"Source? I Made It Up" is a catchphrase used in reaction images in which a person reveals that the statement they have just made is completely fictional and only serves to spread misinformation. The phrase is often combined with images of Gigachad and Dr. Manhattan, with other prevalent versions being "It Was Revealed to Me in a Dream" and "Dude Trust Me."
I Made It Up
On August 11th, 2012, Redditor 350125 posted an image macro about atheism with a fabricated quote falsely ascribed to Bryan Cranston to /r/atheism subreddit. In the thread, Redditor globachill inquired about the source of the quote, with 350125 replying, "None, I made it up myself" (image and exchange shown below, left and right).
Dude Trust Me
On March 19th, 2015, Tumblr user a6 posted a screenshot of a Yahoo Answers response in which the replying person wrote "Dude trust me" as their source. The post received over 823,900 likes and reblogs in seven years (shown below).
It Was Revealed to Me in a Dream
On February 14th, 2017, Twitter user @JonathanMurden tweeted a screenshot of a footnote from the 1949 book The Divine and the Human by Nikolai Berdyaev, which read, "1. This was once revealed to me in a dream." (tweet no longer available; shown below).
"Dude trust me" and "It was revealed to me in a dream" were the first to receive viral spread online. Prior to March 3rd, 2017, Tumblr user serpentandstang posted a screenshot of @JonathanMurden's tweet, writing, "when in doubt, the citation of choice. The post gained over 41,000 likes and reblogs in five years. On January 22nd, 2018, Tumblr users halloween-trash posted the "It was revealed to me in a dream" reaction in response to a6's post, reblogged by Tumblr user kaineus (shown below, left). On November 20th, 2019, Tumblr user used the "dude trust me" reaction image to respond to a post by user johnnyjoestarrelatable, with the exchange gaining over 105,800 likes and reblogs in three years (shown below, right).
Prior to March 10th, 2023, an unknown user posted an Average Fan vs. Average Enjoyer meme based on the 2012 Reddit exchange between uses globachill and 350125 (shown below, left). On March 10th, iFunny user azerbaijanlawnglome made the earliest found repost of the image.
In mid-March 2023, the meme went viral through reposts. For example, on March 11th, Instagram user kultuuri_marx reposted the meme, with the post gaining over 1,200 likes in one year. On March 16th, Redditor Rubensantos1 reposted it to the /r/196 subreddit, where it received over 7,800 upvotes in six months.
Later on March 16th, Redditor woodstocc posted a Political Compass meme based on the image, with the post garnering over 4,600 upvotes in /r/politicalcompassmemes in roughly one year (shown below, center). On March 21st, Redditor chaspich posted another Political Compass meme that gained over 11,900 upvotes in the subreddit in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).
On April 20th, 2023, iFunny user LesterGreen reposted chaspich's meme, with the post gaining over 20,900 smiles on the app in one year. On April 22nd, iFunny user GreenBeanFrmAnotherPlanet posted an object-labeling meme based on a panel of Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen comic books, with the image gaining over 29,900 smiles in one year (shown below).
Through 2023 and 2023, more reaction images utilizing the phrases I Made It Up and It Was Revealed to Me in a Dream were created, often featuring Dr. Manhattan and Gigachad, with the phrases also gaining virality on social media as a based or Sigma Male reply.
On January 17th, 2023, YouTuber Max0r uploaded a video titled, "An Incorrect Summary of Metal Gear Rising | Part 2 | Sons of Obesity" in which the joke was used in an exchange between the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance characters Raiden and Senator Armstrong. On January 29th, 2023, YouTuber tofy guye uploaded a clip from the video, which was used as a reaction video on social media in the following months.
- Nice argument, Senator. Why don't you back it up with a source?
- My source is that I made it the fuck up.
Refuses to Elaborate Further
Refuses to Elaborate Further is a copypasta that describes a person barging into a discussion, making a statement and leaving without elaborating further. Usually paired with an image of GigaChad 2, the copypasta gained popularity in memes in March 2023.
Spreading Misinformation refers to an activity of spreading lies and falsehoods, primarily on social media, which can pursue purposes ranging from simply drawing fun from misinforming and trolling people to achieving some malicious goals. Starting in 2023, memes describing the practice of spreading misinformation as joyful mischief gained popularity online and have often been used as a reply to own posts containing misinformation.