Better late than never, the meme of the summer is here. Which is a relief, since the meme cycle has been grim, lately. We just went through a brief flirtation with the “Dark Brandon” series, in which libs appropriate the type of fascist imagery involving “God Emperor Trump” that was popular with the MAGA crowd a few years ago—the twist being that it’s Joe Biden instead of Trump. Then we got the “Girl Explaining” meme, which was actually from 2019 and was just a gender-flipped version of the “Guy Explaining” meme. Sad stuff, internet. We can do better.
Now, the “But It Came Out in 2007" meme has entered the competition. And folks, it’s good.
The premise is simple: Take the Lincoln Park song “What I Have Done” and slap it on the soundtrack at the end of a movie that did not come out in 2007. The biggest example going around right now is “The Godfather but it came out in 2007.”
The iconic moment when Diane Keaton turns to watch Al Pacino take his place at the head of the Corleone crime family and a door shuts in her face contrasts with Lincoln Park’s tinkling nu-metal in a way that feels wrong. But that smash cut to the Godfather logo when Chester Bennington lets it rip feels so right.
The concept is apparently inspired by the ending of Michael Bay’s ending for Transformers, which features the Lincoln Park song and wasn’t even good in 2007. The song works much better with The Godfather! But this meme does not have to use that song or be about 2007. So far, I’ve seen the same riff on the Francis Ford Coppola movie if it came out in 1984 (George Michael’s Careless Whisper), 1998 (The Flys’ Got You Where I Want You), and 1999 (Rage Against the Machine’s Wake Up). Every version’s funny, and at least the ‘90s versions instantly took me back to being in a theater as a kid when the credits rolled on Disturbing Behavior and The Matrix.
You also don’t have to just use The Godfather ending for this meme. Know Your Meme traces the format back to an August 17th post from Twitter user @CastCretacious that overlaid the Lincoln Park song on Jurassic World’s ending.
My favorite variation is “Seinfeld Series Finale but it came out in 2007" because the song fits perfectly with the show’s self-loathing ending in which the cast ends up in jail, still picking over and debating meaningless bullshit.
The most important thing is that the video clip should work great with an abrupt smash cut to a title card—the ideal way to end a movie.
I think this meme has staying power, and I hope people keep branching out with new twists and contexts. Part of me just loves that social media is filling up with clips from the ends of movies, ensuring that people who lose their minds over spoiling movies will either scream “spoiler alert” or cry about a beloved ending literally being spoiled by bad music they can never forget.
We’ve pulled together some of the better ‘But It Came Out in 2007' memes below— share your favorites with us in the comments.