I Don’t Know What I Expected


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

I Don’t Know What I Expected is a popular phrase derived from the comedy-drama series Arrested Development. The phrase is uttered by Michael Bluth and expresses feelings of disappointment, confusion and surprise.

The phrase has become an iconic meme with its own reaction image macro template, as well as several GIFs used to express one’s feeling of disillusionment. The same scene also birthed the Dead Dove: Do Not Eat meme.

So next time you find yourself asking “I Don’t Know What I Expected”, remember that you are not alone in your feeling of confusion and disappointment.

I don’t know what I expected


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

The phrase “I don’t know what I expected” originates from Episode 2 of Season 1 of the hit US sitcom Arrested Development, which first aired on November 9th, 2003 under the title Top Banana. In one of the scenes, Michael Bluth (played by Jason Bateman) examines a brown paper bag labelled with the words “Dead Dove, Do Not Eat” then says “I don’t know what I expected” with an expression of bewilderment.

Since its debut in Arrested Development, “I don’t know what I expected” has become an iconic phrase adopted by many as an offhand reaction to absurd scenarios. The phrase was even turned into a meme template for comedic purposes.

Spread & Usage

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

Following 2005, the phrase 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, it started appearing in reaction GIFs and image macros, on sites like Reddit, Tumblr, 4chan and FunnyJunk.

It should also be noted that “I don’t know what I expected” appears in World of Warcraft too. Since Patch 9.0.1., it is an achievement granted to players who defeat Lady Inerva Darkvein after defeating the Dark Animus in Castle Nathria on Normal difficulty or higher.

Thus we can see that this particular quote has been around for quite some time and is still used regularly today!

External resources

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