If you haven’t seen Avengers: Infinity War yet, then you’d better turn back now, because explaining anything about why the year-old disintegration meme format just resurfaced would pretty much spoil the ending.
Avengers: Infinity War hit theaters on April 27 and in it, the Mad Titan gradually collects all six Infinity Stones. Then, with a snap of the fingers, he eliminates half the universe’s population by turning them to dust. Tons of your favorite characters just evaporated, which inspired the meme-obsessed internet to resurrect the “Disintegration Effect” meme. In the days following Infinity War’s release, tons of fans are sharing memes that portray all sorts of characters, fictional and otherwise, disintegrating.
Know Your Meme claims that the earliest instance of this disintegration meme format came from Twitter user @KingxVendrick in May 2017, which itself is a riff on a 2014 Photoshop meme format accentuated by a Naruto quote. It has absolutely nothing to do with Avengers: Infinity War, but in the effort of giving props where props are due and recognizing the hallowed history of the meme format, here is the original presented in full form:
For full-on spoilers, here’s a fan art rendering of the heartbreaking Infinity War moment when Peter Parker disintegrates in Tony Stark’s arms. His words “I don’t feel so good” pop up in many of these memes.
One of the best and most popular new versions of the meme features Frasier from Frasier among the disintegrated as he cries for his brother Niles.
Tons of other fictional characters have also fallen victim to Thanos, including Mario from the truly awful live-action Super Mario Bros. movie.
Even poor Spongebob Squarepants turned to dust, but why didn’t he just dissolve in the water? Talk about a continuity error.
At least he and Patrick went together.
Solid Snake was also felled by the Infinity Gauntlet.
Wow, even Steve from Blue’s Clues disintegrated.
One truly hilarious version riffs on the destruction of Dusty Depot in Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 4.
Donkey also lost his Shrek.
Goodbye sweet Peter Griffin from Family Guy.
And, of course, the effect also his Springfield from The Simpsons.
Fun might not be something that Thanos considers when balancing the universe by killing half of it, but it sure as hell resulted in a lot of fun for us.
Avengers: Infinity War is now in theaters.