The Brief:

This meme spoofs the way *NSYNC frontman, Justin Timberlake pronounces the word "me" in the pop group's song, "It's Gonna be Me," and is used to celebrate the start of May every year. 

Bluesquiggle
DEEP DIVE

There are few memes that stand the test of time and even fewer that reemerge annually.

Just as Millennials celebrate Mean Girls Day every October 3rd, the end of April/start of May has a special place in the hearts of pop music fans around the world.

The *NSYNC song “It’s Gonna Be Me” dates back to their 2000 album, No Strings Attached.

In 2012, Buzzfeed posted a picture of Justin Timberlake taped to April 30th on a calendar, reading “It’s Gonna Be May”. The caption was meant to playfully roast Timberlake for the often misheard lyric.

The viral pre-May meme trend took off from there.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwpDwB8lFdX/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwnpVYHgQbY/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BwdkkY7AfBq/

For nearly a decade, various image macros and GIFs featuring *NSYNC’s former lead vocalist Timberlake have resurfaced in the latter half of April.

Though some memes include the other members of the iconic pop group, the meme generally focuses on Timberlake.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwpSVaXBa5y/

The meme format has been updated to include more recent photos of Timberlake…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwQwBDTo-97/

But fans seem to love those #TBT photos of J.T. best, especially when they capture his infamous “ramen like” hairstyle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwKMxrGJgLI/

For anyone concerned about the band’s reaction, don’t be. Timberlake as well as his fellow bandmates have joined in on the fun over the years.

https://twitter.com/LanceBass/status/594215494493798400

Just last year, the band received its star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 30th, the unofficial “It’s Gonna be May” Day.

https://twitter.com/VinesBee/status/1117962240173457409

“It’s Gonna be May Day” is sure to make the rounds on Twitter and Instagram this April 30th, but don’t be surprised if the hashtag #ItsGonnaBeMay pops up before then.

To date, the hashtag has been used over 95k times on Instagram.

https://twitter.com/DidimusPrime/status/1120917560537567232

In light of *NSYNC’s recent performance at Coachella (sans JT), there’s no doubt that this meme isn’t going away any time soon.

So, best learn who *NSYNC is, Gen Zers. They’re making a comeback!

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BvkWhuqnUr3/