January 28, 2020

We all had irrational fears growing up: monsters under the bed, scary cartoons, the girl from The Green Ribbon. (It’s just a book!)

But a new meme making the rounds on Twitter this week is reminding us all of those roots. In “me vs. my childhood fear,” users are posting nice, glam selfies — alongside images of the strange throwback items or pieces of pop culture that kept them awake at night all those years ago.

The Blue Man Group? Prancing cartoon cats? The movie version of helpful house elf Dobby from Harry Potter? A belt? Cherry-flavored medicine? The girl from The Ring? It’s all fair game as users are calling back to those objects and obsessions that haunted their dreams — or rather, nightmares — back when they were young. It’s hard to trace the meme back to its originator, but it appears to have started popping up on Twitter on Jan. 24, and then continued to pick up steam as bigger accounts like those of Quenlin Blackwell, a YouTube and Vine star, and rapper Rico Nasty decided to share their own versions on Jan. 28. They were quickly followed by even more celebrities like Tierra Whack and Lil Yachty, giving the meme even more publicity.

Luckily, we’ve all mostly outgrown these fears and their power to bring us down — but that doesn’t mean Twitter won’t still have a field day enjoying (well, maybe not quite) the memories.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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