‘It is what it is’ meme: Where did it come from and why is it used?

After all, it is what it is

A random photo of a cat. Or footage of some bald bloke stood against a wall. Anything pointless can and will become a viral reaction meme, so it comes as no surprise that TikTok’s latest obsession is exactly this – pointless.

The “It is what it is” meme is a video that shows a group of teenage boys in a circle laughing, with one saying “it is what it is” before the camera pans and they all repeat the phrase. But where exactly did the meme come from, and why is it so popular at the moment?

Where did the “it is what it is” meme come from?

According to KnowYourMeme, the first recorded use of the video was when it was uploaded to YouTube. Posted in December 2019, it referred to the video as a meme despite there being no apparent earlier use of the video elsewhere.

The first recorded use of the video as a meme was several months later in March 2020, when user @thehodgmeister posted on TikTok:

@thehodgmeisterIt izzzzz what it izzzzz ##fyp ##car ##foryourpage ##joke ##foryou ##fypシ ##tiktok♬ original sound – thehodgmeister

Judging by the upload date, even that TikTok is based upon an old comment on the original video:

So basically, nobody knows who the original group of people are and the phrase is almost completely meaningless – hope that settles it for you! Regardless, here’s some of the best “it is what it is” memes to coast you through:

@mavlaruewe j chillin♬ original sound – thehodgmeister

@santiago_armando♬ original sound – thehodgmeister

@troyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyWhy she look so sad tho🥺♬ original sound – thehodgmeister

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• The stories behind all of these viral memes will blow your mind

• Think you’re a meme expert? Then prove it by getting 11/13 in this quiz

• The true story behind the bald man meme is actually pretty disturbing