They Don’t Know refers to a variation of the I Wish I Was At Home exploitable comic series, depicting a Wojak standing in the corner at a house party, lamenting his being Forever Alone.
The titular version of the meme is typically paired with captions about Wojak possessing an impressive online status, that bears no relevance in a real life situation. Examples of these are “They don’t know I’m mildly popular on left Twitter” or “They don’t know I’m popular on Instagram.”
Although the original meme was first shared on the websited Sad and Useless in December 2009, depicting Wojak, then known as The Feels Guy, expressing his discomfort at a houseparty, wanting to go home and play video games.
In the following years, the I Wish I Was Home format spread moderately online, appearing in YouTube videos, as well as various other social media platforms, including Twitter, Tumblr and FunnyJunk.
Between 2014 and 2020, the exploitable was slowly forgotten, being replaced by newer and more engaging memes. That was until November 28th, 2020, when the first “They Don’t Know” meme was shared on Twitter by @urmomlolroasted.
The meme used the same image as its predecessor, with the text replaced, and it gained a massive amount of likes and shared in a limited time.
The “They Don’t Know” format exploded in the next few days, conquering the most prominent corners of the internet between November 28th and December 1st, 2020. These sites include Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, as well as Instagram.
The wide range of variations and reiterations kept inspiring newer and newer users online to exploit the template, further propelling its popularity.
This, however, quickly died down, as the “They Don’t Know” meme’s popularity began dwindling in early 2021. Despite this, some new uploads and reuploads may be encountered still as of 2023, but most of the internet has moved on.
- KnowYourMeme – I Wish I Was At Home/They Don’t Know