Early in 2017, a stock photo circulated on the Internet that sparked numerous memes. The picture depicted a toothsome man in his 20s wearing a plaid, short-sleeved shirt on a sunny day, strolling with someone who is presumably his girlfriend. But, the boyfriend is distracted by another young woman walking in the opposite direction. His lips are pursed to suggest he's whistling at the passing stranger.
His accompanying girlfriend, however, is not having it and looks like her world is ready to crumble.
The image turned out to be one of the most adaptable memes of the year, but it's popularity hasn't run its course. 2018 brought about a reboot for the "Distracted Boyfriend" photo with a new meme that hit too close to home.
Twitter-user "cabeza de sandia" posted the famous photo captioned with: "This is disgustingly accurate."
People couldn't help but relate with the new meme that got over 91,000 retweets.
Does the truth hurt?
The ubiquitous stock photo was part of a series shot by Spanish photographer Antonio Guillem, a 45-year-old from Barcelona. According to Wired, Guillem spends his days out on shoots for images primed for the stock photo industry, and he's often used the same three models.
After a modestly successful career as a photographer, he wanted to go in a different direction stylistically. He described the photo shoot that took place with his models in Gerona, an idyllic town in Catalonia, Spain:
We decided to take a few risks, planning a session representing the infidelity concept in relationships in a playful and fun way. It was quite challenging to achieve face expressions that were believable. Mainly because we always have a really great work atmosphere, and almost all the time one of the models was laughing while we were trying to take the picture.
Mashable featured a hilarious story on digital marketer Andrew Abernathy, who stumbled upon Guillem's cast of characters in other stock photos and created a narrative around them.
Here are other examples from last year's famous photo with various memes that showed no signs of slowing down.
These are real-life depictions.
For Guillem, the photo that was taken two years ago remains something of a curiosity to him. He explained to Wired:
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.
Little did he know he'd be creating a viral palate for memes that really resonates with people.
Could a movie be far behind?