I Don’t Know What I Expected

Meaning

What does I Don’t Know What I Expected mean?

I don’t know what I expected refers to a popular quote from Arrested Development, uttered by Michael Buth (portrayed by Jason Bateman).

Online, the phrase is used on reaction image macros and GIFs to express one’s feeling of disillusionment.

I don’t know what I expected

Origin

What's the origin of I Don’t Know What I Expected?

The line originates from Episode 2 of Season 1 in Arrested Development, which first aired in the US on November 9th, 2003 under the title Top Banana.

In one of the scenes, Michael examines a brown paper bag labelled with the words “Dead dove, do not eat” then says “I don’t know what I expected” with a disturbed look.

Both dead dove, do not eat and “I don’t know what I expected” was turned into a meme later on.

Spread & Usage

How did I Don’t Know What I Expected spread?

Following 2005, the quote would appear on numerous websites, related to the series, including Chud.com and Cricketweb.

The scene would first appear on Tumblr on October 30th, 2010, in a three-panel screenshot.

Later, in 2012, the meme would start appearing in reaction GIFs and image macros, on sites like Reddit, Tumblr, 4chan and FunnyJunk.

“I don’t know what I expected” also appears in World of Warcraft, in the form of an achievement, since Patch 9.0.1 was released on October 13th, 2020.

External resources

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