The Origins Of The Confused Nick Young Meme

There are plenty of prolific memes floating out there on social media, the origins of which are frequently equal parts bizarre and fascinating. And if you're out of the loop, you'll find that many online jokes and conversations might go flying right over your head. From the woman yelling at cat meme and the "tell me without telling me" meme to the change my mind meme and the Willy Wonka meme, being extremely online has never been more fun. 

When it comes to the confused Nick Young meme, it's entirely possible you've seen it without necessarily realizing exactly what it was. Non-sports fans might struggle to pick pro-basketball player Young out of a lineup, but he's typically photographed proudly showing off his pearly whites, which makes this particular meme even funnier — because it plays with his public image without requiring any further knowledge of the man. 

But what made Young so confused in the first place, if anything?

What was Nick Young so confused about anyway?

Medium notes that the confused Nick Young meme, which shows the NBA star smiling broadly while surrounded by black question marks, originated in a 2014 video by YouTuber Cassy Athena showing a day in the life of Young. Midway through the video, Young, reacting to his mother claiming he was a prankster who "terrorized" the neighborhood as a kid, makes an exaggeratedly disbelieving expression. 

A screengrab of the hilarious moment was widely circulated on social media, particularly on Instagram and Twitter, leading to instant and intense meme-ification. The joke is especially popular on Black Twitter, where the image is used to compare war stories about growing up Black.

According to KnowYourMeme, one of the most popular varieties involves the NBA player dressed as a "Men In Black" agent, holding their mind eraser tool, with a quip about a breakup. That tweet garnered tens of thousands of likes and retweets. A version of the meme about using several different applications to chat to the same friends, meanwhile, gained prominence on Instagram. 

As for Young himself, evidently, he finds the whole thing hilarious, per an Instagram video of him reacting to the meme at a game.