Just hours after the Manti T'eo dead-girlfriend hoax was revealed, the Internet and college-football fans in dorm rooms across the country came up with the invisible-girlfriend meme "Te'o-ing." And yes, there's a tumblr and a hashtag, and, yes, it's an early candidate for meme of the year. But just because it sounds like "Tebowing" doesn't mean it is.
Remember this guy?
The Clint Eastwood RNC chair fiasco turned into its own Internet thing, and both memes rely upon relationships with non-existent people: T'eo to his faux girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, and Eastwood to his mortal political enemy, invisible President Obama. But don't worry, there's no prop necessary this time. To Teo, just put your arm around a would-be shoulder and smile. It does help if you're sitting down, though. Like this, maybe:
Or ask a friend to hang with your half-real couple:
Or you can just Air-Te'o:
(Images via teoing.tumblr.com)
There are other Te'o memes to come out of the hoax news, but the similarities between Eastwooding and Te'oing have not been lost on the Internet, which loves a good meeting of the memes:
Clearly, Eastwooding was a foretelling of Teo'ing, right?
Maybe it was Manti Teo's girlfriend sitting in Clint Eastwood's chair.— Alex Fitzpatrick (@AlexJamesFitz) January 17, 2013
And to get even more meta, now the two have met:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.