical to the one in the distracted boyfriend meme takes place, in which Chaplin is seen checking out another woman while walking alongside his wife.

charlie chaplin

Image source: YouTube

Naturally, the Internet was blown away by this discovery. 

I'm very sorry for this, but... pic.twitter.com/iewtkmUmkG

— Peter Goldberg (@peeto_g) June 11, 2018



Charlie Chaplin, with Phyllis Allen playing his wife, in Pay Day (1922) pic.twitter.com/8vg2qzwkii

— Silent Movie GIFs (@silentmoviegifs) June 11, 2018


everyone, everyone, Charlie Chaplin did the distracted boyfriend meme! pic.twitter.com/gQKMpD0UaL

— Charleb Finch (@CharlesFinch) June 11, 2018



Did Charlie Chaplin invent memes? pic.twitter.com/leaBPZDzbH

— Hello Kinky (@ConnorBlades) June 11, 2018


Charlie chaplin did the meme before it was a meme pic.twitter.com/MHvBAe5K28

— darmooo (σˋ▽ˊ)σ (@darmuhh) June 11, 2018



Haha.. Charlie Chaplin invented that meme pic.twitter.com/vwi3AA6qlW

— Droid-Wan Kenobi (@droid254) June 11, 2018


Expect to have seen this picture (or some variant) everywhere by tomorrow.

Charlie Chaplin, OG meme creator. pic.twitter.com/ozPO7XI9VB

— Keith Lee (@associatesmind) June 11, 2018



Turns out Charlie Chaplin is the godfather of memes. pic.twitter.com/hdtZHMmwVT

— Adam Best (@adamcbest) June 11, 2018

The meme enthusiasts can watch the entire Pay Day here:

And if you want to dive back into the distracted boyfriend memes, thank us later.

pic.twitter.com/xT0wX1WnnT

— leon (@leyawn) August 22, 2017



pic.twitter.com/wey5DjJvQQ

— popular comedy account “the pixelated boat” (@pixelatedboat) August 24, 2017


pic.twitter.com/Ll1gM4N84J

— Reverend Scott (@Reverend_Scott) August 23, 2017



pic.twitter.com/Inw26ck8BZ

— sreekar (@sreekyshooter) August 23, 2017