Exploring the Origin and Evolution of the Iconic ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ Meme

As April draws to a close and May approaches, the internet prepares for its annual ritual of sharing Justin Timberlake memes, particularly the famous “It’s gonna be Me” meme. But where did this meme originate, and why does it continue to captivate online audiences year after year?

The Origin Story of the Meme It’s Gonna Be Me

The ‘It’s gonna be Me’ meme made its debut on Tumblr in 2012. It featured a cheerful image of Justin Timberlake on an April calendar page, with the phrase ‘It’s gonna be Me!’ printed at the bottom. Little did anyone know, this playful jest would snowball into a viral sensation that persists in entertaining internet users to this day.

Read More: Melissa McCarthy Shines in Pastels and Tulle at Theater Benefit Gala

Timberlake Joins the Fun

It's Gonna Be Me
It’s Gonna Be Me

In 2020, amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, Justin Timberlake embraced the meme himself. He shared his own rendition, donning a mask over his mouth, indicating his willingness to participate in the lighthearted internet culture that surrounds him.

Read More: Remembering Dickey Betts: Allman Brothers Co-Founder and Southern Rock

During a 2023 interview on Hot Ones, a popular YouTube show, Timberlake disclosed the origin of the infamous line. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t his brainchild to sing ‘may’ instead of ‘me.’ A producer suggested the alteration, likely influenced by NSYNC’s Swedish songwriters. Timberlake expressed admiration for their unconventional use of English, acknowledging how it enhanced the memorability of their songs, even if they didn’t always adhere to grammatical norms.

It's Gonna Be Me
It’s Gonna Be Me

“That’s all I need to say about that one,” Timberlake joked, recognizing the unexpected trajectory of one of music history’s most iconic misheard lyrics. “I knew one day they’re going to invent this thing called memes.”

The Everlasting Influence

As we approach another May, it’s inevitable that our timelines will once again be inundated with “It’s gonna be Me” memes. Amidst the laughter and nostalgia, it’s evident that Justin Timberlake inadvertently became a perpetual muse for internet humor.


Who started the ‘It’s gonna be Me’ meme? The meme originated on Tumblr in 2012, not initiated by Justin Timberlake.

Why does Timberlake sing ‘may’ instead of ‘me’? A producer suggested the change, influenced by NSYNC’s Swedish songwriters’ accents.

1 thought on “Exploring the Origin and Evolution of the Iconic ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ Meme”

Leave a Comment