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Watch a precious meme be birthed in real time

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You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.
Steven Crowder on Twitter

Nine hours ago, Phil Braun tweeted an image of an eight-month-old tweet from internet personality Steven Crowder. In that time, hundreds of people have turned the source into a punchline. These are the precious and almost clockwork early stages in the birth of a meme.

"This is the ideal make body," says the tweet, "You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like." Attached is an image of a man who appears to be mixed martial artist Fedor Emelianenko, standing uncomfortably in a photograph that channels the grime oeuvre of Terry Richardson.

And thus begins the memetic equivalent of a top 40 radio station.



Guy Fieri:

Within four tweets from the source, Shrek appeared:

Within the first 20, we saw Waluigi:

In the first 50 replies, that creepy car crash body appears three times:

This is how the meme sausage is made, every member of the meme space taking its turn merging with the newcomer in attempts to achieve a more powerful, hybrid form. And eventually, that form is found:

Correction: The post originally attributed today's earliest retweet of Steven Crowder to Sunni LaBeoufPhil Braun shared the Crowder message hours before LaBeouf. The post has been updated to reflect this information.