Anyone who spends time on social media is likely familiar with the ‘distracted boyfriend’ meme — but they might be surprised to learn that the story of the couple pictured in the meme doesn’t end there
The meme is based on a stock photo of a couple holding hands and walking down the street. The man has turned around to check out another woman who walked by, and while his face looks interested, his girlfriend looks angry.
This week, Twitter user Andrew J. Abernathy discovered that this stock photo isn’t the only one featuring the couple. In fact, there are several more of them depicting various relationship scenarios, which he comically strung together to tell a very disheartening story.
Found ’em! This stock image has become quite popular as part of a meme this year
More to the story: Twitter user Andrew J. Abernathy found that it was part of a greater series involving the couple
A sordid tale: He tweeted several of the images, stringing them together as part of a story
Not a great idea, girl… The couple appears to go through plenty of ups and downs
In meme form, the image usually has labels over the three different people. The man typically represents a person — for example, ‘me’ or ‘you’ — while the other woman is something the person is excited about or interested in.
This is all in spite of something that should indicate that they know better, as represented by the girlfriend.
The meme has become quite popular and recognizable, yet many people likely don’t know that it is part of a series of stock images using the same two actors.
Twitter user Andrew, a Digital Marketer from Greensboro, North Carolina, was looking up stock images for a project for work when he came across the famous photo, by photographer Antonio Guillem.
He also noticed that Guillen employed the same two actors for lots of other shots in which they play a couple.
Bringing a child into this? They have a baby, which Andrew finds worrisome
Not surprising: The woman looks upset in many of the images
Famous pictures: The photos are by photographer Antonio Guillem
Stress of a child: The models are named Laura and Mario and the images were taken in 2015
Surprised and amused, Andrew began tweeted the stock images out as he saw them, stringing them together to tell a story about the relationship. He also added captions to explain the progression of events, which all take place after the original photo of the man checking out another woman.
‘After being blatantly disrespected by her bf on the streets, it looks like she is also having trouble with homework,’ he wrote, captioning a picture of the woman looking stressed while working on a computer.
‘Looks like she didn’t learn her lesson and they’re buying something expensive together,’ he went on, picturing them meeting with another woman in a suit, who appears to be showing them paperwork.
In the next two picture,s the couple smiles at a positive pregnancy test — ‘OH NO GIRL THAT’S BAD NEWS,’ reads the caption — and welcomes a baby.
In trouble again: The ‘story’ shows the woman discovering that her boyfriend is cheating
Back off, dude: They seem to go back and forth on staying together
What did you expect? The man’s behavior gets much worse than just looking at other women
Lots of fighting! Andrew’s tweets have gone viral with thousands of likes
Horrible: At one point, the woman actually finds her boyfriend in bed with another woman
‘That man is a deadbeat and you knew it! Now look what happened,’ Andrew wrote.
The woman looks stressed in the next image, and they meet again with the suit-wearing woman with the paperwork — but seem angry this time.
The baby gets older, and the woman looks more and more unhappy with her lot in life. Then, she seems to discover that the man is cheating, angrily showing him a phone in another image.
‘Why are you surprised?!?! The man showed you what he was!’ Andrew wrote. ‘You better not take him back,’ he went on, showing the man trying to woo the unyielding woman.
But the man seems to cheat again, and eventually there is a photo of him naked on a bed while his girlfriend looks on in shock.
‘Girl. After this? Zero excuses!’ Andrew wrote.
More to flip through: Andrew said there were more than 40 pages of images in this set
Yikes… Despite problems, they seem to have bought a home together
Consequences: Andrew clearly hopes the couple will split up and the man will pay for his bad behavior
Sad story: His funny captions have delighted other Twitter users
He added several more images to the story, including ones of the woman finding someone else’s underwear and punching the man before breaking a framed photo of them together.
Eventually, Andrew wrapped up, noting that there were too many stock photos of them together to include every one.
‘By the way, I’m not kidding here. There are 40+ pages of these two living their best/worst lives together,’ he wrote. ‘I could spend the rest of the day on this because I’ve only gotten through 14 of the 44 pages these two have together.’
”There might be an “attempted murder” photo by page 30! I’ll leave on this one. GIRL YOU KNEW WHAT HE WAS!!’
In less than 24 hours, the thread has become incredibly popular on Twitter, with the first tweet alone getting 19,000 likes.
More!? The woman seems to stay with the man despite evidence of infidelity
Sock him! Eventually, she punches him in the face
So done! She also smashes on of their romantic photos
Too funny: Andrew eventually stopped posting because there were just too many images
Guillem, the photographer from Barcelona who took the images, has actually spoken out about them before.
‘We decided to take a few risks, planning a session representing the infidelity concept in relationships in a playful and fun way,’ he told Wired of the shoot, which took place in Gerona, Spain in mid-2015.
The models actually have names, too: Laura and Mario.
Guillem said he was very surprised when one was turned into a meme.
‘I never thought that one of my images will be that popular. I didn’t even know what a meme is until recently, when the models started to tell me about the memes that people were doing with our work,’ he added.