The coming of May 1, with its promise of spring and seasonal cultural rituals across the world, has always been a big deal. But in recent years, May has come to occupy a special place on the internet, which has become, essentially, the virtual equivalent of a maypole: a yearly excuse for frolicking.
May 1 is an international workers holiday, and in conjunction with that role, this year the day is playing host to a number of protests and date-related activist movements around the world, including international labor protests. But accompanying this more serious side of the date is a completely frivolous popular internet meme that’s become associated with May 1 — even though technically it reaches its nexus on April 30.
On January 29, 2012, a Tumblr user named amyricha (now deactivated) posted a now-famous image to their blog that singlehandedly invented Tumblr’s “It’s Gonna Be May” meme.
The image — which alludes to Justin Timberlake’s famous mispronunciation of the final word in the 2000 NSYNC hit “It’s Gonna Be Me” — instantly spawned an annually recurring joke across Tumblr: Every April, for pretty much the whole month, is “It’s Gonna Be May” time.
Over time, the joke has entered broader popular culture — this year, even Good Morning America noticed it.
Read more at Vox.