Twitter user @knitcapchan discovered a bag of Life Savers candy at the store with a poorly placed expiration date.
In a comic strip depiction of two pieces of candy talking to each other, the "best by" date appeared in one of the dialogue bubbles, obscuring the original punchline.
The purple Life Saver delivered an unintentionally hilarious non-sequitur, and thus a meme was born.
The caption from the March 15 tweet read, "I almost burst a lung laughing at this comic on the back of my lifesavers bag." Twitter users loved the comically misplaced expiration date and retweeted the photo over 34,000 times.
I almost burst a lung laughing at this comic on the back of my lifesavers bag https://t.co/8uVibrnq5D— くコ:ミ raissa @ artfight!! 🍵 くコ:ミ (@くコ:ミ raissa @ artfight!! 🍵 くコ:ミ)1521150591.0
And because this is Twitter, the original poster felt obliged to prove the pic was his.
since some of y’all don’t believe me smh https://t.co/hGCYPvT6Ug— くコ:ミ raissa @ artfight!! 🍵 くコ:ミ (@くコ:ミ raissa @ artfight!! 🍵 くコ:ミ)1521249365.0
It didn't take long for other memes to riff on the photo.
This one used a familiar former meme and added a sweet twist.
@knitcapchan is this okay https://t.co/XcwCgQkasK— WAFFLOES (@WAFFLOES)1521152631.0
Gru seems taken aback by the accidental catchphrase.
@knitcapchan https://t.co/bUuqOmiu9z— ☀️ Ｒ ｏ ｕ ｎ ｄ ｅ ｒ ｇ ｎ 🌊 (@☀️ Ｒ ｏ ｕ ｎ ｄ ｅ ｒ ｇ ｎ 🌊)1521157999.0
The "best by" meme is the hottest thing on the Internet. Clearly.
@knitcapchan https://t.co/Px49FoJSpi— ρокέмои тгαιηεг нαυ (@ρокέмои тгαιηεг нαυ)1521151250.0
Earth, Wind & Fire? Yes please.
@knitcapchan https://t.co/tOka9ZHL04— the crouton kid (@the crouton kid)1521223513.0
The popular "boyfriend checking out another girl" stock photo made a cameo.
@knitcapchan https://t.co/acLqcVD6n7— Lisa Nohealani Morton (@Lisa Nohealani Morton)1521157214.0
A famous retailer was incorporated into the meme sensation.
@knitcapchan mine isn't even half as funny as the rest of these but shh https://t.co/jVhJSvslmy— 𝕡𝕦𝕡𝕡𝕪𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕚𝕕𝕦𝕖 loves plants (@𝕡𝕦𝕡𝕡𝕪𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕚𝕕𝕦𝕖 loves plants)1521172695.0
More submissions used variations of the "I have a headache" and "This weather sucks" dialogue.
@knitcapchan is this good https://t.co/u3XRnLRPyd— pepper (@pepper)1521162589.0
Even Garfield got into the act, and he will always find a way to knock puppies.
@knitcapchan did i do this right https://t.co/fh0VkI2Eod— County Waste (@County Waste)1521164704.0
This could launch a whole series based on these characters.
@knitcapchan https://t.co/JEECUL4P9s— The kinky turtle on the way home from Anthrocon (@The kinky turtle on the way home from Anthrocon)1521179484.0
This meme is reminiscent of an ABC Afterschool Special.
@knitcapchan https://t.co/99gdxl5WSp— isaac(kenM)rissinger (@isaac(kenM)rissinger)1521231017.0
Things got a little grim with the life expectancy thing.
@knitcapchan @alanvaarwerk https://t.co/96XTRWjNdN— Reid Parker (@Reid Parker)1521168256.0
People were still curious about what the original punchline said.
@pixylowl i think it says “why so sour?” but ig well never know— Pie🍒 (@Pie🍒)1521176941.0
Meanwhile, the featured product inspired a debate.
@knitcapchan @exogcnesis Are those not just fruit polos?— Amy Rose (@Amy Rose)1521161973.0
And someone confirmed that Life Savers were the U.S. version of Fruit Polos.
@SushiRollPhan @knitcapchan @exogcnesis they're the same thing, life savers is just the american brand :)— ryen 💙🌸🌼🌸💙 (@ryen 💙🌸🌼🌸💙)1521173199.0
@fourgetregret @knitcapchan @exogcnesis Lol! Guy: What should we call the fruit version of polos? Brit: Fruit polos? American: Life savers.— Amy Rose (@Amy Rose)1521173404.0
Just to be clear, @softhemmo shared a visual.
@SushiRollPhan @BaconBitsBitch @fourgetregret @knitcapchan @exogcnesis btw this argument has already happened! here… https://t.co/0rkKIT7TMu— c (@c)1521233250.0
According to Wikipedia, candy manufacturer Clarence Crane of Garrettsville, Ohio, invented the candy that looks like life preservers in 1912. He marketed the brand as a "summer candy" that wouldn't melt like chocolate in the summer heat. After registering the trademark, Crane later sold the rights to Edward John Noble for $2,900.
It was Noble who came up with the idea of using aluminum foil, instead of cardboard, to keep the candy fresh. Years later, apparently neither foil nor properly sealed packaging can guarantee eternal freshness.
The expiration date just needs a better placement.