Abraham Lincoln once said, “I laugh because I must not cry, that is all.” They are wise words that are extremely applicable in the year 2020, when an unprecedented global pandemic has lead to lost lives, lost jobs, and scuttled plans. Now, a new meme is helping people laugh through their tears by pairing images of naiveté with the impending reality.
The meme, which is spreading on Instagram and Twitter, pits “my plans” versus 2020, frequently using images snagged from pop culture. Take for instance this version with a happy office visitor, laughing at the wacky hijinks about to ensue thanks to an in-office lawn mower. As anyone who watched the first season of Mad Men knows, that did not end well:
The other examples of the meme follow a similar format with someone happily envisioning their future, whether an adorable child, an illogically optimistic character in Succession, a RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant with big plans for a butterfly-filled runway walk, or a smiling character in Game of Thrones, only for the plans to be completely derailed by future events. See a sampling of the my plans vs. 2020 memes below.