The Brief: "It's gonna be may" memes repeat a misheard lyric from *NSYNC's song "It's Gonna Be Me" to note that the month of May is coming up.
The days leading up to May 1st are an internet holiday of sorts in which people share memes of Justin Timberlake alongside the phrase “It’s Gonna Be May.” The origin of this meme is how many people misheard the line “it’s gonna be me” from the *NSYNC song of the same name, which is sung by Justin Timberlake as “May” instead of “me.” In 2020, “it’s gonna be May” memes include the usual set of image macros along with references to the COVID-19 pandemic and correlating lockdown orders.
A reference to JT’s ramen-like hair of the late ’90s and early aughts:
For those who are fed up with hearing the same joke every year:
when the time comes i don’t want to see one single justin timberlake “it’s gonna be MAY” joke. letting u know upfront
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) April 25, 2020
A popular iteration of this meme for 2020 jokes that people won’t be able to leave their houses until May due to COVID-19 lockdown orders. Chris Kirkpatrick of *NSYNC tweeted a version of this meme in late March 2020.
— Chris Kirkpatrick (@IamCKirkpatrick) March 29, 2020
Roses are red, raisins are dried. It’s gonna be May before you catch me outside 😭😂 https://t.co/jeoFvezEv4
— Mariah (@RiahKawaii) April 8, 2020
For many states, it’s looking like lockdown orders won’t actually end until after May, meaning that, although funny, the meme Kirkpatrick posted is not entirely accurate.
Me reading all of your “it’s gonna be May” memes knowing full well we’re all gonna be in the house until June. pic.twitter.com/hrcL6RZz8F
— Tevin JC (@TevinJC) March 30, 2020
This Mayor Lightfoot meme is a reality check for people hoping lockdown will end soon:
— F.J. (@Fennyjaff) April 24, 2020
“It’s gonna be May” memes of 2020 feature a lot of face masks:
This meme references the anti-lockdown protests and movements to “reopen America” before health experts deem it safe, which may exacerbate the spread of COVID-19: