Some memes come and go. Others, however, refuse to die — and as the best “Sipping Tea” memes demonstrate, the catchphrase “but that’s none of my business” is definitely one of them. The meme obviously isn’t new; in fact, by meme standards, it’s ancient. However,it’s proven to have a staying power, a tenacity, that’s honestly kind of surprising. You don’t see that every day, particularly on the internet, when time passes in the blink of an eye.
According to Know Your Meme, memes featuring Kermit the Frog began appearing on Instagram as early as January 2014, with the earliest known example of the “But That’s None Of My Business” macro occurring on June 17 of that year. It took off from there, with both an Instagram account dedicated to these memes and a few hashtags on Twitter providing a steady stream of images of Kermit drinking tea while stating some pretty judgmental opinions.
Recently, though, the meme seems to have undergone a bit of a change: It’s no longer limited to pictures of Kermit. The catchphrase “but that’s none of my business” has begun appearing on social media paired with images of all sorts of people and characters (real and fictional) drinking all sorts of drinks (tea, yes, but also soda, coffee, water, and wine, among others). In some cases, the image doesn’t even include a drink at all. Much like Pokemon, memes do occasionally evolve — and “But That’s None Of My Business” seems to have leveled up, so to speak.
I’ll be honest: I’m actually not a huge fan of this particular meme. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it seems to be used as an excuse to say mean or shame-y things without having to deal with the consequences, and that… kind of bothers me. The “But That’s None Of My Business” meme is pretty much the personification of that person you know who thinks that saying “No offense, but…” or “Relax, it’s just a joke!” cancels out the offensiveness of whatever offensive thing they just said — which means that by their logic, you’re being unreasonable if you’re upset by what they said. (But, hey, fun fact: Couching offensiveness in “No offense, but…” or calling it a “joke” doesn’t stop it from being offensive, and other people are not unreasonable for being upset by it.)
But, well… that’s none of my business, right?
(Yes. Yes, I went there. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.)
In any event, though, the meme also can be used in some creative and hilarious ways that aren’t quite so mean-spirited, too. Here are a few recent examples that make good use of it:
I wonder what the second A would say about that.
2Proving The Critics Wrong
Score one for your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
My phone screen is brighter than your future, but that's none of my business *sips drink* pic.twitter.com/m8lBsm1rh7— Seynab ★ (@goldencallux) June 27, 2017
Them's fightin' words.
You say you're a Pokemon Master. But your Charizard knows 4 fire moves.— Pikachu (@Piiiikaachu) June 20, 2017
But that's none of my business. pic.twitter.com/LZQMffBpHV
Ash has gotten sassy in his old age.
4Don't Mess With Drake
I mean statistics show he's number one but that's none of my business pic.twitter.com/4JlLE89lnq— phoukham (@PhoukhamV) June 14, 2017
Or his fans.
Confession: I have still — still — never actually had La Croix. Am I really missing out? Should I remedy this? Or does it honestly not matter in the grand scheme of things?
6When You're Still Salty About The Tony Awards
Falsettos deserved that but that's none of my business pic.twitter.com/OYj28P97CL— ⚜️Misia⚜️ (@jonruas) June 12, 2017
I mean, I know, Hello, Dolly! had Bette, but the revival of Falsettos has also been pretty much universally praised, soooooo...
7When You Meme Yourself
When you become the Kermit meme and aren't even ashamed— Sophia Sahr (@SophiaSahr) June 5, 2017
"but that's none of my business" pic.twitter.com/BRX9noROxC
8Fake News Vs. Real News
If I were a cable news exec, I would notice that Fox's ratings are tanking and Rachel Maddow's are soaring. But that's none of my business. pic.twitter.com/1K6Yahxij8— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) June 1, 2017
9Shade for Daaaaaays
I guess that's what happens when you take a job that you're under qualified for but that's none of my business pic.twitter.com/fYKgvSIJ0d— Beth Doan 🖤 (@BethanyDoan14) February 12, 2017
I mean, I can think of a lot of cases in which this one might apply, but one in particular definitely comes to mind...
10A Word Of Advice
Some of you here are in desperate need of anger management courses. But that's none of my business. pic.twitter.com/nShtVNBzef— Chaque R (@Chaque_R) June 23, 2017
When you're not part of the argument, but enjoy watching from the sidelines.
11Someone Please Meme This
I still can't get over Hillary's 'but that's none of my business' moment yesterday pic.twitter.com/jE4dQTJIaK— Kori Kay (@kflana) May 8, 2017
I haven't seen this used much yet as the image attached to the meme, but I mean, it's perfect.
12The Spirit Of The Meme
Me: "Live and let live. Avoid drama. Namaste."— Scarlett (@ScarletWLand) June 14, 2017
Also me every time anything happens that's absolutely none of my business: pic.twitter.com/Utj1nWFyol
In many ways, use of the "But That's None Of My Business" meme reveals more about the people who use it than about the people the users are commenting on — and this tweet lays out exactly why. Consider it food for thought.