Me and the Boys is a snowclone caption used in memes about various activities. Originally popular as a hashtag and a non-ironic caption, in early 2019 the phrase, paired with non-sequitur followups, gained popularity in /r/okbuddyretard subreddit and on Instagram, gaining mainstream attention with 60’s Spider-Man villains variations in late May 2019.
While the exact origin of the phrase is unknown, before 2019 “Me and my boys” has been often used as a title for photograph posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and other social platforms (examples shown below). For example, on Instagram over 26,500 posts tagged with the hashtag #meandtheboys could be found as of January 30th, 2019.
On November 7th, 2018, Redditor calogant reposted an older image of several popular characters holding copies of the Holy Bible in church with a caption “Me and the Boys at bible study” to /r/okbuddyretard subreddit (shown below, left). The post gained over 1,500 upvotes in two months. On January 5th, 2019, Instagram user swaggycreeperguy posted an image of floating figures captioned “Me and the boys in creative mode“, with the post gaining over 190 likes in five months (shown below, right). On January 14th, 2019, Redditor _ItsDank_ reposted the image to /r/okbuddyretard, where it gained over 16,100 upvotes in two weeks.
On January 23rd, 2019, Redditor RadicalCars posted another version of the meme to /r/okbuddyretard (shown below, left), garnering over 11,600 upvotes in one week. Following the initial posts, more versions of memes featuring the caption appeared in the subreddit and on Instagram in late January 2019.
60’s Spider-Man Villains Variations
On May 25th, 2019, Redditor cobe1712 added an image of 60’s Spider-Man Rhino to a still image from episode 19 “To Catch a Spider / Double Identity” of 1967 animated TV series Spider-Man showing characters Vulture, Electro and Green Goblin smiling (shown below, left). The post gained over 52,500 upvotes in seven days. On May 26th, Redditor White__Science__Man reused the image for a Me and the Boys meme which gained over 29,700 upvotes in eight days (shown below, right).
In the following days, Me and the Boys memes based on the image gained significant spread on Reddit, with notable examples posted in /r/dankmemes, /r/ShitpostCrusaders, /r/me_irl and other subreddits. On June 3rd, a collection of examples was featuring on Ebaum’s World.