The “Distracted Boyfriend” meme is one of the most popular memes this year. There was a solid month or so where it was being widely shared in its various iterations all over social media.

In case you’ve somehow missed it up until now, it’s a meme that’s based on this stock photo of a young man who clearly has eyes for other women, even as he’s out with his girlfriend.

Photo Credit: Know Your Meme

Once Twitter got a hold of the image, it was only a matter of time until they turned it into a huge assortment of hilarious memes.

Photo Credit: Twitter

It’s pretty much used as a meme to make fun of someone’s inability to resist a given distraction.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Recently, however, one highly observant movie buff made a rather remarkable discovery – this meme has apparently been around since the 1920s!

It was first pioneered by none other than Charlie Chaplin, in the 1922 silent film Pay Day.

Film writer Peter Goldberg even posted a still from the movie as proof, and its similarity to “Distracted Boyfriend” is pretty uncanny.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Naturally, it didn’ take long until Twitter turned it into a meme of its own.

Photo Credit: Twitter

Photo Credit: Twitter

Check out the full clip below to witness the birth of a meme that was clearly way ahead of its time: